…but we have had a really good couple of days! I don’t wish to sound pessimistic or derogatory here but it has been a total shit show for what feels like months and months.
Maybe all the years of all the children.
No. That’s unfair.
They were cute when they were younger.
I am one of those parents who believes in manners. At all times. Table manners, please and thank you manners, hold the door open manners, you get the picture. I am extraordinarily hot on it too. I honestly believe manners can get you far in life. If you don’t have a pot to piss in but you have manners, I would always assume you have way more chance of going somewhere than if ignorance is your first choice. And it is ignorance, to have a lack of manners.
So alongside manners I also have high standards about respect. Respect your elders, particularly your parents (though I have yet to reap the benefits of this one or in fact, see any results), respect your friends and family, respect the police, respect the emergency services, the armed forces, your next door neighbour, really anyone you come in to contact with at any time for any reason.
It’s just an all round nice way to be!
My children have been struggling with this concept somewhat in recent months and it has been driving me nuts. The constant answering back (and I mean constant), the sniping, the strops, the ungratefulness (is that even a word?), the “I want” attitude, the “you can’t tell me what to do” crap. The list goes on. And on. And on.
But fast forward to this week. I have been reading lots and trying a few different things and whether it’s coincidence or not, this week I have certainly started to see some changes. Yesterday I picked the boys up from school, all a bit haphazard and car full to the rafters but we jumped on the M4 and made our way down to Torquay for a big competition I am playing in on Sunday. It was a long journey as you can imagine on a Friday afternoon but for a remarkable and rather wonderful change, there was no fighting, there was some lovely sharing and kindness towards one another, and there were very few complaints. It was great! Recently even a drive to the end of the High Street has resulted in me losing my shit and them losing their privileges due to bickering and general bad behaviour so you can imagine my euphoria when they kept this up the whole 4 hours!
We arrived safely, they helped unload the car (!) and we went off in search of dinner in the town. It got later and later but still they maintained their good natured behaviour despite being shattered. They ate nicely, we enjoyed nice conversation and they were good as gold going to bed when we got back despite me sitting with the light on reading.
I know! Shock horror!
For those of you whom experience this type of good behaviour on a daily basis;
a) congratulations on being the best parent ever
b) go fuck yourself
But I’m not bitter.
So today we had a super busy day, I had planned out activities as am here on my own with them and wanted to make sure I was prepared in an area I don’t know. We were all showered and breakfasted by 9:30am and made our way to the Living Coast to see penguins and seals and otters and all sorts. It was brilliant! If you are ever down in Torquay I would highly recommend the whole experience. We were up close and personal with all of the animals/fish/birds we saw, the staff are super friendly and informative and the children absolutely loved it.
We then ran up to the middle of town to the cinema as there was one last showing of the film “Sing” which we have all been dying to see, loaded ourselves with slushies and popcorn and settled down for some quiet time (no I did not have a nap). We then rushed back down to the Living Coast for the final hour as your tickets lets you in as many times as you like on the same day of purchase, finished making our way round the aquarium section and started to meander back to the B and B for a rest before dinner (which, I might add, I had also been organised enough to book well in advance. Go me!).
After a slow start to getting back out the door (third child seems to suffer with some sort of extremely serious allergic reaction to putting socks and shoes on and going out at any point, ever), we had a lovely walk to the seafront and pleasant dining experience in the Beefeater (I gotta tell ya, Prezzo last night was £10 cheaper and actually way better food. Check out vouchercloud for that one, just sayin). They were even well behaved on the walk back! Amazeballs I know. Ok so most of you won’t know but believe me, after such a full day of walking and doing and seeing and what-have-you, this was a seriously major achievement that will go down in the history books as a “very good day.”
I am now sat on my bed surrounded by heavy breathing, snoring and wriggling, quietly tapping away, determined to make it past 10pm without falling asleep myself.
It’s nice when you have a nice time with your children. I realise this should be a regular occurrence and I am not saying I don’t enjoy their company because I love my children fiercely and categorically would not give up what little time I have with them for love nor money. But it’s hard work. Like, really seriously fucking hard work. What you plan to be a lovely day out for the family can often take so much effort, be so painful, and the end result is children fighting or crying or wanting to do the other thing you didn’t take them too or have the only sandwich filling you didn’t make or moaning they would rather have stayed home anyway. Yeah. Gotta love that one when you have forked out time and money on your little darlings.
My point is that we have to be grateful for the good times. Coz sometimes it feels like they are crazily few and far between. These last few days have been good. And I am grateful for that.