I should have known precisely how the day was going to pan out when the first thing I woke to was my husband raising his voice to our son. It was only 7.50am and already J had decided that he fancied having a try at being a teenager (he’s only six…). Apparently manners are no longer required and it’s now cool to use the word “sick” to refer to something you find appealing. Great, the first day back at school after half term and my son has turned into a London gangster.
Luckily once the boys had got out of my hair
We managed to get the house clean, like properly clean,not just half term clean. By this I mean E played with her pots and pans in the sink while I got hot and sweaty with Mr Muscle. That sounds dirty and believe me, it was darn right filthy! All the dusting, wiping, hoovering and steam mopping nearly finished me off. A few months ago I would have had a celebratory cigarette, I realise that almost sounds like a post coital smoke. These days (now that I’m a quitter, well actually a Vaper to be precise) I have a glass of Coke Zero and a chocolate Hob Nob, except we were all out and so it was essential I decided, that we use today to stock up on the shopping rather than get down to the cake baking as originally planned.
Following my cleaning episode, which from an outsiders point of view must have looked like a maid on fast forward (triple speed to ensure it all gets done before the toddler gets bored), we spent the rest of the morning colouring in and playing quietly. It was the picture of serenity, we even snuggled down for a nap together. I had sod all else to do as the internet wasn’t working and after checking all the cables, connections and random electronic gadgets earlier on this morning, I’d given up trying. As it turns out, half of the town was having issues but due to the lack of social networks functioning, I hadn’t a clue and continued to wonder just what Paul could have downloaded to get us disconnected.
I felt loads better after a power nap and so once we’d done with lunch, we popped out to the shops. I say ‘popped out’ as if it’s that easy but with a toddler it’s nothing of the sort. I digress…
Anyhow, we got to ‘The Big T’ (Tesco) for the cakey bakey day stuff. We managed to successfully race around and somehow collect all the items on the list leaving plenty of time for the school run. It was at this point that E decided it would be fun to toddle off and leave her Mummy looking like a complete idiot at the counter as she tries to watch her daughter playing a game of ‘Look at me I’m a Princess’ in the photo booth whilst loading her shopping into bags (which yes I remembered!!! God knows how )
I’m far from the perfect parent, actually I’m so far from perfect I’m in another time zone from perfect. This is why I did what I did… I opened a Baby belle Cheese and flashed it at E like a biscuit to a dog. Just like a dog, E came trotting along to the counter and happily sat on a bench munching the cheese, which had yet to be paid for. #mumcheats
We were no longer on time and so I stuffed the bags into the car and tried to make up for time in a safe manner (aka put my foot down ever so slightly). Typically J was late being let out of school, it was whilst being stood in the playground that I then overheard all the parents discussing the perils of having no internet connection, it was as if their World had ended. People hadn’t been able to work (oh what a shame), or to make online purchases (actually that was annoying as I really fancied bidding on that MacBook Pro 15 inch refurbished laptop but Sky Broadband’s failure saved me from myself…and my overdraft) and some of them hadn’t even been able to watch TV!? This irked me slightly as I wondered what some of these people do of a daytime, other than watch the box that is. I bet they don’t get down to it with the Mr Muscle that’s for sure! It was then that I came to terms with the fact that I’d wasted half of the morning trying to figure out the connection issues on our line and mentally forgave Paul for the
filthy films that he hadn’t downloaded at all.
I piled the kids into the car and stupidly asked J how his day had been. I keep trying to remind myself to give him a break when he first comes out from school, to refrain from bombarding him with questions and instead, allow him the time to approach me when he is ready with the ins and outs of his day. I was surprised when he answered me so quickly with “It was good, all apart from my dinner time”. I half expected him to have a whinge about his hot dinners at this point, but instead he went on to explain that he had been kept inside for extra time as he hadn’t completed his writing that he had been asked to do during the lesson time. I wasn’t sure whether to be impressed by his honesty or disappointed by his lack of effort in school. I hoped that he had a good explanation and so I asked him what he had been doing whilst he was meant to be writing. He shrugged and said “just thinking”. I calmly told him that he wouldn’t be able to use the IPad this afternoon as I too wanted to demonstrate to him that he needs to learn a lesson from this, I also thanked him for being so honest with me.
