Finally Kev has got back offshore, we have been waiting for it for so long we were elated. It was only after the excitement wore off it clicked that he was leaving before the onset of bank holiday weekend and half term. 9 days with not an hours break from three kids under 5 plus no one to take it out on and pour me a large red at the end of the day???? So I got busy making plans.
First up was a bank holiday family day out to the beach. Me, the kids, Nan, Uncle Chris and Aunty Adge. Well it was supposed to be New Brighton crabbing but after getting various necessities from Home Bargain and looking at the traffic backing up then the sat nav (mistakenly i think) saying it was 60 miles away it was replaced by a trip to the pinewoods. We finally arrived and after trying and failing to reach the actual beach (it was absolutely impossible pushing a pram with a baby in it, not to mention all the other crap stored underneath), we settled on a very prickly grass area with no shield from the growing wind and so a sandy gritty picnic was enjoyed by all. This was followed by Ernie and Marv (the dogs) popping the football, eating the toy golf ball set and spilling all the bottled water. Quitting while we were ahead we headed home to Nan’s garden, Chris stopping for ice-cream on the way home which melted (all over Adge) before reaching the kids. Cue tears. Next bank holiday will be a garden day.
Next a trip to see Aunty Nancy, with Sam and her three kids, in the gorgeous picturesque village of Barley, near Burnley. As with most pretty places, it is a nightmare (for someone with my limited driving skills) to get to. Lots of incredibly narrow roads on the steepest hills imaginable and I was sweating and shaking by the time we got there, desperately trying to get a grip of my anxiety. After a lovely lunch we headed out to the stream to paddle in. I went in too as its always my kids who can’t be trusted. I borrowed Sam’s wellies which immediately filled with water, to the point where they weighed me down- ‘Yeah they have a big slit in them’ what the hell is the point in keeping them? Obviously everyone is soaked but we had a great laugh and then it was time for an ice cream stop. All going well until Max falls back off the bench whacking his head. Wow it was a crack but when I picked him up I was not expecting the blood. Christ almighty I have never seen anything like it, taking him in the cafe, the owner came and tried to sort him out. She kindly ended up taking us to a&e, Max hysterical, me feeling a bit dizzy and blood dripping all over her car (sorry/thank you card and flowers sent the next day). Sam was left a bit bewildered with a long walk ahead, 4 kids, 2 prams, 1 baby and a lot of people staring at her like wtf and they then had to close the cafe due to the absolute carnage blood trail. Getting to the hospital literally looking like we had been shot, covered in blood from head to toe, the girl behind the desk looks slightly irritated to be disturbed from her data inputting duties and generally a bit uninterested. Empathy was obviously not a trait they looked for when interviewing for the post. She took some details and told us there would be a 5 hour wait. Long story short, a bit of calpol went a long way (not sure if it was sugar or paracetamol) and they glued him back together. Ella’s memory of the day being ‘Max shouted NOOOOOO my ice cream’ as he hit the deck. Mothers son that one.
Max is recovering nicely, in fact he was more put out from falling and scratching his knees the day after. Today we went to cousin Vicky’s house for Theo’s 7th birthday party straight from nursery. I’m slightly apprehensive just because Max struggles having no nap with him being in all day and usually moans consistently for the 3 hours between hometime and bedtime. He managed to walk the three doors down to Theo’s from nursery with the aid of three biscuits. The party goes really well, only a few rages from Max and then a little accident of massively wetting himself on the grass as he couldn’t be arsed to go to the toilet. Standard. The only thing I had for him to change into was Ella’s luminous pink dress which he put on with no argument, in fact it matched his nails he wanted painting pink this morning. (At this stage he has a striking resemblance to Jim Carey in Ace Venturer Pet Detective when he is admitted to that hospital in a pink tutu). Eventually it’s past bedtime, so tired and wired we walk home. Max has his Thomas bike helmet on with the pretty dress and I can feel people looking at us, sod it we are nearly home. Get there and find there are no keys to be seen. SHIIIIIIIIIT!!! Phone Vicky, they are not at their house, phone mum she’s out walking the dog she can be here in about half an hour- then I remember I went to Tesco earlier. Sure enough when I phone the keys are there. Relief flooded through me but now I have to walk them back round to pick them up. Max protests wildly, Penny starts crying- her nappy is bordering on a social services referral- did I not change it at Vicky’s?? So allowing the kids to eat the entire content of their party bags we manage to walk round, Max shouting and screaming and constantly lifting his dress up when he has no underwear on, still wearing the bike helmet and no bike. Me, the definition of scatty mum in Tesco’s while the kids scream for chocolate as their food has run out from the party bags. Im too relieved to care. Home we go, bath and bed for all 4 of us. On the plus side, at least its not raining.
And so half term done and back to nursery. Now I can’t pretend this doesn’t give me butterflies of excitement, but that said I can genuinely say I have enjoyed half term. Its been a rocky road but the laughs have out weighed the cries (obviously we are not counting Max’s tantrums here) and we have spent some great quality time together. And more importantly I have realised I can not only cope but can have a good time too even when Kev isn’t here. And for that, I think it deserves a large red.