Releasing Fear & Accepting Change

April 23, 2015 by Vicki

Change is a funny thing. It can come into your life sweeping suddenly and unsympathetically or it can sneak in inch by inch allowing gradual acceptance and adjustment.

Having a baby is perhaps one of the biggest changes an individual, a couple and a family can experience. How each individual in that equation experiences that change can be so different.

For me, coming to terms with the arrival of another baby and the paramount change that comes with it, began early. I think that is apart of the nine months thing. Not only is it for the baby to grow and develop, but it’s also for a mother to accept and start adjusting to her new role.

Many weeks ago, I was paralised with fear about another baby coming into my world. I could think of only all the dramatic, challenging aspects that a baby brings and I was scared. I was actually beyond that, I felt regret. I thought we were unnecessarily complicating our lives and that I could cope.

My head space was consumed with all the it’s too hard thoughts. I was scared of the long cold nights of feeding, the zombie fog that follows me when I have a newborn, scared of all the giving that would be required of me, scared of pushing my body again, scared of becoming a yelly horrid mum to the two Vicklets I’ve already got, scared of feeling disconnected from my husband, scared I wouldn’t get all the things ready in time, scared of juggling the three kid act, scared of feeling cooped up, scared of feeling isolated in my newborn cave, scared of the workload, scared of feeling rung out and scared of losing myself again.

I dwelled on these points for weeks. Resenting the inevitable changes that I had invited in.

Then there was a shift. A new thought, I would be scared to not have this baby. Scared of always feeling like this family was incomplete. Scared of never trying. Then, I started to inhale breathes of acceptance and released the fear. This pathway was the right one.

I am contented about reaching a point of complete acceptance. I can exist within this moment without resistance and there is room for more favorable emotions. I feel ready.

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And yet now I see Mr Vick grappling with accepting the change. I suspect he would prefer to confront change when it’s arrived, when he has to. Shuffling the bedrooms around and buying bunk beds for the Vicklets has been a huge point for him to overcome. I can see him resisting and tugging away even though he knows he will be flung shortly into the change regardless because time will demand it so. He is experiencing his own journey and whilst I have learned that I like to grapple with change early so that I am fully equipped to dance with it and manage when it hits, Mr Vick rides the wave differently. It’s confronting for him right now. I have to let him run with all the fears, as I did.

In time we will have both acknowledge the fears, existed in them and have shared them. Time will dull them, they may even dissipated and we will be ready together to face this change.

How do you face change?

Do you think it’s easier to be thrown into change or to gradually accept it?

Do you think men and woman deal differently with change?

All The Pregnet-ness > 32 Weeks

April 21, 2015 by Vicki

Hello third trimester. Somehow you were that far off, never never land that I wouldn’t meet for a very long time and yet, you’ve just popped up like as if I should be prepared for it or somethin’. Sure, I’ve looked like I should be in the third trimester for about 3 months now, but the reality of this baby and the actuality of getting it out is starting to linger in my mind. I really should stop the preggie torture and retire from watching Call The Midwife and The Midwives. I’m like a dodo moth to a light, I tell ya.

In the meantime I’m happy to keep myself distracted with my favorite form of nesting, shopping! The Country Road baby girls range right now is killing me. Mustard yellow corduroy, damn you!

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It took all my might to not slap a dozen girl items on the counter upon passing. I hope such restraint is rewarded with an actual girl. I’m not going to be coy and pretend that I wouldn’t love my own little mini Goldilocks. Sure, being healthy and all that but there is no denying there is a little longing for a girl. For the sake of some Country Road shopping, if nothing else.

Little Vick is still convinced he will get a sister and isn’t there that sibling third sense, psychic thing? When asked why he would like a sister, his response usually is “because girls have good behavior. Boys do not have good behavior”. He also logically points out he “already has a brother”. True, true.

On the health front, my last appointment with the “baby doctor” aka midwife, informed me that my hemoglobin levels have decreased during the pregnancy. No wonder I’ve been eying off chunks of steak and virtually considering cannibalism for some light sport! It sure explains why my limbs have felt listless and lifeless over recent weeks. So I’m dosing up on iron supplements and feeling better for it already.

