There’s no place like it

Ever since we arrived home from holidays my children have been revolting. A little harsh? You should see what I just wrote and deleted! It’s like they used up all their good behaviour at their Grandparent’s place over the past 11 days so that they have nothing left except over tiredness, whinging, ungratefulness, talking back, eye rolling feralness.

The talking back, the fighting, the grumpiness, the sheer cockiness, and smugness coming from my 4 year old is staggering. The copying and imitation of all of this by the 2 year old is hilarious and a welcome tension breaker. But I have to say that Rob and I are at wit’s end because everything we say seems to have ZERO impact. Not helping is the distinct lack of rest occurring in every single person in the house as we struggle to get back to some kind of normal sleep patterns and routines. I know I’m not alone, it’s happening in most houses all over the place as kids who have gotten just about everything they wanted over Christmas seem to think that this should now be the “norm”. More frightening is the fact that we have 3(!) MOFO weeks left before School goes back. Today I have to try to convince Rob to not deconstruct the new bunk beds he spent all of Monday putting together just to make a point to Daisy. I have to make some kind of stupid sticker chart (again) to try and get them back into line. Tell me this is just adjustment after holidays? Tell me it’s just the tiredness talking? Tell me my patience and resistance is low because I am exhausted? Tell me how to make it better. Tell me a funny joke. Tell me anything.

Happy Holidays? Hmmm.


  1. this is our house too. WTF!??!!? little brats. and totes agree,..nothing I say has ANY impact. I feel your pain, lady. GAH. one of mine is going to spend the day in the chicken coop at this rate.

  2. I spent the whole of Monday in hospital with a series of issues that all came together in a revolting manner…anyways it was discovered that a clip which should have been on my fallopian tubes when they were “tied” 8 years ago had come adrift and was in a place it should’t be…..question asked by serious 20ish tiny doctor “Could you be pregnant?” Hope this makes you laugh/shudder/freak out as it did for my friend and I as…. I am ummm errr well I celebrated my 50Th birthday last year and I NEED MY SLEEP! (and the answer is an adamant NO)

  3. Ouch. All I can say is, at times like this, choose your battles. Discipline over life-threatening and seriously gob-smackingly bad breaches, otherwise, ignore. Sure, give them a raised eyebrow before you ignore, but, for the sake of your sanity – ignore. And lock yourself in a room and do something nice for yourself xx

  4. i don’t have any advice for you my friend as i am childless, but fuck that chair is cute!

  5. I’m just as sleep deprived as you so I’m all out of jokes. But I totally hear you. My four year old is totally adorable, but so rude and talk backy and whingey too at times I can’t get over it! Smart arse is what I called him in my head yesterday!! Anyway, I’m still trying to get my two older ones into line…..I’m yet to resort to the sticker chart. I’ve been confiscating Lego for the 4 year old. Unfortunately the 3 year old doesn’t care for much so I have no buying power with her, except to put her in her room or time out. I’ll count down to the school term with you!

  6. I had to frog march my kids home yesterday after cutting short a disastrous playdate. They were feral to the max.

    Oh god, for his sake, I hope Rob doesn’t pull apart the bunks.

    Let’s hope things get better soon. x

  7. Q. How many frogs would fit in your glass of water?
    A. Toadily too many.

    Deep breath! x

  8. The only jokes I have are ones I remember recently from bon bons, & I can’t see them giving you the belly laugh you seriously need right now 🙂

    So … how about some soul food?

    Download some music, burn it to a CD & go for a drive, or to your iPod & go for a long walk. That’s what I do on the days where Max pushes me to my limit.

    Some recommendations? Mason Jennings, Lana Del Rey, & Grizzly Bear.

    Stay strong xx

  9. gotta love the post-christmas come-down. i hate when my children waste their good behaviour on someone else. i do all the freaking work, i want the reward, dammit. cross your fingers, you may get a magic message like i did this morning “is harry free for a play this week?” why yes. yes he is.

  10. Get a big garbage bag and every time the 4 yo is a shit, get her to pick one toy to put in it (preferably from a selection she loves) so it can go to the op shop. So some other *well-behaved* child can buy it.

    I sound like a bitch mother, but it works. I hate it when my kids (any kids) are feral and ungrateful. And it beats yelling.

  11. I hear you sista!

    My 5 year old is being a nightmare at the mo. they tend to take it in turns. everything is questioned and argued over.

    Thank GOD for tennis camp!


  12. Hey Beth….. Screw the healthy eating and less alcohol…
    What you need is a stiff drink….on the rocks…..
    P.s I have 7 kids here at the mo…5 of which are mine, and …well….I’ve been in my pj’s for 3 days…holidays do something to us…you know like….it make us less tolerant and mental and the Children turn into….a more frightening version of chucky!
    Best of luck over the next 3 weeks

  13. Amen sister

  14. My ferals are 8 and 10, and still I have not managed to tame them at this time of year. They are banned from screens of any sort(tv, computer, ipod)as this is the only consequence that seems to have an impact, although I do believe I suffer more than they do with this type of punishment. Gin, I believe is the only answer…..for you, not them!

