The long awaited lie-in.
Today was unusual. The weather was set to be awful, another much anticipated named storm was headed our way, following it's predecessors who joined us the previous three weekends. The Husband's running club parkrun tourist trip out was cancelled. Our usual parkrun was on, but waterlogged, and I have run in mud there lots this season, I'm a bit done with it. The Husband and I decided not to brave the elements, to take a Saturday morning 'off.' It's always a battle to get the 4-year-old up for school on a Friday so we elected to let her sleep as long as she needed this Saturday morning. The Boy has even been sleeping a bit more, so we dared to dream we might be able to stay in bed past the 6am mark. That coupled with a leisurely breakfast together sounded heaven, and we dreamed of it throughout our long, soggy friday afternoon at work.
The children went to bed easily friday night, they're always done for on a friday evening, I work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so that means the childminder and after-school club get to deal with out tiny crazies until 5.45pm, when they become our problem again. We were smug, excited for our elongated Saturday morning.
And elongated it turned out to be.
The 2 year old was the first to wake at 3.15am. Followed by the 4 year old shortly after we had got the first one back to bed. As the second went back down, the two year old was up again...and so it went. At various points between 3.15am The Husband and I were either lieing on a floor next to someone else's bed or cramed into a cosy single bed with a restless fidgeter. Either way we weren't sleeping.
As it got light, The Husband gave up, and took them both downstairs to watch tv, leaving me to sleep as that was at least someone had slept at some point. Apart from the dog, she slept through the whole thing.
Our boy, the 2 year old, is going through a bit of a phase. A bit of a scream at everything sit in the floor and yell until he gets his way sort of a phase. The Girl, 4, apparently feels sick and is carting a bowl around everywhere with her for her sickness (which has yet to meterlise since 3.30am!) Our laid back breakfast together becomes fraught, as a wet dog (at least we were justified in not going to parkrun, it's chucking it down) weaves in and out of our legs and two grumpy, already tired, hangary children refuse to sit at the table, refuse to eat, refuse to talk nicely to anyone, let alone each other.
Our one ray of sunshine today is the Girls swimming lesson this morning. She loves it, and proves herself capable in every way asked of her. Our quick 'nip' to the shops after is less successful, and because she is now tired, The Girl is becoming cranky. The Boy meanwhile has squirmed and moaned his way through the swimming lesson and is now unhappy with the idea of shopping.
We get what we need and we get out. Snapping at each other as well as the children, both desperately trying to salvage this day. Let's take them to the old airfield if there's a gap in the rain. The dog could always do with a walk. The fresh air always does everyone some good, and The Girl is obsessed with her bike at the moment. Let's invite reinforcements in the form of one of those wonderful non-related Aunties who were your mates before children and who you make your children call 'Auntie' or 'Uncle' to compensate for the fact you hardly ever see them any more.
Calories imputed into children, we make a plan, and head out. The problem is, the storm hasn't just brought rain, but wind too, and old airfields are by design big open spaces often on the top of a hill and as such....windy even when it is not windy anywhere else.
So it is windy, wind chill factor minus a hundred something. Bloody cold. Oh and The Girl is still clutching her sick bowl, because apparently she still feels sick. And The Boy suddenly hates the bike he used to love and has fallen out with the scooter we brought with us because we guessed he wouldn't last long on the bike.
About 20 mins into our walk, the dog happily prancing along, The Girl far ahead of us on her bike, her complaining about the wind too far away to hear and The Boy planted firmly on daddy's shoulders because none of us can stand the whingeing any more. We abandoned his scooter to collect on our way back (it's not like it's out of sight, were on a massive flat field). The Girl suddenly stops dead on her bike, jumps off the bike and grabs at her bottom. She starts to run back towards us, and I know, already, without further information, what has happened.
The tummy ache was not because she felt sick, although it was because she felt unwell, and she has had, while sitting on her bike, an episode of explosive dieoreah. We do not have a changing bag with us, and while I do keep spare wipes, nappies and clothes in the car we are now about as far from the car as well intended to be. And we are on an airfield, not well known for their secluded corners or dignity-saving trees or bushes. Plus, the grass area is completely waterlogged, so when daddy marches her off into the grass to find some leaves or grass to try and clean her up, they are ankle deep in mud.
He at least has a hanky with him and he returns with it in a dog-poo bag. When we ask how everything is he tells us 'let's just go home'. We don't ask about the bag, best not to.
We ask our friend if she would like to have dinner with us and she politely declines. I don't blame her. I don't fancy dinner with us either.
The bonus of being a parent of very small people is that these sorts of things are often short lived. We all went to bed feeling stressed, tired and fed up but the following morning we start again. It's a cliche, but tomorrow is a new day. No one is seriously hurt or damaged. Our inclination to go back to that airfield, especially with even a hint of wind (however convenient it may be) may be damaged, but we are not. We will try again at our leisurely saturday morning. Let's hope it goes better.