Looking for ways to keep your kids entertained and your bank balance in credit? Well, I'm afraid to say that you're probably in the wrong place. I just failed miserably at this. I planned on taking Dope to see the fish in the little aquarium on the 2nd floor of our nearest museum. How cute! Dope loves fish and the museum has free entry. Perfect. Free and fun. Hurrah!
Unfortunately, people, the afternoon was neither. I spent my life's savings on road tolls getting to the museum and then took out a bank loan to pay for the inner city car parking charge. I sold a kidney to fund the cup of tea I had to buy to sit in the museum cafe and then finally had to sell one of Dopey's kidneys to buy another drink to re-hydrate us on the way out of the sauna cum aquarium. Free day out it wasn't...*
In terms of fun, our starting point for the day was Dope's nursery. I picked her up at lunchtime thinking that she could sleep for the car journey over to the museum. She had other plans. She apparently still hadn't forgiven me for abandoning her in that safe, caring, stimulating environment earlier on in the day. She screamed and cried and shouted at me the whole way there, finally conking out as we pulled into the car park. That nap cost me 40-odd minutes of city centre parking. I could begrudge that, but it's in the past so I'm willing to let it go.
After battling through the howling wind and icy rain, I took her to the museum cafe. Here, my friends, we were going to sit happily. I would drink tea and Dope would eat her healthy, homemade snack and babble to me about her day. Instead, I wrestled Dope into a highchair and she merely considered my culinary offering before swiping it out of my hand and down to the floor. I offered it again, she screamed. I re-packed the snack and she went into meltdown demanding I give it back to her. I gave it to her and she threw it at me. We repeated this cycle several times. What fun!
We then headed up to the aquarium and finally had some success. She made all of the right noises at the fish and the eels and the octopus. She wandered up and down, delighting the pensioners around us. She waved and pointed at everything and all was good. Except that it was stinking hot. So hot that I seriously thought I may pass out. I bundled us both out of there quickly and back down to the cafe where I bought an extremely overpriced orange juice that most likely saved my life. This is probably the only time its price tag has ever been justified.
Back home things got worse. Buda was working late so it was still just me and Dope. There followed a catalogue of errors that would keep you reading way past your bedtime so I will just give you a snapshot of the aftermath, as shared on my Facebook feed...
"So, I've managed to jam the bath plug in the bath; smash a glass in the kitchen sink; burn my daughter's taste buds with madras spiced scrambled eggs; drop her replacement dinner onto the floor; fill her up with rice cakes and fruit pot; fall while carrying her. My child, understandably, has grizzled and protested at me throughout this time. She then took 90 minutes to get to sleep. I'm also covered in baby snot from all of the consoling I've had to do. Oh, and I've just noticed that our electricity meter is almost at zero so we will most likely be plunged into total darkness fairly soon. Sorry Keshav, you work one evening shift and I've let our household crumble. #proudmummy"
At this point the urge to fall asleep there and then was great. But I decided to say NO to defeat. A good mother never gives up, right? So I cleared up the mess and the house looked great. Did I enjoy my well earned rest then? No I did not. I decided I was going to finish the day UP on where I started rather than simply breaking even. I went to the washing machine and saw, for the first time in my life, that I had dyed all of the white bits of my clothes pink. I didn't think that this happened outside of detergent ads and predictable sitcom storylines. But it does and it did.
Buda finally came home and laughed at my day. At me, really, but he was kind enough to de-personalise his amusement. He cheered me up with news of a cheesecake he had brought home with him, bringing me this with a cup of tea.
Has anyone else ever seen such a cheesecake? No, and I'll tell you why...because hemorrhage themed desserts have never caught on. I was so horrified I knocked over my tea and then finally conceded defeat and headed to bed.
* Understand that my life savings, along with mine and Dope's internal organs did, in fact, remain in tact throughout this afternoon. I didn't take any loans out either. I did, however, have to dig very deep in my pockets to fund this folly.