Oh boy, today would have been rough enough without doing it on so little sleep: I ousted Midi Minx from the bed 3 times last night, then Maxi Minx came bounding in at silly o’clock and whacked my forehead HARD with the back of her head. The c-r-a-c-k woke up The Boss. Yep, it really hurt.
So, with the weather forecast of Scottish Standard (drizzle with a spot of rain for a change), I decided that if we didn’t get outside straight after breakfast, we’d be facing another indoor day of stir-craziness.
You’d have thought I was trying to drag the kids out to sell them off or something, not go out to do something fun. As it was, it took a full hour to get organised and out. Sheesh. And all of that time was nagging Maxi Minx to eat ‘something. Anything. Just put a single Shreddie in your mouth and chew it!’ I was aware that my little brain had stopped working as I trecked back and forth, picking up things to take with us in the rucksack and forgetting other things (note to self: yes, using Bonjela as emergency minor injury anaesthetic is very clever, but you’re probably more likely to need at least one nappy in a size 4…)
Finally we got off, all 3 minxes howling, mutinous, grumpier than their mother. Four pouts in a car – not healthy. I didn’t like the look of the low cloud and just couldn’t face the inevitable trudge through dog poo on the lovely forest walks behind the caravan park, so kept driving (‘flexibility is the key to parenthood’. I’ll keep saying it till you remember it). On a whim I decided to head to the next town’s main park and show Maxi Minx the tree that I thought she’d killed herself on, aged only 2 (her little sled slammed into it and she flew into the tree. I wasn’t the only one who thought she’d totalled. I swear I aged 50 years and became an overprotective mother instantly).
We walked along a dead avenue and for 7 minutes I did the simpering, teaching, oh-wow Earth Mummy I always thought I’d like to be: pointing out buds, tree rings, moss, larches, firs, pines, blah, blah, blah. I’d even let Maxi take her camera along, so she and Midi took turns dutifully photographing everything I pointed out. I’m ashamed: I even got them to feel the sawn-off trunk rings. Fool. They would have had more fun chucking stones and mud at each other.
“I’m all wobbilaaaaaay!” whimpered Wobbly Midi. Code for: “I’m bored. This is your first warning”.
“I’m cold!” whined Maxi. I was too engrossed in looking for the 2-year-old sled mark in The Tree to notice that it really was bloomin’ cold.
“I need a wee-wee!” howled Midi. Code for: “You had your chance. You Will Now Obey”.
So, we did a bit of juggling with double buggy, 3 cold girls, a huge raincover, 2 cameras, a rucksack (and a partridge in a pear tree). Why is it that if you have a double buggy and you have the baby in it, you have to put them in the front. But when the toddler gets tired and needs to get in, you need to take the baby out, replace with toddler, then put the baby in the back? I need to find me a trusty heavy boulder to weight the buggy down and keep the baby in the back full-time. Grrr, no wonder I prefer slings!
I have no idea what came over me, but I thought it might be fun to take the girls to Costa Coffee for a hot chocolate. Alone. Just me riding herd on them. The cold must have addled my head.
We got there at 1050hrs and left as quickly as we could, at 1220hrs, with the kids as mutinous as when we set off, my blood pressure at Extreme and the staff no doubt putting in a call to Social Services…
(photo deleted) At first the kids sat beautifully and even drank their hot chocolates tidily. Then they got bored sharing a croissant and mini cupcakes. One wanted to wee. One wanted to poo. The other exploded out her nappy (and I’d left the change bag in the car – with the downpour outside it might as well have been the Far Side of the Moon). The helpful waitress kept trying to take away my coffee and our food (“No, I’m not done with it, I’m keeping hot stuff out of reach of the kids…No, still not done with it…I’ll let you know when I’m finished…DROP IT!”).
We visited every toilet in that supermarket (the Costa was in place of the supermarket cafe), and by God there are some manky sods out there! Flush the toilet, you creeps! If it doesn’t all go away – flush again!! If it escapes, wipe it up (or hit it with a stick).
I thought I couldn’t get more stressed till I decided to grab some milk and bread. The minxes were like The Red Arrows: Minx 1 on left, Minx 2 on right, grab double handful and disperse on my mark… BREAK! We made it to the checkout and foolishly I thought a self-service till would interest them for long enough for me to pay. “Unexpected item in the baggage area…unexpected item in the baggage area…Unexpected…” I hissed, I threatened and finally shouted at Maxi and Midi to Get Off The Silver Thing Right This Minute Or You Are For It!!! A helper took pity on me and scanned stuff while I hauled the girls back (Thank you, whoever you are. You saved all our lives, but your disdainful look still stings me to the core. I was provoked: I’m not normally that much of a harridan).
Sigh. Home. Usual quadruple trip of empty car boot, frog-march Maxi to the house, carry sleepy Midi on walking strike, carry sleeping Mini to cot. I thought it might be nice to have a coffee. Nope, Midi’s curled off a real Elvis-killer in the potty. And when I get rid of it, it splashes back. Sheesh. Today’s getting better and better.
So is it any wonder I nearly choked when the dentist’s receptionist phoned to remind me of The Boss’s check-up tomorrow? I’d only taken a long and grumpy call a few weeks ago to get him seen at the same time as the kids, even if it was at the end of April, and had real trouble making myself understood that I didn’t want 2 separate appointments regardless of the day. No, not even on a Wednesday (aaaaargh!)
But at least Mini Minx is showing some real intriguing brain power: she found both her socks from opposite ends of the living room and scurried off as fast as her little knees and hands could piston. I asked her if she wanted them on and she screeched and cackled hysterically. Eh?!