I had a very bad day last Friday. It wasn’t terrible. Nobody died and my life did not change forever. It was just one of those days when everything goes wrong enough to leave you wanting to collapse in a heap long before the day is over. And it was a long, long day, full of many parenting fails. So I’m going to moan about it on my blog, because I’m pretty sure that’s one of the things that blogs are for.
We are having renovations on our house, and I shouldn’t complain about that because it will be brilliant when it’s finished. When it’s finished.
This day was the day when they were tearing out everything in one room in the house and replacing the electricity fuse board. This meant that there would be constant drilling and hammering along with NO electricity. We are also living with an incomplete kitchen and kitchen utensils spread around everywhere. Last week, it took me half an hour to microwave some spaghetti hoops and make some toast.
Of course all this would be going on during half-term, so I had two kids who would need feeding and entertaining all day. I decided I’d be best off leaving the house completely and decided to go to Bluewater (a large shopping mall). It has soft play, food, and if I needed any supplies for the kids I would probably be able to buy them.
Fail Number 1
I left the house thinking that the pushchair was in the boot of the car. It was not. Luckily I discovered this before the entire 40 minute drive to Bluewater. I returned to the house to pick it up. The builders made fun of me.
Fail Number 2
We arrived at Bluewater without incident and made a beeline for the soft play. It’s actually brilliant because you can pay £5.50/child for unlimited play all day, and you can pop in and out as much as you like. It’s not very big, but I find that’s a good thing when you have 2 kids to keep track of. Apparently, it’s a pop up shop, so I’m not sure how long it will be there.
After approximately 10 minutes of soft play, my children got told off for throwing all of the ball pit balls out of the ball pit. After 5 more minutes, they both started crying and lying on the ground whilst kicking their legs around in the air. I decided they must be hungry.
While I was putting 1yo into his buggy, 4yo disappeared. Then I saw him through the window of the soft play standing by the lift with his fingers in a place they were likely to be pinched if the lift door opened. Either that, or the doors would open and he would bugger off to another floor of the shopping centre. I started banging on the window and shouting hysterically for him to come back RIGHT NOW. He did not appear to hear or take notice.
One of the lovely ladies who ran the soft play managed to catch my naughty 4yo and return him to me. I thanked her and tried to make an extremely quick exit in my embarrassment for shouting like a banshee. Another of the ladies kindly said I should be sure to come back to get my money’s worth out of the soft play.
Fail Number 3
I decided to take the boys to Jamie’s Italian because I’d heard that kids eat free during half-term. This was indeed true (but only 1 per adult so I could only get 1 of the kids free). I was very impressed by the kid’s menu there. It was full of variety and healthy choices and made a lovely change to the chicken nugget and burger-based menus I’m used to. Unfortunately, as usual, the kids still didn’t eat it. I enjoyed mine though. Only marginally a fail.
Fail Number 4
1yo did a poo in his nappy. I took him to the very posh refurbished nappy changing rooms at Bluewater. I opened the massive heavy rucksack full of supplies that I’d brought with me. It did not contain any nappies or nappy sacks. I went to Boots to buy some. This is why I chose to go to the mall.
Fail Number 5
Nappy successfully changed, I decided to brave the soft play again. The lady there was very kind again and told me that she understood why I was shouting and would have been more cross if I wasn’t bothered that my son had run off. Very kind of her. While we were talking, 1yo tried to climb over instead of under one of those soft play roller things. He fell on his head. He was fine though.
Fail Number 6
The soft play also lets you rent out push along cars that your kids could “drive” through the mall. It was £7 for 3 hours. I didn’t think I was likely to push a miniature Range Rover around for 3 hours, but my kids really wanted to go on one. I rented a double car. They sat in it and it was a bit narrow for the two of them. Cue pushing and whining and mild bruising.
I did quite well pushing the (very heavy) Range Rover car for about 4o minutes. We stopped for a donut. Then each of the children got out and walked part of the way. When I was almost back to the soft play, I realised that neither of them had any shoes on. I’d left them somewhere at the soft play.
My children had been walking around the mall with no shoes. And I thought people had just been staring at the glittery miniature Range Rover.
Fail Number 7
We went back to the soft play, returned the underused car, and played a bit more. Until 1yo started acting like he’d found some stray amphetamines and repeatedly tried to fall on his head on purpose whilst giggling hysterically. It was time to go home.
I had planned to visit a friend that evening and we were going to order a delivery pizza for us all to enjoy as a treat.
The pizza turned up about half an hour later than expected, so my kids were shouting with (what I assumed was) hunger by the time we finally sat down to eat. 4yo ate nicely but 1yo absolutely refused to touch a bite. He cried and cried until I gave up and put him on the floor to play.
He wandered round for a bit, then walked up to my friend and vomited on her leg and all over the floor near where her baby was playing.
Thus ends Part 1 of the most shit weekend in recent times. Tune into my next post, where things get even shitter.