It’s that time of the month again…NO not pretty nails time, or THAT time, but #BadMumsClub the club which celebrates the less than perfect world of parenting!
Last weekend we went out for the day. It was the Mother-in-laws 60th birthday so a family day out was planned, and we decided on visiting a local ‘theme park’ called Twin Lakes.
“That’s nice” I hear you think, as you wonder where this is going, how taking my children on a day out could possibly make me a bad mum. Well it was nice, it was lovely. But considering we went with two OAP’s (SORRY NAN AND GRANDAD – But the bus passes don’t lie), plus child-free “Uncle Don” (John) I saw our days out through very different eyes. The eyes of pregnant Aimee. Pregnant Aimee who still prided herself on the fact that her ‘tin cupboard’ was lined up in category order, instead of tins thrown in and the door shut quickly so they don’t fall out. Those eyes. Things don’t always go as planned when you have kids. For example this is the first photo of the day I took. Whilst it was pissing down with rain outside, I sent Gran a photo of The Chunk in his newly knitted jumper.
After driving through the pouring rain, behind granddad who put the wrong postcode into the SatNav we got there with two bouncing, excited, boys. It was going great, The Beast was talking to the superhero and slouched enough that he got in with the ‘under 108cm’ and as I pushed the pushchair through the gate, I witnessed in slow motion The Chunk falling over his brothers feet, onto the tarmac slope.
There was blood. An awful lot of blood. While Nan and Granddad and Uncle Don stood there, ready to go and investigate rides, looking worried, I rolled my eyes to myself because ‘there is always a drama’ and was ushered to the First Aid room so not to spoil the excitement of other families who were just coming into the park. Fifteen minutes, and a lot of fuss and promises of ice-cream later we were back on form. I’m not going to talk you through our full day out, but here are a few highlights I hope you parents of small children (or children who used to be small) can empathise with.
This is a tricky dilemma. As I mentioned before, Mr Aimee likes to get ‘the best possible deal’ (cheapest) and so whilst The Beast had to slouch to get through the gates, he had to stand up tall to get on certain rides. He is in fact 108cm but there were a couple of 110cm rides he loved. YES I KNOW THERE ARE HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR A REASON but as his parents, we know that 2cm don’t really make a difference. The Beast was quite reasonable about knowing he might not be able to go on all the rides he wanted to, The Chunk on the other hand not so much. There were a couple he was borderline and in order to find out we had to queue up and wait for the stick to decide our fate. There were more tears…oh and a lot more promises of ice cream.
Speaking of which…Ice Cream – the bribe of a day out. When you’re at home it’s obviously “no iPad” but when you’re out you have to resort to other measures. Ice cream is the obvious bribe. We managed to make it until 3pm in the afternoon before we (granddad)caved and bought them both an ice-cream as a bribe to have a break from the rides and go to the farm which on the way there was classed as “boring”. This isn’t the case, it’s just not a pirate ship.
I remember when picnic used to be an array of tartlets, wraps, hummous and pimms. Those were the days. As we all sat around a picnic table and laid out our contributions I felt a little bit ashamed (but always aware that needs must in certain situations). Uncle Don had bought bahjis AMAZING onion bahjis (even if he did say they created horrendous wind – nothing new in my car with 3 boys), Nan and Granddad had brought scones with clotted cream and jam. There were pretzels, fresh strawberries already topped and tailed, anchovies, quiche, and then there was our contribution. Party eggs, pizza, mini sausages and wotsits. OH AND MINI ROLLS. We all know I love good food. We all know I love cooking stuff from scratch, and it pains me to admit that my picnic stunk of a mum with no spare time. A mum who sent her husband to sainsbogs and told him which cooler cabinets to sweep. Sadly though, whilst I may have totally inhaled other peoples contributions, the boys didn’t stray far from our coolbag. Only venturing out to steal a couple of rouge mini-cheddars (which happened to be cheese and onion so were tactlessly rebuffed).
You know that thing with kids where they have no attention span? Yeah. Infuriating isn’t it? Not as infuriating as when they have a favourite ride and they want to go on it again. And again, and again and again. God knows how we survived after the 3pm ice-cream cave. Oh yes, that’s right, it was the ‘you can have a tattoo if you just…” bribe. Not a real one you turnip, one of those where you spend 50p in a machine and they end up looking like children that never wash.
Time to Go
HOW, when a child is so tired that they can barely walk, do they suddenly find the energy to run and attach themselves to the nearest ride when you utter the words “right, time to go home!” On this occasion I managed to intervene with The Chunk and throw a packet of (original) mini cheddars in his direction, allowing him to climb back into the pushchair (what are we going to do when I finally admit defeat that he no longer needs it?) and give us an easy get away. The Beast was not so compliant. Instead he launched himself onto the zip-wire. A ride that he’d been on earlier and not wanted to revisit after nearly being thrown off by the force of it rebounding off the tyres at the other end. However, as it’s time to go, it’s time to procrastinate. N&G tried to distract, Uncle Don was nearly the walking dead (we all know a day out with kids is knackering, if you’re not used to it, it’s physically draining), and I had let my guard down and given him the last bit of sugar I could possibly allow him to have without ruling out sleep for that evening. Luckily we had a final secret card up our sleeve “if you get in the car, you can watch Spider-Man on the way home” GOD I LOVE YOU APPLE. So what about you, what are your key #badmumsclub moments when you’re on a day out?
To join in see below, and here’s the badge for your post too innit.
p.s. If you haven’t already downloaded my book it’s available here for the cracking price of £2.06