During the school holidays, I decided to embrace the fact that I was now a mother of three kids. I was possessed by SUPER KAREN, brought on by my own boredom and a need to get out of the house.
So what did I do? I brought all my children out on a day trip, BY MYSELF.
You see, usually when I take all the kids out for a special outing, I am never by myself. Either my husband, my mother, or friends are with me.
Sure, I have taken ALL THREE KIDS out to the shops, library, or park by myself. But these are all places they are familiar with. They know how to behave in a shopping centre or a park. And I know exactly what to prepare for.
But how will they behave while walking along a crowded jetty? What will they do when they see open windows on a moving ferry? How will I get them to cross a busy city road inside a swarm of people? And how will I be able to find a public toilet in the city at 2 minutes notice?
Well I guess I was going to find out!
We caught a ferry into the city. It was the first time my kids have been on a boat travelling over a large body of water.
And oh look, there was only ONE OF ME there. If the ferry were to sink, I’d have to save ALL THREE KIDS by myself!
I took mental note of the positions of the lifejackets and quickest exit points. I worked out that I would have to grab one kid under each arm, and throw the other a life-ring that I would tie to my waist….
Thankfully the trip only took 7 minutes, the ferry did not sink, and I was saved from my own *insane, extreme and imaginary scenarios of disaster* that inflict mothers worldwide. Or is it just me?
At one point during our walk, I plonked my baby under the pram for a rest and stretch, because I couldn’t find a spot of shade. All was ok, until he rolled over and started to lick the wheels. I looked down at him and thought, oh well… I’m sure a bit of grit will be good for his digestion.
We walked around all day, sight-seeing and exploring. We sat in the Supreme Court Gardens, ate lunch and enjoyed the sunshine.
My kids behaved like perfect angels for the whole day. I had a brilliant day. I was completely NOT STRESSED. I was beaming with a relaxed glow. I could feel my bones soften, and my heart rate plod along at what I like to call, Ice Cream Speed.
Chips for lunch? Sure. Ice cream? Go for it. Whatever. Enjoy.
While I praised the kids for their wonderful behaviour, I made sure I didn’t over do it. Good behaviour should be a norm, not a special event.
But I must admit, I teased them a bit – Hey! Aren’t you going to nag me about who’s going to hold the ferry ticket? I haven’t heard any fighting! Give me some fighting! Argue about who’s standing closest to the pram right now! Give me a tantrum about the wrong ice cream flavour! C’mon, let’s hear some whinging!
My kids rolled their eyes at me, and said in a mock sensible tone, “Excuse me mum, but we’re going to have a good day today if you don’t mind.”
Gotta love em.