  15. OMG I am totes living your life, AND I have my periods AND I have horrendous period pain AND I have put on 3 kg over Christmas after losing 5kg just before Christmas AND I ate a packet of Tim Tams last night AND my kids are so freaking feral I could stash them in the cupboard and lock the door.

    Phew!! Lucky I’m at work and my husband is home with them for the next 2 weeks. Then it’s my turn Eeeek!

    Love you to bits love…just drink some wine. It fixes everything xx

  16. totally agree. we are there as well.

    Made me feel slightly saner to hear that you are too.


  17. I will bring my two over shortly and they can feral-out together.

  18. We have been grounding our own little “fresh face” from the telephone as her newest hobby is chatting with a schoolmate on the phone after school and on weekends.
    But yours are too little for that…so my advice?
    Drink wine.
    Loads of it.

  19. If it makes you feel any better, apparently there is an actual name for it and it is called post christmas depression…apparently after the kids have had sooo much attention and presents and good times they come back to the reality of it all and CRASH, hit rock bottom…pretty much like adults really;)

  20. No answers here , no jokes either wish I could say it gets better – all you can hope for is a strong liver cos self medicating is as good as it gets.

  21. You are almost there, you have recognised that you are stressed trying to get back into your familiar routines, unpacking bags and getting everything washed and put away is the pits, most of us detest it, and it makes us cranky as!!!

    Involve the kids, do it together, or find something that they can do independently, like, go and put this on my bed.

    While away the grandies probably amused them 24/7 when you wouldn’t so they are just being very demanding for attention. They are also asserting themselves with their new voices found with the grandies who dote on their every word.

    And yes take away toys/privelidges, works atreat around here! But careful, not the ones that could entertain them and give you peace!
    Soldier on, it’s a war of the wills this parenthood!!

  22. i think I have some Christmas depression too! Holidays are nice but far too long!!!!!

  23. Your last two posts have been my house down to a capital T. My son is 2.5 and is still talking about presents every day apparently he ‘neeeds’ more. Then the meltdowns, oh the meltdowns. Naughty corner isn’t working anymore so we’re resorting back to plain old ignoring.
    I can only imagine what it will be like when my little Miss is old enough to talk too. Yuck! Hope it gets better soon x

  24. It’s horrendous isn’t it? It’s happening here too. Absolutely feral, I think I’ve cried more in the last week than I did throughout the year. My husband ended up at home for 3 days last week and on the way to the pool for day 5 of 10 swimming lessons( who invented that shite?) I made him stop the car and I got out and walked home . Since then we’ve teamed up and have gone captain hard arse on the 5 year old .He’s spent ALOT of time in the hallway staring at a wall and finally we’re starting to see an improvement. Oh the threats we’ve made since Christmas, I can’t begin to tell you. Good luck, we’re counting down the days until kindergarten too , if only the 2 year old wasn’t still going to be home 5 days a week lol.

  25. This is my take on small(er) kids reaction and coping strategy to summer holidays:

    Complete lack of routine – WOOHOO!PartayPartayPartayWAHWAHWAHWAHWOOHOOWOOHOOwahwahwahwah

    General slide of nutritionally balanced meals and over-all diet –

    lots!of!exciting!things!happening!withpeopletosee!andplacestogo! –
    what’s happening now? What’s happening now? What next? I wonder what’s happening tomorrow? What? When? What?

    Coping strategies:
    a big sheet of cardboard with the days of the week on it, a big star or something that has ‘today’ written on it so they can move it each day, and then, on each day a picture of something to show them that is what is happening that day – the trampoline, a pool, a picnic rug, a mixing bowl and cookies, a swing – all to convey an activity, even if its just something you’re doing at home.

    And the star chart dude. You gotta use the star chart. You gotta spell it out and make it tangible – ‘nice manners’ mean shit to a 2 or 5 year old. ‘using nice words like please and thank you’ mean something. Packing away their toys. and so on.

    And make it attainable. ie 10 stars is too many, 5 stars is good. and the reward is something they covet (albeit cheap!) or maybe something like a milkshake at the cafe with mum and dad etc.

    And get brutal with bedtime routine. Brutal.

  26. OH GOD, that totally just sounded like I was telling you how to suck eggs. Sorry bloss. It wasn’t meant to come across like that. At all.

