Disastrous Sunday “adventure”

I’ve been feeling pretty smug about my parenting recently. Over the last few weeks, the kids and I have spent very little time together in the house if the weather has been good. Instead, we have been going on adventures. I call them adventures because it makes them sound like exciting outings when I’m trying to drag O away from his train set or his LeapPad. Really, they’re just little trips to the park or into the woods or to the beach.

On Sunday morning the sun was shining. Properly actually shining after a rather shitty, cold and wet Saturday. So at 10am, just as N was getting ready to head out for a run, I announced jubilantly, “Get your shoes on kids; WE ARE GOING TO THE BEACH!”

The first sign of trouble was the fact that it took half an hour to get out of the door. F clocked me picking up his shoes and he made a run for it. He rolled around like a seizing baby shark on the rug in the lounge for the entire time it took me to put his socks and shoes on which, of course, took for-fucking-EVER. Then O couldn’t remember where his shoes were and it turned out that F had hidden one in the playroom and the other in the kitchen. Then I did an undecided dance by the coat pegs in the hallway as I tried to decide how cold it might be and which coats the kids should wear. And, of course, I had to pack the changing bag with drinks and snacks and all of my shit that I usually keep in my handbag because I did not want to take two bags on my solo beach mission (which may or may not have been a good decision, as you will see).

When we got to the beach I locked the front wheel on the stroller so it wouldn’t spin round and dig into the sand, then we set off to find a good place for digging holes and building sandcastles. Of course, the second I let F out of the stroller he ran off in the opposite direction to O, so I had to yell at O to “STAY THERE!” while I chased after and retrieved him. Once the buckets and spades were out, we all plopped down on the sand (which was bloody cold and I wished I was wearing something other than leggings) and I helped F to make sandcastles while O dug a hole and made a pile of sand and jumped on all the fucking sandcastles because I guess he was just in that mood. This mostly happy little activity went on for quite a while until F decided he was bored and wandered off to investigate a pile of seaweed. Eventually he got fed up with that too and toddled over to the promenade wall where the sand was littered with all the shit the sea had thrown up at high tide. He then spent the next twenty minutes handing me cigarette butts and bits of polystyrene cups and ice lolly wrappers – “Dank oo!” “Dank oo!” “Dank oo!” – while I mostly repeated, “No, darling, that’s dirty. Put that down. Please stop” with ever-increasing desperation. O pretty much just carried on digging the whole time until I scooped F up and mildly suggested that we move further along the beach where more hole digging and sandcastle building ensued.

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At least this part was fun!

By this time we had been on the beach for over an hour and F was starting to get hungry and grizzly, so I decided it was time to start heading for home. O was okay with this plan and helped me collect up the buckets. F was not. I reached to pick him up and he threw himself facedown in the sand, then started howling because he was mad and now cold with a mouthful of sand. I wrestled him into the stroller, strapping him in with one hand while I tried to stop him from arching his back with the other. I tried to hand him a snack and he threw it on the sand. Fine. Be like that.

So we walked along the beach and O chattered happily while F screamed bloody murder in the stroller, and then we discovered that the sodding slipway off the beach was closed for building work. Which meant that I would have to drag the stroller up the steps instead. In fairness, the level of the sand against the wall was pretty high, so there were only about four steps. But the combined weight of F and my bag meant that the stroller wheels were digging into the sand and it just wouldn’t budge at all. By this time I was totally done with our little adventure and just wanted to go home and empty the sand out of my shoes. So I grabbed the front wheel, tipped the stroller back and dragged it across the beach. I was just turning it around to pull it up the steps when a very kind man ran over to help. I could have wept with gratitude. So we set off back in the direction of the car and I realised that the bloody wheel was still locked. And the stupid knob wouldn’t turn and I was just about crying with frustration when a different very kind man ran over and offered to help. He got the wheel unlocked and we carried on. More almost-tears of gratitude.