I fear I look like I have met with old age early. I have busted my pelvis good an proper. My nesting over come me and I vacuumed up a storm, and carried heavy washing about and a few other activities I should have perhaps bypassed, only for my pelvis to say, “lady I’m done”. From that moment I have been experiencing all the pain. Oh sweet baby cheeses I have, and by the end of the day I am nothing short of a cripple only good for the couch and watching The Outlander. It’s fair to say I have retired from vacuuming. No big sense of loss there and Mr Vick is picking up the slack which is obviously the way things are meant to sail. I have found comfort via Facebook from you all telling me how normal it is and how dozens of you have experienced this kind of pregnancy misery. Yes, your misery is my comfort – thank you. Fortunately a friend came to my aid with a belly belt which has fixed me right up, although I am now very mindful of being a little more conservative when it comes to my choice in activities.31 weeks pregnant

{The 31 week bump donning some retro print}

So 32 weeks, we’ve met and we move a step closer to meeting this Baby Mango Vick. Flashes of hospital bag packing and buying maternity pads have swept through my mind but I’ll leave them for a rainy day, down the track when I will have come to grips a bit more about what awaits.

Do you like the mustard Country Road numbers?

Where your kids right with guessing the sex of an expectant baby?

How far along before you packed your hospital bag?

{Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT}

Read my last All The Pregnet-ness installment here

{This is not a sponsored post, although Country Road should feel free to to sponsor me up with mustard corduroy goodness}

The Camping Champions!

April 16, 2015 by Vicki

Holidays with small kids is such a lucky dip experience. It’s heading into the unknown with a very optimistic heart and hoping for some small mercies. Camping with small kids is that bit more risque. It’s upping the anti with a few more factors working against you. I don’t quite know why we always think camping is a good idea and that it might be relaxing, but we still nick off and attempt it a couple of times a year. In recent times, it has been nothing short of disastrous! I’ve written about these times here and here.  What can I say? Moaning about camping has become a favorite past time for me.

The thing is, my usual optimistic attitude has been ground down and down to nothing after some really shitful camping with kids experiences. When you have such low expectations and when you presume the parenting challenges will over weigh any holiday about it, you might just get a neat little surprise! It might just be better than you expect and I can say, this time peeps, IT WAS! We came home feeling like the camping champions and that we had had a smidgen of holiday over the Easter weekend bonanza! Hallu-fricken-lujah!

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{We’re were all celebrating about it}

You know, I can’t share any secrets about what made it a success because when we camp we just roll with the breeze and hope like crazy that it will turn out okay. It’s all within the Vicklets hands really and this time they decided to play nice. I can say taking some friends with kids the same age really helped with the entertaining the kidlets and there was something cathartic about the shared bitching between the adults regarding how crazy the kids are too.

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There was a bit of hiking, a bit of sand digging at the beach, a bit of fishing (seems the fish were on holidays too), a bit of lazing about, a few sneaky snoozes and a few laughs.

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The camping life is simple. Little is really achieved and most of these activities were based around eating. Eating is definitely the central activity, but when is it not?

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There is something really earthy and nurturing about preparing a fire to cook on and if you’re able to prevent it from turning charcoal, it tastes so good. Camp cooking has got it’s own flavor and I think we did alright with our cuisine considering we had not even a fridge or an iced Esky. It took some fine planning on my account to ration and plan the food.

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{Baked potatoes done in the coals of the fire and smothered with butter, cheese, colesslaw and baked beans}

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{Pancakes for breaky. Who says you have to rough it?}

The blood moon and eclipse provided some spectacular night sky sights. Did y’all see it?? My my, what a show! I felt really privileged to be parked by a camp fire with friends watching it all unfold in one of the most clear, mesmerising nights I’ve ever witnessed. Had I been at home, I’m sure I would have been parked on my bum on social media and not known a thing about it.

