Earlier today I posted a picture to my Twitter account of Oliver and myself sitting happily on a wooden throne in Kilbroney Park. It’s a nice photo and through the wonder of social media I got to pretend that I was having a pleasant afternoon with my children.
In truth? I was not.
After a fantastic week away in Wicklow – without any major meltdowns – I had become cocky and thought that the ‘terrible two’s’ were something for other people to worry about. True to form, my dearest son decided to bring me back down to earth with a bump.
Thanks to my Mother, I spent manys a happy afternoon in Kilbroney Park. There were hikes up to the big stone (Cloughmore Stone), walks in the Fairy Glen, running around in the park and playing 40/40 in the forest. No, we weren’t charcters in an Enid Blyton novel, it really was *that* fun. So, you can imagine how badly I wanted to experience it all again with my own children.
Like all meltdown beginnings, Oliver hadn’t had enough sleep and passed out in the car on the journey there. I had also reached day 4 of little or no sleep because Oz has decided to randomly squeal throughout the night for no real bloody reason.
I enjoyed the quiet in the car waiting for the gruesome twosome to surface and sensing that I was relaxing for longer than thirty seconds, they woke up crying. I wasn’t too worried, the playground would dissipate any bad moods. Did it f**k.
Thus began the longest afternoon IN HISTORY.
Oliver started as he meant to go on; by being an emotional mess. The playground was too busy, so he cried. The roundabout resulted in him being knocked off his feet and lying spread-eagled on the ground, so he cried. The slides were too slidey, so he cried. His horrible mother wouldn’t set down the baby and play with him, so he cried. She also cut his sandwiches into stupid squares and forgot his juice, SO HE CRIED.
Still, blinded by unfounded confidence, I suggested we took a walk in the forest – by ‘we’ I mean my sister-in-law, niece and nephew (who were both really well behaved, while I had brought the antichrist and his insomniac brother along to the picnic).
Children were successfullly bribed with chocolate and we headed off on the Narnia trail. Well, most of us did. Oliver was 50 yards behind us, eating his chocolate and walking at a pace that would make glacial drift seem like a tsunami.
With my patience wearing thin, I adopted the ‘granny grip’ – a technique derived from how my Granny McCamley would have all grandchildren held (vice-like by the wrist). His little legs were being half-dragged around the forest – as he cried – and I tried to wheel the pram with the other hand. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Several hundred clensing breaths later, we were coming to the end of the trail when we stopped for the aforementioned picture. Here is it:
It was shortly after this, I noticed something grey, moving in my periferral vision and I said: “Look kids, a squirr – HOLY MOTHER OF CHRIST IT’S A RAT, RUN!!”
All children were scooped up and we ran out of the woodland. The drive home was a silent affair.
The moral of the story is: don’t be fooled by the rubbish that people (me included) put up on social media,they’re probably having the day from hell, disguised under an Instagram filter.
Well, that and: be careful of rats when you’re in the woods.