I saw you Man, I saw the loo you gave me, the evil glare. I saw you glare at my toddler, slumped in the buggy, eyes fixated on the phone, clutched tightly in her grubby hand. That awful sound of Mr Tumble blaring out. Then I saw you look up at me, the mother allowing this to happen, and your glare intensified.
We have all seen the blog posts, asking to be cut some slack 'please don't judge me it was the day from Hell blah, blah, blah'. I have seen them, I have enjoyed them, sympathised with them, and have probably shared them. This is not one of those posts however. Man, I am with you. Pre children I would have glared too, undoubtedly. A beautiful sunny day, in one of the most idyllic Oxfordshire towns, with stunning scenery, why on Earth was this toddler glued to a screen? Well, my Mummy Luck ran out.
When defining Mummy Luck, I can only describe it in one way; when your day is going delightfully well, when it really shouldn't. My children were tired. For the eldest it was the beginning of the Easter Holidays, and she is always exhausted by the end of term. I have to admit I am envious when school breaks and the very next day friends are posting pictures of their family on the slopes, or on the other side of the world, smiling gleefully. That is not us. The Easter holidays need to be at least three weeks long. My eldest needs a whole week to recover from the school term before we can even think of going anywhere and enjoying ourselves. She is moody, clumsy, tearful, and in all honestly pretty hard work. If we planned a ski trip on day one of the holidays it would probably end up with a broken limb.
My youngest, while not yet submerged in the schooling system, was tired because she is dropping her afternoon nap (sob!). It is that fairly impossible stage where they refuse to sleep, yet are grouchy, and really SHOULD sleep, but don't. Therefore we were prepared for a challenging weekend. We decided to embrace the beautiful weather with a pub lunch and an outing to Blenheim Palace, brave given the circumstances. I arrived armed with as many supplies as I could carry, thinking the entire lunch would be an exercise of 'stop the meltdown'. So when things started going well, the day could only get better. The weather was fantastic. My children were not fighting, or arguing, or crying. They ate their entire lunch without complaint. Once we had moved on to the palace the high spirits continued. The scooters were out with the most wonderful backdrop and they didn't even demand ice cream! The Mummy Luck really was shining down on me.
And then it ran out.
I knew we were being optimistic thinking we could squeeze in one more drink after the palace. Even as my husband suggested it, my brain began creating scenarios, all centred around impending tantrums, arguements, fights. But the day really had been perfect, one more would be nice. The drinks poured, a courtyard in the sunshine, and an over tired toddler who didn't get what she wanted, and it all came tumbling down. Mayhem. Crying, screaming, coughing, gagging. Bye Bye Mummy Luck.
When I saw you Man, I was on my way back to the car. She had been screaming for 35 minutes and the phone was my last ditch attempt at pacifying her. It worked, briefly, once in the car she screamed all the way home. The phone allowed me one last selfish moment, to stroll silently (all bar Mr Tumble) from the pub to the car, with my face turned up to the sunshine, subconsciously remembering the long evenings in the pub garden pre children. Please feel free to glare in future, perhaps it will remind me not to push my Mummy Luck again... we can't win them all.