I wrote this during our very wet summer of 2016 and have spent the Autumn and Winter honing my sliding skills so I have taken my own advice for once I am pleased to say .
Have a read ;
So today was a typical day like I have spent alot of the days of the last eight weeks doing on my parental leave . Our lovely weather has meant alot of my planned day trips with the twins had to be postponed last minute. There’s only so much waking up with the promise of a heatwave to the delightful sound of gale force winds and thundering rain one can take. About half way through the summer I unpacked the picnic blanket and bag from the boot ,back went the towels ,buckets and spades and whilst the monkies were still wearing short sleeves due to the delightful heat that was there during the rain off we went once again to the playcentre.
I remember my first trip on my own this summer to the playcentre with the twins. I had visions of myself sitting down with some other lovely multiple mams sipping my coffee ,cooing at the smallies and smiling on at the older kids running around like they had been caged in and were finally free.
I had been slightly worried about the fact that my bootcamp classes had finished for the summer and where i would find the time to exercise after entertaining the twins all day, Yeah -that was until I looked over to the climbing frames and realised my son was at the very top attempting to go down the big red slide.
Frantically kicking off my shoes whilst rooting through my bag for the spare pair of socks one has to wear whilst in the playgym I had to stop myself from roaring up at himself to stay there. Reassurances from the other mams didn’t help my anxiety which was now causing me to sweat profusely as I watched B sit down ready to take flight down the slide.
To this day I don’t know how I got up to him but I must have remembered some primary gymnastics moves because the next thing I knew I was sitting at the top of the slide, B firmly encased in my arms on my lap giggling wildly as Mammy made a complete arse of herself whizzing down the slide.
I may have left a little shriek out myself on the way down, who knew those slides went so fast , I was used to the playground ones where you literally are pulling the kids down to make them go faster.
No such luck here on this one ! I also learned that day that leggings are a prerequisite under summer dresses should you be inclined to go climbing up the junglegym!
Of course on seeing her brother and mammy having such fun on the slide A decided she had to brave the bigger boy and girl section too and once again I found myself running after two toddlers , up three levels to yes again finding myself at the top of the slide. This time with two children to whizz down with.
Gazing at my coffee long gone cold at this stage I decided I may aswell take advantage of the fact that bootcamp was over for summer and go up the frame for the rest of our time there. Therein ensued a hilarious hour of chasing my two into ball-pits, through tunnels ,climbing ,sliding and sweating profusely whilst doing so.
It was on one particular game of hide and seek when I rounded the corner attempting to see B &A, who were giggling at the fact that mammy’s face resembled a tomato and they had effectively given her the slip by getting near the twirly slide and also the onset of mini heart-failure, I bumped into another woman . Our sheer panicked eyes locked, we were one, I could feel every emotion oozing from her sweat dripping face. Then as quick as we shared a moment she was outta there upon hearing a mischievous laugh , her toddler was nearby !
So as I negotiated a tricky set of steps not designed for a 5 foot 5 woman in a summer dress and had safely removed my two from the twirly tunnel slide I looked around and observed the other “older kids” were not kids but in fact mams,dads,Au pairs ,grandparents even!
Whilst we all initially were there to be our childrens bodyguards from possible other kids or in my case to prevent lunacy in areas not designed for their little arms and legs I had had fun and actually made some good memories. Yes the shame of that initial first mad dash up the frame won’t leave me anytime soon but the memory of my son and daughters eyes twinkling at me with awe and delight that mammy was going to go down the slide with them is one that will stay with me for a long time and will get me through the days at work now my parental leave is over.
All those other “big kids” were laughing and smiling , we got to be silly in the ballpits ,ok try not to think about the germs but where else can 30 odd year olds and older get away with diving underneath the balls, or go down a helter skelter slide .
It’s not always practical to do what I am about to say and yes I can be the worst at times on being hard on myself or trying to do too much but your kids wont remember how many loads of washing were done before bedtime or all the dishes were cleaned they will remember you in the ball-pit, on the floor assembling toot toot tracks for the fiftieth time that day ( note to V-tech please make those tracks less easy to break up!) or just sitting there whilst they climb all over you .
The day my two tell me not to go down the slide with them is a day I am not looking forward to so until they tell me otherwise I’ll be there next weekend ,sans leggings , say hi if you pass me in the tunnels.