Once the shopping bags were emptied, the kids begged me to take them to their Nana’s as they missed out on seeing her at the weekend. That and they far prefer their Nana and Grandads’ house to their own so it seems. I agreed and so off we went again. Let me remind you that there ain’t nothing quick about getting kids into their coats, shoes and sat in their car seats! I was actually glad that they wanted to get out of the house, as I too needed a breather and some adult company.
Upon arrival J disappeared to the toilet, he seemed to be taking rather a long time and so I went to investigate. It turned out that he was actually sat in his Grandad’s bedroom playing on his Grandad’s IPad! I was about to have a mini mummy meltdown when his Nana explained that she had told him he could use it. I wasn’t entirely sure where I stood at this point, I was certain of one thing however, I had been played like a fiddle.
After J had a play outside with his Grandad making mud pies and potions in the water-butt in his clean school shoes which he’d been asked to change to trainers before setting off, we packed up to go home again to get ready for J’s karate lesson. It was all plain sailing until E did the floppy, protesting toddler thing (when they refuse to move and go all slippery and eel like so you can’t grip them). I have become accustomed to staying calm when this occurs, not bothering with shoes or coats or sometimes even clothes at all! I simply scoop her up and throw her in the car, then belt her into the car seat and place her shoes and clothing in my bag for when she’s calmed down. It’s embarrassing, but over time she will learn, either that or she will realise that it’s quite comfy sitting in the car without shoes and then it’ll be back to check mate again!
After getting home I grabbed my handbag for karate, threw in a drink and some snacks for J and then … Where the flip was my purse?! I thought back to the last time I had it and remembered rushing about at the shopping counter, then stuffing the bags into the car boot. For the life of me, I couldn’t picture where I’d left my purse. I ran outside and raided the boot of the car whilst shouting to J to get changed. I then ran back inside and shook my changing bag contents onto the floor, I checked my coat pockets quickly, whilst E oohed and arred at the hidden treasures from my bag strewn across the carpet. I couldn’t find my purse anywhere and now the panic had begun to set in.
I phoned my mother in law and began googling The Big T’s contact numbers. Nobody had seen my purse, so I decided to run back outside and check the car again, one last time. As if by magic, there it was, inside one of the many empty shopping bags in the boot. Thank God! But why is it that once you’ve set yourself off into a panic, you just can’t come down from the adrenalin rush and get your brain into gear?
Paul arrived home to look after E moments later and so J and I drove off to his lesson. It was when we were half way there that I remembered that I had asked Paul to give me lend me some cash for the lesson, I may have lost my purse earlier but it wasn’t like it had any cash in it and so apart from being pretty with polka dots and a cool logo, it was worth very little in reality. We had to double back and start all over again, J looked at me like I was some sort of loon, muttering to myself about losing my head if it wasn’t screwed on. I guess it must be an odd place to be when you think literally like J. I didn’t bother explaining about the screws not being real, instead I decided to save that threat for the next time he doesn’t do his work in lessons…
The lesson went pretty well considering, he needed reminding to listen less than ten times, that’s better than the usual twenty or thirty. He gets so excited by the karate lessons and loves being part of it all, he just gets a bit carried away at times.
I managed to use the time (between watching J like a hawk and trying to text my mother in law to inform her I didn’t need to ransack her house any further for the purse and to call the search off) to catch up with a good friend. We discussed the ups and downs of parenting and I have to say a huge thank you to Alison (thanks if you’re reading this) for the amazing gluten-free chocolate brownie and making me feel normal. Maybe I’m not completely failing at the parenting game, and yes, I will sod it and buy that dress after all!
On that note I’m about to nip onto my favourite app to press BUY because whilst it may not be a MacBook Pro just yet, any form of retail therapy (other than grocery shopping) will do it for me today. That and a truck load of chocolate.