I had had a terrible day so far, and found myself unable to open the car door when laden down with a box of groceries. Another mum, herself laden down with a baby bag and another bag, stepped away from her son (securely strapped in her car) and offerred help. I gratefully accepted and she opened the door for me, then returned to her car and continued to load up on everything she needed to take her son into the shop.
Thank you so much, that little gesture really brightened my day. And it would've been so easy for her to decide that she already had her hands full and needed to concentrate on her son.
As for my day up until that point. It started at 7am when Miss3 started whining about every little aspect of breakfast. As usual Miss13 was a struggle to get out of bed and attempt #4 at 7:40 was finally successful. Miss16 had already been out to the kitchen to complain that she was feeling awful and did not feel up to going to TAFE today (but of course she still has to go). Miss13 then complains (as she does every morning) that she feels terrible and thinks she should stay home. Then she comes up with another excuse - her uniform is wet. (When she went to her Dad's on the weekend, it got left on the line in the rain. She came home Sunday morning, so could've easily hung it up then, but of course it didn't occur to her, and this is the first I am hearing of it.) I suggest she could write a note for me to sign so that she can wear her sports uniform instead. I then get barraged with her complaints that it doesn't work like that and she'ld get detention. At this stage, Miss11 is asking Miss8 to fetch everything for her, because Miss3 wont let her leave the kitchen.
Miss5 is complaining about her shoes and keeps saying she thinks she has forgotten something. I look at the clock and we are 3 mins behind schedule for leaving. Miss16 returns to this end of the house, and I say, "Great, we can go. Everyone into the car." Miss 16 then asks with complaint in her voice, "Were you waiting for me?"
I take Miss5 out to the car and unlock it. Then I return and walk Miss3 out to the car. I head inside to grab my bag and phone, and bump into Miss12 who asks about the Home Ecc supplies I was supposed to buy over the weekend for her. (Oops, I forgot - my mistake. I apologise and say that I'll buy some after dropping her at school and deliver them to the office.) She complains that I cannot do that because she doesn't want to be the wierdo going up to the office.
Miss13 is also complaining that she isn't ready yet, but I insist we need to leave, hurrying her out to the car and carrying her lunch for her. At the car we discover Miss3 struggling and screaming because she doesn't want Miss16 to put her seatbelt on, she wants Miss11 to do it instead. Miss16 isn't willing to give in to Miss3 and is fighting with her to get it on.
Miss13 hears the uproar and steps away from the car complaining she has already got a headache and cannot go near "that". I discover Miss8 is not in the car yet, so return to the house to discover her grabbing some mismatched shoes. Okay, finally we can leave.
On the way, Miss3 is continually complaining, and Miss11 tries to say something to calm her down, but Miss16 tells Miss11 not to talk to her. So we have a serenade of Miss3 whining, "[Miss11], talk to me!" all the way to school, interjected by occasional arguments between Miss16, Miss13, and Miss11.
Primary school, and Miss5, Miss8, and Miss11 depart. Miss3 quiets down. So Miss13 takes up the slack by complaining that she already has a migrane and class is so much louder than the car. I shouldn't expect her to go to class.
High school, Miss13 has to be prompted to get out of the car. Now Miss16 pipes up that she is already exhausted and cannot handle a full day today so will likely be home early. It will take all her willpower not to head home as soon as I drop her off.
TAFE, Miss16 gets out, now off to the shops. I decide that Aldi will be suitable for what Miss13 needs so go there. I dont have any coins for trolleys, but do have an enviro bag in the car, so take that with me. As we approach the shop, Miss3 sees the trolleys and starts whining, "I want a trolley" then we walk in and she complains that the tiles are cold so she wants me to pick her up.
The whole trip is serenaded by a constant drone of "I want you to buy that" from Miss3 as she points to something different every two minutes. I also grab some supplies we need for home, and it doesn't all fit in the enviro bag, so I stack it on the freezer whilst I fetch everything. I have difficulty finding the things I need and it feels like it takes three times longer than it should've because I had to search for most of the things Miss13 needed.
