As a mother of four delightful little boys, I have learned that when you take them on a day trip out things are likely to go wrong. This week, the two oldest girls have gone away to Spain so we been left with just the little boys. We took them on a day trip today to a National Trust house. It was a lovely day. But certain things did not go as planned. Some of these may be familiar to you…. especially if you’re a mother to boys.
- Someone will fall over and it will be the end of the world. My poor little two-year-old was being pushed on the swing. Daddy kind of took his eye off the ball. The poor little boy went tumbling headfirst off the swing. Of course there was plenty of crying. And we had to wipe away a mouth full of mud. He cheered up really quickly, of course, as they always do. And then proceeded to demonstrate the fall over and over again. Including bending down on the floor and demonstrating how he got mud in his mouth by licking the ground.
- An exhibit that says, ‘Don’t touch’, will of course get touched. Or in the case of today an ornate, brass tiger, made goodness knows when, belonging to the great Sir WinstonChurchill, has to put up with my five year old boy sitting astride it, and riding it like a horse.
- I will fail catastrophically to instill some discipline. The boys have recently taken to using the word, ‘cow’, as an insult. They do not understand that it is a highly offensive, misogynist term but just think it’s amusing to call people an animal. However, I feel I need to stamp on this as it does sound very rude and it’s kind of embarrassing when they are calling their mother a cow in public. So we stopped at a picnic table and I said in my best Mum voice, ‘Now, boys, there are certain things I don’t want you to say anymore, you should not be saying, ‘shut up’ or ‘cow’. The two year old looked at me and said cheerfully and just so cutely, ‘Sowwy, you cow’. My husband chuckled to himself silently. ‘Shut up’, I muttered.
- I will try unsuccessfully to take a nice family photograph. Come on boys I said, let’s get a nice photo of you all smiling. Of course for some inexplicable reason, that means they must all turn around in a neatly ordered row and present their bottoms to me. Why do I even bother?