There are days when being a parent is most defiantly an up hill battle and today has been one of those days. From the word go there was opposition to my plans to go out for a few hours and enjoy some fresh air while taking part in a visit to a local farm with the children’s centre. That in itself wasn’t an issue as it’s not unusual to have some moaning about going out but I tend to ignore it knowing that they will enjoy themselves.
However this morning maybe I should have taken it as a sign of things to come! Once the little one I was looking after arrived we set about putting shoes on and getting ready to leave. My minded little one also wasn’t in the best of moods. Once we were all in the car all was grand, Trystan had requested we listen to his cd and I was happy to allow this. So we were all singing along while we made our way to the farm.
When we arrived we had some fruit and drink in the car before we headed over to join in the activities. We gathered information on where the different activities were happening. The older boys wanted to see what games were in the games room so we headed over to take a look. There were indoor boules so the children enjoyed a game before I suggested we went to try the cake decorating activity. Again this was enjoyed although Erin was a little reluctant. Cakes decorated and quickly devoured we went to join the large queue for the tractor and trailer ride. Thankfully the temperature has dropped a few centigrade in the last 48 hours and it was overcast so I hoped the wait wouldn’t be too painful. Once the tractor and trailer arrived it was obvious we wouldn’t be able to get on and although the driver had said he would return it would be a further fifteen minutes which I knew would cause problem for the children waiting. So as a distraction we went to do some craft activities and the older boys went to play table tennis.
Unfortunately there was still quite a queue for the returning tractor and trailer and we failed to get on, so there were tears from the younger children and even from Rowan! I hoped lunch would be a diversion and steered everyone in the direction of the picnic tables. The older two boys wanted to continue playing table tennis and I had my hands full with the younger three children so left them too it. Then suddenly Trystan came out demanding his crisps and wasn’t prepared to wait or find them himself.
Now one thing I can’t stand is rudeness and back chat so I wasn’t best pleased when Trystan started demanding. I had a few quiet words with him reminding him of his behaviour and the warning that we would leave if he continued. Then the wasps started homing in on our picnic which sent Rowan and Erin into a state of jumping about in a bid to avoid them! Trystan reappeared and started demanding to know why I hadn’t found his crisps! It was the last straw so I gathered our picnic up and the children and we headed for the car. Bare in mind there was lots of other families there in a small space too plus I was aware that my minded child would be due a sleep shortly.
There were a few choice words imparted to the boys regarding their behaviour on the journey home. Once home the older two were sent to their rooms to think about their behaviour while I saw to the younger two and went about getting afternoon naps sorted. With my minded child napping, Trystan came downstairs and built a train set for his younger siblings and the mornings happenings seemed to be behind us.
Not even an hour later the whining and moaning and the complaints of “it’s not fair1” and “he’s ruining my game!” started. I reminded them my minded child was napping and they must not disturb him but they fell on deaf ears which in turn resulted in them being sent to their rooms again. I grabbed the opportunity to make a cup of tea and went to sit with Erin and read her a story. Not even ten minutes later I could hear something going on upstairs so I went to investigate and tell them to stop. More moaning and whining ensued but I calmly explained they were old enough to play nicely together and returned to Erin.
Next I know Trystan is coming down and telling me someone has written on his bedroom wall! well the only two people who could have written anything legible are Trystan himself and Luc! queue more protests of innocence and another half an hour in their bedrooms. I returned to Erin and counted to ten and listened….. silence at last.
Some twenty minutes later Luc emerges holding a teddy bear gingerly by it’s leg and it appeared to be dripping! What on earth has happened now I thought and asked Luc. Apparently Rowan had decided to dunk the bear as Luc had told him he mustn’t make a mess in the bedroom as it was being tidied! aaaagggghhh I screamed silently to myself so as not to wake my minded child! Rowan was summoned and asked to explain himself but when he started giggling that was the last straw! He was promptly placed in the garden on the patio and told to think about his behaviour very carefully before he could return inside!
That of course led to a major melt down from Rowan, literally bouncing up and down on the patio and scream and shrieking his heart out that it wasn’t fair. I left him for a couple of minutes before opening the window to remind him why he was outside in the hope that any one who had heard him and I’m pretty sure at least our street and the neighbouring couple would have heard him! would realise that I wasn’t being mean as the boys like to tell me! Erin stood in the sitting room watching mouth open and pointing at him the whole time!
Twenty minutes later he had finally calmed down during which time he had tried every excuse possible to gain reentry to the house from “I need a wee!” to “I need my shoes!” I had sent a text containing choice words to dad of 3 who was in work to let him know what had been happening as a means of helping me to keep my sanity. Once calm Rowan was sent to join his brothers in their rooms.
My minded child had woken up thankfully quite oblivious to what had been going on and I set about busy him and Erin with an activity. Trystan attempted to join us downstairs while I was reading stories but was sent straight back upstairs until I finished work. When my minded child was collected I gave an account of the disastrous day and tried so hard to smile about it. As soon as the door closed the boys were on the stairs telling me how mean I was and how it wasn’t fair! I think they hoped I would allow them to watch tv but instead I told them that “I’m not here to win a popularity award, I’m their mother and like it or lump it I’m here to stay!” not quite the response they hoped for!
My day really had been a disaster and no amount of tactile diffusion had helped today. I’m exhausted both physically and emotionally after it and I was so pleased to see dad of 3 return from work this evening. Days like this remind me that being a parent isn’t easy, there is no handbook for being a parent, it’s a learning curve and sometimes it’s a steep one with bumps along the way. But you know what, I wouldn’t change it and I just hope when the children are older they will realise I did my best and that no matter what I love them.