We got around the corner away from the beach and I reached for my phone to give N a call and let him know that we’d be home soon… And my bag wasn’t there. It was just gone. I stopped and looked around and had no idea why it wasn’t there or how I had managed to lose it and not notice while the cold-sweat horror mounted at the realisation that I had no phone, no car keys and no purse. And then I realised that it must have fallen off the stroller handles when I tipped it up to get it off the beach. So we turned around and ran back to the beach – which O thought was a great game – while F continued his yelling and I panicked and tried not to let O know that I was panicking by over-compensating with an eerily calm repetition of “Mummy just needs to go back and get her bag, baby”. After a lot of frantic scanning I finally spotted it on the sand and almost collapsed with relief. I got the stroller as close as possible without taking it back onto the beach then turned to O, said “Stay here, okay?”, leapt dramatically off the promenade and ran/stumbled across the sand in the direction of the bag. As I grabbed it and turned around, I noticed a grumpy old couple standing next to the stroller, looking at the kids and then glowering at me. As I leapt back off the sand and skidded to a stop bedside the stroller, the old guy muttered something about “shouldn’t leave children unattended” and I fumed silently. I pretended I hadn’t heard him, all the while thinking Careful. I will kill you with my Jedi Death Stare.  Seriously. Why do people have to be such dicks sometimes, especially when it’s clearly obvious that it’s the last thing the person they’re being a dick to needs at that precise moment?

The journey back to the car was, thankfully, uneventful, as was our afternoon trip to the farm with my mom. F climbed things he shouldn’t have and made friends with some pigs, O warily avoided the pigs and took the best part of a week to finish his tea. All very standard.

By the time the kids had gone to bed I was knackered and I kind of collapsed on the sofa in an exhausted daze and ended up watching reruns of Scott & Bailey. Until about half 10 when I decided it was time to go bed, which was, obviously, the exact moment one of my cats decided to wander in and dump a semi-disembowelled, profusely bleeding, still fucking alive mouse on the rug. Are you for real with this crap?! I half-lifted, half-scooped it into a plastic jug and took it into the kitchen, then just stood and kind of stared at it and wondered what to do. Because I’m a vegetarian and I couldn’t bring myself to kill it. So, feeling totally overwhelmed by the whole bloody day, I called my mom and cried down the phone to her while I paced in and out of the room hoping the poor bugger would just hurry up and die. Which it eventually did. At which point I decided I’d better just go to bed already before anything else happened.

It wasn’t a total disaster of a day and I know the boys actually had a lot of fun, but I was tired to begin with and sometimes I guess you just have to have a shit day to balance out the universe or something. And, actually, I did laugh about it all later. Because seriously, if I hadn’t I probably would have cried. Oh, wait…

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52 comments

  1. mymommybrain · April 19, 2016

    i love your honesty! i’m sorry you had a terrible Sunday adventure though. i can totally relate to the challenge of going out and about with 2 little ones. you are very much not alone in the struggle! you rock, momma! don’t give up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      Bless you, that’s so sweet. Even though I know it sucks, I’m really glad it’s not just me :).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can totally relate to this. I have lost count how many times I’ve had days like that, with them being topped off by something the cat has done. I’m pleased F & O had a nice time and I hope Monday was a better day. Just remember your kiddies think you are a superstar!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      Thank you, you’re such a sweetheart. O got a place at our first choice school yesterday, so that definitely made up for our crappy Sunday :).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine · April 19, 2016

    Oh god, this is why I never leave the house! Haha!
    The whole bag thing – sounds exactly like something I would do.
    Thank god for wine.
    Thanks for linking to #chucklemums!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      I got home and N was like “you’re determined to lose that ridiculously expensive phone, aren’t you?” Thanks for the support, hubs!

      Like

  4. Baby Anon · April 19, 2016

    Ah bless you. How lovely of you coming up with all the fab outings for the children. And how unbelievably rude of that old man with such a horrible comment….nasty and unnecessary. As for the half-eaten mouse….eekk! Thanks for sharing your disastrous day, it happens to us all…. x #chucklemums

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      Thank you, I do try to take them out as much as possible, even if we don’t go far. Some days it really wears me out though! X

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mumzilla · April 19, 2016

    Oh what a day! I would have totally wrapped my handbag around Mr Judgy-pants head. #chucklemums

    Liked by 1 person

  6. babiesbiscuitsandbooze · April 19, 2016

    To be honest my main thought while reading this was ‘she’s a hero! Going to the beach with two kids ALONE! Give this woman a medal!’ 😂 Glad you turned it into a positive by writing such a great post, also sounds like you had the whole spectrum of strangers from lovely to rude! #chucklemums

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      That’s so sweet of you, thank you! I’ve got to be honest, this is something I’ve only started to do recently. I didn’t have the confidence in my parenting abilities to do it before (and maybe I still shouldn’t, judging by the bag disaster!). I could have hugged the life out of the two lovely men who helped me with the stupid bloody stroller! And I really didn’t know how to respond to the other guy at all. I still don’t, to be honest!

