Mum’s Life: Baby...or Jack Russell?

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NOW Tate is old enough to misbehave with intent I have to think carefully about where I’m willing to take him in case his tantrums are in full view of the unsuspecting public.

So on a rainy Sunday last week I thought that a trip to the beach, followed by an ice cream, should be safe enough, especially as his dad was home for the weekend and would keep him in check.

We headed for Seaham, wrapped Tate up in his all-in-one splash suit and popped our own waterproofs on for good measure.

As soon as I stepped onto the beach I decided it hadn’t been such a good idea.

Tate was squirming like mad to be released onto the sand, but when I put him down he failed to negotiate the pebbles in his wellies and down he went, face first arms by his side taking the full force of his fall on his cheek bone.

Of course the predictable screams, tears and snot followed, and I spent a good ten minutes trying to calm him down.

When he was ready to try again I popped him down on the soft sand and off he went, straight towards the biggest rock pool he could find.

Although I don’t mind him getting wet and dirty, I draw the line at waist-deep wading on a freezing cold day, so being the wicked mother I am I spoilt his fun and plucked him out of the pool before he could get any deeper – he was not impressed.

After braving the weather for long enough we finally arrived at the ultimate ice cream parlour – Lickety Splits.

We had never tried it before, and we weren’t disappointed.

While we drooled over the endless possibilities of sundaes, Tate was content dancing in front of the Wurlitzer juke box and watching the lights on it go round. He stopped briefly to tuck into my Nuts About Nuts ice cream, but he soon resumed his position on the dance floor he had created.

I realised that the answer to avoiding public tantrums is distraction, now all I need to do is buy a portable juke box to accompany me on every outing.

HOW do you stop a toddler from biting? That was the question up for discussion in the office this week as it’s becoming a habit of Tate’s, which I’m not happy about.

The popular answer seems to be bite him back, but I’m not sure I’m ready for such extreme measures yet – saying that when he’s hanging from one of my limbs by his teeth like a little Jack Russell, the bite back idea definitely becomes more appealing.

If you have any ideas please e-mail ... all suggestions welcome!