CARAVAN CHAOS AND DEVON DELIGHTS

Last weekend we went on a big family holiday to Brixham. My Grandad died in March, so we decided to scatter his ashes in the place where he spent most of his family holidays. A lovely idea in principle, but with 22 in the group including 4 kids and 2 babies, the road to the seaside was never going to be smooth ride.

We woke up at 5am Friday morning. Kyle and I tip-toed around the house so as not to wake the kids up and managed to successfully put them in the car in their PJs. We would change them at the service station. Five minutes into the journey and they were awake but surprisingly well behaved and very excited.

I spent the majority of the first two hours un-doing my seatbelt to lean into the back and put Jorgie’s dummy back in. It was literally acting like a plug as she screamed every time it came out and stopped crying whenever it went back in. The rest of the time I was passing Charlie drinks, crisps, or biscuits or singing him songs and telling him stories. You can imagine mine and Kyle’s delight when we had to hear a mixture of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ on rotation and on repeat as we drove.

We arrived at the service station to meet my parents, brother and niece. Kyle had insisted that we needed a roof rack as we wouldn’t fit everything in. I asked him to get Jorgie’s pram out to be informed that it was in fact “inside the roof rack so you can’t get it out as it’s too much hard work tightening all the rack up again”. Ideal. A roof rack to hold all our stuff but you can’t actually have access to any of the stuff. Makes sense.

After breakfast and Charlie riding the escalator up and down 5 times, we set off again arriving at the caravan site just after lunch. The weather was gorgeous so an afternoon at the outside pool followed. Although it was warm and sunny the water was absolutely freezing, and I managed all of 5 minutes in the pool. Charlie just clung to Kyle like a monkey and it took the best part of an hour for us to persuade my niece Macy to come out. Bribery and chocolate were involved.

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The caravan was a tight squeeze and 4 adults and 2 kids sharing the small shower (not all at the same time I might add) was hard work. Jorgie had the obligatory baby bath in the sink and after fish and chips we went to the family disco.

Those entertainment staff have some serious stamina and energy. I genuinely need to know what their secret is as they entertained 50 plus children for a good two hours. Charlie looked a bit scared and Macy just kept doing laps round and round the dance floor. After musical bumps and several trips to the amusements to play on the 2p machines, we retired to bed.

Sleeping in caravans is fun (or lack of). Charlie and Macy were sharing a room with two single beds opposite each other. Next ensued an unplanned game of musical bumps alternating between Charlie and Macy rolling over and falling out of bed into the gap between the two beds. Sometimes one of them would wake up and cry out, other times I would hear a thud and find them asleep in the gap and sometimes I would find both piled one on top of the other. Mix this up with toilet trips and frightened moments that “the child catcher was coming” and I guarantee I was awake more than I was asleep on Friday night.

Saturday morning was an early start whilst Charlie and Macy argued over the coco-pops in the miniature variety pack of cereals. A caravan holiday wouldn’t be the same without the smell of bacon in the morning to wake you up so after bacon butties we got ready to go out.

The entire family were meeting at Brixham Harbour at 11am to scatter my Grandad’s ashes. Although it was a sad occasion it was also nice that all the family were together as the last time had been the year before at my wedding.

We gathered by the jetty and each took it in turns to throw the ashes into the sea. All was going smoothly until the kids also wanted a turn. This resulted in questions such as “Why is Grandad Keith now dust?” and “Awww look Grandad Keith has turned into glitter”.  This followed by them throwing the ashes into a direct gust of wind which then blew them into the face of everyone standing behind. Great stuff. We now had Grandad Keith in our eyes, nose and mouth. I’m sure if my Grandad had been there he would have howled laughing.

The kids all had fishing nets so during the ashes being scattered they had also been trying to fish for crabs and fish. After getting the nets full of salty sea water and seaweed they then thought it would be fun to try and catch a person. All of us had a fishing net placed over our heads at least twice in the time we would stood there. Who needs nice smelling straight and tidy hair anyway!?

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After a cake and cream tea lunch we drove to the beach to try and catch some crabs before a big family BBQ later on. I don’t know who was more scared when we lifted the rocks up to find the crabs, my brother or the kids. He absolutely shit himself when a big one came scuttling out onto the sand!