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{The camping preggie at 29 weeks}

So was it relaxing? Kinda. The key to this this for me is balancing my energy and not tipping into a pit of exhaustion. If the kids are up frequently during the night and then siphon my energy all day long requiring constant supervision and interaction then I am as good as fried. This is the way it has rolled the past two times, but I’m happy to report a new rhythm played out this time. Sure, the kids awoke a couple of times at night seeking reassurance or an extra blanket but they found their own groove of independence during the days. Little Vick has reached the age where he has developed enough confidence to approach other kids and recruit them into his cricket matches. At many points he had all the boys at the camping ground in a communal game of cricket. He was in his happy place. Oh boyo was he happy and I was in my happy place because I got to watch on and admire his growth into boyhood and remember how it played out the same way for me when I was a kid and camped. I also got to breath. Just breath and it felt goooood.

1-DSC_1247{Smiling and snuggling! Things were going well}

Similarly, Baby Vick was happy to dig with his toys in the dirt and be a general filth monster but I was happy for it because again, mummy breathing time. I know Mr Vick felt the same. We were able to all connect in some silent yet tangible way. Something was in our favor even if I don’t know what, I am grateful for it. Grateful to come home feeling like I like my family and that one day we might be able to achieve a happy little camping story again.

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Did you go away for Easter?

Are you brave enough to tackle camping with little humans?

15/52

April 12, 2015 by Vicki

“A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week, for 52 weeks”

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Little Vick: You have wanted to go fishing for months and finally the right opportunity presented during our Easter camping trip at the beach. Just prior you were nudging us continually to get the rods out and baited up. Eventually, you held the rod patiently whilst the other kids flitted about on the sand around you. You were not perturbed. You had fish to catch. Your commitment to the task was admirable although after about 41 seconds you turned to me with this face and asked why you hadn’t caught anything yet? After 7 minutes you relented and joined the kids in being kids and retired from fishing with the idea that the visible fishing boat on the horizon clearly had pulled out all the fish for the day.

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Baby Vick: Things are just cool, especially helicopters that dart across the sky. They’re worth smiles and flapping arms and all kinds of outwardly celebration. You zip across a room to sneak a glimpse of a flying something out the window, so you were obviously going to be delighted when a helicopter passed low on the beach this day. Helicopters are just marvelous and so is the sparkle that fills you when you see one.

52 project

The Nameless Vick

April 8, 2015 by Vicki

It has been brought to my attention that I am having a baby. Albeit a baby with no name, yet.

I’m the type of person who likes to be able to ring announcing the arrival of a Vicklet, with a name. It feels like an extra punch of thrill, a double dose of buzz, ya know?

With this in mind, I usually like to lock down the name early in pregnancy or at least that’s how it’s rolled the first two times. Third time, not so much inspiration flooding in, I gotta admit.

Alarm bells started ringing in my head when it dawned on my that I am now 30 weeks knocked up. 30 WEEKS PEOPLE! This baby could be making an appearance in a matter of weeks (or a bit more) and it would be nameless. Nameless Vick. I don’t like that prospect. I gotta get my list going.

Mr Vick is making some wild suggestions that aren’t getting too far and likewise, he doesn’t think too much of my ideas. We can’t seem to get our naming mojo together.

Little Vick has put his two cents. His suggestion is Saucy, Saucy Vick. Well, why the hell not?

A name is kinda big. You want to get it right. It represents an individual for their entire existence so it’s a process not to be rushed and you’ve got to 100% love your choice.

We don’t usually choose run of the mill names but rather something with a bit of spunk, with a touch of vintage.

I am definitely going well beyond last years most popular names list in search of the right option. I’ve been Googling pirate names, viking names, Shakespearean names and famous poets names in search for the one. So far, I’ve got a few maybes but no hell yeahs!

Rest assured, I actually have a whole crew dedicated to naming this kid who can’t remain known as Baby Mango forever.

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Yesterday I met with my bff hommies who were keen to hear progress about the naming situation. Upon realisation that I have failed to lock anything in, they were on the case. In a moment there were iPhones out and names flying across the table. Many a giggle was had.

There are some shockers. Like REAL shockers out there. Some of our favorite gut laughs came about from names like Lego, Submarine, Hairy Cheek, Fisheye. I kid you not, all courtesy of Google.

I can definitely confirm I will not be having a Fisheye Vick or a Lego Vick. Not even Mr Vick would come up with those.

Post luncheon, I have been receiving messages from my girls with ideas and I like the flow of suggestions. We’re gonna get this sorted, I feel.

