My daughters default phrase at the moment is “I’m boooooooored”. It’s infuriating because we rarely have the time to be bored, but this afternoon I was at a loose end. I had picked up my eldest from preschool at 11.30, my youngest from nursery at 1 and the bickering started the second the car doors closed. This in itself wasn’t unusual, but that teamed with rain was making the afternoon seem longer than it actually was. Sadly I had used my get out of jail free card yesterday (a monthly pass for Let Loose, the local soft play, but the kids weren’t going to let me get away with crap parenting two days on the trot…or were they…
Without bothering to go home (that would be parental suicide on a wet day with two bored kids), I floated the idea of going to the adventure store! I obviously sold the idea well, because soon we were pulling into a space at Decathalon. Giving the kids free reign over the tents, I found myself a camping chair and took the weight off my feet while the kids happily played hide and seek. At the bikes, I found a suitably sized bike for each kid, and let them pedal up and down the aisles whilst feigning interest in a price tag just in case anyone actually thought I was here to make a purchase. The next stop was the swimming goggles. Again, minimal parenting was needed as the kids entertained themselves trying on various different masks and goggles, but it soon went a bit pear-shaped. Goggles being twanged on the backs of heads, flying eyewear, a tug of war, and a very nasty smell coming from my son’s nappy soon put an end to the adventure store.
Frog marching two bickering and tantruming kids to the car, I cursed as I realised as I had no spare nappies with me. I strapped the rats in and made the most of the beautiful soothing silence during the walk from the passenger side to the drivers’ door. I may have lingered longer than necessary before opening it. On the drive home, my daughter complained loudly that the traffic was boooooooring, before announcing that she needed a wee. Trying to distract her, I started a game of I Spy. It went something like this…
Me – I spy with my little eye, something beginning with T.
D – Apple?
Me – No, apple begins with A, and besides, we can’t see any apples.
D – *eventually guesses* Tree! My turn. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with brown.
Me – Brown is a colour, not a letter.
D – Ok, A.
Me – Is it Apple?
D – *genuinely surprised* Yes!
By now I noticed that my son was taking an unauthorised nap, but by that time (2.25. HOW CAN IT ONLY BE 2.25???) I couldn’t care less, and let him nap away. The downside was that he was going to be one hot mess when I woke him up to change his nappy. I needed a plan B.
Swinging by home, I grabbed a nappy and did the change in the boot to the loud protests of my half-asleep son, and demands from my daughter of a cuddle. Strapping him back in to wails from both kids, I swung out of the driveway and drove to Sainsburys. If I was lucky there would be free food samples for them, and kindly staff that wouldn’t mind them playing athletics in the aisles. However, disaster struck whilst getting my eldest out of the car. Well, by disaster I mean that I scratched her knee with my thumbnail. With fresh cries of pain, she dragged her leg behind her into the store with me before dramatically collapsing by the salad. Rolling my eyes whilst my son asked her “Did Mummy HURT you?!”, a lovely shop assistant went an fetched a wipe and a plaster for the scratch. Being told she was a very brave girl, we were able to walk away. Well, she limped, but you get the picture.
Salvation came in the form of a demo lady cooking up something delicious smelling. Grabbing a sample, I fed it to the open-mouthed kids before they started spitting it out declaring it disGUSting. Sigh. Before we left, I found some pennies to put into Guide Dogs collection box, which proved to be a game changer. We left happy.
On the short drive home, it bucketed it down with rain, but I cranked up the stereo and belted out the words to Friday I’m In Love along with Robert Smith. As I sat in the driveway thoroughly enjoying myself I soon realised the kids were screaming at me to Get. Them. Out. Of. The. Car. Sigh. It will soon be bedtime, right?