A month ago I met a lady and her kids at the markets. I am probably the most antisocial person you can come across when I am out and about. My husband often tells me my face looks like a chihuahua that is about to lose its shit at someone, I’ve also been told I have resting bitch face…. what can I say, other than I must look delightful. When out in public, my brain is on autopilot and I pretty much don’t make eye contact with anyone. Its like i’m the terminator and my mission is to find John Connor, however instead of finding John Connor, Im trying to make it in and out of the shops without the 2 year old having an epic meltdown over, well anything..
Things the 2 year old has epic meltdowns over in the shops;
1 - Kinder Surprise Eggs
2 - Those rides that you put $2 in
3 - Having to be in the trolley
4 - Having to walk after being taken out of the trolley
5 - Wanting to be carried, but i can’t do that and push the trolley at the same time
6 - Her brother looking at her
7 - Wanting to buy a grater from a kitchen store we walked past
8 - Having to wear shoes
9 - Having dirt on her feet from taking off her shoes
10 - Someone walking by with something she wants
11 - Me telling her to sit down in the trolley so she doesn’t fall out
12 - Her hurting herself from not sitting down in the trolley.
13 - The music playing not being “jingle bells”
14 - The shop assistant talking to her
15 - Thinking that Santa is somewhere close
Seriously I could write a whole blog entry dedicated to why the 2 year old makes shopping such a joy.
I was looking at some ginger, when a lady with her two kids, commented on how cute the 2 year old was ( she was just chilling in her pram singing very loudly twinkle twinkle). She asked how old my kids were and it turns out, they were pretty much the same age as her kids. She then told me they had only just moved here with her husbands work and asked for pretty much a run down on what is good to do and what isn’t etc. Whilst i was trying to act all mature and pretend that I was an adult and I don’t just hermit at home with the kids, her 8 year old boy asked if my 7 year old could come over for a play. The 7 year old of course decided that his future depended on this play date and any answer that didn’t allow this to happen, would probably be the defining cross road in his life, as to when he turned to alcohol, drugs and sugar.
I was put in an awkward spot because I didn’t want to say “ we don’t know these people and you are not going to their house” instead I said, "well maybe we could all meet up at the gardens and have a picnic and play date one day"? I didn’t ever think that this “day” would happen, but it was better than a straight out NO! The lady declared this to be a great idea and before I can say “are you serious?” We had a picnic lunch to attend.
Ive had bad experiences before doing picnics with people who don’t understand the whole no sugar thing and I really didn’t want to go down that road with a complete stranger, so I packed:
Four chicken, cheese, lettuce and mayo sandwiches cut into triangles for everyone
12 fructose free butter biscuits in the shape of ducks that I had baked for the occasion
A bag of plain kettle potato chips
3 plastic water bottles
Some cut up apple, orange, blueberries, kiwi fruit and strawberries
It seemed to be a pretty straight forward lunch that anyone could enjoy and the butter biscuits were always a winner, since no one can tell the difference when eating them.
I sent my friend a message before I left, telling her that I was about to go and have a picnic lunch with a complete stranger and her children and if I do not send her a message in 4 hours, then we have most likely been kidnapped….. she wrote back “your weird and why the hell are you having a picnic with randoms?”
I replied, “its what I do……”
We turned up at the park and found our new friends and my kids quickly threw off their shoes and sprinted to the monkey bars and slide.
I made a little bit of awkward chit chat about the weather and finding the place ok and then unwrapped our picnic blanket beside the one that was already waiting.
The lady put her hand up to stop me and said “ has a cat ever slept on that rug”. I had to think about it.. We do own a cat and the cat pretty much likes to do whatever the hell it likes, so yeh there is a chance that it walked into the house one day, opened up the cupboard and pulled out this one blanket and cleaned itself on it, then folded it, and put it back in the cupboard so no one was none the wiser.
Apparently she had allergies to cats and because I had said that I was 99.9 percent sure that the cat had never touched this blanket that .1 percent made her ask me to pack up my rug and put it back in the bag. No biggie I guess, I didn’t want anyone dying because my cats an a$$hole.
