I’m doing Mindful November over on Instagram (with @Mamas_Scrapbook and @Blom_cards) and when I saw today’s post was Fresh Air, I had a smug-mam moment about it.
‘Ooooh this fits perfectly in to today’s plans and even rhymes. I can be a lyrical genius on Insta and pull off an awesome post’.
Obviously- the exact opposite has happened.
Of course it would.
The Man Who Lives With Us had warned me it would.
You see, today’s Insta Square was going to be our trip to Fenwicks Window to see Paddington Bear.
I was going to get that all important #makingmemories picture of Ella wrapped up in a hat and gloves, staring mind-blowing at the red and blue clothed bear in the window.
What happened couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I’ll start as far back as leaving the house.
I don’t currently have a winter coat. There’s my yellow nana coat that’s past its sell by date festering in the garage. As I CBA to step foot in shops these days, my new winter coat is on order from Dotty P’s. Delivery due this week.
So off I venture into the garage to rescue the yellow nana coat. Of course Ella wants to follow. Why not? Who doesn’t love a good forage in a garage in the feckin freezing cold.
Cue Little Lady running full pelt out of the front door and landing flat on her face. The position she fell in was both comical and heart breaking at the same time.
There were tears. There was a heated exchange of words with The Man as to who was to blame (even though we weren’t ‘blaming’ each other as ‘accidents happen’. Eye roll).
Thankfully, no cuts, bruises or blood loss. After all that my coat looked shite anyway.
So off we troop, me in a grey jumper dress and a long cardie (that will no doubt be recycled and worn for next weekend’s girl date to York FYI).
As we approached town, of course she falls asleep.
Cue The Man driving around the West End for a bit then playing car-park-hopping until he found the right one.
So once we’d picked a side street in Shieldfield – the Little Lady woke up and off we trooped into town.
Minus the buggy.
For some reason we thought we’d leave that in the garage too. As she ‘likes to walk everywhere these days’.
It’s a short walk, followed by a carry, followed by running off in the opposite direction, to another carry. Lather, rinse repeat that one.
And we’ve both got shit backs too so why we do this to ourselves is beyond belief. It even entered the conversation to buy a ‘lighter buggy’ while we were in town today. We didn’t even get as far as entertaining that daft idea.
We hadn’t even got to Northumberland Street and The Man needed a wee.
So did I.
We agreed he would wee in Pacific as I went to Primark to buy a hat and gloves for Ella (as yes, we forgot these too). I would then wee in Fenwicks and then ta-da – window time!
As Ella wrapped her vice-like legs (she is freakishly strong) around me for yet another carry, a part of her felt warmer than normal.
On a grey dress.
I mean, the thought had slightly entered my head as we left that she may need a change as she’d downed two bottles of juice.
I live life on the edge.
I decided to risk it.
And I Never Learn.
If thoughts like that appear – ACT UPON THEM.
You will regret it later.
I decided to quickly dash into Primark to get the forgotten clothes. Hat, gloves and socks (aaaaalways need socks) chosen, The Man caught up with us. He stood in the queue while I went hunting for toilets near the Costa in Primark. Zilch. Couldn’t find any (thought there had to be some near food facilities??)
Aaaanyway purchase made and a mad dash into Fenwicks was had. Dodging the frantic Christmas shoppers and the Saturday Dawdlers, we jumped into a VERY packed lift. That went down. Then up.
And we got out on the wrong floor.
By now my frustration sweat was appearing but I was trying to appear cool as The Man was getting even more agitated than he already was (he hates how busy Town gets. And frankly so do I. So this was a disaster from the start).
Baby Changing facilities eventually located (on the other side of the store to where I knew the toilets were), where a full on outfit change for Ella ensued.
Her vest and tights were wet. But the dress she had on didn’t go with the spare tights so I had to change the whole outfit.
I was devastated that her pretty burgundy dress and cream tights, an outfit I chose especially for her to see Paddington in, were now replaced with a bright pink and red Minnie Mouse Dress and tight combo. I mean, it’s lovely don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the idyllic image I’d envisaged (nothing ever feckin is in motherhood – I should have also learnt this by now too!)
Facilities exited, The Man located – who by now is Hangry as he’s had no breakfast. Nup – me neither mate – shall we get some grub?
As I so obviously know Fenwicks better than him (rarely there) we turn into the Saturday Dawdlers. Everywheeeeere is busy.
I had the bright idea of Greys Quarter.
Fifteen-minute-waits in every restaurant.
Right. The Decision was made.
To quickly see the window and head home, with the idea of grabbing some food from somewhere on our journey home (another Saturday afternoon Maccy D’s drive through no doubt).
Oh no no no.
There was no quickly seeing The Window. The queue was at the bottom of Northumberland Street.
The Man nearly died when this realisation hit.
In order to save his sanity and our marriage, we quickly ran by it on our tippy toes.
All the while Ella looking the other way.
Too much of a nosey parker people-watching to stare at a bear stood in a window.
Big. Fat. Waaaaaaaaah!!
So – no, we didn’t have the patience to deal with town on a Saturday a mere few weeks from Christmas with a toddler in tow.
We sidled along Northumberland Street to head back to the car. Frankie and Benny’s is our fave haunt and luckily the one near Pacific wasn’t busy. Table straight away and no waiting. Hoo-feckin-rah.
A rather relaxing lunch with a surprisingly well-behaved Ella (although there were several attempts at climbing out the high chair. I turned into the parent I swore I never would and shoved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse repeats on my phone).
As we left F&B and made our merry way back to Shieldfield, playing pass the parcel with a I-will-not-wear- my-hat-or-gloves Ella, The Man attempted to say those words.
The Man: ‘Well, I don’t really want to say it but -‘
Me: ‘Oh yes you do – you can’t bliddy wait!’
The Man: ‘Told You So!’
And he had.
The whole car journey into town that this was not going to turn out how I had in my head. And I had known that. And even agreed that what I had planned wouldn’t be perfect.
But it was faaaaar from perfect – if you class perfect as everything going according to my plan.
It was much better.
As we had an afternoon that we can look back on and laugh (and learn from!) Ella was just happy to be out and about with her mammy and daddy in the fresh air.
And at the end of the day.
That’s all that matters.
Love Missuswolf xxx
Image above is the only one I have today of being in the Fresh Air. And there most certainly is no Paddington Bear.