V is unwell.

He started coughing on Wednesday morning and I started giving him cough syrup immediately.

He threw up a couple of times on Thursday morning and therefore stayed home from nursery that day.  He was in good spirits though.

He started feeling a little warm just before bedtime and after taking his temperature, I realised that it was slightly high.  I told him I’d have to give him some Calpol.

Bloody hell – anyone would think I’d said  I was going to torture him.

He ran around his room, hid behind the curtains, covered his mouth with his hands, all the while screaming and crying and just ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to have the f-ing Calpol.

With the nanny’s help, we finally managed to pin him down and give it to him.  He then threw up.  He got more upset.  He cried more and I started feeling guilty.

I shouldn’t have made him have it.  I should have let him calm down first.

He was beside himself.

None of us knew what to do.

And suddenly I blurted out, ‘Do you want to choose a toy from the toy cupboard?’ (This is where all presents received go before they’re re-gifted or taken out at a later date.)

I regretted it as soon as I said it.

Homer Simpson








I knew it was the completely wrong thing to do.  But it was too late.  He’d heard me.

There were no more tears.  There was no more screaming.  He nodded and said, ‘Yes’.

I told him he had to have the Calpol first.  He did.  Without a fuss.  Then he got all smiley and giggly.  And I felt even more stupid.

I unlocked the cupboard and opened it.  The look on his face was priceless.  I wanted him to choose something small – so directed his attention to a Doctor’s Kit.  But he chose the Fisher-Price shopping trolley.

He went off to bed – happy as Larry.  Smiling and laughing.

He was ok during the night.  His temperature went up and down – but it was never worryingly high.

He came into our room early on Friday morning.  He climbed onto me and said, ‘Mama, I don’t want the shopping trolley.  I want the doctor’s kid.’ (Yes, kid.)  I told him he couldn’t have the doctor’s kit because he already chose the shopping trolley and he had already opened it.  He insisted.  Going on and on and on.  I ignored him.

He spent a large part of the morning whining about wanting a present.  I either ignored him or said things like, ‘Oh!  Is it your birthday?  I don’t think so.’

But I feel so sorry for him – it’s not his fault.  It’s mine!

Luckily he’s not made a fuss to have any of his medicine since then – he could easily just have a tantrum each time, hoping I’ll open the cupboard again.

But now he knows how much is in there.

Maybe I’ll move everything into another cupboard while he’s sleeping tonight!

Yes. I’m Judging.

Earlier this week, LagosDad and I were invited round to celebrate  someone’s birthday.  The wife messaged the day before to say it was her husband’s birthday and to come at 8pm as it was a surprise for him.

Neither of us wanted to go – but we knew we had to stop by for a little while.

We went late (LagosDad didn’t get home from work until about 8.30pm).  We walked into their home and four men were sitting on one side of the living room – watching Arabic TV and smoking.  And two ladies were sitting on the other side of the living room.  Fully dressed up – high heels, tight skirts, etc.  They greeted me as I sat down and went back to their conversation (in Arabic).  The hostess was running to and fro from the kitchen to the dining table (in very, very high heels) and I could hear children screaming upstairs.

Once the hostess joined the ladies, they proceeded to take several selfies for Facebook and Instagram (she told me this herself).  And the screaming upstairs got louder.

One of the kids came downstairs – he was fourteen months old.  He was crying and fussing.  It was half-past-nine, and I’m sure he was exhausted.  His mother ignored him and his father got the Shisha out.  And the rest of the men were still smoking.  The dad then went on to feed his fourteen-month-old Fanta.  The little one wasn’t sure if he wanted it, but dad gave it to him anyway.

The host and hostess’s daughter is about eighteen months old.  She was eating chocolate biscuits.

The other kid that was there was about 4 years old.  He was tired.  Anyone looking at his face could see that.  But he was also bored.  He entertained himself by scraping a plastic fork back and forth over a plastic plate.  The noise was irritating – but bearable.

