Day 12: Unexpected gifts

It’s been a pretty rubbish day.

James and I had a fight, Max – who is 3 – had a very public meltdown in IKEA and it took over 10 minutes to calm him down, then we lost him in the food hall and ended up having to run around yelling his description in the hope that someone would see him (we found him sitting at a table, watching the cars and waiting patiently for his food).

We didn’t get what we needed at IKEA and left empty handed (Max’s second meltdown prompted us to abandon thoughts of “the marketplace” and just high tail it out of there) and then the car broke down. 40 miles from home.

The AA said they’d be there in 25 minutes but half an hour later, it transpired that they’d entered the wrong location and we had to start from the beginning. This time they said it’d bee another 30 minutes before they could get someone to us but somehow they managed to get the location wrong again. Finally, 90 minutes later they sent a local garage to tow us. Of course, local garages don’t tow you home so we were driven a few miles up the road to the nearest services where an AA man finally came to help us.

We’re finally home. 3 hours after we expected. The kids had chocolate muffins, mini cheddars and grapes for dinner in the car on the way home. Everyone is tired and Max doesn’t want to get back in the car again.

So yeah, not a great day.

Yet, today has provided some lovely moments that wouldn’t have happened if not for some of the rubbish ones.

The first came at the moment we realised we were stuck at the roadside and wouldn’t be getting home any time soon. Max buts into tears as he looked at me, “oh mummy! Who is going to save the day?”. How wonderful the language of three year olds is. He was delighted when the tow truck showed up. “Thank you for coming to get us!”, he yelled, “You saved the day! High five!” My sweet boy. Despite the meltdowns, he gives me melty-heart.

The second moment came as the three of us played by the side of the road (James was too angry to play, since we only got the car back from the garage today and clearly they’ve done something rather catastrophic to it. Besides, all the to-ing and fro-ing with the AA was keeping him pretty busy anyway). We played “it”, and “paw patrol”, we hunted for sticks and made a pretend fire to keep warm and we had sword fights with the sticks when we were done. I rarely play with my kids for this length of time. There is always so much to do.

I think that’s what led to the third moment.  Mini decided she would sit and write her worries and put them in a box. Once she had written 6, she decided she’d like to share them. She told me her worries and sat on my lap for a cuddle as I reassured her. We were only like that for a couple of minutes before she tapped my shoulder, yelled “IT”, and ran off but she rarely opens up this way so it was a precious few minutes and it’s unlikely they’d have occurred without the inconvenience of our breakdown and the roadside delay.

All in all, I’m going to chalk today up to as a win.

James poured a whiskey when we got in. I curled up on the sofa with a big mug of tea. Hurrah.

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