Just in case, can you tell me what you named your kidlets? Or what you would name your baby if you were in the knocked up way? I need to know all your suggestions x

Come At Me, Yo Easter Camping!

April 3, 2015 by Vicki

I’ve been dedicating a lot of head space for getting used of the concept of having a more simple life. Doing less and living a less complicated existence so that I don’t get so exhausted and frazzled. That’s been my motto in my little head these past two weeks. So far so good, until today.

We’re going camping (!!!?!?!?!)

Can you believe I just typed that sentence. After all the rotten times? All the freezing cold wake ups, the stolen sleep, the constant kidlet supervision, the mud, the Vicklets crawling through the mud….

This picture alone should be enough to terrify me away.

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That was last Easter camping horror story, the cute version of it anyway. I wrote about it here. Nothing will erase the memory of having to get up every two hours to our camp bed wetting toddler (4 TIMES! 4 TIMES IN ONE NIGHT!!), re-settling the infant and then feeding the infant in the freezing temperatures about every hour and a half because what the f*#k where his parents doing to him? Sleeping outside in the freezing conditions, under some tarp construction for leisurely FUN!?!? We must have looked like morons in his eyes. We endured our punishment anyway.

Even with all the horror stories there is just something about the lure of Easter camping. It’s been programed into me. I have been doing it annually ever since I was the size of a bat poo.

This week I’ve been quiet about these parts because I have been absorbed in all the packing. The packing of the EVERYTHING. I have been determined to pack slowly over the week to avoid a rush on the day we leave. I’ve been trying to simplify that at least. I even smugly ordered the groceries online to avoid the supermarket hysteria. I was so happy about that, it was if no one had ever thought of anything greater, ever before.

My brother in law kindly pointed out yesterday, when he came to see the spectacle that is us packing, that despite camping with kids being part great, part crapola now, we’re nurturing a culture within our kids so that one day they will want to go on holidays with us upon their own free choice and I kinda like that idea.

So, I’ll be switching off and making myself invisible for the next few days which I guess is what it’s about (no phone reception for anyone to hear my mercy pleas). So, if your weekend doesn’t quite live up to expectation, just think of me knee high in bog stink (it’s inevitable, I live in Victoria) and yelling at Vicklets to get out of it ALL DAY. I have such low expectation, it might actually be surprisingly good!

May you have a peaceful Easter with the ability to switch off in some little way too.

028{This Blanket Bay, the beach we’ll be camping at. Not bad hey? It’s not all bog stink and eye stinging campfire smoke!)

13/52

March 28, 2015 by Vicki

“A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week for 2015″

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Little Vick: Last weekend we followed your Dad away for work. The pretty location was enticing and I always like the sound of a weekend away together. Typically it wasn’t quite as dreamy as I’d sketched out in the pre visuals of my mind. Sunday morning saw us all with a case of the crankies thanks to your brother thinking 2.30am was an acceptable bed time and not a moment earlier. So, everything was hard and we didn’t like each other much but we were determined to achieve an outing to say we’d done something nice on the trip. We ventured up to the Venus Baths, about a km or two out of the township of Halls Gap. It’s a lovely five star tree walk and you embraced it like a true little adventurer. I’m always impressed with what a good sport you are when it comes to a spot of hiking. Prior to arriving at our destination I had not considered what you and your brother might like to do there. I’m not sure why I was surprised to discover nudity was the game plan but seeing your milky skin blend into the natural tones of the rocks and water cheered me. You climbed amongst the rocks and dipped your feet into the icy pools but you couldn’t be encouraged to go in. You’re so sensible like that.  Instead you ran your fingers through the water and watched the patterns of the ripples. The innocent spirit and simplicity of this experience cheered me and all my crankies dissolved.

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Baby Vick: You’re not quite so reserved as your brother. If there is water, it is there to be swam in. That is not negotiable. Water is one of your great loves so it wasn’t surprising that the pools provided great wonderment for you. You slopped right on in and explored independently. Your little limbs were frozen from the icy water and yet you wouldn’t relent. Here you were taking a break from blowing bubbles in the water. It wasn’t long before you were laughing about throwing your wet fringe around and threatening to get us all wet. Not like you to be a prankster or anything.

