Monday, 6 October 2014

A Day of Bad Decisions

On a gorgeous sunny day this week,  I made great plans for taking my big kids out while mum stayed home with the babies. It was a perfect day for the beach so I got us out the door as early as possible to beat the traffic and nab a decent parking spot.

This all went well enough, until I made my first BAD decision: make the kids walk with me to the beach kiosk to get my coffee (aka my life source). So we trudged along, and though the distance from the car to the kiosk was only about 150 metres, this took us a really long time. I don't know what it is about my beautiful kids, but they hate getting anywhere fast. And I am a fast walker. I did my best to slow down and be patient, spurring them on with warm encouragement to keep us moving.

Once I got my coffee, I made another pretty BAD decision: make the kids walk to a really far away point of the beach, where I had decided it was best for us to set up. This was actually back near the car, so another 150 metres or so. So off we went. Really. Slowly. Poor Mr B just wanted to get started in the water and didn’t understand why we couldn’t just divert down the nearest stairs to the sand and water. Poor Miss P seems to hate walking at the moment and has become the world’s greatest dawdler, walking at a snail’s pace and heading off in different directions. I would have carried her all the way, but she is 15kg and I was already lugging the beach bag and my coffee.

I ended up walking side on, like a crab so I could keep an eye on both of them behind me, still encouraging them to speed up. I was already getting sick of own voice: ‘Come on you two!’ ‘Hurry up, guys!’ ‘We’re nearly there!’
Anyway, here comes the next BAD decision: we arrived at a toilet block. I asked Miss P (who is in the midst of toilet training) if she needed a wee. She said no. We kept on walking.

We finally got to the spot I had in mind, and it all became brilliant. I sat with my coffee, the kids started splashing around, we laughed and all got wet. It was gorgeous, warm and sunny. Then Miss P announced that she needed a wee. I shook my head. No way was I dragging us back to the toilet block.

Now, sorry if this offends anyone, but I encouraged her to wee in the ocean. This turned out to be a GOOD DECISION, as it swiftly and effectively washed her wee away, even giving her a wash in the process. I breathed a sigh of relief. Phew, I thought, sitting back with my coffee. Dodged that bullet. Then, 5 minutes later: ‘Mummy, I need a poo!’.
Damn. She was yet to do this on the potty or toilet at home, and required her nappy for this one. Cue the next BAD decision: I didn't put a nappy or wipes in the beach bag. I told her we would have to go back to the car if she needed a poo. The poor thing shook her head and decided to hold on to it.

For the next few minutes I watched her try to get on with having fun but when I caught her bent over and grimacing with discomfort, I decided to take some action. Maybe, if the poo need was so urgent she would manage to do it in the public toilets? I realised that the next toilet block wasn’t too far away. So I made my next BAD decision: I gathered us all up and headed for the toilet. Off we rushed. Given the supposed urgency of the situation, I expected Miss P to hurry along with me. But, no. She was apparently happy to revert back to her dawdling, snail’s pace movement, which meant I was back to my crab-walking and annoying vocal encouragements, this time with more of a frustrated edge. I was actually becoming a bit hoarse by this point.
We finally made it to the toilet block. I set Miss P up in a cubicle and started my gentle reassurances. I demonstrated how she should push. I encouraged her to tell her bottom to let her poo out.
I promised her an ice cream if she did a poo in the toilet.
Then, she smiled excitedly and said, ‘I’m finished!’
‘But there’s no poo,’ I said. ‘Doesn't it want to come out?’
‘No. I want an ice cream!’ And just like that, the poo urge mysteriously disappeared.

Poor Mr B was freezing by this point and didn’t want to go back to the water so we got changed into our regular clothes and went to get ice creams. We sat together and watched the busy beach fill out with families enjoying the weather and the school holidays. I was so disappointed for kids. If I'd been better organised, we could have spent the full morning playing in the sea rather than the pathetic 15 minutes we managed. I watched them get all sticky with ice cream and tried to calm down. They looked happy enough, I thought. Even though the day so far had been a total shitfight for me.

Apparently I hadn't made the day hard enough for myself, as made a further BAD decision on the way home by making them run some errands with me. I was exhausted when we got home, and I'm sure they were too.

Another tough Terrible Tuesday. But I can only learn from these things. Here’s how I will do the whole thing better next time:
1.       I will get coffee en route  - it is easy enough to stop at a café and grab a coffee, or I can even ask my beautiful husband to pick me up one from the café near his work, which I can collect on my way(WHY-OH-WHY isn’t there a coffee pick-up service for us poor mums who need our caffeine yet hate the thought of unloading and re-loading our poor children from the car just for the cause? Yes, I know McCafe now has drive-thru. Just, NO.)
2.       I will go to a spot on the beach that is nearest our parked car
3.       I will ensure the toilet block is very close to said beach spot
4.       I will take my children to the toilet before we settle on the beach, regardless of whether they say they need to go or not
5.       I will carry nappies and wipes for any future poo situations
6.       I will not attempt extra errands on top of a beach trip.
7.       Miss P can start using a stroller! There is NO WAY  I will consider taking her to the zoo without one…..but that is a plan for another Terrible Tuesday.

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