We took over the area surrounding my uncle’s caravan later that night. I don’t think the site knew what had hit it. The kids were running riot like a pack of wild dogs whilst we were gathered around 4 picnic benches we had “borrowed” from around the area. The food was great and we all had a good chat and catch up. The night couldn’t pass without incident and unfortunately Charlie tripped up and bashed his eye on the floor whilst tearing around. It could have been worse as earlier Kyle had let each kid individually hang from a tree by their arms whilst standing underneath them. Responsible parenting at its best.

Saturday night pretty much followed the same pattern as Friday except for Kyle coming back from the BBQ (I had been the responsible parent) dragging the cool box through the caravan and bashing every item of furniture as he went. This was at 1am. Perfect.

Sunday was our last day and we spent it at Paignton Beach building sandcastles and playing in the sea. Charlie had to be changed twice due to resembling a sand monster and I think my mum had more fun playing in the sand than any of the kids.

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We had a meal at the local pub in the evening and some idiot (my brother) had the bright idea of buying the kids balls from a machine in the pub. This resulted in none of us being able to enjoy our meals as the kids threw the balls around the beer garden. There were balls getting lost, going over garden fences, hitting seagulls and landing on the table.

On Sunday night I slept much better although my mum didn’t due to my brother snoring so had to borrow a pair of pink fluffy unicorn ear muffs from Macy.

We set off home early on Monday morning and were packed and on the road before 9am. We even remembered Macy’s new baby doll which she had randomly named ‘Muffin’. It was only an hour later at the services that we realised we had left the Samsung Galaxy tablet in the caravan. Que a phone call and a £10 postage fee.

We held the record for the most possible stops on a journey home for the return journey.  We literally stopped at every single service station as the kids rotated needing a wee every half an hour. We arrived home at 5.30pm after picking Tia the dog up who had thoroughly enjoyed herself and seemed more miserable that we had bothered to come home as she wanted to stay. I think she secretly hates us. Tired and irritable we unpacked the car to Charlie crying “Awww I want to go again. I want to go back to the caravan”. All in all, it had been a funny weekend and I would definitely take the kids on a caravan holiday again as they loved it (I’ll just prepare for no sleep!).

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SHITTY SOLO WET WEEKENDS WITH KIDS

Charlie's new favourite item - his umbrella.

Sometimes I hate Kyle’s job because he must work nights and weekends. This weekend is even worse because he’s working four nights in a row including both Saturday and Sunday. I feel like a single parent as he sleeps all day and then goes to work at tea time. This weekend has been a particularly shitty one for various reasons.

My Saturday started at 6.15am when Charlie skipped into my room and jumped into bed with a ‘Morning Mummy, do you want to come and play with me?’. I thought ‘Yes Son, I would absolutely love to crow-bar my arse out of bed to play with you and your Lego at this delightful hour’. Instead we cuddled up in bed and watched Paw Patrol. Jorgie started gurgling 15 minutes later and I heard Kyle coming in from work, so I shouted down for him to make her a bottle.

Once Jorgie was fed, I tried to grab another 10 minutes in bed, but she was now also in the bed and star fishing like there was no tomorrow. She somehow managed to stick her finger up my nostril and scratch the inside of my nose with her nails. This resulted in blood, so I gave up on the lie-in and went to stick a tissue up my nose instead.

After the usual morning hurdles of persuading Charlie to brush his teeth and have a wee, I grabbed a pile of washing, my phone, the empty milk bottles and Jorgie in her Moses basket and proceeded to walk down the stairs.  I started to sterilise Jorgie’s bottles and make breakfast and I was proper pleased with myself that I was mastering the morning routine.

I thought I best ring my mum to arrange the time we were meeting today, but I couldn’t find my mobile anywhere. It was then that the horrible realisation hit me that I had put my phone in the washing machine with the big pile of clothes I had brought down. After trying to stop the washing machine with no success, I dramatically cried for 10 minutes whilst the kids stared at me like I had 3 heads and then I woke Kyle up to help.

After a painstaking 45-minute wait, miraculously my phone was okay even though it had taken a good wash in the machine for half an hour. Total baby brain!

An afternoon at the fair followed where I secretly laughed at Charlie shitting himself on all of the rides, but it kept him happy for half an hour so was £15 well spent. After a pedalo ride and a change of clothes after Charlie got drenched in the fountains, we headed home. It was Kyle’s birthday on Sunday, so I decided on a whim to bake him a birthday cake. I bought a Betty Crocker chocolate cake, nothing too adventurous as I don’t have the time or the energy.