  27. Beth, is the 4 y/o – 4 and a half? Because they say tat at the half-year point there is a developmental disequilibrium and kids go feral with frustration and general antsiness. 18 months, 2 and a half, 3 and a half…etc. It’s been true for my two. And then they return to just normal levels of naughtiness, not the brain-melting stuff. Good luck!

  28. The other day I screamed at Kitty “If you and your brother fight one more time I am going to rip your legs off”.. I actually meant it as I was so over the bickering and noise and constant need for food.. but for F^&*s sake what sort of threat is that? … One from a Mum who has used up every single other one to no avail.. try it.. might work for yours.. didn’t for mine!

  29. We’re obviously not alone in this!!
    It’s like the more you give ’em, the more they want.

    In fairness, I’m susceptible to a good pout and stomp when holidays come to a close too.

    The tv/screens are off here, junk is off the menu and the garbage bag is out and waiting.

    I’m wishing you some decent rest soon and even better wine.

  30. My three kids (ages 6, 5, and 3) are driving me and my hubby stark raving mad. We have bent over backwards to make sure that their vacation was filled with tons of fun activiites, yummy food (as opposed to the healthy stuff that they are normally forced to eat), and lots of presents for X-mas that they begged and pleaded for. And where is the stinkin’ gratitude, I ask you ? My son has turned into Napoleon, and his two sisters are queens upon their thrones…today we went to Coles to get some groceries after I very nicely bought each of them a kids’ meal from Red Rooster. As soon as I added the first item to my cart, my son starts screaming bloody murder because the toy from his “happy” meal is broken. “Of course it’s broken”, I say, “You’ve been actively trying to break it since you got it 20 minutes ago..The poor thing could only hold out for so long.” Well apparently, the fact that I was not sympathetic in the least really sent him over the edge, and I had to abandon the cart while we exited the store so that he could “gather himself”…heavy sigh….I really hope they will be over all this diva behaviour before they are teens…

  31. Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
    A. To get away from the F&*@ing kids!

    Sometimes I lock myself in the laundry for half an hour…

  32. I hear ya lady. Yes, I’ve let the f word fly today. We’ve rediscovered our puzzles though, and surprisingly it’s brought some calm and teamwork. Then it’s back to the fighting of who’s first, who’s got the biggest drink, who can say what word! Aaaaahhhh. Bring on bed time.

  33. MATE – trust me, Daisy will be SO much better when she starts school – we had the ‘tude with Billie around the same age, school will knock it out of her. Re. the stupid sticker chart thing, it never worked for me, I always find the threat and then follow through of the favourite toy/book/whatever on the top of the fridge for an hour/afternoon/day/week works a bewt – still does! Good luck man, feeling your pain xx

  34. Where do you find a dog with no legs?
    Where you left it.

  35. I just bought the book 123… Magic and it’s working with Lacey. HaPpy to post it to you tomorrow if you like. I read it in a night. x

  36. We have a bit of that going on here too at the moment.. so i decided it would be a good time to get rid of their dummies too, I seriously must be out of my mind, but theres no turning back now.. just looking forward to brighter days.
    Sending hugs my friend. xx

  37. I vote we send them all in a row boat to a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific, where there is enough food and water to keep them alive until school goes back.

    I’m having a wonderful time with the kids home. I so am.


    Big fat squishy hugs. I am there with you.

  38. i used 123 magic on my 4yo son, this time last year when i couldn’t stand it anymore! it is great & over the last year 2.5to son is learning what i mean too! its def worth a read! but still i am about to sell them both if things dont get better here! my last resort is FOOD. i am about to throw out every “fun & yummy” food in the house & try something way more basic! it couldn’t make it worse?? my hubby is sick of me whinging! me whinging?? i say stay home & listen to them for a few days 🙂 way more than 3 weeks in tas till school starts, but i am hoping for some change before then
    goodluck & keep sharing xx

  39. Love the chair. Looks like somebody did put baby in the corner. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea. I have taken to refusing to speak to them, acknowledge them or give them ANYTHING until they speak nicely to me. That goes for the 2 to 12 year olds. Funnily, the 2 year old is the one who gets it! Am I being childish? When in Rome, baby, when in Rome!

  40. In my experience:
    0-5 years ……. exhausting,
    Primary school years….. fantastic,
    Teenage/High School ……. demanding,

    I guess what I’m trying to say is these things seem to come in waves and we have to enjoy (and remember ) the good times and just try to ride the bad. x

  41. god, this and your last post are going on here as well! Little shit’s were a delight over christmas, get home and are horrors…..and my eldest (2.5) now needs us to sit by his bed.FUNFUN FUN!

  42. Yeah we’re having some issues with Angus and attitude at the moment too. It really wears us down. I don’t get how at 4, he can be so self righteous and disobedient and blood smart! We had some substantial blow up’s ‘talking to’s’ over our holidays. Give us all strength xo

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