Monday, 4 May 2015

Bank Holiday Weekends : A Time to Relax (Not)

It would be fair to say that I don't always make life easy for myself.  This Bank Holiday weekend is a good example of this. 

I spent my entire Easter weekend in bed with the dreaded flu and my poor bambinos didn't get up to much as a result.  So I was determined that we have lots of adventures this weekend.

Afore mentioned bambinos wanted to sleep with me on Friday night.  Given that they aren't really bambinos, but leggy 7 year olds, sleeping with them isn't much (any) fun. They both wanted to sleep beside me, so that meant that I was stuck in the middle of them. Inevitably, one of them kicked the duvet off and I was frozen. I hoiked the duvet back on, but later woke in a sweat from Sweaty Betty cuddling up to me.  In the morning, I hoped that the children would snooze, long enough for me to have something that resembled a lie in. Ha ! Murphy's Law sez that no parents shalt not have a lie in, and most definitely not on a Bank Holiday weekend.   Failing that, I hoped that they would quietly play on their tablets beside me while I snoozed. No chance ! The children were in 'that humour', where they were 'accidentally' sticking their elbow in each other and jostling in the bed, while giving me a running commentary.  Just 15 minutes on my own ... please ... ', I begged. In the end, it was just easier to get up.  

The coffee table in my sitting room has been banjaxed for months.  I always liked it's curvaceous glass top and shelf and it worked well in my compact sitting room. My little boy sometimes sat on it.  I explained to him that the frame was too light for that, even though it looked quite robust.  Bang ! Table leg buckled.  Wee man on the floor, unhurt.  'Sorry Mam ...'.  The  table was left aside and a (manky) tea chest put in it's place.   On Bank Holiday Saturday morning, like a woman possessed, I decided that, as a matter of urgency that the table suddenly needed to be fixed.   With the assistance of BookFace, Athy Men's Shed said they would have a look at it, before lunch.  Deadly.  In the pouring rain, I manhandled the table into the car, nearly breaking another leg in the process.  As I drove off with the children, I realised that I had forgotten the broken table leg.  Unfortunately, the nice Men Shed guys couldn't fix my table.  Their female dog came over to say hello to me and there was a bit of banter about letting a bitch into the Shed.  Good craic, but my table was still legless.  

I brought ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative shopping on Saturday afternoon, after bringing my children and their friend to a birthday party.   It was hellish. The three, normally well behaved children were hyped up after the birthday party and started wrestling on the floor.  Meanwhile, ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative became Mrs Doyle, asking me if I wanted anything in the shop.  'Apple tart ? Carrot cake ? Biscuits ? Something for the children ?'.  'A rhubarb tart would be lovely thanks', I said.  'Ice cream ? Crisps ?  I've never eaten a crisp in my life you know'.  I was only half listening as I could hear (but not see) my daughter bellowing a primal roar.  If Mr Super Valu Man asked if she was mine, I couldn't deny my doppelgänger Mini Me.  We were almost at the check out.  'Stay calm', I muttered to myself.  I wanted (needed) a bottle of wine to bring to a friend later.  Ninety -two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative had insisted on pushing the trolley ... Straight into the display of vino, breaking two bottles.  For the first time since we arrived in the shop, the three children were quiet.  'It was her !', I said to Mr Super Valu Man, pointing at ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative.  I wasn't taking the rap for this one ! Thankfully, no one asked us to fork out the e40 for the wine.  

At the check out, I had set aside vino and newspaper to pay separately.  I'm not sure what happened, but the check out girl said that the cap on my vino was busted.  I had to walk, the Walk of Shame, back to get a replacement bottle.  Mr Super Valu Man was still mopping up after the other 'incident'.  I smiled, but didn't make eye contact.  I got a sniff of the wine and thought about getting down on all fours and lapping it up ... Just to calm the nerves.

I had a few much needed mojitos in my friends house that night.  The alcohol helped me to sleep, wedged between my children, clinging to me apprehensively in an unfamiliar house. 

My boy wanted new runners - the astro ones, that are half way to a football boot.  We had looked in two shops in Athy on Saturday, after the table saga.  The runners he liked were men's sizes only.  He gave me daggers looks that meant 'if you were any good of a Mammy, you would go to the factory in Vietnam and get a custom made pair for me'. 
Yesterday, with ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative on tow, we headed to Kildare Village.  WHAT WAS I THINKING ?? It was jammers.  Security guards ushered cars to an overflow car park, a short drive away.  Car parked, we got a shuttle bus to Kildare Village.  ' A little adventure for the children', I thought. 

We went to two shoe shops and encountered the same problem as the previous day - every pair of runners that Leon fancied were adult size only.  He had a face like thunder and mine wasn't much better.  Resigned 'Let's go home guys', I said.  'Nooooooo Mam, I'll get the first ones.  The ones with the pink on them'. 'You said they were for girls'. 'I didn't mean it.  I love them !'.   I queued for TWENTY minutes to pay for them.  I laughed at the madness. I could drive over effortlessly mid week, park at my leisure and saunter to the counter.  Ah, the things a Mammy does ... 

The return shuttle bus was a full on 57 seater bus.  The steps up were ridiculously high and ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative was struggling to climb the steps.  I linked her at the front and a fine young fella gave her a hoosh at the back.  'Oh no', I thought, 'how are we going to get her off again ?'.  Thankfully, the fine young fella came to our aid again.  We joked with ninety-two-and-three-quarters-year-old relative that she always managed to find a handsome young man. 

I had bought a toilet seat on Saturday while the children were partying (My glamorous life, huh ?).  I also bought One Direction duvets for the children, only to discover later that they were polyester and not cotton, as I thought.  Darn it, bed linen that gives friction burns. 

Children fed and watered last night, I set about putting on the toilet seat.  It's the sort of job that you just want to be left alone to do.  But my little girl wanted to be stuck in the middle of it.  She wants to help clean the loo first. 'Really Mya ?'.  'Yeah Mam, even though it stinks', she said with a dirty little laugh. 

I was in a very compromising position, hugging the toilet, screwing the seat into place, when Leon came charging in.  The hulk of a dog stuck his head in too.  Maybe we should have called the neighbours in and had a party to celebrate the new seat, standing room only.  'Mam, can you tighten my runners tighter ?', Leon said as he shoved his foot in my face.  I pointed out that I was kind of busy but he didn't seem to  notice. 

With all that, and other 'stuff' it's fair to say that I haven't relaxed much so far over this Bank Holiday weekend. But it's now 8.41 am on Monday and my children haven't surfaced yet.  Letting them stay up til an ungodly hour in my friends on Saturday has paid off.  I can actually hear snoring.  Heaven.  Their polyester duvets must be cosy enough. 

I've a cuppa in hand now, writing this.  I've two weekend newspapers waiting to be opened. Life is good. And my new toilet seat is fabulous, even if my coffee table isn't.

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