This was probably the second worse idea I’ve ever had after letting Charlie make Kyle a birthday card with paint a few days before but that’s another story. As we started to make the cake, Charlie couldn’t contain his excitement. His hands were all over the show, there was cake mix in his hair and eyebrows and all over the worktop. Betty Crocker advised to use 8 tablespoons of vegetable oil, but I didn’t have any in the cupboard so had to use 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 4 tablespoons of fri-light instead. For reference I start a lot of diets so credit to lean in 15 and slimming world for those ingredients.

Meanwhile, Jorgie was literally screaming like a strangled cat even though she’d just been changed and had a bottle and the dog was having a poo in Charlie’s sandpit in the back garden. I asked myself ‘Could things get any worse?’ Probably.

I quickly shoved the cake in the oven. The mixture was full of coconut oil lumps, so I didn’t have high expectations. I managed to get the kids in bed while the cake was cooking and when I came back down it was ready to ice. I then realised that Betty had also instructed to buy a tub of Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge icing to decorate the cake. Ooops!!  To improvise I had to break approximately 17 bitesize twirl bars into a bowl to melt and take Charlie’s last packet of milky bar buttons to make the cake look anything near to decent. Sorry Kyle. You have a shit birthday cake.

Sunday wasn’t much better. It rained all day, so we had a little trip round the shops. I bought Charlie a £2.99 Paw Patrol umbrella and I’ve never seen anyone more pleased. He’s had it up and been walking round with it ever since.

Before we came home I decided to treat Charlie to McDonalds and get Kyle some lunch to make up for the crap birthday cake he was about to receive. After getting to McDonalds it was closed for refurbishment, so I had to drive to the nearest one which took about 15 minutes as the traffic was so bad due to rain. Jorgie was due a feed so it was the most painful journey I have experienced in a long time as her screams echoed all over the car.

After arriving and standing at the counter absolutely soaking wet with a screaming baby, I tried to order meals for us to eat in and a meal for Kyle to take away. However, this really seemed to confuse the shit out of the staff, so I waited and waited and waited. I was order number 20 so when order 30 was called out and 10 people had been served in front of me I asked the girl at the counter ‘Excuse me, can you tell me where my order is please? I’ve been waiting patiently for 15 minutes and 10 people who ordered after me have been served’.

She told me she would sort it straight away. I waited for another 10 minutes until I had a complete meltdown to the staff. I heard my voice shaking as I said ‘Excuse me, where is my order? I’ve been waiting for 25 minutes. I think there is some confusion as I want a meal to eat in and a meal to take away for my husband who has been on a night shift driving an ambulance and it’s his birthday today and I’ve made him a shit birthday cake, so I just want to take him home a McDonalds. I’m also wet with two demanding little children, so I would appreciate if you could just give me my order’. I then burst into tears and walked off (I think it must nearing the time of the month). Needless to say, my order turned up immediately after.

We ended the weekend watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang whilst Charlie repeatedly asked, ‘Can we go there Mummy?’ ‘Sorry but no as it’s too far away and happened in 1968 so isn’t possible’. He responded with ‘You have a car so no problem Mummy’.  We had a piece of the rubbish birthday cake and it didn’t taste too bad and Charlie and Jorgie both fell asleep early which was a bonus.

As he was falling asleep Charlie put his arm round me and said, ‘I’ve got you Mummy and I’m not letting go’ and just like that everything was okay again.

TODDLER TANTRUMS AND CHOCOLATE

 

Last week we went to Cheshire Oaks. I learned one thing from this trip. Don’t ever take a toddler if you actually want to do some shopping or purchase any items. I knew it was a bad idea in the first place, but it was raining, and we couldn’t think of anything else to do.

First hurdle is actually getting there when your child repeatedly says, “Mummy please don’t go on the motorway, go a different way” and “your going too fast, I don’t like it”, even though I was persistently hovering at the just under 60 miles an hour mark. I can see that long journeys are going to be a problem from now on.

After attempting to have a look round about 10 shops but giving up within the first five minutes of entering each one, we headed for lunch but not before spending 45 minutes on the park that McArthur Glen conveniently decided to build slap bang in the middle of the shopping centre. I enjoy travelling 40 miles for my child to go on a park as opposed to going to one 10 minutes away from our house. Superb.

