A Guest Post by Life is Knutts

The series all about the parenting fails that prove there really is no manual for this job.

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This weeks guest post comes from Gemma, who blogs at Life is Knutts.  Gemma’s blog is full of amusing anecdotes and cocktail recipes.  It’s a heady combination that keeps you coming back for more.


Never Underestimate The Power of The Pushchair


“The Terrible 2’s actually begin in your child’s second year of life, so after their 1st birthday. It’s all downhill from there…”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids.

I count my blessings that we were able to have them, that they arrived safely into the world and they’ve turned out (almost) perfect (ahem).

That said, nothing can prepare you for how much hard work they are. Especially when they hit the so called, ‘terrible 2’s”.

Now, I learnt very very quickly that the ‘terrible 2’s’ as they are known, do not begin once your chubby little cherub has had their second birthday, they start in their second year of life, so once they have stuffed that first birthday cake in their chops…that’s it.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Rookie Mistakes

They are champions of mental torture, masters of manipulation and take no prisoners. They still have those chubby cheeks, big doe eyes and little fingers and toes of a newborn, but they have quickly developed a brain which resembles that of a North Korean dictator (“do as I say mother or I will drop the bomb“).

My 15 month old did exactly that for the first time this week, and in epic style.

(Actually, now I come to think of it, so did my 5 year old…and my 7 year old. I can’t tell you that they ‘grow out of it’ because I don’t think they do, you just learn to find solace in simple things to make yourself feel better, like having a glass of wine with your weetabix at breakfast time. Technically wine is just grape juice and therefore part of your ‘5 a day’, or is it ‘7 a day’ now?? God knows, I’m lucky if I manage to eat 7 things in a day!)

The tantrums come at the most awkward times too, when you’re on the phone, when you’re speaking to other parents whose children are positively angelic, gliding around with halos sparkling above their heads, when you’re on the loo mid-wee or when you’re at the shops.

Ben this week decided to it while I was at my most vulnerable…I was without the pushchair.

Rookie. Mistake.

That battle-ram come chariot is the answer to all toddler meltdowns – he makes a mere hint of a squeal and I’m on him like a ninja – KAPOW! In the pushchair you go you naughty little dictator. I’ll show you who’s in charge here.

Meltdown averted.

Sanity saved.

Dignity in tact.

Mummy 1 – Angry little Baby dictator 0.


Never underestimate the power of the pushchair.

I thought that now my little cherub is toddling like a drunkard, I would let him walk from the school car park to the school field to fetch my eldest from football training. It’s a 2 minute walk for adult legs, or a sprinting 5 year old…20 minutes for a set of chunky baby legs. However, we were in no rush, it was a lovely day, the sun was shining, I was in a good mood (for a change, probably thanks to my breakfast wine) and I felt like I had this mum stuff all under control so left the pushchair firmly in the boot and let him toddle.

The 20 minute waddle to the field was fine, very uneventful and full of lovely people cooing at my chunky monkey saying, ‘Goodness me! Hasn’t he grown!’ (Why do babies and children have such a nasty habit of doing that?!) and ‘oh look, isn’t he sweet!’.

I smile back, appreciative of their lovely words and proud of my little man behaving himself so well. I totally know what I’m doing and how this parenting malarkey works now with number 3…

I let him totter about, being all cute and exploring this magical world of screaming children, concrete and germs and all is going fine. Then football finishes and we have to leave the field to go home. I usher my little one in the direction of the car park and as fast as I can neck my breakfast wine…BOOM! He drops the bomb.

“You see mother, I told you I would…and I did”.

Baby dictator 1 – mummy 1.

He kicks me, slaps, scratches, thrashes about, head-butts and screams with all his might and then pulls his trump card. (All children have this ability but some seem to harness their power better than others – all 3 of mine managed to excell at this skill)

Somehow he manages to turn himself into a jelly like substance so i can’t hold onto him anymore. It doesn’t matter how you try and hold him, before you can even gather yourself, he’s gone again and you’re only holding onto your little monster by the strap of his nappy.

My 7 year old comes out from football with his 4 bags, 3 jumpers, 2 water bottles and a giraffe. Ok, no giraffe. You got me there, but he did have a lot of stuff.

Another perk of the pushchair is that you can throw all this stuff into it and push it back to your car or home without struggling. Because I’d decided to brave it and leave the pushchair in the car I was now in possession of 4 bags, 3 jumpers, 2 water bottles, a 5 year old, a 7 year old and a thrashing, squealing jelly baby.

I gather myself as much as I can with the writhing jelly baby dictator in my arms whilst still saying ‘goodbye!’ and ‘see you tomorrow, have a lovely evening’ to friends and other mums through a gritted teeth smile, and make my way to the car park.

My two-minute walk back to the car is now taking considerably longer and I resemble a packhorse in a sauna. I’m a sweaty, flustered mess and I just want to get back to the safely of the car where I can restrain my demonic toddler in his car seat.

He continues to scream, hit and thrash all the way back to the car (as I attempt to wave to my sons teacher who looks at me with a lovely sympathetic smile, but which at that time feels like she is saying, “see, 3 children was never a good idea was it love. See you on Jeremy Kyle…”)

I get to the car and force the Tasmanian devil child into his car seat and shut his door. I vow to never leave my pushchair in the car again…even when my boys are 16 I’ll still have it nearby to shove them in it when I’ve caught them trying to get into a pub underage.

The tantrum lasts the whole journey home and in total took 25 minutes to conclude.

The moral of the story, I don’t have one. But never underestimate a toddler, or how useful a pushchair is (nor to forget to have wine for breakfast).


Rookie Mistakes

“Of course I can put this helmet on by myself you stupid woman. Look at me, I look perfect!”


