Naughty kids are always funnier when they’re not yours – PART TWO.


Meet Screamy McScreamScream the Devil Baby…

It’s no secret my first child was an easy baby.

As far as snotty, milk-guzzling, sleep-killers go, she was a breeze for the first 18 months. Even after that, she has always been happy with her own company, easily entertained and a brilliant sleeper (12 hours at night, 3-4 during the day).

When she disappears she’s not secretly painting my bathroom floor with lipstick, she’s reading cross-legged on her bedroom floor.  She has had her moments, but they’re the exception.

So it’s no surprise that just about everyone I know was high-fiving the parenting gods when my second child turned out to be a little more difficult. Or a lot more difficult (as everyone had cheerfully predicted during my pregnancy I hope you know the second will be NOTHING like your first).

As one friend put it, she’s the baby I deserved*.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s an awesome kid. As a baby she was a once-a-night feeder, until she started sleeping through around the eight-week mark. She took to solids without fuss and now eats everything in sight. Her smiles, dancing and laughter can light up a room or have us cacking our daks. 

But as she’s grown, she’s become more interesting.

Like the time she tried to head-butt and then bite her three-year-old cousin on the head because he stole her toy. Or when she kicked her sister in the head because I told her not to. Or when she pinched my face and poked me in the eye because I refused to get out of bed at 5.30am.

Did I mention she’s only 10 months old?

It’s not like the warning signs weren’t there.

New parents, if the hospital paediatrician comments about your baby they’re not just making polite conversation. They’ve seen thousands of newborns in their time; they tend to know their stuff. So when they say your baby “has a good set of lungs”, it’s smarmy doctor’s jargon for “I hope you have some earplugs; good f*****n luck with that!”.

We fully realised this around the seven-month mark, when the slightest parental infraction would set off Screamy McScreamScream the Devil Baby without warning; food not prepared in a timely manner? SCCRRREEEEEECH. Bottle not heated to preferred temperature? SCCRREEEEEECH. Not happy with mummy’s cheerful morning disposition? SCCREEEEEEECH.

And then there were more glass-shattering screams for other things – not being able to crawl, not being able to join in with her older sister, the day ending in ‘y’.

She screams for 30mins in her cot if she doesn’t feel like sleeping, and then laughs at me when I got her out. “No” is just a challenge to continue with her mischief at a faster rate until mummy can remove her from the cupboard/power point/freezer/cat’s litter tray. 

She let rip at spontaneous intervals on a recent plane trip just to stir the grumpy man in front of us (an then smiled sweetly to the man behind, who had cottoned on to her game).  

She’s a pest (or a “loveable rogue” to outsiders, who can therefore chuckle at her antics and be thankful she’s not theirs). 

And of course, we love her to bits. Even when she cruises around the house eating everything in sight  – paper, cardboard, sawdust, food scraps, chicken poo, fossilised caterpillars, whatever.

Even when friends and family laugh at our change of fortune. This time, the joke was on us (and boy does that baby know it).

*No my friend doesn’t hate me, she just wanted me to have a more “rounded” parenting experience.

Do you have a difficult child? Tell us about it below (at the very least to make me feel better!). 

Related content:

– Naughty kids are always funnier when they’re not yours (Part one)


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