There’s no better choice than Thornton’s Café to have lunch with an already hyperactive, chocolate obsessed, Schizophrenic two-year-old who immediately starts screaming for Freddo’s as soon as we enter the shop. You get a free chocolate with every hot drink purchased but before I could even take a second glance at it, it was in Charlie’s mouth. Unfortunately for him, it had nuts in, so he proceeded to spit it out all over his t-shirt and the table. I couldn’t help but do a secret laugh inside. That will teach the greedy little sod to think twice in future.

As my mum nipped to the toilet and I fed Jorgie a bottle, Charlie decided to go and rearrange the Thornton’s window display but for some reason the shop assistant didn’t like this, so we made a swift exit as another box of chocolates fell out of the window.

Miraculously, I managed to buy some items in Gap but only because I let Charlie play hide and seek in the clothing rails, although seeing a small child’s head pop out whilst looking at t-shirts did almost give some customers a heart attack.

When we got home, Charlie couldn’t wait to tell Kyle what a fantastic day he’d had whilst I limped in with my two pitiful hoodies from Gap. He then decided during tea that he didn’t like broccoli and decided to throw it all over the floor but not to worry as he changed his mind the next day and now he likes it again.

We also went to Daisy Nook Country Park last week and whilst walking Charlie began to dance from side to side before revealing that a poo was imminently going to come out. We just got his pants down in time to see his large turd rolling down the hill at speed. Winning.

On Thursday morning I dropped Charlie off at nursery. We are still having a few teething problems with his toilet training at nursery, so I decided I would take him to the nursery toilet to show him it was no scarier than the toilet at home. I left Jorgie in her car seat in the main nursery room but came out to her screaming as 10 excited little faces had surrounded her and were all talking and pointing at once.  I felt so sorry for her. It’s bad enough having one of the tiny terrors to deal with let alone 10 at once. Stuff of nightmares!

I went to Aerobics after I had dropped him off and the usual instructor was on holiday, so we had a very camp, jolly and enthusiastic replacement. I have never enjoyed exercise so much in my life as I shook my little tushi for all it’s worth to huge hits like the locomotion, macarena, the twist, Gangnam style and take on me. Hours of fun.

Charlie was tired when I picked him up from nursery. He didn’t like anyone or anything and I lost count of the number of times he threw himself down on the floor and wouldn’t get up. First, he wanted biscuits, then he wanted his favourite toy hippo, George, then he wanted picking up and then chocolate. I said no to all these things but instead of taking it out on me he decided to take it out on my poor mum. He kept coming out with more and more absurd things “I don’t like Nanna, Nanna can stay at home, Nanna can’t come to the play centre with us, Nanna can’t come to our house again and I don’t love Nanna”. This was until he finally shook off his mood and revealed that he didn’t mean all those things and in fact he was just joking. So funny. Not.

I ended the week meeting my work friends for lunch to celebrate a 60th but not before driving down a one-way street that I have known about for 30 years and then driving to my work car park instead of the restaurant we were meant to be meeting at. I love my kids but being with them 24/7 is seriously making me lose the plot. I might start calling myself Dizzy Lizzy. The official Dizzy Blonde.

MUMMY NIGHTS OUT AFTER HAVING KIDS

This is a do’s and don’ts list that I compiled based on a recent Friday night out to a local festival. I don’t often go out any more, after having the children, so it is nice to let my hair down when I do.