      Like

  7. thebrightnessofthesedays · April 19, 2016

    I took away two key points from this: 1. you left the house in half an hour – I’m not sure I’ve ever managed it that quickly! and 2. you went to the beach in the morning and the farm in the afternoon! You are WINNING! #chucklemums

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 19, 2016

      That’s so sweet, thank you. I don’t think I would have tackled the farm if it wasn’t for the fact that my mom came with us. I was so tired!

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebrightnessofthesedays · April 19, 2016

        Tackling it at all is an achievement!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You only have yourself to blame – feeling smug is just inviting disaster! #bestandworst

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 20, 2016

      I know! I have never, ever felt smug before about my parenting. I’m generally inclined to believe that I am forever failing at Motherhood. But we had a few good outings in a row and I thought “I GOT DIS!” And it turns out… Nope!

      Like

  9. It sounds awful but I can totally sympathise, Everytime I think I can afford a bit of smugness with my amazing parenting capabilities we have days very similar to this and I spend the evening sobbing into a cider and explaining to my husband why I am such a useless mother! #chucklemums

    Liked by 1 person

    • #passthesauce (you were the post before mine before I realised I had commented) Still love the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 20, 2016

      Of course, you are *definitely* not a useless mother. But it’s SO easy to feel that way when an outing goes so disastrously wrong, isn’t it? Like you’re not cut out for it and why did you ever believe for one second that you might be. We are so self-critical!

      Like

  10. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) · April 20, 2016

    Oh bless what a day! We all have them but honestly sleep on it and all will be forgotten. Kids never remember a thing and think you are awesome everyday. That mouse thing was gross though!!! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 20, 2016

      The mouse thing was like the worst kind of icing on the most unpleasant cake. The most horrific one I’ve had to deal with so far! X

      Like

  11. Oh no poor you! I would have been panicking too. Thank goodness your bag was still there and everything was still in it. I know if that judgy man had said anything to me about leaving the kids I would have killed him. Then cried. And I’d have killed the cat too lol. Glad it all worked out in the end

    #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

  12. agentspitback · April 21, 2016

    Oh no….I feel for you. I hate the beach only precisely because of what can happen and happens all the time with us. I usually end up with five thousand bags with the youngest asking to be carried. And then the sand gets in everywhere, my car, my home, the shower stall…Hope you had a good cup of tea and some cake after. #FamilyFun

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 21, 2016

      I’m still finding sand everywhere, and I just never bloody bother hoovering out the car these days. N gets sick of it being full of mud and sand every now and again (even though his own car is a graveyard for snack wrappers) and does it for me, then gets cross when we come back from one of these adventures two days later with a car full of mud/sand/twigs.

      Like

      • agentspitback · April 23, 2016

        AH! Sand is the absolute worst! We used to hose the kids down in the yard before letting them in. I do try hoovering but then I fail miserably and then I just give up. #PasstheSauce

        Like

  13. justsayingmum · April 21, 2016

    aww you write with such honesty – and it’s so hard when you’ve planned the best day out (I can’t believe two activities in one day!) and it goes tits up (pardon my French!) But I think you’re right – sometimes when you’re tire (and come on who isn’t when they’ve got kids) it is so much harder to deal with anything thrown at you. Most of my posts are rants and trying to find the funny because, like you, if I didn’t I’d cry but so much in one day lovely – you need an award! #familyfun

    Like

    • Motherhood IRL · April 21, 2016

      Thank you, how sweet of you! I think that’s just the way life goes sometimes, isn’t it? You try to do something that you think will be fun and it doesn’t work out. I just have to keep getting back on the horse every time I fall off :).