His mum took him to the bathroom.  They emerged a few minutes later and the poor kid had a big red hand print on his face.

I am at a loss for words.

Yes, they are of a different culture to us.  And, yes, a different religion.  And actually, the couple who invited us are about ten years younger than us – so they’re even from a different time.

But keeping your children up, feeding them Fanta, slapping them and smoking around them (not just around them, but while they are sitting on your lap) surely isn’t acceptable?  Not in this day and age?

My dad used to smoke around us when we were kids – but I don’t think our parents’ generation knew any better then.

We have information at our fingertips – there are health warnings everywhere we look!

Am I being too judgmental?  Someone please tell me!


So it’s been almost a month since we lost V’s pacifier.  As you know the first week was absolutely terrible, but it got better and now he’s doing great.

We did, however, have a little *incident* a couple of days ago.

He was digging through all the cupboards and drawers in the playroom looking for a cup or something.  And he wouldn’t stop until he found it (once he has his mind set on something, there’s no deterring him).  Anyway, so while on the hunt he came across a box.  He opened it.  And inside was a pacifier!

It was an old one, and it was a brand that I thought I’d switch him to, but he never took to it (different shape or something).  So I guess it was just dumped in a box and put away…

His whole face lit up as soon as he set eyes on it.  It was as though all his Christmases had come at once!  But, it was very quickly whipped out of his hands and taken downstairs to be put in the bin.

At first he asked questions such as, ‘Mama, what was that?’  He knew exactly what it was.

It soon turned into, ‘BUT I WANT IT!’  Tears and foot-stamping followed.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I told him it was one of Rolo’s (the dog) toys.  V looked at me dubiously, and pretty much told me to explain myself!  I really don’t know what I told him – but after five more minutes of crying, he calmed down and asked for milk.  As he was lying in his cot, I heard him say to the nanny, ‘Yaya – that wasn’t a chupa.  It was Rolo’s toy.’

And it was forgotten.

Thank you, Lord!



We are at our wits’ end and we just don’t know what to do, or how to handle it anymore.

I’m speaking, of course, about V and his behaviour.

I just don’t know how to handle his tantrums anymore.  They spring from nowhere – usually when he doesn’t get his way – and there’s just no reasoning with him, even though I KNOW he understands what I’m saying.

For instance, this afternoon…

It was lunch time.  His meal was something that he enjoys eating (and asked for).  As his lunch was put in front of him, he stood up, walked over to his cabinet and opened it.  This is where all his snacks are kept.  He decided that he wanted a cookie.

I told him that was no problem and that he could have a cookie after he ate his lunch.

The tears started.  This was soon followed by foot stamping and throwing himself around the room.

I told him he could take one cookie out of the packet and keep it next to him, but that he could eat it after his lunch.  This appeased him.  For about two minutes.  Because then he decided he wanted it right away.

I told him again that he could have the cookie after lunch.  This isn’t unreasonable, is it?  And it’s not difficult for him to understand?  I think he just wanted it his way!

After another ten or fifteen minutes more of crying, I told him that if he didn’t want to eat his lunch, that was fine.  But he would not be having that cookie.

Oh.  My.  God.

I held my ground.

But then started feeling a little guilty that he wasn’t eating his lunch.

I gave him alternatives.  He chose one.  And all was forgotten!

He had lunch and then he had his cookie.

I think his rewards and sanctions have to be immediate – otherwise they probably won’t make sense to him.  Right?

But how do I do that when he won’t listen to reason?

Yesterday he asked me to download new games onto the iPad.  I told him I would not do that because he’d made such a fuss to go in the bath (It took forty minutes to get him in).  He looked at me and said, ‘No I didn’t make a fuss.’  I know he couldn’t have forgotten about the tantrum he’d had.  It had only been fifteen minutes since he was screaming like he was being tortured!

