Right now, as I type this, we are having our third play date of the week.
By the end of the week it will be four. FOUR.
This is fairly unusual; as a sane person I don’t generally encourage other children to come and help my own destroy the house too often.
The first play date was to save my sanity, because we had to stay in and wait in for a package that arrived somewhat obnoxiously with ten minutes to spare inside its ridiculous 8-3pm time slot (this was a re-delivery after my husband went out to walk the dog whilst I was returning from the shop and they had, as sod’s law would predict, attempted the first delivery in the ten overlapping minutes).
This time, the idea was that the kids would ‘play’ whilst we mums ‘work’.
It’s a concept that sounded great in principal but we seriously neglected to account for, well, children.
We’ve had to suffer through whining, screaming, fallings out, multiple “shows” and requests for Mr Tumble music which we were then left to enjoy while they wreaked havoc upstairs. I feel like I need a big old glass of wine to recover, not to mention the fact that trying to get my children to tidy up after a play date leaves me tearing my hair out.
Four times in one week… well I’ll have to consider a hair transplant.
But back to play date number two.
On Wednesday, I had decided that after the pre-school pick up we would first have lunch at home and then go to one of our regular local play groups. I say regular, but in fact haven’t managed to get to since before Christmas despite our best intentions, because things always seem to happen on a Wednesday which divert us.
This Wednesday was no different.
It was absolutely pissing it down, really horrible weather; not just rain, but lashing wind too. The kind that really f*cks up your hair and makes it almost impossible to get children out of the door.
It was so bad that I actually took the car to pick the kids up which I only do when we are going on somewhere afterwards, but a) on Wednesdays, preschool finishes at 12 so they are usually hungry and grumpy and b) they only open the far gate at lunch time pick-up which is a fair walk for a toddler, and I couldn’t face the whining on the way back home.
I parked surprisingly close to the school next to a very wet and very muddy grass verge, and then spent five minutes stood outside the school gates getting soaked and blown about anyway because apparently the preschool staff are sadists or something (I’m sure they aren’t, but I’ve never known them to be late before…).
Children (and one nappy bag containing a poo, cheers guys) retrieved, we walked the few meters back to the car. I unlocked it and asked them to wait on the pavement next to the verge and I would lift them into the car.
My kids, like almost all other children their age, do not listen.
The first one took one step onto the grass verge, and almost like she was in a predictable comedy show, over she went on to her bum. Trying to stand up, she slipped over again. She was COVERED in mud; it was all down her tights, all over her coat, up her shoes, on her hands, and then in her hair, on her face.
My natural reaction because I’m clearly evil was to laugh, so she laughed, and her brother laughed, and then he fell out of the car where I had just deposited him, face first into the mud.
I had to remove their coats, shoes and trousers right there on the side of the road to get them into the car, and they still got mud all over the car seats. Once home, I carried them from the car, upstairs and dumped them straight into the bath, and put their clothes in the wash.
By the time I got them out of the bath and dried, it was almost time to leave for playgroup, and we still hadn’t had any lunch.
Then I then realised that the big one didn’t have a coat, having massively outgrown her spare…