Back to reality – meltdowns or swimming and pancakes?

Back to reality – meltdowns or swimming and pancakes?

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 14, January, 2020

The Mummy Diaries: week 23

AWW, and it was just like Christmas Eve all over again in the Hargan house last Sunday night. Kids bathed, into pyjamas and into bed. Clothes and food all ready and organised for the following day. Mummy and Daddy sat down with a glass of ‘parent survival medicine’, the excitement was building, we looked at each other and said, ‘We survived another Christmas holiday!’

You know you’re a parent when you get just as excited at the prospect of your kids going back to nursery as you do about Christmas Day right? Oh, well, maybe that’s just me then. Ah hem.

Monday morning arrived and I can honestly say that by 10.00am I was exhausted! The late nights and the long lie in’s during the Christmas holidays and all the selection boxes had taken its toll on my sleep pattern and fitness. After the 7.00am start, the usual fight of getting dressed and then the walk up to nursery, I was ready for a lie down. Lily had other ideas! I had promised her we would go swimming after we dropped Jamie off.

I had hoped she wouldn’t remember, bearing in mind I had promised her this three days ago when she was having a meltdown in Asda because she was not allowed to sook on the Lurpak butter. At that point, I would have promised her a trip to Disneyland just to get her to stop making a scene and let me finish the food shop. She’s 18 months for God’s sake.

“Mummy, water?” she said on the way home.

“Yip, you can have water when we get home.” I replied.

“No Mummy, water. Splash!” She squealed.

Fox ache. How do they remember these things?

“Okay Lily, we’ll go swimming.” I said annoyed with myself for not just putting up with the Asda meltdown.

So back to the house and I got the kitchen into a state that didn’t resemble feeding time at the zoo. I then got the swimming bag packed, a washing on, coats on, front door locked, got Lily strapped into her car seat, threw the bags into the boot, jumped into the car, key in the ignition...

“Stinky bum!” shouts Lily.

Fox ache.

Back out of the car, unlock the front door... You get the idea.

We eventually arrive at the swimming pool (sans stinky bum). As soon as Lily realised where she was, she got so excited and started telling me lots of stories. I took her hand and she walked into the leisure centre as proud as punch. As we walked into the changing room I could hear a child crying and really upset. It didn’t seem to bother Lily so we walked in and saw a wee boy about the same age as Jamie, crying and clinging on to his Mum. The poor wee soul was terrified and the poor Mum was doing her best to reassure him. We said hello and carried on getting ready. Lily looked so cute in her wee costume and her arm bands on, she was grinning from ear to ear and couldn’t wait to get into the water. As we headed out towards the pool, we walked past the upset wee boy.

“Are you going to be brave and go into the water with Lily here?” I said.

The wee boy cuddled into his mum.

“Aw I don’t know what to do.” The poor mum said. “I might just take him out as he’s so upset.”

“I have a wee boy at home that is the exact same. He totally freaks out when in the changing rooms but as soon as he sees the water, he loves it. Why don’t you take him in and see how he gets on?” I said.

The thing was, I knew exactly how she was feeling. I know what it’s like to have your wee boy scream the place down and you think everyone is looking and has an opinion. The truth is though, no one apart from the mummy bothers. In fact, all that I think is poor Mummy! And I’m glad it doesn’t just happen to me!

“We’ll see you in there!” I said to the wee boy before Lily and I headed down the corridor towards the pool.

I had trouble holding Lily back, she was desperate to get into the water. No fear in her at all, it was brilliant. We spent the next ten minutes splashing about and playing with the floats until we saw the Mum and the wee boy appear. As soon as he saw the water he stopped crying. Curiosity got the better of him and he took one step at a time into the water until eventually his Mum got a smile and that was that. Lily had great fun jumping in and out of the water, splashing and even diving her head under the water. She was like a wee fish and I was starting to panic that I was going to have trouble getting her out of the pool.

Nearly an hour passed and we started to make our way out of the water. Lily held my hand and was happy to go back into the changing rooms. She loved having a shower, getting dressed and happily sat with her juice while I got myself ready. We made our way back out to the car park and I breathed a sigh of relief that Lily had had such a great time and wasn’t upset to be leaving either (often the hardest part). By the time we got home, there were just enough minutes left to fix Lily some lunch before having to leave and collect Jamie from nursery.

That afternoon after getting Jamie home, both the kids were exhausted following their busy mornings and were happy to go up for their naps. Result!! I lay down in the bed next to Jamie until he fell asleep and must have dosed off myself. I woke up, it was dark and two hours had passed! Whoops!

By the middle of the week, we were starting to get back into the swing of the routine but it felt more like it should have been Friday and not Wednesday. I dropped Jamie off as usual and Lily and I headed to do the food shopping for the week. This was much to Lily’s disappointment as she had decided we were going swimming again. Cue a tantrum when we arrived at the supermarket.

I got Lily into a trolley and we made our way around the store to get the shopping done and dusted. It was all going so well until we arrived at the bread aisle. Lily spotted the pancakes.

“Mummy pancake!” She pointed.

“No lily, your getting your lunch when we get home.” I replied.

“Noooooooo! Mummy pancake!” She screamed.

I was about to cave in and make my way over to the pancakes, when a voice behind me said, “Hello again!” it was the same lady I met at the swimming pool with the upset wee boy.

“Oh hi!” I said, while trying to grab the pancakes to settle Lily.

“What are you giving your mummy a hard time about?” She said to Lily, who immediately stopped whinging and started smiling at the lady. The lady then started chatting away to Lily and which point I had noticed Lily had forgotten all about the pancake.

“I have a little lady at home who is the exact same.” she said. “She sees something and decides she has to have it or it’s a full-blown tantrum.”

We actually made it to the car park before the pancake got mentioned again. At which point I didn’t care if Lily lost the plot in the car. We were heading home for lunch anyway. It made me realise, all us Mummies are in the exact same boat. We all get so stressed when our kids start having a tantrum or make a scene when we are in public places. But who gives a shit? The only person who really notices, is the poor mummy who is dealing with the tantrum and if anyone else notices or looks up? It’s only because they are thinking, “thank God it doesn’t just happen to me!”

So, we made it to Friday night and the first week back to the old routine done and dusted. The kids were in bed for 8.00pm and not a noise out of them for the rest of the night, they were exhausted. I made it to the opening credits of the new Mary Poppins film, before falling asleep on the sofa. The following night and we settled in to watch the film ‘Bad Moms’ on Netflix.

Let’s just say I felt more like Mary Poppins after watching that!

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