And breathe…

Today’s opening tweet: how is it on a day that you don’t need it the world seems to be full of sanctimonious pricks?

It wasn’t a case of getting out of the wrong side of bed (more on that later) or Yuletide despair and it was not, just to clarify, workplace induced; it was basic honest-to-goodness frustration (added to the fact that I’m also on holiday).

You see our Christmas Pantomime, which was planned to be full of thigh slapping rollicking family fun is currently masquerading as a Grimm Fairy Tale full of snot, germs, chest and ear infections. I am in the lead female role of sleep-deprived mother (*slash* pantomime dame) and my handsome leading man is tackling crime on a mixture of snatched sleep, Berocca and high octane caffeine.

After the dog had eaten a my little pony (with glowing fibre optic hair and all) and munched through a play spoon and fork it was time to escape the four walls and we ventured out all nicely wrapped up for a bracing walk in the fresh air. Within 5 minutes Toddler had taken her hat and gloves off about 5 times to have them replaced with coercion, bribes and basic pleading. The 6yo had scaled a tree, fallen over in a puddle and nearly knocked his wobbly tooth out with a stone that was taken by gravity. As I called after him (ok, screeched) I noticed out of the corner of my eye the dog having a little whoopsie so, responsible dog owner that I am, off I trundle to clear up said whoopsie asking 6yo to hold on to the dog and mind the pushchair.

My back was turned for 15 seconds maximum in which time the dog has magically slipped her lead and Toddler has once again taken off her hat and gloves and is starting to remove her coat. 6yo, whose coat is open revealing his Count Dracula outfit, is staring mystified at the leash and Toddler is staring to cry because she’d not read the memo about keeping hats on when you have an ear infection and, oh my actual lord, the dog is heading, slightly out of control and at speed towards one of ‘those’ dog owners whose beautifully coiffured retriever is prancing along, at heel, on the lead. I ask 6yo to collect the dog whilst I attempt to put Toddler back in the pushchair only for her to turn into a plank with core stability that many an adult would be proud of; she isn’t bending and karate chopping children isn’t acceptable behaviour.

Now, I would have thought that one quick glance at the situation would have allowed many sane normal people to work out that all was not well; that today was a day for compassion and forgiveness. What most sane normal people would not do is take time to admonish the clearly harassed mother of two on her inability to make the 9month puppy come to heel by showing how well trained their own dog is (look, he can wind in and out of my legs and rolls over on command) whilst suggesting that dog behaviour classes might be beneficial for me and my ‘out of control’ dog. Furthermore (and hat tip to his well trained wife who no doubt also winds between his legs and rolls over on command) I KNOW that it’s not good for children to be without hats and gloves in the cold. BUT, short of supergluing or stapling the hats on (which I’m sure may bend a rule or two) I’m sure, with a moments thought or two they could cast their minds back to the fact that children, just sometimes, do things that we would all would prefer that they didn’t and that no amount of explaining can change that.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t unleash my inner fury. What would have been the point? All it would have done is to prove absolutely that their opinion of me as a mother was totally right. What would have been nice, and not too difficult was if they’d just caught hold of the damn dog. It wouldn’t have put them out; not really. It would have earned my overwhelming gratitude but what prize that in the face of an opportunity to lecture and criticise. Pricks.

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