I learned today never to feed the minxes empire biscuits.
I met up with a crafting friend, M, for coffee and a blether. I took Midi and Mini Minxes because they’re pretty used to eating in Scribbles (a local, properly-child-friendly cafe). We were only there half an hour, but I got to talk to my friend like a proper adult, and the girls were as good as gold: they ate their empire biscuits neatly, drank their milk shakes without spilling them, and didn’t play up. If I hadn’t been so busy yammering, I’d have showered them in copious praise.
I had to nip into Superdrug right afterwards – Maxi’s dry skin is getting worse, and I wanted to stock up on Simple Derma (bloody fantastic stuff for itchy dry skin!) and stamps*. And while I was there, maybe some Germolene with local anaesthetic (Mini’s knees are currently covered in dressings protecting 2 big, bad grazes). Oh, and some spray bottles (fill ’em with water, give a minx one each as well as a cloth, set them free on the dust… it’s only slave labour if it’s not fun!). Aye, better pick up some more deodorant. And I suppose that shower-gel is too good an offer to walk away from…
*There’s not been any panic-buying of fuel in the Trout household, but I’m very aware that 1st class stamps have a better return than most shares. So I might have bought £30 of them. By accident…
Anyway, you get the picture. The kids were full of chocolate milkshake and Empire biscuit and were bored. So they ran amok. I could hear myself breaking Rule No. 1 (Never ask kids if they want to do anything – tell ’em. Or give them a choice of 2. Max) Then they started dramatically flinging themselves prostrate in the aisles. I managed to get to the checkout…
…Only to be faced with wall-to-wall toddler-height chocolate displays. I’d like to be brave enough to calmly pay and pack and let them crush the chocolate eggs and tear the displays apart, then calmly walk away, conscience clear, blaming the stupid shop staff for putting a stupid display in a stupid place. But no… I fumbled and footered and muttered darkly, and pulled 4 little hands out the chocolate again and again and again.
So that’s Superdrug and WH Smith I’m going to be boycotting till the kids are old enough to be able to withstand the drawing power of chocolate. Or until it’s legal to botch-tape their hands together. Or until I learn some ninja parenting skills.
Then we went to the car-wash to have half a ton of seagull poo scraped off the car (Result! But why are 2 little handprints still on the chassis? What the hell did Midi have her hands in to make the mark so resistant to detergent…? Maybe I’m better off not knowing). I thought that going through the car-wash and paying extra for the triple colour foam would entertain them. Nah – scared the bejaysus out of the pair. Midi hated the noise of the brushes and Mini went hysterical at the foam on the sunroof. Doh!
Lunch was an unmitigated disaster. I persuaded them that tuna sandwiches would be a nice change from our unvarying diet of beans on toast, soup or cheese sandwiches. They both turned their noses up at it. Then started flinging it around. Within 5 minutes the kitchen looked like a vat of tinned tuna had exploded in it. They got it on their feet. Then bomb-bursted in different directions, traipsing it over the carpet, stairs, toys, discarded coats. I could see my dream of a quiet hour to myself in the afternoon going ‘pop’.
I yelled. A lot. I tried to make them stand still while I cleared the mess (and the smell… OMG, the smell…!) but they were having none of it: escaping and screaming hysterically. Eventually, we all calmed down, I shut all the doors to contain the mess (and the bloody cat, who thought it was Christmas), and we walked down to nursery.
I did get a bit of respite with Midi in nursery: I got to spend my hour squeedgee-ing the floor, mopping it, dabbing at the carpet, emptying the car of rubbish, and dry-heaving at the state of the cloth after I cleaned the inside glass of the car.
Then double school run, the trauma of the ballet class (and that little girl who’s determined to nick the minxes’ snacks), and watching Midi and Mini run amok. Every time I let Mini go she raced off to the front door and tried to get into the carpark. After 6 attempts, I was getting bored – not her. Or Midi, who joined in, just for fun.
At home I had cunningly left some bolognaise in the fridge, so dinner was on the table within 15 minutes. Midi wolfed it down, Mini threw it over the fruit bowl, me and my Nice Clean Floor (aaaaarrrrrgh!!) and Maxi whinged about the spaghetti not being cut to the right size. We all got narkier and narkier. I probably should have read the warning signs and not attempted a bath…
I needed to bath Mini to soak off her huge dressings. I didn’t want to be washing any hair (or rather, spending the next hour blow-drying it all). But I kind of exploded when Maxi had spent 20 minutes solid whining about EVERYTHING, Mini dumped a little bucket of water over Midi’s head, so Midi dumped a big bucket of water over Mini. Except she missed. And 5 litres of soapy water ended up all over the floor. This fuelled Maxi on Round 15 of Moan-Fest and made me shout so loudly and angrily I hurt my throat.
I think I’d be in a prison cell right now if The Boss hadn’t walked in when he did. Like a trouper, he took his coat off, asked: “What can I do to help you most?” and took the youngest 2 off to get dried while I calmed a now completely hysterical Maxi. See? He’s an amazing man.
I think the next 10 minutes smoothing Maxi from nose to toes in Simple Derma in a quiet (wet) bathroom stopped both us Drama Queens spontaneously combusting.
Sheesh, I’m never letting those little gits eat Empire biscuits ever, ever again!