Thursday, 30 August 2012

Toddler wrestling. And not for fun.

Today, I was thinking. What if trying to get a toddler dressed was an olympic sport? It should be. 

It certainly feels like one. Dressing a wriggling, stubborn little person who would rather spend the day in a state of nakedness is a real battle and a half. It leaves me worn out and an awareness of muscles that I had long since forgotten about.

This morning, I watched as the twins tried to get their own trousers on. They are only 18 months old and frankly, a bit rubbish at putting their own clothes on, but they insisted on it. Every time I made like I was going to take an item from them and help them, they screamed and did 'the windmill' - arms swinging round at top speed like a whirling forcefield. Once I backed off slowly, they returned to attempting to dress themselves by putting their feet into the armholes of their t-shirts, or by sticking their arms up their trouser legs. This lasts for about ten minutes until, all too aware of the time, I jump in before they have a chance to start defensive manoeuvres and grab the clothing from the nearest one. 

Hi ya!
She screams and stamp her feet. Then, realising what is about to happen, makes a run for it. She shoots off across the living room, squealing like an escaped pig, changing direction any time I make a grab for her. Eventually I catch her, and hold her in place with one hand whilst attempting to put the t-shirt over her head with the other. But she has two hands to my one, and while I try to put the t-shirt onto her head, she is karate-chopping me with one hand and using the other to hold the t-shirt off. 

I struggle to get an arm in. She sobs in protest. While I am trying to wrestle the second arm and head in, the first arm has managed to pop it's way back out again. I shout at her, to no avail. It just makes the sobbing increase in volume. I am firm and I succeed. T-shirt down, trousers to go.

Before she can shoot off again, I grab her, sit on the sofa and trap her in a vice-like fashion between my knees. She wriggles but I have done enough to get one leg in. One. Then she gets free and dashes away, her trousers flapping behind her like a horses tail. 

In one last flurry of effort, I rugby tackle her to the ground, trap her under my weight, and get the last leg in. Ha! Victory is mine. I am knackered already, but I have one dressed toddler.

I feel like I've had a complete work-out and it's not even lunchtime. Hell, if someone designed some rules to this, I could compete internationally. I would be like the Jessica Ennis of the parenting olympics.

Dressing a single toddler would be my 1500metres - a middle-distance event that needs endurance, tactics and knowing when to make your move.

Now to do another few laps - where is her sister hiding?

5 comments:

  1. Oh dear :( I don't miss those days! You feel so ashamed at trapping your child under your own body weight, but sometimes it is the only way. And doing it twice over? Surely that makes you Mo Farah? Or Usain Bolt? (Or is Bolt for triplets?)

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  2. Hahahahahahaaha! Screamingly wonderful narration! Good stuff - really great stuff. Thankfully those particular toddler-wrestling days are behind me.

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  3. Yeah kid wrangling can be hell in the mornings. I think there was a week when my daughter was three when I let her sleep and wear during the day a Princess costume just because I couldn't face wrestling a monkey into sensible clothes every day!

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    1. I am considering just letting mine run around naked.

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  4. Mine do run around naked. Sprout refuses to wear clothes and in the unlikely event that I have actually managed to get some on him he will undoubtedly have them off again within minutes. Spud isn't keen on having his clothes put on either. This is mainly due to his over-sized head (shh don't tell him) having a top put on over his head must be like going through the birth canal all over again. No I give up I'm just thankful if I get a nappy on them.

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