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  1. Don’t make it your absolute goal to sample every kind of conceivable gin in just one night. This will not bode well for the night ahead, your bank balance and the kids that you are the responsible adult for later on.
  2. Don’t try flossing for the first time under the influence of alcohol and in a festival field full of 5,000 people. Flossing is for children under the age of 16 and professional dancers. Trying to learn the art of this is both quite alarming and frightening for the people watching it, if not also highly entertaining.
  3. Do avoid glitter at all costs. Glitter is for small children to make pretty pictures and cards with, along with glue and paint. It is not acceptable for 33 year old women to throw all over their face and think they look like a unicorn. Plus, when it is still stuck to you the next day, the kids will just mither you all day to use it and have their face painted.
  4. Don’t act like a teenage girl by getting to the front to wave at your favourite band. It is not cool but highly embarrassing.
  5. Don’t start a diet the day that you are going out. Alcohol makes you ravenous and the fact that you don’t drink a lot these days means you end up eating approximately 3 times as much as you ordinarily would. Hotdogs, Pizza and a Chicken Madras and Rice to name a few.
  6. Do understand that as a parent you dress your children appropriately for every occasion so adopt this principle for yourself instead of thinking it is acceptable to wear a short playsuit to an outdoor event where rain is predicted. This is pure stupidity.
  7. Do drop your kids off at their Grandparents to stay the night rather than have the Grandparents stay at your house to babysit. As soon as you walk through the door at midnight you automatically become ‘Mum’ again which means taking your two year old to the toilet at 2am, when you can barely get to the toilet yourself.
  8. Do pack your handbag as you would do as if you were taking the kids everywhere with you. Those baby wipes, hand sanitiser and snacks come in handy for festival portaloos and the alcohol munchies.
  9. Don’t make internet purchases under the influence of alcohol. Booking a villa in Spain for Benicassim Festival next July was not only irrational and impulsive but very irresponsible. Remember you now have two tiny humans to look after.
  10. Do remember why these nights are few and far between. You miss your babies too much to go out often, but you are human and deserve to be silly once in a while.

WEEKEND VENTURES

So on Friday Kyle was off work so we decided to have a family day. As the weather was rainy and generally crap we decided to go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and thought it would be a bit cultural and educational for Charlie.

However, we then realised we had to walk the dog, pack the car and bags and go to get Jorgie weighed at the clinic so by the time we actually got to Manchester it was nearing 1pm and I began to wonder why we had bothered at all. Kyle and I bickered all the way there because I was feeling hormonal and blaming him for us being so late.

The museum is absolutely brilliant, good fun and educational…….if your child is older than 5 years. Obviously, Jorgie didn’t have a clue where she was and Charlie was just too young tearing about the displays and exhibitions like he was running an egg and spoon race at school. He loved pressing all of the buttons and watching lights lighting up but he had no idea what they meant or were for.

After lasting all of an hour we went to the Air Museum where Charlie proceeded to rip the ‘out of order sign’ off the aviation machine and I then walked in all of the blue tack that was used to stick the sign on the machine and couldn’t understand why my feet kept sticking to the floor all of the way around.

We caved in at 3pm and decided to come home so the £7 all day parking fee we had paid had generally been good value for money for the whole 2 hours we had been there! This put me in another bad mood to which Charlie said “What’s up Mummy? Has Daddy done something again?”.

On Saturday we went to ‘Yanks Day’ at Uppermill. We got the bus there as I thought it would be a nightmare to park and this was an event in itself. Jorgie clearly thought she was on a roller-coaster ride hence the picture attached. Charlie and my niece Macy insisted they had to sit upstairs with my mum and brother as if it was the most exciting thing they had ever encountered.

When we got there it was absolutely rammed. There was a parade of 1940s American cars and lots of people dressed for the era. There was a fun fair and food stalls and had we not got any kids it would probably have been a right good doo but with two kids whinging for ice cream and choc choc, wanting to go on the inflatable slide 27 times and constantly getting on and off the roundabout on the park it was far from relaxing. Then I had to put Charlie on my shoulders because Macy was on her dad’s which completely crippled my neck and back and probably did nothing for my already slouchy posture after having Jorgie.

When we eventually headed home Charlie was tired and in a foul mood and Kyle had got home from work so we decided to give him a bath. I thought Kyle could do it and I could get on with tea but it was at that point Charlie decided he then needed me at his side constantly and would keep crying and screaming if I left.

He got in the bath and then kept mithering me to get in too. After batting him off for several minutes I finally caved in when he must have asked me 200 times. I got in the luke warm and shallow bath to him saying “Mummy, I’ve just wee’d”. Ideal. Just what you want as a Saturday night treat. A cold bath filled with urine with a two year old. Pass me the gin.

Meanwhile Jorgie was screaming blue murder and would only stop if I got hold of her. So I now had two of them draped around my arms and legs like spare parts. After Charlie insisting that it must be me who brushes his teeth and puts his Pjs on it was eventually sleep time.

Sunday was a rare treat for me as I was meeting my best friend for afternoon tea at Cloud 23 in the Hilton and a few afternoon drinks. Its weird as you can’t wait for a break from your kids and I couldn’t wait to drop them off at Kyle’s mum and dads but once I was out and had met Jane I began to miss them and we predominately spoke about the kids for most of the day.

