On Saturday the geekdaddy was out all day at the Doki Doki Japenese festival in Manchester. He set out about 8am and didn’t get back until just before bedtime. So I had a day wrangling the kids on my own. I’ve done that enough now that it doesn’t faze me at all, but for some reason this day there was a lot of weird stuff going on…
I thought I was starting off well. I got organised enough to stick a sausage casserole into the slow cooker first thing so that it would be ready for lunch and make my life easier. Go me!
However, the downside of this was that I let the geekson sleep in a little longer than I should have done, and it became a frantic rush to get both kids out of the door in time for the geekdaughter’s ballet lesson. As it was we didn’t have time for the geekson to have any breakfast, but he and I always go to my Mum’s house for coffee whilst ballet is on, so I was sure I could scrounge him something to eat there.
And then the car wouldn’t start.
My car’s in need of a service, and has started being a bit temperamental on cold mornings. On Saturday it just didn’t want to start at all. Of course, the day we’re already running late is the day it chooses to play up. I tried everything I could think of to get it running, but it just turned over and over without firing.
After a few minutes a nice friendly message appeared on the dashboard display. Your battery is running low. Please start the engine to recharge.
I tried hard not to swear. I was TRYING to start the flipping engine! In the back the kids nattered away “is the car OK Mummy? It’s OK Mummy, I don’t mind missing ballet!”
Finally something I did worked, and the engine sprang into life. I got us to ballet as quickly as I could. All the way the car’s dashboard display showed the slightly threatening message Battery charging. Like it was trying to make me suffer. I had visions of getting to ballet and then not being able to leave again. I was most relived when we pulled into the ballet school’s car park and the message disappeared, to be replaced by the “usual” display.
Things picked up. The geekdaughter wasn’t too late for class, my Mum fed the geekson and me some breakfast. The car started so I could get back and collect the geekdaughter.
The rest of the morning went smoothly. We got home, I provided wholesome homecooked food for my kids. Although by their reactions you’d think I had included poison with the sausages instead of red and green peppers and chick peas. I’m going to try baked beans in the recipe next time and see if that makes the whole thing more appealing. They did at least eat the sausages and the broccoli so I’m calling it a win!
After lunch we headed into town. I had to pick up a couple of things from the shops and we needed some food from the supermarket. Dragging both kids around an assortment of shops, including the local toy shop, without allowing them to choose anything for themselves added an extra challenge to the outing, but I managed it.
We even coped when the geekson (still potty-training) announced loudly in the middle of the shoe shop that he needed a wee. Thankfully the local shoe shop is run by a very friendly lady, and she allowed us to use the staff toilet. We all had to go, because the geekdaughter wouldn’t be left alone with the strange lady!
The shopping trip ended with a quick dash around my local Waitrose. As I opened the car boot to grab my bags for life I came to the horrible realisation that I’d not replaced my Waitrose ones since the last shopping expedition, and all I had in the car were my Aldi bags. Yes, I have two different sets of bags for life, and I use the one that matches the shop at all times. Well, until Saturday. On Saturday I looked at the increasing fractious kids and decided that today, just today, I would take Aldi bags into Waitrose.
I wondered if they’d spontaneously combust as I walked through the doors. Or whether the security guard would gently take my arm and ask me what I thought I was doing. But no. No-one seemed to notice. Disappointing really.
As we made our way around Waitrose I came to the realisation that I have become one of THOSE parents. My entire shopping experience when I have kids goes something like this:
“No, you can’t have one”
“Watch where you’re walking!”
“Look our for the other people… Sorry”
“I said don’t TOUCH!”
“No, we don’t need that this week”
“This way… THIS way”
“Where are you?”
“What did I say about touching?!”
I have no idea if I look as frazzled as I feel, but I do get the odd sympathetic glance from the other shoppers, so I can only assume I do.
Then there was a bizarre experience at the checkout. I had found some vouchers for free milk left over from a promotion a few months back. So as we can always use milk I’d grabbed a couple of bottles. They were on special offer, two for £3. I had vouchers for two free. When I presented the vouchers at the till the attendance merrily knocked £2 per bottle off the cost, £4 total, ignoring the promotion price. So they effectively paid me to take the milk off their shelves. Weird eh?!
To close the day off nicely I came home and fitted a new toilet seat. On my own – how’s that for DIY skills?! It hasn’t fallen off yet, which immediately makes my toilet-seat-fitting skills superior to the geekdaddys (but we won’t talk about that!)
And after all that I collapsed into the sofa and put the TV on for the kids until the geekdaddy came home to help me get them into bed.
I’m glad I don’t have to solo wrangle the kids all that often!