I then asked her what she thought of the gardens? Telling her that we spend so much time down here and love it. Her response was “I wasn’t expecting sand, I hate sand!” All I could say was “yeh that sand is quite sandy”……
My 7 year old decided to then sprint up to me to tell me that he had successfully made it across the monkey bars and nearly all the way back before falling. I gave him a high five and told him great job buddy. His new 8 year old friend told me that he wasn’t allowed on the monkey bars because they are too dangerous but he climbed up the ladder and watched.
At that point the 8 year olds mum, pulled out some antiseptic wipes and made her son wipe his hands saying “thats disgusting, you don’t know how many hands with cuts have touched the ladder, I told you only to watch.” My 7 year old who has no tact then says, “Yeh i always get blisters when I do the monkey bars…” Just what was needed to be said in that moment.
It was also then that the lady realised that my kids had no shoes on and told the 7 year old to put his shoes on straight away. “ Do you not realise the chances of infection from children not wearing shoes? All they need is a needle size cut and to step in animal feaces or human spit and they will get an infection or something worse. What if they step on a needle or get a stick stabbed into their feet. No thank you, not worth the risk, my children only take their shoes off inside our house". The 7 year old was torn, he didn’t know if he had to put them on because it was an adult telling him or if this was a choice. I had no idea what to say…
The 2 year old saved the day by deciding to jump onto the picnic rug with sand all over her legs… This then led to the picnic rug having sand on it. I could see that the lady was on the verge of losing her temper, so I offered to shake the rug out and made my dirty kids sit on the grass. Once everything was back in order, she said to the kids (mine included) “thats enough of playing in the germ pit lets all sit down and play cards…. My 7 year old just looked at me like “are you serious, you bought us to a playground to play cards”. Her kids cheered. The 7 year old slid over to me and whispered “but mum, I want to play in the playground”. I told him to stop and just do what everyone else is doing.
Cards was actually quite fun, if you ignored the fact that everyone had to keep wiping their hands with the wipes every so often. Its at this point I want to point out that I understand some people have issues with germs and that it affects them in ways, that even they can’t control. OCD or what not. I didn’t want to judge because I am the type of person who doesn’t mind the odd germ here and there.
We then decided to have lunch and this was where the 7 year old got schooled on how his diet isn’t that bad at all.
I bought out the chicken sandwiches and offered them to everyone. The lady asked if it was store bought bread or home made. I said it was store bought bread and she said that they only eat home made bread as you can’t trust what companies put in ingredients. She then went on about animal droppings and fillers and the 7 year old is looking at me like “you make me eat what!!”
We also found out during the next 20min that they only eat organic foods and refuse to touch anything that comes out of a plastic bottle or container due to contamination and that they prefer to eat foods that are light in colour but I can’t remember if it was about behaviour or food colourings.
They were also not allowed to have any biscuits, as they do not eat “sweets” and because I had not soaked the fruit in vinegar, then they would not be eating that either.
Sadly, our lunch date was cut short because a fly landed on the 8 year olds salad and he lost his sh*t because he couldn’t possibly eat it now.
When they left, the 7 year old said “ Oh my gosh mum, they aren’t allowed to play in the dirt, or eat foods from the shops or eat things that flies land on!! I am so glad we only stopped doing sugar instead of being like that!” I told him that we could swap from the no sugar thing and do what they are doing and he looked at me and said “its ok I love being a no sugar family.
I made sure I pointed out that just because they do things differently doesn’t mean they aren’t nice people.
The 7 year old then said “well they weren’t that nice! I asked him why he thought that.. He then told me that when he told the 8 year old we had biscuits that look like ducks, the 8 year old said “yeh mum said we can’t eat any of your food because we don’t know if your mum washed her hands before she made it”. I asked him what he said to that and he said “ yeh I told him that sometimes you go to the toilet and don’t wash your hands! “ I said “YOU TOLD HIM WHAT!!!” Well you don’t, you use that foam wash we got from the hospital so its not really washing your hands… That detail was however left out..