After a good few drinks and some reminiscing we headed home and decided to have one last drink at a new bar in Droylsden. We had really gone from one end of the scale to another. Starting on a high in the Hilton and ending up in Droylsden Precinct drinking gin whilst staring at the Willow Wood Hospice Charity shop.

Kyle picked me up and Charlie was excited and kept repeatedly saying “mummy please don’t ever go out and leave me again” whilst Jorgie yet again screamed for all her lungs were worth.

I ended the weekend sat on the toilet feeding Jorgie in my lap as I was dying for a wee after all the drinks and she just wouldn’t stop crying unless I picked her up at which as soon as I did she burst into smiles and giggles. Kyle walked past and shot me a “what the hell are you doing sat on the toilet with the baby?” look to which I replied “needs must” and that finished the weekend nicely.

Life Through My Wonky Specs

I found my glasses at the bottom of my handbag yesterday and when I put them on they were all bent and crooked, but I had no choice but to wear them as I don’t have any spares.  I just ignored the funny looks and the fact that I felt like I was viewing the world from a side wards angle and thought I would persevere until today.

So, after picking Charlie up from nursery today we went to Specsavers where I was informed that the last pair of glasses I bought were in 2014. After 5 minutes of browsing the selection I realised why I probably hadn’t attempted to buy any for 4 years. Charlie just kept shouting “Mummy buy the red ones”. I tried to blank him out as Kyle was stood with him but then he shouted across the whole shop “I need some new glasses Mummy. I’ve lost my other ones”. This was brand new information as he had never even tried a pair of glasses on let alone need them on prescription. He continued with “I can’t see anything, I can’t see Mummy, I need some glasses now” whilst he received some sympathetic glances from elderly people in the shop.

In the end I rushed to pick a pair as it was easier to pick a pair that I might not be 100% happy with than to listen to Charlie for another 10 minutes. I’ve not had a good week so far. I’ve been in a very hormonal and irrational mood where I feel like I could explode at any moment. I went to the gym on Tuesday and the vending machine was broken so I couldn’t get a bottle of water. I asked the café to sell me one, but they said they weren’t open, so I went to the gym and when I got in there I thought I can’t possibly do any exercise without any water, so I walked straight back out to my car where I burst into tears and proceeded to dramatically cry for 10 minutes.

I’d fallen down the stairs at my best friend’s house earlier in the week with Jorgie (thankfully in her car seat) and bruised all my arse and it really hurt but it was really funny, so I laughed even though part of me secretly wanted to cry. Charlie has been an absolute shit. I feel like all I have done is shout at him all week.

He decided at the start of the week that he was no longer going to use the toilet but just continuously wee in his pants. One day after I had changed his pants 7 times, he’d stood on Jorgie, drawn on the kitchen floor, and during the day I had spent 25 minutes negotiating with him to come off a climbing frame I totally lost my cool.  I must have looked desperate as I had 5 small unknown children to me, who were all trying to become my allies in trying to get him off the sodding climbing frame.

He stressed me out so much the other day that I had a toy car and a piece of bread and butter in my hands so I tried to throw the car across the living room into his toy box only for him to come into the kitchen 5 minutes later and ask me “Mummy, why are you throwing bread and butter around the living room?”

Kyle shouted me into the toilet the other day because he couldn’t believe the size of the poo that Charlie had managed to squeeze out. I stood in disbelief looking at the turd that was currently blocking the toilet and in turn looking at Charlie and trying to understand how something so monstrous had come out of someone so tiny.

Charlie’s bedtime stalling tactics have also driven me insane this week. After putting him to bed he must shout me about 20 times in the hour that follows because he needs another bedtime story, he needs some socks on, he needs a wee, he needs a poo, he needs me to pull his covers up, he needs a drink. The list is endless and quite nearly sent me into melt down at the start of the week.

Back to today and before even hitting Specsavers we had parked the car in the multi storey and I had put Charlie’s pringles on a wall behind the car without realising that there was a sheer drop to the street below. I only saw it was there when I looked over the wall to see the pigeons feasting on the pile of pringles that had landed in the middle of the pavement. Not learning from my mistake, Kyle then put Jorgie’s milk bottle on the wall and that also fell off and narrowly missed someone’s head who was walking below. We then had to sheepishly walk down and pick it up off the street, so we already looked like the crazy family and we hadn’t even entered the shopping precinct yet.