Finally, time to pay, but no-one is at any of the registers. There is already a fellow with a full trolley milling around the area, so I ask him if any of the registers are open. Another fellow also turns up with a small bag full of shopping and looks confused about what to do. After a few minutes, a staffmember appears and instructs us to load up on #2. The man with the trolley does nothing, so I ask if he is not ready yet and he just looks away.
I therefore start to move my stuff from the freezer to #2 conveyor belt. The man with the small bag starts to move to line up behind the conveyor belt, so I tell him to go first since I have a lot of stuff to move across. He does so. The staffemember then moves into position and serves him. Whilst I am going back and forth transferring my shopping from the top of the freezer to the conveyor belt, the man with the trolley's wife turns up, sticks a customer divider directly behind what I currently have on the conveyor belt and starts unloading her husbands trolley.
With minimal space to work with, I feel forced to pile my purchases on top of one another. My Miss3 is still constantly droning, "I want you to buy that" and I am not even looking at what she is pointing out. The staffmember stops scanning my groceries, so I ask, "Is there a problem?" and she states that she needs me to unload first. I'm down to just the enviro bag, but there really isn't room to unload it onto the conveyor belt, so I end up having to pile the contents on top of the scales area. I dont understand why she couldn't scan what I had already unloaded whilst I was still unloading the rest.
I then go to the other end and start to pack up the things she has already scanned. At which point she complains she has other customers so has to move this stuff and moves it to the area where #1 (which is closed) should be putting their scanned stuff. She has only scanned about half my groceries at this stage, so dont understand the comment about other customers. She also slowed me down my moving the stuff I was trying to pack.
I finish packing my enviro bag, pay for my purchases, then grab a box for the rest. I instruct Miss3 to hold on to my skirt as we walk out, but she continues to drone "I want you to buy that" all the way to the doors. As soon as we are out the doors, it changes back to "I want a trolley". And then as we are walking across the carpark, "I want to go to different shops". Meanwhile I am feeling grumpy about the rude customer that took away the space I needed on the conveyor belt.
Finally we get to the car and I find myself unable to manage to open the car door whilst balancing the box of groceries. This is the point where the helpful mother really brightened my day.
I get to high school, and really would like to leave Miss3 in the car to race the supplies in ... but the office is obscured from the road, so that is not an option. Taking Miss3 in she points to a piece of excavation equipment driving up the patch with the scoop at the front full of leafmatter and asks "what is that?". I try to engage with her but am flustered that I cannot remember what it is called.
I think again about the helpful lady at Aldi and smile, and decide to write this when I get home.
I get into the office and the office lady asks when Miss13 will be coming to collect it. I say that I dont know, and ask when first break is so that I can ring her and instruct her to. I am told 10:20, followed by a comment that it is not a break but between classes. Several students then arrive to whom she had to attend, so I need to wait to ask again.
Finally I am told 11:20 so we leave. I get home, undo Miss3's seatbelt and carry the box to the front door, where I put it down on chair outside the front door. I return to close the car as Miss3 starts pushing on the box asking "what's this?" about one item in the box she doesn't recognise. I get back just in time to catch the box as it starts to fall off the chair. I put it back, and unlock the house.
As I am unpacking the groceries, Miss3 tries to help by pulling something out and shoving it at me whilst asking "what's this". Meanwhile my hands are already full. Finally the job is done and Miss3 asks to play Little Big Planet on the PS3. But the controllers aren't working (we need a new charger cable) so I put TV (ABC2) on instead. A small argument as she wants Peppa Pig, but without the PS3 controllers we cannot access Iview.
Then I get to take the time to write this diatribe.
11am Miss16 walks through the door - so she only attended one out of four classes today.
I know by the way it is written it doesn't sound like it, but that small gesture has really brightened my day. It got me out of monotomy and grump and has given me something positive to think about to keep me uplifted.
11:25am call to Mess13 went well. She has already collected her supplies. And I need to drop a container up later.