My current ‘challenge’ is the school run. Let us start at the start.
Seth, is nearly three, Aoife is six. She goes to school every day, as is required.
Last Wednesday, on the way to school, Seth decided he’d have a lay down. This isn’t something new, he likes a little lay for a moment and then we carry on. Except on Wednesday he was up for a big lay. A lay and a play with his train.
I finally coaxed him into standing up and walking, he did so for a few steps then he had another lay. He walked a few more steps and then had another lay. This time in a fresh bird shit, it’s amazing how it spreads – especially on the day you forgot wetwipes.
We made it to school, slightly late but we were there. On the way home he walked fine. Later that day I announced it was time to get Aoife. “No thanks” he said “We don’t really have a choice” said I. This back and forth went on a while and we agreed he could go dressed as Buzz Lightyear.
WIN. Or not.
We got to the end of our street and he was telling me “no thanks”. We got to the main road, I was aware we were behind time. In true sods law fashion the traffic was ridiculously busy, there was finally a break so we stepped out and… “UH OH” “What?” I looked down and he’d taken his boot and sock off. Right there at the side of the road.
“You’re fucking kidding me” I muttered and redressed his foot. We finally crossed the road and made it to the point where he’d had his first lay that morning. A little glimmer of memory flashed in his eyes and he lay down.
I sometimes truly believe I live in a Truman Show type world where every thing is set up to get a reaction. Today’s show was clearly entitled
‘Let’s See How Much She Can Take Before She Breaks’.
“Seriously Seth, you’re going to do this again? C’mon we’re LATE” “No thanks”
I tried reasoning, bribery, racing. Nothing was shifting him. People were looking and that heat was building up inside. You know the one, it only occurs in parents.
The heat starts building up, you become a little panicked as there will be consequences to this, you can’t fix it and you can’t fathom a way out.
You’re failing AND PEOPLE ARE LOOKING.
Luckily at this point, two lovely mums turned up and talked to me like everything was normal. Like I didn’t have Buzz Lightyear on reins, laying there. They pretended it wasn’t happening and I love them for that. It was the most fantastic thing to happen that day.
Seth then decided he’d crawl the rest of the way to school. Even though he’s two, he’s a big chap. There I was walking down the road holding the reins of a crawling Buzz Lightyear trying to look like I gave zerofucks when I was actually dying a little inside. I heard comments likening him to a man dressed like a snail and a dog. I resisted the urge to dropkick the person and carried on like it was fine. I picked Aoife up from school and went home. Slowly.
Now, as my boy is a creature of habit, this scenario has played out EVERY DAY since then. On Friday his refusal to leave the house even was such that I had to panic ring other parents to see if anyone could take Aoife to school.
They couldn’t. I cried.
Over the last few days I’ve had to carry him, drag him, beg him, he doesn’t do reasoning and he won’t move. I’m expecting Social Services at the door because to an outsider it must look like I’m mistreating him.
Today it took 45 mins to do the 10 minute walk home from school. I had to carry him most of the way. It’s uphill, he’s 2 1/2 stone and I have a bad hip.
I got home and cried. Again.
It’s embarrassing and infuriating and I can’t see a way to get him to move. If one more person laughs I will not be responsible for my actions! And tomorrow I probably get to do it all again.
The worst thing about this whole forlorn scenario is that the picture of him looks so bloody cute!
Here’s an update to this sorry saga. Seth is still refusing to walk home from school for no other reason than “No thanks”. We’ve sat at the side of the road, I’ve tried to lift him but he drags his legs. He’s bent himself backwards and banged his head. He’s tried to crawl under a removal van. He’s collapsed himself in the middle of the road.
As you read this we are on our way to France for a holiday. Please be safe in the knowledge that RIGHT NOW we are probably in Nice International airport lugging three cases and two children amidst thousands of travellers whilst Seth flops about on the floor saying “no thanks” and scary armed soldiers watch us wondering WTF is going on.