By the time you have managed to find, and squeeze into, your maternity swimming costume at home, which worryingly is a bit snug even though your 'baby' is now three, you are already hot, sweaty and stressed. You do it at home so you can make a quick entrance to the pool and thus not have to hang around the stinking changing rooms for very long. You finally make it into the pool, after a wee stop (tricky in a snug cossie) and a small tantrum by the fruit shoot machine. 15 minutes later? You are bloody back out again as your child is "cooooollllld" (to be said in a very brummy accent by my girl) and has scraped her knee on the rough floor. You hit the rancid changing rooms once again and this is when it dawns on you, you forgot your bra and pants and subsequently have to do the afternoon shop with your boobs round you knees. Disastrous.
"It's OK" you think, "it's fine" you tell yourself. This time? This time it's going to be different. This time I will take my IPad and my two beautiful children will play nicely whilst I surf the net and Facebook my friends. I shall have a Costa hot choccy and all will be well. And then you get there. And you realise that it IS THE BUSIEST PLACE ON EARTH! Immediately you discover there is nowhere to sit, so you end up perching on a table of other random Mothers all looking equally as sad. In the twenty minutes you are there. The following will happen 1) one of your children will get hit by someone 2) one of you children will bump heads with someone 3) one or both of your children will scream blue murder at the £1 ball machines 4) non descript stains (vom) on children's socks will appear 5) your hot chocolate will go cold and your IPad will remain unopened. Hellish.
It's the weekend and you decide to drag you family to a museum. It's raining. They are free and you can't bear the thought of swimming or soft play, so a museum it is. Educate small minds, have a bit of intellectual chit chat with the other half about Victorians and the like. What actually happens is you get there, you have to drag both children screaming through the gift shop (cleverly placed by the front door. Grrr) where they are fighting over a rubber in the shape of a book. They then run riot finding every exhibit that says 'Do Not Touch' and touches them. All whilst your husband plays Candy Crush on his phone, yawning. You finally seek solace in the tea room. Where you pay £6.50 for one tiny cheese sandwich which no-one wants to eat. Horrific.
This is my most feared. I have been a teacher for over a decade. I can get 16 year old's to achieve an A* in their GCSEs but do you think that I can get one tiny toddler to do any Arts task for more than 7 minutes? Hell to the no. I buy beautiful princess magnet making sets, or animal masks to paint, or fun butterfly canvas's to colour in. I get out my special arty table cloth, I put my girl in her Cath Kidston apron. I put some 'fun' music on the background - oh maybe even Frozen. And then? Three minutes in, she's spilt the paint, lost the magnetic bit off the magnet or smashed the canvas. The instragam photos I wanted to take to have proof of such memories are destroyed as she decides to paint her butterfly poo brown with black splodges. She then declares "I want to watch Peppa" and strolls away whilst I am left with a kitchen resembling a war zone. Tragic.
So go away rain, bore off wind - come back sun all is forgiven! I know I moaned whilst you were here that it was too hot but I would rather face living in a burning inferno than experience the utter horror of soft play #stinkyballs.