About Gemma:

Rookie MistakesMy name is Gemma and I’m a married mum to 3 boys.

We live in Surrey and I have been writing my blog, Life is Knutts, for about a year now.

I write about the daily ups and downs (by that I mean carnage) of family life, as well as doing a few baking recipes and also cocktail recipes! Everything you need to get through the week! Humour, cake and alcohol! #winner

In my former life I was a dance teacher, but then the kids came along and I couldn’t see my toes anymore, let alone touch them. I became a stay at home mum in 2009 after having my second child. I did Childminding for a while but once my 3rd was born in 2014, I stopped to save what was left of my own sanity, oh, and to spend more time with my own children of course.

I love to write, and I hope I make people laugh. If I manage to put a smile on people’s faces by the end of a post, I consider that a job well done.

Thanks for reading and thanks so much to Claire (a blogging Queen!) for letting me loose on her blog!

She is a very brave lady and I am honoured to have been asked.




You can follow Gemma’s blog Life is Knutts on facebook and twitter.


What’s been the worst public meltdown you have had to endure?


You can read previous guest posts from the Rookie Mistakes series here.

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14 Comments on Rookie Mistakes – Never Underestimate The Power of The Pushchair

  1. Helen - Mess Stress and Fancy Dress
    July 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm (4 months ago)

    We’ve all been there. Every few weeks I forget myself and try to do the school run without restraining the nearly 3 year old. He runs away every single time without fail. He’s a runner. If i manage to force him into the pushchair, he’s a kicker. He has his agenda and it almost never crosses paths with my agenda. I reckon you totally styled it out. #fridayfrolics
    Helen – Mess Stress and Fancy Dress recently posted…How to “do” Duplo. By your toddler.My Profile

    • Gemma
      July 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm (4 months ago)

      Haha! Why do we do it to ourselves, eh, Helen?! I’m the same – in a rush, think I can do without the chariot but I can’t…we will learn one day

  2. Fran Back With A Bump
    July 1, 2016 at 10:17 pm (4 months ago)

    I ended up buying another pushchair when my eldest was 3 as I’d thought our pushchair days were behind us..until the lazy git refused to walk anywhere and I’d end up carrying her or have constant “my legs e tired”. Kids!!! Great post #fridayfrolics
    Fran Back With A Bump recently posted…Holiday Countdown 4 Weeks To GoMy Profile

    • Gemma
      July 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm (4 months ago)

      Oh bless you Fran! My youngest will be like this i think. He wants freedom and to get out, but then after 10/15 minutes of carnage he’s had enough and wants to sit down again. Hard work being a menace isn’t it!
      Gemma recently posted…Get your Bake On: Ice Lolly BiscuitsMy Profile

  3. laura dove
    June 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm (4 months ago)

    Hahaha I LOVE this Gemma and I too have made the same rookie mistake, not just once let me tell you! Only last week I walked home from nursery carrying the 2 year old, the 3 year old, two lunch bags, two back packs, a stuffed toy, holding on to the 4 year olds hand and then we made the mistake of walking by the ice cream truck and all hell broke loose!! Fab post as always! xxx

    • Gemma
      July 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm (4 months ago)

      Not the ice cream man!!! No!!!!!!!! My youngests first 2 words joined together were ice cream He parks outside our school every day and it drives me mad!! Thanks for your kind words.xx
      Gemma recently posted…Get your Bake On: Ice Lolly BiscuitsMy Profile

  4. Mrs Baffled
    June 30, 2016 at 12:47 pm (4 months ago)

    This made me laugh out loud! Kids’ super power is to evade capture by any fatigued parent or primary caregiver isn’t it? How do they do it??? Oh and wine with breakfast: a genius call if ever there was. Pinot with porridge? Merlot with muesli? Totally on to something there. x

  5. Georgie Moon
    June 30, 2016 at 5:52 am (4 months ago)

    Yes, shame on you to have three boys, it’s your own fault, no sympathy from me. Now if you’d had girls, none of this would have happened, you’d have pink tutus, My Little Pony and glittery pencils……on the other hand, hmmmm.. This is a seriously good piece, as usual! Keep up the good work, and the gin. I never knew you were a dance teacher! I bet you wish you had a girl…. Still time!

    • Gemma
      July 2, 2016 at 3:50 pm (4 months ago)

      I’m pushing for my middle lad to do ballet Georgie – he really wants to but his daddy is being a plonker and isn’t sure. I’ll win eventually. I might just take him without telling daddy
      You’re right – it is my fault for having 3 kids…
      That’s why I love the Gin
      Gemma recently posted…Get your Bake On: Ice Lolly BiscuitsMy Profile

  6. Mummy Muckups (Anna)
    June 29, 2016 at 11:05 pm (4 months ago)

    Aha!! The jelly move…my kids know that one. I once stood beside the car, almost in meltdown, as my daughter planked in the car seat. The stand-off was long. I tried to be assertive and show who was boss, but dammit, she was a powerful opponent. Eventually, I won the war. Just. A great, true read; reminds me I am not alone in the battle!

    • Gemma
      July 2, 2016 at 3:52 pm (4 months ago)

      Bless you. I totally feel your pain. The plank is just as bad as the jelly move – both cause stress and chaos of epic proportions…
      Thanks for the kind words.x
      Gemma recently posted…Get your Bake On: Ice Lolly BiscuitsMy Profile

  7. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville
    June 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm (4 months ago)

    Lovely post Gemma! Can completely relate to such an unexpected toddler tantrum. Well done you for surviving that 25 minute walk;)

    PS: Love your style of writing!!!
    And oh… 3. Boys. Pat on the back there!
    Nicole – Tales from Mamaville recently posted…5 truths I learnt as a New MumMy Profile


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