The Dark Lord & A Tiny Tyrant

by Jemma Harvey-Jones


22.01.21 – In which I document my failed attempts at parenting, The Dark Lord (our spirited Little M – 2yrs6m) and The Tiny Tyrant (Baby F – 4m)


Thoughts I probably shouldn’t say out loud, things I find funny, musings and ramblings; read with your tongue firmly in your cheek.


Let’s see where this takes us this week because I have absolutely no idea…

Just another week of lockdown for us like everyone else, but oh my life, it’s been a miserable one. The weather has been DULL, the fog has been hanging low over the valley and the mood in the house has seemed to reflect it – until today at least, when the sun finally made an appearance. The Dark Lord has been ALL OVER THE PLACE, bouncing around one minute – an absolute delight, crying in a heap on the floor the next. The Tiny Tyrant is still fractious and clingy, knee-deep in the four-month regression. Yay for me!

How I feel at the end of this week:

Thanks DL for demonstrating this for me.

Rewind to Monday: I probably didn’t help myself from the start to be honest. I hold my hands up and accept that I have only myself to blame for setting myself up for a week of pain, comparable only, in my opinion, to the entirety of advent.

The day begins and we drag ourselves downstairs, so that in vacating the master bedroom, Mr WMD can start work without fear of any wailing (mine and theirs to be fair) interrupting his video-conferences. The joys of home working during a lockdown. Almost immediately I realise I have made my first epic parenting fail of the week. Almost. I’ve left the selection box of chocolate biscuits that we had been gifted for Christmas on the console table.  The Dark Lord has rooted them out like a sniffer dog in its prime, her eyes locking upon them, widening with delight, before I have chance to register what is going on.

Why were they there you ask? I had been stuffing my face in the early hours whilst I was feeding the smaller of my two tormentors, too scared to hide them back in the kitchen cupboard for fear of waking the hounds. Shocking, isn’t it, with habits like this, that I still crumble from the surprise I get, every time that I look in the mirror and realise my body has turned into something I no longer recognise or like? Yes, I know I’m not supposed to say that, love myself and what my body has done for me blah, blah, blah, but that’s how it is and it can’t be helped. I do respect and am in awe of how I grew and evicted two tiny humans but let’s face it, I have an empty sack and too many saggy bits now.

At this point it’s probably worth clarifying to anyone reading this and wondering whether I love and deserve my children, that they should please rest assured that if I had to make the choice, no, I wouldn’t swap them for a tiny and taut figure, the likes gained from hours spent each day spinning, and yes I am very fond of them. In fact, I love them beyond measure.

Look at them, how could you not…

Back to The Dark Lord… Off she goes, she’s upon them like a bullet, two biscuits in one hand and one in the other, chocolatey dribble down her chin as she pegs it to the other side of the room watching for my reaction at a safe distance. At this point I of course have a choice – take the biscuits off of her (what a normal, respectable parent would do I assume) or let her get on with it (me). I choose what I consider will be the easier option and settle for retrieving the rest of the box, so that she at least can’t feast on the last five. (Yes, I hear you gasp, but it was 6.55, I hadn’t had a coffee and I really didn’t want the day to start with floods of tears. I’d rather pick my battles. Bad luck for me, and there I was thinking that I’d been very reasonable.) With this, so begins meltdown number one as she promptly flings herself onto the floor. Apparently there’s no negotiating with her. Honestly it looks emotionally and physically exhausting to be two.

Next comes the joy of attempting to get some real food into her, bearing in mind that I’m on a time limit: The Tiny Tyrant will want to be attached to me before too long. Eating has never been The DL’s strong suit… it’s a rare occasion that a meal time isn’t one long uphill struggle. Still, it seems that I have been presented with this cross to bear for the foreseeable, so there’s nothing for it but to knuckle down each day and persuade her to let me get something nourishing inside of her. On this note – into the kitchen we trundle.

So begins our merry dance. I persuade her to the table, offering a buffet of cereals, fruit and crumpets. Nope, she’s distracted by the cats outside, down she gets. I keep pushing breakfast on her like my life depends on it; plating up a slice of apple here, some banana there, this cereal, that cereal. Trying to tempt her to put something filling into her mouth and failing hugely. She seems to have a thing for eggs at the moment – I’ll try that I think, glancing at the tyrant who’s starting to show an interest in gnawing on her fist. I start to panic and sweat a little. “Eggs, DL? Boiled or scrambled?” “Scrambled please Mummy.” So polite, I think. This is definitely the way to go, even if she is eating enough over the course of a week to compete with a body builder and is at serious risk of becoming, how shall I put this delicately – ‘bunged up’. I get started and plate it up in a sparkly new bowl. One with unicorns on it no less. “No Mummy, boiled please, I want to crack it.” Back to the cooker I go. At this point, I’m going to CRACK UP. At least we can use our new dippy egg board that she got for Christmas, take a photo and send it in a thank you card.

See, I told you…

As I look at The Tiny Tyrant, watching from her baby seat (and no doubt learning, nay plotting for when her time comes) I sigh and wonder how I could have gone into this whole parenting thing with such innocent naivety that I had once judged other parents. I know, it’s a cardinal sin – don’t hate me for it – I was woefully uneducated in the ways of toddlers.  Am I just one massive failure in this role?  Breakfast for the rest of the week has been somewhat a repeat of this. “No, DL. You cannot have chocolate biscuits for breakfast every day next week.” We are absolutely not having a repeat of advent.

I’m a teacher, I expected more of myself.

Lesson learnt – the mysterious ways of babies, toddlers and I assume one’s offspring in general, are not to be meddled with.

Moving on… I think it’s my mood thats been the worst. I have felt like I have weights wrapped around my wrists pulling me down (not just the aforementioned two year old), sapping me of all of my energy and drive. There’s been days where I haven’t even managed to get out of the house for twenty minutes to be dragged around by the dogs. I used to think this was a chore but now it’s precious time to listen to music that is more to my taste than that of The Dark Lord and to breathe some actual fresh air, not just smell the stench of endless nappies. Looking at photos from the week it’s definitely clear that the times that I have ventured out have been the highlight… I actually smiled…

Back to the house… Lullabies on YouTube have been on repeat, the aim – to maintain some semblance of calm and encourage sleep from the tiny ones. Have you ever watched these? They are equal parts irritating and also strangely addictive… I can’t take my eyes off the baby on the screen which is ridiculous given that it’s little snuffles and smiles are on a loop and my own baby is sleeping by my side as I type this. Then comes the hearts floating up the screen, or the bubbles, or the fish… they get you too. Buffering – that’s fun when the baby starts to stir.

Onwards and upwards. Here’s to a better week next week.

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