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The terrible twos can really take the wind out of your sails, much to others’ amusement


By Kerry McLean

My baby girl Eve had her second birthday this week but she’s been gearing up for the terrible twos in advance. Last weekend, I got a sharp reminder of just how challenging life with a toddler can be. We had been invited to my nephew Andrew’s wedding and we’d had a good year’s notice before the big day rolled around.

Despite this, on the day before, I was still chasing about, attempting to find shoes for the baby, a suit for my son and trying to get my daughter and I booked in to have our hair done. Procrastination is my middle name.

Somehow, it all came together and with minutes to go, we were all ready, suited and booted and, if I do say so myself, looking mighty fine. At least four of us were. When I took a closer look at the baby, I realised that she had somehow swiped my make-up as I was using it and had used dark pink lipstick to draw on the back of her head.

Why the back of her head I have no idea but given the fact she’s still fairly follicly challenged and what wisps of hair she does have are white blonde, there wasn’t a hope of hiding it.

Nor had we time to wash it off. A brusque rub over with a baby wipe was the best I could manage, and I tried to console myself with the fact that the dark pink colour matched her plum dress.

We jumped into the car and set off and I vividly remember saying to my husband, if that’s the worst that happens today, it’s not so bad.

The toddler clearly took that as a challenge. She had missed her afternoon nap by the time the wedding started, so was more than a bit crotchety as the beautiful bride began her walk down the aisle.

The harpist tried her best to play the wedding march but Eve was insistent on adding her own much repeated lyrics of, ‘Mummy! Milk! Home!’. I had to drop and roll out of the aisle, away from the bridal party and take the baby to the car for a nap.  

Having a sleep certainly improved her mood but unfortunately it also energised her and for the rest of the day she managed speeds that Usain Bolt could only dream of as she ran along the hotel corridors, attempted to bury herself in the venue’s Christmas tree and hid under tablecloths.

However the worst, absolutely most embarrassing moment came during the groom’s speech.

It was everything you’d hope it would be — funny, engaging and most of all romantic, or rather, it should have been.

Just as Andrew attempted to tell his bride how much he loved her, Eve, who had been contained in a high chair by this time, let loose a bottom burp that could have been nominated in the Guinness Book of Records for both loudness and length of time taken.

Instead of the romantic sighs the groom’s speech should have inspired, the room rang out with the giggles of all who had heard this tiny little child break wind in a style previously only achieved by the largest of rugby players.

By the time we arrived back home I was well and truly knackered.

Eve was fast asleep after such a busy day, so I carried my gorgeous girl up to bed and, as we looked down on her blonde baby hair with dark pink streaks, my husband and I began laughing until we cried about the day we’d had.

She didn’t misbehave on purpose, she was doing exactly what a two-year-old is meant to do — explore, push boundaries, have fun.

She had charmed the socks off everyone she met and the only people stressed out about how she was behaving were her parents.

Living through the terrible twos is not easy. There are times when it feels like blood, sweat and tears are being shed and sometimes, when you’re in the eye of the storm, you forget to take a step back and think about just how lucky you are to be making all these wonderful memories. So, Happy Birthday to my gorgeous little whirlwind. Mummy can’t wait to see what you get up to next!

The Kerry McLean Afternoon Show, Monday to Thursday, BBC Radio Ulster, 3-5pm

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