52 project

The Happy Apples

March 24, 2015 by Vicki

One of my happy rediscoveries over summer this year was our garden. We have a plot in a community garden as well as growing a few things in our tiny front yard.1-DSC_0847

The garden is one of my happy places. It reverts me straight back to my days as a girl on the farm where we lived virtually self sufficiently. In true country form, the garden was an all in thing. We all helped out but the passion was driven by my Dad. My Mum worked on the flowers, my Dad was the veggie expert. My Mum however did cook, pickle and stew them all, so again, team effort.

I seem to have some natural knack for the garden biz just from watching my Dad all those years. Likewise, Little Vick seems to have his Pops favor for the veggie patch which tickles me pink. He doesn’t realise just how much he is like my dad. Some things just naturally filter down the line I guess.

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Last week we decided it was time to pick our Jonathan apples which we’d watched patiently bud, grow and ripen to perfection. This event was, in true form, an all in thing. I’d love to say we have an orchard, but alas, we only have one tree but she gave us three full bags of delectable apples. 1-DSC_0839We planted this tree some 12 years ago when Mr Vick and I first lived in our home as teeny bops. He tells me on the day we planted it, he daydreamed of us picking and eating apples with our children in the future and so, here we were. I can’t say I ever expected to still be in the same home, but there certainly is beauty and pride in watching the life of a tree.

We loved sharing the picking as a family and the boys could not help but eat as they worked. In fact, it became a lazy family time on the green grass in our yard, examining bugs and biting into as many apples as we so pleased. There’s something earthy and rewarding about eating straight from the tree.

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I even managed to get #inthepicture thanks to a nudge from Bron at Maxabella Loves. I look puffy and tired but I wanted to be in the collection of photographic memories for my boys to look back at. I don’t always have to be invisible in the photo albums.

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So, now I have stacks of apples. Everyone is looking to me to do something with the ones deemed useful for cooking rather than eating. I can imagine I’ll make a pie and then what?

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What would you cook using apples? Hit me up with your recipes please!

Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

12/52

March 22, 2015 by Vicki

A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week, for 2015

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Baby Vick: I had to share this series, my wicked little cutie monster. I can’t get enough of it. You are full of expression and joy. The simplicity of life is highlighted through your jolly discoveries. An apple, a shiny, red, home grown apple here was enough for you to spill into these gorgeous faces. It makes me quickly forget your tendency to live as our resident grump.

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Little Vick: You are a lover of animals and all creatures. You marvel at the most deadliest and yet the smallest of creatures found in your own backyard. Here you had discovered a lady beetle. You carefully constructed a little home for her in a tub with weeds and sticks. You watched her carefully, being gentle until you decided she needed to be set free. Then, you chucked her out the door with scary force but all with good intent in your heart.

52 project

The Bully I Know

March 19, 2015 by Vicki

Of late there has been some testy business going on around here that I ain’t all that fond off. It’s been making my job as a parent a whole lot less comfortable.

Little Vick has become a “no” loving, brother thumping, defiant, unruly, rough head four year old that generally wants to make my day complicated and exhausting from sun up to sun down. It happens. Four year olds can be known to be fairly disgusting, especially the male species. I’m sure many of you already know this.

Much stress it has caused here in the house of Vick. Most days I want to tear my hair out in a furious rage and/or fall onto the ground and belt out some serious ugly crying. I have not felt so tested in all my parenting times. Pregnancy does not help here. In fact, I’d say I’m fairly aggro and easily infuriated right now which does not help the cause, friends. No siree.

My entire day circulates around policing conflict between my two Vicklets. They’re both strong willed, physical individuals that continually collide. So often I will leave a room they’re in and I will instantly hear the cries of Baby Vick who I find scattered all over the floor, in hysterics with a red welt on his head and one older brother, aka Little Vick looking quietly guilty but insisting he did “nuffin”. Other times he doesn’t try to hide it and he’ll unleash his aggression and frustration at his brother in front of me through the form of growling, pushing, hitting, pinching, slapping… all the ugly behavior. All the ugly behavior that he never used to do but now there are just so many wars. The whole concept of playing together and taking turns of things is completely despicable to Little Vick. It’s an exhausting thing to parent. I have spurts of patience where I guide him through it reasonably but generally I have been at my wits end. His behavior can feel exhausting and relentless.

