Keep the image above in mind. It has hovered over my day thus far like a nasty reoccuring nightmare. We will come back to it in a moment.
First, let me explain the title. Yes, I am about to embark on a long and cathartic whine. However, I am not referring to my own personal joy at getting a chance to let off some steam. I’m referring, somewhat more ironically, to the non-stop whining of my youngest. Which has now gone on for…oh, let me see, about three days solid now.
The first day, you can always pass it off as an ‘off’ day. As in, ‘yes, we know he’s crying again, despite the fact we’ve been playing with him for two hours, but he’s having an off day.‘ This tends to be a familiar concept with most parents I’ve found.
By Day Two, the novelty has worn off. Patient smiles and long, comforting cuddles tend to get replaced, slowly but surely, by barely concealed irritation and a real urge to pop on the television and hide in a corner somewhere, praying to the skies above to ‘make the noise stop. Please’.
When it continues on to Day Three, you know that the best thing to do is batten down the hatches, closet yourself away from the world, and let the tempest that has inexplicablyseized your child work its way gradually out of its system.
Which is precisely why, of course, I opted to take both boys out for the day.
To be fair to myself, in my head, it made sense. Give them a bit of fresh air, I thought to myself optimistically. Give them a run around, hopefully that’ll perk him up a bit. In my head it was the perfect solution. Bright, spring-like skies, beautiful woodlands and lakes to surround us, lots of nature to look at and run merrily through, like they do on ‘The Sound of Music.’
See above for reference to the image in my head.
The reality, of course, as you no doubt were already predicting, was not like this. At all.
Firstly, my fantasy image in my head did not include DB2 continuing to whine, grizzle and eventually howl round the entire walk. Any birds that we might have spotted, any lovely moments spent peering into the many ponds in the area for wildlife, were completely ruined by the ceaseless noise of my youngest, bellowing away for all he was worth, mainly because he was frustrated as I wouldn’t let him run into the lake.
Men, armed with binoculars, glared crossly, and dog walkers eyed me with barely concealed pity, as I eventually ended up carrying the miscreant under my arm, like a rugby ball, only stopping to retrieve his welly boots, which he kept waving off his madly kicking feet at any opportunity. Poor DB1 stumbled behind, desperately murmuring that he ‘thought he could hear a woodpecker’, though how he could hear anything other than the tortured wails of DB2, echoing off the surrounding trees, I’m not sure. Any woodpecker that may once have been active in the woods, presumably flew off in mad terror the moment the noise began, presuming it was some sort of air raid siren or something, I should think.
DB2 then managed to sit in a puddle whilst throwing a further tantrum of epic proportions (because I had dared to put him down to walk, even though, judging by his mad screaming while I carried him, I had presumed that was what he wanted. But no, apparently, he hadn’t wanted to be carried or left to walk, he actually wanted to levitate over the path. Or perhaps wanted me to conjure up a bus or something to take him back to the car. Not sure which.)
The true piece de resistance though, was the re-emerging debarcle involving the welly. I’ve already mentioned my growing frustration with continually having to bend down to scoop up the offending red welly boot, as DB2 flicked it off continually into the mud. I didn’t anticipate that actually, that welly could cause me far more irritation than that.
We walked on the aerial walk way, and for the first time, DB2 seemed to be enjoying himself.
There it is. The very same aerial walk way that we were walking along, with me finally breathing a sigh of relief that a) DB2 had paused in his shrieking for just a short while and b) that I could finally put him down, as my arm was screaming with lactic acid build up.
But of course, nothing peaceful lasts forever. DB2’s momentary calm was an illusion. In two short strides, he walked to the edge of the walkway, hooked his foot under the barrier, eased his welly off and kicked it into the lake below.
Yes, expletives emerged from my lips, as I watched that welly disappear into the depths below. DB2 looked delighted. DB1 laughed too, he thought it was hilarious.
I BLOODY DIDN’T.
Welly boots are expensive, you know!!
I gave up after that. That image, of the welly sinking into the murky depths, summed up the day for me. So I duly bowed out gracefully, bundled the boys back in the car, and headed to the nearest cafe for a slice of chocolate cake to cheer us up.
As DB2 scoffed the cake, a big smile appeared on his face. It was the cheeriest he had been for days.
Julie Andrews – let me know your secret, please. I suspect no amount of ‘do-a deer, a female deering’ is going to help me out here…