The day ended taking Jorgie for her injections and she screamed that much that I swear they could hear her in the Himalayas. She’s also had a bad week with falling down the stairs and being stood on but just as I am absolutely pulling my hair out Charlie comes out with “Mummy I’m going to rub your back and give you a love and a kiss. I love you.” And just like that my heart melts and I begin to think that he isn’t Satan in disguise and my life isn’t actually too bad after all.

GULLIVER’S WORLD OR WORLD OF PAIN!?

So last week we decided to book tickets for Gulliver’s World. We decided on today because it’s Monday and we thought it would be quieter. First error. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is during the school holidays. It’s busy every day.

I got up early to walk the dog, pack the car and get a picnic ready. Everything was going well until Charlie decided he wanted the crusty cob I had packed for his lunch, for his breakfast instead. I tried to explain that I only had one left and it was for him to eat for his dinner, but I soon realised that negotiating with one of the panel from Dragon’s Den would be easier than trying to argue with him.

We eventually settled on strawberries which I lovingly chopped into a bowl for him to then complain that he didn’t want strawberries and wanted a slice of bread and butter instead.

Amazingly we were on the road for 9.30am as we were meeting my mum, dad and niece and my nanna, auntie and cousins and their kids. Charlie moaned all the way there that he didn’t like the music I was playing and proceeded to cover both ears with his hands. He now also doesn’t like motorways which is news to me and kept insisting I need to drive slower.

I soon realised this was going to be hard work when I pulled into the extremely busy car park. After toilet trips, multiple fruit shoots and the general excitement of arriving we were ready to hit the park.  All was going well. We didn’t really que for the first few rides, and the kids were behaving but this was short-lived and soon we had the first accident when Charlie decided to run straight into a wall after excitedly spotting a puddle of water.

You could hear his screams all over the park and I realised why when I saw the state of his knees. They were all cut open and dripping blood. This attracted the attention of one of the park assistants who then proceeded to call the first aid team who arrived to patch up his knees. Perfect. I didn’t feel guilty or like I was an irresponsible parent at all. In fairness, the staff were excellent, and Charlie was back up and running around in no time.

We then decided to que for the caterpillar ride and the sun was now shining and all was good again until we were about three people from the front of the que when I could feel my top was really wet and realised that Charlie, who I had been carrying had wee’d his pants. He then decided he now didn’t want to go on the ride, so I had to come out of the que to then re-join the back of it 10 minutes later when he changed his mind and decided that actually he did now want to go on it.

Lunch could not come quick enough, so we found a nice spot on the grass to eat our sandwiches.  One of my cousins then had a great idea of trying to get a photo of all the kids together thinking it would be nice to have a photo of the ‘next generation’ so to speak. It would have been easier trying to herd, capture and shear a flock of sheep than to get the kids to all stay in one place and look at the camera at the same time. We tried for a good 15 minutes and managed to get a picture of some kind, although it won’t be winning any photography competitions any time soon.

The afternoon mainly consisted of queuing up for rides whilst watching fellow parents suffer with their kids whinging that they didn’t want to que or that they need a wee or want an ice cream. We tried to pass the time in the que with ‘I Spy’. Macy, my niece seemed to get the hang of this quite quickly, whilst Charlie did not – “I spy with my little eye something beginning with tree”. Right okay “is it a tree?” to which he replied “yeah”, and this game continued with several more objects.

It was soon home time after a fun packed day and I was in for a treat with a nice quiet car trip home when both Jorgie and Charlie fell asleep. It was gone 6pm when we got home, and normal chaos ensued.  Jorgie screamed the place down whilst I cooked the tea, Charlie was stood on a chair trying to syringe calpol into his mouth and I realised the dog had escaped and was wondering around the drive when I heard crying and scratching at the front door.

After threatening to take Charlie’s comfort toy George away for the night because he had wee’d twice in his pants I caved in when he looked at me and said, “Mummy I’m going to give you a kiss and a hug and my knees hurt”. Yes, I am a weak parent but finally it was bed time and I could stuff my face with chocolate and fall asleep on the sofa at 9pm. Until tomorrow when we go again.