I am sure every mummy out there can relate to this feeling. You wake up, trudge downstairs to make breakfast, dive in the shower, dress the kids, play with them, stress about a myriad of small and irritating tasks that are still outstanding, then when OH disappears for work, you suddenly gaze at the clock on the microwave and think ‘oh god, I’ve got at least nine hours to fill before I get any adult contact again.’
This is where many other mummies (probably more bloody sensible than me) opt to turn the tv on. Especially when, as was the case today, the weather was hideous beyond measure. A more sensible and rational mummy would have looked out of the window, sized up the torrential downpour beating against the window pane, and decided that probably, a day spent inside would be a wise move.
Not so with me. No, I had already done the dreaded ‘look at the microwave clock’ manoevere at 8:00am, and now I was on a mission to FILL the day with fun and absorbing activities. Hence I suggested (in a voice that was perhaps a little too bright and filled with slightly false enthusiasm) to DB1 that we headed into town to go to the library and the museum.
His little eyes brightened. In case you were wondering, my eldest son is a wee bit of a geek in the making, like me. He absolutely adores the museum. Total chip off the maternal block. (to be fair, the museum in Exeter is AMAZING. You should go, if you ever venture this way.) DB1’s gaze then travelled suspiciously over to the lounge window.
‘Is it raining?’ he asked warily. He knows that I have an unfortunate prediliction for dragging him out in all weathers. (seriously, does anyone remember that cold snap, the winter before last? Temperatures of minus eleven? DB1 and I were out in that. Only sodding people in the whole of the town, but by god, we were out. I think DB1 was scarred for life.)
‘Um…’ (I debate whether a bit of a fib here would help me get his shoes and anorak on with a bit less of a fuss. I opt against. Lying to ones kids = not cool.) ‘Yes, yes, it is. Just a bit.’
He studies the window intently, and I can see his mind whirring, weighing up his adoration of the museum and library against his utter loathing of any weather that isn’t sunny. Finally, he visibly straightens, steeling himself against the downpour, and we garb him in his raincoat, like a knight going to battle.DB2, by contrast, is completely uninterested, and promptly nods off as soon as I put the raincover over his buggy.
Halfway into town, and I am already looking like a drowned puppy. The boys are alright, they are snug and warm in their various weatherproof garbs. Myself? In typical mummy idiocy, I selected to not wear a coat, as I was worried I would get hot. And yes, for those who know me, yes, the flip flops were still on my feet, splashing through puddles and muddy pavements. Awesome.
However, as always, the utter soaking was worth it to see his delight at arriving at the museum. He seriously does embrace the building as though it was a third parent or something (should I be worried?) What is especially fab about it, is that every time we are there, he shows an interest in something new. This is where, to those of you who are childless, children are effing fantastic. Their complete and all-encompassing enthusiasm for things. Today, all of DB1’s enjoyment and verve was directed towards the bird room. It’s only a small room, with one wall filled with a display of about fifty stuffed birds, but we spent about half an hour studying them all, talking about where they came from and which ones were the coolest, and it was such good fun! Even DB2 was getting into it a bit, if his random shouting and pointing was anything to go by. Their father would be proud, given that he is actually an ornithologist by trade… (this is honestly true. OH’s chat up line to me, back in those distant days when we were ‘a courting’ was to tell me that he had a PhD in pigeons. I spent about six months thinking he had been joking then realised that actually…he hadn’t been. Seriously. He was one of the world’s leading experts on the migratory habits of pigeons at one point…)
So, all in all ,despite getting utterly soaked there and back, it was worth it. Those little moments, when you get a smile from your child that, even though so tiny on their faces, manages to somehow fill the room; they are what make it worth getting off your arse and getting out there. However, whether I shall be repeating this effort tomorrow and the day after, while the rain rages on, I am not sure yet. I’ll have to wait and see what my reaction is when I survey that microwave clock…
Oooh, and on a major plus side as well today…we finally got a buyer for our house back in Dorset. Big sighs of relief all round. And the Pip’s Garden website is working again. Happy days. Happy days indeed.