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I knew there were issues swirling at home but when I realised the aggressive tendencies were leaking out into public interactions it was clear it needed to be addressed immediately. When you turn up to take your son home after a play date and you’re informed that there was “an incident’ which ultimately was due to your child biting or pulling hair or pushing someone elses child, or you start to get texts saying my child is upset by your child’s behavior, there is a real problem. On these occasions I feel completely mortified. Worrying about it has been terribly consuming for me because I’m a parent who really cares. I have prided myself in nurturing gentle behavior, compassion and consideration in my children and to Little Vick’s credit he has adopted these qualities (he isn’t all evil) but seemingly there is something else that has crept in and overpowered my nice little guy *crowd lets out a big booooooo*.

Realistically bullies are not born, they’re raised. The whole ‘I must be a terrible parent talk’ has been terribly nagging but I’ve had to put my adult-ness on and put it aside to actually nut out what internal things that might be the cause and to figure out a strategy to overcome it and nurture my little guy through this. It’s not easy to be this honest with yourself but these are some possible contributing factors I’ve summed up:

1. Testosterone. It’s commonly known boys around the age of four get a surge of testosterone into their system and some literally turn bonkers. They know not what to do with themselves except turn hypo crazed  and/or thump someone. This is thought to be a stage. I live in hope.

2. The up rise of the little brother. Baby Vick is s very demanding individual. “No” is never a barrier for him. He is fearless and curious and capable so he requires an Everest amount of parenting focus and attention. Attention once spent on his older brother. Although Little Vick is not really the jealous type, he certainly must feel the downgrade in time and attention spent on him. It’s even created an unbalance in power perhaps? Also, Baby Vick need not be four to be a rough, unruly type. At the age of one he is so casually comfortable with pulling hair and biting which often his older brother falls victim to. To date we have found it hard to know how to discipline a one year old for this behavior and I fear that the firm talks we give to Baby Vick (and witnessed by Little Vick) have not been sufficient in promoting a no tolerance environment in our home. If his brother gets away with it, he should too right?

3. Misguided affection. I know that sounds like a far cry but I watched Little Vick interacting with some older boys over the weekend and he LOVED the berserk energy of those guys. The running, pushing, tagging, shoving, knocking energy of them all. He bought right into it of course and fitted in despite being a good 2-3 years younger. Seemingly (and this is new to me being of the female variety), if you like someone you wrestle, push and generally act like an aggressive caveman which works well UNLESS your buddy know not how to speak caveman.

4. This one hurts me a bit to say but perhaps this behavior is a cry for attention. With a Dad who is working ridiculous hours away from home he is getting less one on one Dad time and being stuck with a yelly, impatient preggie of a mum. It must be no fun. I’ve been saying ‘no’ more often because I just can’t deal. I have had less negotiating ability and just less of me to give in general. It’s difficult to teach emotion regulation to your child when you’re having trouble regulating your own outbursts. Little Vick is sensitive enough to change brewing but with a mumma who has already dramatically changed it must be difficult to understand. Likewise there is a lot of rushing about in our family at the moment. Mr Vick and I are juggling work commitments and handing the parenting baton back and forward and only just managing to keep all the balls up in the air. Again, less time for kiddy activities, interaction and attention. Being time poor and fatigued affects kids more than we can imagine. I think we need to seriously look at our lifestyle and the effect it is having our little people.

5. All of the above. I am smart enough to know there is probably no one contributing factor playing out here but perhaps more a combination of a number of things which are all compacting at the same time.

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I can tell you this article really has encouraged me. I read it earlier in the week and it has given me some perspective and direction because hooley dooley, I have been dry on the suggestion front. I have done time outs, I have done sticker charts, I have tried taking toys away, I have tried patiently guiding him through frustrating scenarios, I have tried to ignore stuff and there has been improvement at times but still it continues. This article speaks a lot about unbalanced power, discipline vs punishment and encouraging the good rather than focusing on the naughty. Very handy for those of you who find yourself dealing with a shiteful little caveman like me.

I’d really love to hear from you my readers however about what you find effective. You are the experts of course. Lend a girlfriend a hand will ya? How do you treat aggressive tendencies in your children?