“It’s a squishy one, Mum,” was shouted from the toilet.
Just. Freakin’. Great.
Today, I needed to feel more than just an on tap arse wiper.
It was a nothing Wednesday. Hump day. A long, long way from Friday. But at least we had plans. A lovely pre-school mum had given me the heads up to a new Playgroup, and I had thought; “Sure. Why not?” Well, with the beauty of hindsight I could shut that flippant, little, ‘why not’ up with a great, big slap in the pie hole.
I met some lovely ladies at Playgroup. The kids shoes were on the right feet, and I had hastily wiped the biscuit crumbs from their mouths before our entrance. Yay me. Despite many long, painfully polite moments of, “I know no one here, but I’m fine,” wide smiling at no one in particular, it was eventually time to go. I gave the 5 minute warning call wind up to the kids, and set about collecting drink bottles, jackets and stuffing as much as possible in my bag for a quick, subtle departure.
The little one was not ‘ready’.
She absolutely felt strongly about this, and just in case I missed the first 5 ear splitting screams of, “I DON’T WANT TO GO”, she set about performing another set to the now appreciative crowd.
The, “thank heavens it’s not my kid” mummas, politely watched the performance with that respectful air of, “I’m really not watching a thing here”.
I cooed, I smiled, I got down on her level…I quietly suggested I understood she was angry/disappointed/sad/pissed off/WHATEVER????!!!!, but could she please perhaps get up off the ground and come with me.
“I DON’T WANT TO GO,” was now reinforced with streams of snot and loud hiccups.
I felt their eyes bore into my back….
Those ‘expert’ mummy’s….
Oooooo…..what’s her next move gonna be?
My kid NEVER behaves like that!
I saw her feeding them a biscuit in the kitchen; must be all that sugar.
You know, I really hope they weren’t really thinking this stuff. I’d like to believe that we Mum’s have got each other’s back, but at that moment? I believed the whole bloody world was against me.
I did not know my next move.
I had no lolly bribes in my bag. How did I leave the house without lolly bribes? Bloody Wednesday brain.
So I went with the, ‘We’re Going’, walk away.
“Goodbye then,” I flapped, all calm and shit, heart beating wildly.
Off I trotted, clutching the hand of my eldest son perhaps a little too tightly. The quick toss of my head to sneak a peek back was not looking promising. She was not budging. But I had committed you see. There was no going back. Everyone was watching. I opened the gate and was now heading into unchartered territory, difficult terrain to negotiate, especially with a crowd. In or out?
Oh for f**k’s sake. I marched back and picked up my spitting, screaming, snotting child under my arm, believing if only I could get away from all these eyes, my instinct would kick back in and I could sort this child out. Just out the gate, and she drew breath and shouted, “HOP”. Hop? Yes!!! Sure; you can hop my dove. You can somer-sault, walk like an Egyptian, moonwalk, WHATEVER, so long as you move to the car. I plonked her down, but those legs folded to “I’M NOT MOVING” jelly. Wise move, grasshopper. Now I had the surrounding neighbours on full scale alert as they began to pull back blinds to see all the commotion (or so I believed). This was easily ten minutes by now. Surely she would fatigue soon. Again, I committed to the ‘walk off’, more so because I really wanted to ‘walk off’, I was done in and my legs just went, but I hoped it looked strategic to the eyeballs. But now there was a road risk. If I went back, would she bolt? The stand-off continued.
The 4 year old (bless him) tried to act as a mediator, but it took her revulsion of her own snot to break her. No clever parenting techniques; simply her desperation for a good tissue, which I waved car side at her.
Oh my child. Once I had her quivering little body in my arms, I wiped her nose and cuddled her tight; astonished at just how far, how fast and how badly this had progressed. I then pinned her into that car seat, and spun the wheels out of that joint as fast as was legally possible. The screaming calmed but did not stop until I had her home, with a sandwich and the iPad.
On the up side; I was unable to sign up to that Playgroup as I genuinely have other commitments next term. Never so relieved.
But on the down, down, fiery pits of hell down side; it was too early for wine.