Tag Archives: Balmedie beach

Testing, testing, count to 3

I was just telling my mum, when she visited last week, that I thought we were getting over the Terrible Twos and making real progress…

Then yesterday happened.

super-strength or just grim determination?

super-strength or just grim determination?

I think a devil must have temporarily possessed the wee man , because he has never behaved so badly for such a sustained period as he did on Thursday 28 November. He pulled the curtain off the wall for God’s sake! All I had done was put him down for a nap, at the usual time, after a busy, energetic morning. He should have been tired. Instead, he cried angry tears for half an hour, so I went in thinking he’d maybe thrown his favourite toy out. Instead I was confronted with a tear-stained toddler, his trousers round his ankles and the curtain hanging by a thread.

I had really needed him to nap. We’d spent the morning at the beach and play park – a treat I had thought. But no, he had moaned and cried and ripped off his gloves and hat and refused to walk beside me. He hadn’t even wanted to pick up shells and throw them in the waves for long. In fact, he was only happy when I gave him crisps.

all smiles now...

all smiles now…

So after the non-nap I decided there was no point taking him to the park (he’d be cold) or soft play (he’d misbehave) and bundled him into the car to go to the shopping centre. At least there he’d be warm and strapped into a buggy. He sat beautifully, I got lots of Christmas shopping done and I thought we were over it.

I made him cottage pie for dinner and we sat at the table. He pushed it away. He wanted juice. He tried a mouthful. He spat it out. He wanted more juice. He threw a carrot on the floor. He screamed for juice. He threw his fork on the floor. I tried the aeroplane trick – he swiped the spoon and sent it flying. I refused to refill the juice. He screamed. I tried to cajole him. He pressed his mouth tight shut. I turned away to get the juice. He picked up the bowl and hurled it against the wall. It smashed. Cottage pie splattered. I lost it.

“THAT WAS VERY NAUGHTY” I yelled. He burst into noisy tears. I lifted him up and placed him very gently (so as to prove to myself I was still in control, when I didn’t feel like it) on the naughty spot and told him through clenched teeth why he was there. I then walked to the sink and stood taking deep breaths and counting to ten, while he screamed blue murder. For the next fifteen minutes I avoided all eye contact and just replaced him, time and again, on the naughty spot. I cleaned up the mess and loaded the dishwasher. I wiped down the counter and tidied. Eventually, in our own ways, we calmed down, he sat for the two minutes and I went over to him.

“Mummy put you here because… look at mummy” He did. “Mummy put you here because you threw your plate at the wall. That was very naughty. You don’t throw your dinner. You eat nicely at the table. Do you understand?” He nodded. “Now say sorry”

He leaped into my arms, squeezing me tight and wiping snot all over my shoulder. I hugged him back and kissed his head.

Then I put the cartoons on and opened a bottle of wine.




Filed under Aberdeen, food, home

Two surprises on the beach

Saturday didn’t sneak up on me like it did last week.

Last night I decided the wee man and I would spend the morning at the beach. It’s one of my favourite places in Aberdeen and a real perk of living here, so would kill the morning perfectly.

Isn’t it funny that the more relaxed you are, the easier things become? Two lovely unexpected things happened.

First, the sun blazed defiantly, as if to mock late September. The wee man and I ran around the playpark at the entrance to Balmedie beach, shedding layers and squinting. We shared a packet of Hula Hoops on a bench and he slurped his juice, swinging his legs and grinning up at me. I suggested we went down to the sea and he nodded happily.

It takes a while to walk through the dunes, but we weren’t in any hurry (another lesson from last week). The wee man gathered feathery stems of grass and poked at the fluffy heads of gone-to-seed thistles. As the path became steeper I had to carry him but I enjoyed the anticipation of the view that would greet us at the top.

view from the top at Balmedie BeachI’m glad I didn’t let him go completely when I took this photo – there’s been quite a lot of erosion since we were last there and the path dropped steeply to the river. We found an alternative route, took off our socks and shoes and ran out onto the sand in the sunshine.

For once he held my hand properly and together we stomped through the rivulets of water on the hard, wave-marked sand. He’s not too sure about the sea, so we stayed a little bit back and drew pictures instead.

Pictures in the sand at Balmedie

Then the second lovely thing happened.

The wee man spotted another boy and ran over to him. He was eating raspberries from a tupperware and was happy to share. Embarrassed, I ran up to pull the wee man away, but the dad reassured me it was fine, so I supervised from a distance. We struck up a conversation and it turned out his wife had studied in Glasgow. He suggested lots of new places for me to explore, including another beach at Newburgh. We swapped stories of the trials and tribulations of toddlers (he’s the tidy one in his family too) and the two boys played together beautifully for twenty minutes.

I’ve said before that the wee man opens lots of doors for me, and I appreciate that more than ever in a new city. People have told me Aberderdonians are not generally friendly, but I’ve found the opposite. They’re usually pleased I like it so much here and happy to share inside information.

So rather than spend a lonely morning trying to keep the wee man entertained, I ended up having a lovely morning and feeling like I was on holiday. As I headed back to the car, with my arms aching because the wee man was knackered and refusing to climb the paths, I reminded myself that life was pretty sweet. An interesting chat with a stranger on the beach kind of confirms your faith in humanity a bit. ┬áPlus he’d reassured me probably more than he’d realised when he’d said, “It does get easier.”




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Filed under Aberdeen