      Like

  14. The Mum Project · April 21, 2016

    Hahaha this is hilarious, although I’m sure at the time it was terrifying! A half-bleeding mouse holy shit! (I’m also glad to find someone that swears as much as I do). It seems like F was not having a “happy” day, and those elderly people are dicks for judging you. Amazing though that these random men kept popping up to help you??? Hahah thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 21, 2016

      Eurgh, it was just the worst thing imaginable on that particular day! No, he was a right whingebag that day. You know when you have one of those days where you think you’re doing something really great for your kids and then they just don’t appreciate it at all and you’re like “I wish I hadn’t fucking bothered!”? It was a bit like that with him. He had fun, but he was way overtired for some reason and just intermittently moaned and sobbed all the way back to the car. Gah!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Catie: Imperfect Mum · April 21, 2016

    Oh so these things don’t just happen to me then? Sometimes I do wonder why I bother trying to do things with the boys as the whole thing descends into chaos. TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 21, 2016

      Right?! It’s the whole not letting it put me off thing that I struggle with sometimes!

      Like

  16. min1980 · April 21, 2016

    Oh no, what a day! I would have been just as mortified as you at the half (mostly?) dead mouse, and probably also called my mother (which is what I also did when an enormous spider was in my flat. I lived in Japan at the time. My mother was at work. In England). Thanks for linking up to #StayClassy, and hope things improve!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 21, 2016

      Definitely mostly. Basically in death throes! I think that’s just what daughters do in times of extreme strife, isn’t it? I called N and he was just said “I’m at work, what do you want me to do?!” Not helpful!

      Like

  17. fairyqueen · April 22, 2016

    Blimey that’s one of those horror days that make the others seem just about bearable. Family trips are my nightmare, I do them because I think it’s in a manual somewhere that I should. Well done you I say, you stuck it out, big pat on the back. The mouse is one step too far for me, I would of cried too x

    mainy – myrealfairy

    #fancyacoffeefriday

    Like

  18. theparentingjungle · April 22, 2016

    I want to both laugh and cry for you. I love the undecided dance and the picking up ciggarete butts description. Totally been there. I can barely manage one at the beach let alone two! Mine like to run at the water as fast as he can then promptly fall in it and cut someting he can cry about for the rest of the day. Your a hero..ps beach and farm in a day is ledgendary..I can only sanely handle one planned activity a day. Loved reading this #Familyfun

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 22, 2016

      Thank you! I don’t think I would have done the farm as well without help. I really didn’t want to go anywhere, to be honest. But when my mom came round and suggested it, I didn’t really feel like I could refuse! We’ve had an equally disastrous morning today – this time at a playground. But our day was salvaged by another farm trip. Both kids got to play with and feed the lambs. Their faces were priceless!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The Mama Nurse · April 23, 2016

    You must be my adventure twin! We always try to get out of the house as much as possible, but inevitably with that comes days where you wish you stayed in bed and let the kids jump on you and eat ketchup out of the bottle. As soon as you mentioned the fact that it took 30 minutes to get out of the house, I knew what was to come. How? Been there, almost to the T! Glad to hear about your helpful strangers! I just wrote a post about them!
    #passthesauce
    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com/public-meltdown

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 23, 2016

      I think I read that post, but I’m going to head on over on my lunch break and check!

      Like

  20. clairelsimpson · April 23, 2016

    I look forward to my weekends so much but often my Sundays look a little like that too! I love days out but sometimes the reality doesn’t always match up to the fantasy when young children are involved!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb) · April 25, 2016

    Oh what a day! Reading it sounds really funny but obviously it wasn’t! So glad you found your bag though and thank goodness for those two very kind men! thank you for linking up to #fancyacoffeefriday

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 25, 2016

      Haha, it’s funny now. It’s my “it can’t get any worse than that” day now!

      Like

  22. mudpiefridays · April 25, 2016

    Argh!! I have had day trips out like this! With the why do I bother at the end of it!! I think this is a very honest post and think its fab you have shared it so others know that we all had those kinda of days!! Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK x

    Liked by 1 person

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  24. jaxbest · April 27, 2016

    Oh my. I think every parent can relate. When you feel like Superwoman our little angels remind us who is actually in control 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 27, 2016

      Haha, absolutely! You can slam it hear them saying “Oh, so you thought you had it all figured out, did you? Well, figure this out!” 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. jaxbest · April 27, 2016

    #brilblogposts

    Like

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