As you may be aware, our weekend family time is usually a super fun mix of hyperactive Toddler and short-fused Husband with essentially me in the middle using a sing-song Julie Andrews voice and acting as some sort of middle-class pandering ref. They are far too similar in their personalities (read: both stubborn and intelligent and determined and keen on the last word) and as such clash quite frequently. This makes for many grumps, many nighttime discussions about parenting approaches and many disagreements about how many times it's acceptable to ask for a drink of squash while your parent is visibly busy before they yell at you and ban you from the kitchen 'for life'. Cue yet another discussion about how our discipline needs to be in line with the behaviour and primarily be something we have a shot in hell's chance at following through with.
But...this weekend was different. It was like the pair of them had stolen my happy pills and washed them down with a love potion. Friday night saw them doing bedtime without crazy ass threats or desperate bargaining (how Husband gets anything achieved at work is beyond me when he gets so repeatedly ass-whupped by a tired 3 yr old in pyjamas??) Saturday was swimming with no tears or shouts of 'hurry up or I'm driving off without you...right that's IT you're on your own...will you COME ON???' Then we enjoyed an argument-free trip into the big city, a tantrum-free birthday party, a second delightful swimming lesson, a grump-free dinner and another tear-free bedtime. Actually, now I write it all down in a list I'm starting to worry they've been swopped out by aliens...?
Saturday was a lot of fun actually. We drove south to meet some Bristol friends who drove north. The aquarium was what you might call 'manic' but Toddler had a great time racing around like a lunatic and our friends' little boy had a wonderful time waddling around after him hero-worship style! Baby just sat in the Bugaboo looking confused, eating a rice cake and generally ignoring the chaos that is his day-to-day life.
Husband is normally the one who flips out in busy places but this time it was me who kept losing her breath and having small moments of 'HOLY CRAP WHERE'S TODDLER? Oh ok he's there. Fine. SHIT WHERE'S HE GONE NOW? oh ok he's still there. CAN ANYONE SEE...oh ok I've got him...' and on and on it continued for the entire 90mins we were inside. I had performed my traditional 'this is someone who works here, look at their tshirt...'speech, he had his ID band on his wrist and had been practising screaming my Christian name in a crowd and yet I still didn't feel at ease. My mama-radar was twitching and something just didn't sit right. Who knows, maybe there was a potential paedo in the crowds, maybe it was just me being odd, but I am normally quite relaxed and confident when we're out and about and something just made me feel a bit stressy? It didn't last long though. Soon we were out in the fresh air again and the boys enjoyed running around the fountains in the square before we took them for waffles and milkshakes. I came away feeling that my Bristol friend and I hadn't really had a chance to talk at all. I guess that's what happens when you have children and live so far apart. Your priorities change, albeit temporarily, you only get to see each other once in a blue moon and when you DO get to see each other you're catching up whilst wrestling Baby into a HIGHCHAIR to eat scrambled eggs and picking Toddler out of a fountain where he's dived fully dressed!! True story.
We could meet without the babies of course, but they're such firm friends and the husbands also enjoy each other's company so it would almost be a shame. A joy for us but of course, us Mamas are always foolishly selfless like that. When will we learn?!