I’ve thought about the ‘Calm Down Corner’, ‘Naughty Chair’ and ‘Naughty Step’.  But I just don’t feel they would work.  He wouldn’t sit there, I’m sure of it.  He thrashed about so much, I worry that he’s going to bang his head against the wall or a door or something.

Someone suggested just holding him while he was tantruming – apparently that’s meant to calm some children down?  Not mine.  He hates being held while in the middle of a tantrum!

Plus he knows exactly how to play us all off each other – me, LagosDad and the nanny.

I tried a smiley face chart – I explained it all to him many times.  He understood it.  He knew what it all meant.  But he didn’t care.  After the first day, he didn’t bat an eyelid when he got a sad face.  In fact, he stopped me getting a pen so that he could choose which colour the sad face would be!

Yesterday I realised, as I mentioned earlier, that his rewards and/or sanctions need to be immediate.

But what do I do?  And how do I implement it?

Yes, the twos were terrible.  But the threes…?  There are no words!


Ok…  Here it is…

You know I’ve been saying that it’s been really tough for me to get back into my exercise routine since I got back from holiday, right?  It’s been weeks now.  I came back on August 16th.  And I’ve started working out again.  But I only started two weeks ago and I’ve only managed a couple of times each week.

You’d think that the fact that I’ve dropped a dress size would make me more motivated.  But it really hasn’t.  I’m a bit tired of feeling disappointed in myself every day.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Coke and since V’s birthday on 7th September, we’ve had a lot of cake in the house ALL the time.  And yes, I’ve been eating it.

So now I’m going to do Betty Rocker’s Fitness Challenge – Rocktober.  And I’m telling you about it so that I HAVE to do it!

The first video came yesterday, but because of the time difference between here and the US, I’d already showered and gone out.

So today… I start!

Anyone joining me?


No School

Today is Nigerian Independence Day.

We got a letter from school last week asking all children to wear traditional Nigerian clothes to school on Monday 30th.

I found some leftover (beautiful) fabric from a dress I had made a few years ago and called the tailor.  He made shorts and a shirt for V to wear to nursery.

V tried it on.  It fit.  We were all excited about him dressing up on the 30th.  Admittedly, I was a bit more excited than him.

Come Monday morning, the child refused to go to school.  He was screaming and crying and kicking the dog while hanging off my leg.  He just didn’t want to go to school.  I gave him the option of choosing his own clothes, if it was the outfit that was bothering him – but that wasn’t it.  I told him I’d come to nursery with him and stay there (I wouldn’t have, but I needed to get him there) – but that didn’t work.  I told him we’d go to the nursery library and choose a book and come home.  No.

He just didn’t want to go.  I couldn’t work out why.  He’s usually very happy to go in the morning.  So what was different about today?  I thought it might be a good idea to ask him!  So I said, ‘V, why don’t you want to go to school?’  I had to ask him about five times before he calmed down enough to actually hear me.  His response?  He shrugged.

So he doesn’t want to go to school.  But he doesn’t know why.  There was no good reason for his tears.

I eventually (after an hour of crying) told him he could stay home if he wanted – but that everyone at home would be busy and no one would have time to talk or play with him.  He got more upset.  I explained to him that LagosDad was going to the office, I was going to do my exercise and that yaya (his nanny) would be busy ironing his clothes.

I thought that might convince him to go – but it didn’t.

I told him (repeatedly) that he had two choices.  ‘V, you have two choices.  You can either go to nursery and play with your friends and have a lot of fun.  Or you can stay at home and play by yourself and no one will talk to you.’  I showed him two fingers to indicate his two choices.  He kept saying, ‘This one!’ and tried to pull up a third finger!  Quite clever, I thought.

Anyway – so he stayed home.  Everyone ignored him.  And you know what?  He didn’t care that no one would play with him.

I couldn’t force him to get dressed without one of us getting hurt.  I got dressed myself and tried to leave the house, but he just kept hanging off my leg.

So now what do I do?

What did I do wrong?  What should I have done differently?