Baby Knows Best x 2

Yesterday was Swimming Day. I was also incredibly hormonal and the grumpiest of grumpy old trouts. Not a good combination…

We set off a little late because the minxes had refused to get changed quickly. To compound my bad mood, I was stuck behind a maroon Jaguar. I generally don’t mind tucking patiently behind slower drivers and being 1 – 2 mins max later than usual on such a short journey, but I was feeling very impatient and intolerant. As we came up to the one straight bit of the road where I could safely overtake, so indicated and started to pull out, the Jag driver accelerated from 30 – 40mph to over 60mph. OK, fine, I’ll stay where I am, then. Except that once past the straight, she was back down to 40mph and veering all over the road. Sheesh…

I vented my frustration vocally, but kept the language clean because the 6 little ears in the back seat have picked up a few too many Glaswegian-isms. I called her a fool, a dangerous driver, a menace, rude, ignorant, stupid, … Och, I’m sure you can imagine. The minxes didn’t comment and ignored me ranting away. As we came to the T-junction with the main road, Mrs Jag-Driver veered right. I cheered hooray and started to steer left. Then she swerved in front of me, indicated left and pulled out, causing the oncoming car to brake. Not hard, but enough.

“Ah”, I commented aloud, “Either drunk or lost”.

A little 5 year old voice piped up from the back: “Mummy, I think you should give her a happy smile and a big thumbs up, because she tried her best!”

I nearly crashed the car, laughing in astonishment. Sometimes little kids are actually wise beyond their years and experience…

After months of Maxi and Midi having their swimming lessons at the same time and the same day, they’re back to being staggered (Maxi finally passed out of the front crawl improvers class – attagirl!). So Mini and I no longer have our decadent weekly 20 mins treat  of munching through a shared bag of crisps and staring into space. Instead, we’re back to squeezing in a bit of the week’s homework with each older girl while Mini looks on, perplexed. Well, except for the reading books: she loves the ones about Kipper, Chip and Biff, can’t get enough of them, and sits rapt as Midi reads them aloud.

After the second swimming lesson, I plonked Midi and Mini together in a cubicle with a little shared snack while I waited outside the showers for Maxi. I made it crystal-clear that they had to stay together, and that Midi Was In Charge and Ueber Grueppen Boss. I could see them in the mirror, so headed off a few escape bids at the pass and enforced my rule. Except that the second I turned my back to ask Maxi to hurry up, Midi raced out the cubicle to get out of sharing her snack with her sister, who then promptly locked the door to keep Midi out. Great. This from the girl who’d wet herself twice that day (including one amazing one, timed to perfection, just as we were leaving the house on the morning school run). Exasperated was my main emotion that whole day… I heard my little 3 year old’s triumphant cackles change to frightened wails as I banged on the door. I tried to describe how she should turn the handle. She was panicking too much. I reassured her, then checked out the space below the cubicle – nope, too low even to send another minx under to rescue her. My sausage fingers were too chubby to grab the square lock bolt and turn it. I tried 2 coins on either side of the square, and twisted. Nope – too shallow. I bellowed, “Excuse me, please!” over to a passing staff member who nearly jumped out her shoes, then went to fetch the key.

Had this been 4 years ago and it was the first time one of my children had locked herself in, I maybe would have felt a wee frisson of panic myself. But this time, I admit I gleefully thought: “You’ll never do this again!” Mini exploded out of the cubicle like a cork, into my arms. Sod the stitches, my wee baby was shaking and gripping my waist with her little legs. After she calmed down, I took her back in the cubicle and showed her how to lock and unlock the door. She went back to looking smug, probably planning her next adventure with this new-found knowledge. Maybe I said ‘never again’ too soon…

One thought on “Baby Knows Best x 2

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