I was recently asked about the possibility of writing a parenting piece but I wondered if I would ever have enough material.
But then what should have been a straightforward trip to our local chemist to get my three- year- old Amelia some passport pictures gave me my answer.
I knew Amelia wouldn’t be very happy about getting her photo.
At home she is the boss and even a full on exhibitionist but when she steps outside the front door she’s a very different character.
On a recent trip to the ear specialist to discuss the possibility of her needing grommets we had to keep my six-year-old year old Roddy off school to go with her.
She might be the boss at home but she still needs her big brother to hold her hand, play guinea pig and proffer the Lollipop of Bribery before allowing the strange man in a long white coat near her.
This from the same three- year- old who in her Christmas play not only refused to read her lines, participate in any of the group songs or get into the cow costume she specifically demanded the part of.
She then sat there giving daggers to all her friends who dared cooperate with the charade.
At the chemists my husband Glenn waited in the car with the other two kids, only to see me emerging 10 minutes later red faced pulling a screaming three-year-old behind me.
Despite my best efforts to get her to simply stand in one spot to have her photo taken she steadfastly refused.
It became quickly apparent that no amount of whispered bribery or elaborate false promises was going to work.
So I resorted to a good old fashioned threat.
In desperation I told her: ‘Fine well you won’t be able to go and see your cousins in Spain if you’ve no photo to put on your passport’. Big mistake.
Heads turned and the rafters shook as she whipped around in the busy chemist and screamed ‘You’ve ruined my LIFE!!’
With a flair for the dramatic this impressive I couldn’t help but think how she could have shined in cow character at the school play…
Our journey continued photoless to the harbour where the plan was for the three of them to toddle/scoot around but shortly after we got there I received a work call I had to take.
I told my husband I’d just be a minute,to which he returned a withering look.
Within two minutes of me taking the call my one-year-old Milo had toddled into dog shit, just as the six-year-old year old kicked his football into the sea.
He started roaring crying because it was his favourite ball.
I obviously pretended I couldn’t see any off this as I hastily headed in the opposite direction so as none of it could be heard over the phone.
When I finally did manage to get off the phone a few minutes later my husband was NOT happy.
An extremely loud war of words echoed around the harbour as he re-iterated what had happened (all the while trying in vain to remove the dog crap from Milo’s shoe with a handful of seaweed).
In my defence I insisted that I had to take the call and if it was him that I would have managed the situation accordingly.
Meanwhile, my six-year-old was pointing desperately to his ball starting to float further and further away wailling ‘Noooooo, not my favourite ball!’
In a blind rage before properly thinking, I hurriedly took my shoes off and waded waist deep fully clothed into the sea to retrieve the ball, shouting obscenities at my husband as I did so.
I handed the ball back to my stunned son, grabbed my one- year- old and sloshed off to the car shoes in hand and jeans soaked to my legs.
I could see some people watching from their cars in fits of laughter as I started to slip and slide my way back to our car.
I barely managed to stay upright long enough to peel off my wet jeans and collapse into the car crying with embarrassment.
It was at that point that I realised that I was probably ok for material.