It has begun.

‘Eat your carrots’
‘Help me tidy up please.’
‘Lets put your coat on.’

I could go on ad nauseum with examples. It seems that every sentence that falls from my lips at the moment is met with that short, but ultimately mind warpingly irritating little word. I now fully, and I mean fully, comprehend the irresistable urge to bellow back some sort of surly response along the lines of ‘because I effing said so.’ Or, more concisely, ‘Because I am the effing adult, you are the child, the laws of society dictate that you must obediently and unquestioningly do as I say, and I’ve EARNT my right to tell you what to do, god damn it, I’ve done my time as a child, now put a flaming sock in it and get on with it.’

Or, the great alternative to ‘why’, the other great linguistic tactic employed by my eldest son to drive me completely round the bend, is what I like to affectionately refer to as the ‘endless question’. I will now present you with a shining example of such a question, which I experienced only this morning on the way to Tesco.

‘Can I have a pear?’ says my darling offspring, clinging to the stroller while he rides the buggy board in front of me.
‘We might be able to get one, yes.’
‘Can I have a pear now?’
‘We’ll buy one, but I want you to eat lunch first.’
‘Can I have the pear now mummy?’
(muffling a sigh) ‘As I said, if you eat your lunch, then yes.’
‘But can I have it now?’
(momentarily toying with temptation to ignore him until he caves in and stops asking. Give up on idea, not because im concerned about the psychological effects of him feeling ignored, but more because I know he is fully capable of continuing to ask the same question, over and over again, for up to half an hour, even with no response from me.)
‘Darling, I said after lunch. Now let’s talk about something else.’
‘Can I have the pear now?’
(desperately searching for a diversion) ‘Oh look! A bird!’ I say. (Yes, lame, I know. But you try doing better walking along a featureless pavement in a boring suburb.)
‘Its a blackbird!’
‘Yes dear!’ (daring to hope.)
(10 seconds later)
‘Can I have a pear?’

Inevitably, nine times out of ten, I cave in. Simply because I actually feel like I might go insane if I have to endure the same question over and over again. For endless minutes. Sometimes hours.

In addition to DB1s sudden vigorous questioning and repeating, we’ve also had DB2s sudden metamorphosis from baby to insane, wriggling, bellowing mentalist. I’m not sure if its a growth spurt, teeth, or another of the myriad of things that seem to turn babies from cutesy little chubby cheeked wonders to insane screeching creatures, but it is a little hard to endure at times. He seems to take particular delight in the following activities. (in no particular order)
1) seizing handfuls of my hair, chortling with unbridled delight, then yanking great tufts of it out.
2) when being fed, opening his mouth up merrily, waiting til the exact right moment when the laden spoon is hovering only millimetres from his waiting tongue, before raising both hands swiftly and smashing the spoon into the air, thus spraying food all over the kitchen.
3) when having a nappy change, holding his legs in such a way that ensure that the replacement of trousers is impossible. Then screaming loudly when I dare try.
4) when breastfeeding, walloping me in the face repeatedly. See also, when holding him in general.
5) waking at 5am, lying between OH and I, and walloping us both in the face. Over and over again. (and clearly gaining much enjoyment from doing so.)