Every now and again I forget about my kids’ limitations. And mine. Or sheer necessity forces us to do something merry like take a trip to the shops together. When I say ‘merry’ I mean pretty blooming miserable. Here’s 6 things that happen pretty much every time we try and do something with an actual goal (which we mostly abandon halfway through because someone is crying).
1. ‘How hard can it be?’ I think this often. It’s the thought that leads me to do repeatedly stupid stuff with three kids that I shouldn’t attempt. Ever. Like yesterday when I took them all to Holland and Barrett to browse for some vitamins. To combat the exhaustion of having three kids. Oh the irony. Like, erm, what was I thinking? ‘Oh my kids are so well behaved I will be able to debate the merits of magnesium citrate against magnesium oxide whilst they stand nicely and ignore their curiosity to touch EVERY SODDING THING IN THE SHOP.‘ FFS. Pharmaceutical companies, if you’re reading this, please just make a vitamin called ‘I Have Kids and Am Completely Knackered,‘ for all us parents out there who don’t have time to actually look and need to get in and out. QUICK. I imagine it will mainly consist of caffeine, gin and chocolate in case you need a starting point.
2. ‘Just give me a minute.’ I don’t think there is a child in the world who understands what a minute is or how to give you one. Mine don’t anyway. It doesn’t stop us parents saying it 237 times in five minutes though, in a desperate plea to get a chore done that should take 15 seconds, right?
3. ‘Stop hitting your sister.’ I love how antisocial your kids can be in public. No, really. I do. It’s even better when you shout at them LOUDLY and draw other people’s attention to it who probably hadn’t even noticed until that point. Or were at least pretending not to have done.
4. ‘You’ve got your hands full.’ Roughly translated this means, ‘Your kids are hideous and could you please take them at least three miles away from me. RIGHT NOW.’ The people who say this aren’t complimenting you on your parenting skills or your incredible patience. Quite the opposite. Sorry.
5. ‘Bing bong. There is a rogue toddler eating dog food in aisle three. Please could the parents come and collect him immediately.’ Before you even look around and realise that one of your kids is missing, you know this child is yours. Obviously. But you momentarily hesitate rushing to aisle three at the sheer humiliation of rescuing him. Could you just leave him there? You quickly evaluate which would be worse and only reluctantly choose the rescuing option. Still. At least that’s dinner taken care of.
6. ‘Sit really still and don’t move a muscle or the alarm will go off.’ You can’t possibly realise the pure joy and sheer genius of a shop forecourt until you have kids. Sometimes I just want to lie down on the tarmac and worship the very ground beneath me. Maybe even have a quick nap. I don’t care that the alarm goes off some 57 times whilst I’m in the shop. I AM ON MY OWN. And buying a loaf of bread without repeatedly explaining why or trying to keep track of three kids trying to decapitate themselves in the automatic doors. I am pretty much in heaven at times like this.