My biological clock has officially stopped ticking. I’ve ceased looking at infants and pondering whether to have another one. I won’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t do it again (oooh, that makes me feel all Dr Seussy). I don’t care how little and cute they are. I think the screaming put the final kybosh on it. Not ickle wickle bubby wubby screaming. It’s the terrible twos and threes that finished me. All that howling and crying and turning into human jellyfish on the floor and not doing what they’re told and flailing fists and bitey teeth. I couldn’t do it. Too horrible to even contemplate. I know a few parents with terrible two-or-three-year-olds and I’ve decided the reason they’re called “terrible” is because that’s how you feel when you’ve got one. At least, that’s how you look. There’s no reasoning with little people, they have no control over their feelings and emotions. So their way of expressing themselves is to howl … and howl … and howl some more. I don’t remember Sprog 1 being a textbook howler, but there were a lot of noisy tears. The tears drove me crazy. We had some ding-dong brawls over the tears. I have no idea, when I encounter two-year-olds now, how I thought it was either possible or reasonable to argue with a two-year-old about crying. But somehow I did. We had massive barneys all the time. Husband found it very disturbing. Thankfully, Sprog 1 seems undamaged by it all and quite fond of me. Sprog 2, on the other hand, could really turn it on. Like the day I flung myself out of a train and onto a platform in New York without warning – off for a spot of shopping – leaving her stunned and abandoned with Husband (she was a bit clingy at the time, so I decided stealth was the best form of escape). He was forced to travel the next 12 stops with her wailing inconsolably on his lap. Fortunately I had a lovely time on 5th Avenue, so it wasn’t a total disaster. Actually, now I come to think of it, that’s probably not the best example of an unreasonable toddler, more a lesson in questionable parenting decisions. Anyway, the Sprogs weren’t too bad (unless I’ve blanked it out), but there’s always the risk you’ll tempt fate and give birth to demon spawn next time. No matter how exemplary your parenting skills are. After extensive moaning about my recent holiday with a friend’s screaming two-year-old, I’ve been admonished by numerous people about the whole “nature vs nurture” thing. Perfectly lovely, capable parents assure me that screamers are born, not made. And you just have to make it through, somehow, despite all the long, hard stares you get in public.
TONIGHT’S DINNER: Leftover salmon and koftas. Salmon last night was quite yummy, so here’s the recipe (I found it on kidspot.com.au).
4 x 200g salmon fillets; quarter of preserved lemon, finely chopped; 1 large, vine-riped tomato; 2 slices red onion, finely chopped; handful of basil leaves and parsley, finely chopped; 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
Method: Quarter tomato, scoop out seeds and dice finely. Combine tomato, onion, lemon, fresh herbs and vinegar, stir well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Preheart oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper, place salmon on tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove salmon and top with salsa (for adults). Serve with cous cous and rocket (adults), steamed veg (kids).