I always look forward to Bank Holiday. I know what you’re thinking, what’s the difference, I don’t work anyway right? I’m just thinking about those toddler fights I referee, the meals I make and the bums I wipe throughout the day with the bonus of getting peed on occasionally. But no, what I do isn’t work work (werk werk werk), it’s parenting. Bloody lovely it is too.
The difference at Bank Holiday, or any weekend really, is that my wingman, my soulmate, the father of my toddler terrorists has time off work. As does Granny and Grandad Firstooth, or friends of ours. Only this weekend Mr Firstooth had to work. He didn’t have to, I may add. He chose to. I’m not bitter, I promise, who can say no to a little overtime? Not Mr F apparently…
Someone needs to pay for my scatter cushions.
Anyway, I have nothing much to report from Saturday or Sunday, we had a lovely weekend with my parents. But what happened on Sunday leads me to what happened on Monday, leading to this post.
I bet you’ve already forgotten about the bank holiday haven’t you?
You’ll see what this is about…
On Sunday we visited a castle, during our visit we stopped for a spot of afternoon tea, with the sweet little babes, neither of whom had slept and both reared their grumpy faces extremely early that morning. But so far, we had very little resistance from either, I had psyched myself up for a fairly disappointing day due to toddler tiredness. That wasn’t the case, until that evening when I was alone and desperate.
So, in the restaurant we all drank our tea, the kids tried spilling things and smashing plates, the usual. Then my little man declared he needed a wee. He needed one right now. He has a fear of public toilets and I’ve recently ditched our potty in favour of him peeing in bushes (not in the Shameless style, I try to keep it all very dignified and private), so we had to get him outside quick.
But he wasn’t budging.
Of course he wasn’t, he likes to be difficult sometimes, toddlers take no prisoners, and the threat of peeing down himself makes me come out with the craziest things.
“I will buy you a bloody plane with a live-in pilot who will dress up as Bob the Builder if you get outside, drop your pants and pee on that damn wall”
This time my bribes in exchange for a wee were:
- Anything, anything in this restaurant that you can see right now, you can have it
- Anything at all. Just say the word. I’ll make it happen
He replied no to each one. Then I mentioned a Fireman Sam truck and his face lit up.
“YES my wee outside for Fire Sam truck”
I’d never seen a Fireman Sam truck, I had no idea if one actually existed. I was clutching at straws. You know as a parent you sometimes say things and hope they’ll forget. He didn’t forget and I had promised I’d get him one.
So this became our mission for Monday. The one day Mr Firstooth has off (he actually has Tuesday and Wednesday off too) and he gave me a disapproving look when he knew what we’d be doing. Someone needs to spend that overtime, what better than to spend it on our precious son who peed on a wall. Well done son.
We drove down to our local retail park, the parking was tight. Because people park silly. But we found a space, ditched the car and hunted for a Fireman Sam truck, thank goodness we found one. It exists and its sitting pretty in our lounge filled with other crap right now. This all took around ten minutes.
Back in the car.
We should have driven home, only we couldn’t. Because it was Bank Holiday, every single person in our county was in the exact same retail park as us right at that moment, all trying to leave. The carpark was at a gridlock.
Of course it was.
Two toddlers in the back of the car at lunchtime for the foreseeable. That’s what memories are made of. Really awful memories.
Luckily we had a new Fireman Sam truck and a stick of bread to keep the kids quiet in the back. We sat for around 20 minutes and watched the anger of other drivers waiting to leave the carpark. I would have laughed it off with a whole ‘what’s the rush’ comment but Mr Firstooth found it difficult to stop shaking his head and talking about this being ‘just our luck’, so I said nothing.
In case you’re wondering why we had a stick of bread, I don’t know, we’d popped to LIDL first and picked one up for some reason.
The things people do to try and leave a gridlocked carpark a little sooner than the cars in front baffles me. I have to say it, some people drive like idiots. I can find better words, but we’ll stick with the lesser offensive ‘idiot’. Or ‘silly billy’, I like that saying.
A man in a small car suddenly thought that he was above waiting. He needed to escape the carpark right that second and he was angry at all those cars in front blocking his way. Inconsiderate b*stard cars. He drove alongside these cars (you know, on the wrong side of the road with traffic approaching him, maybe he thought we were actually in the US and everybody else was in the wrong, who knows) and insisted someone let him in right at the exit of the carpark.
Of course, nobody let him in. We’re all selfish like that. Clearly this guy had somewhere he needed to be. Nobody else had anywhere to be, we were all enjoying being at a stand still, duh, who wouldn’t.
Then started the angry exchanges, I don’t know about you but I enjoy seeing things like this. Mr Firstooth and myself kept saying the usual ‘some people’ and ‘I just can’t believe what I’m seeing’. Until we saw the arguments between other car drivers and the angry man in his very little car, then we were more ‘shhhh, look’.
We were stuck in the carpark for around 45 minutes, with two toddlers in the back, at lunchtime, with no food other than a bread stick, did I mention this? And a Fireman Sam truck (which little man wouldn’t share, obviously), it was testing but we survived. For 15 minutes of this we enjoyed the entertainment of watching the angry man (in his very little car) create extra traffic by trying to beat the queue and cut everyone up.
Solidarity in the other carpark users stood strong and I really couldn’t believe my eyes when the angry man insulted other drivers for not letting him in, then shouted at the oncoming traffic for not letting him through. The only way they’d be able to let him through would be if they drove sideways into a building, I know this guy had somewhere to be urgently but asking others to shuffle sideways through a wall, is a little excessive.
I’ve not been shopping on a Bank Holiday Monday in a very long and I’m never doing it again. I’m really not. If my son is promised a Fireman Sam helicopter the next time he pees, he will have to wait until it’s a working day before we visit a shop to buy it.
Traffic makes drivers go a little crazy, behave inappropriately and ruthlessly behind the safety of their steering wheel. People are always braver when they’re shielded by a ton of metal, that is their car. I appreciate the entertainment this man and many other drivers gave us, but it’s so shocking how people behave that sometimes I’d rather not witness it. I don’t like to think of my family being surrounded by these people and I certainly don’t want them involved in it.
Next Bank Holiday we will visit the zoo or perhaps go for a walk and save the stress of driving for midweek. Keep calm and carry on driving. Unless your stuck in a carpark. Then freak the F out.
I hope you had a great Bank Holiday, what did you get up to? Let me know in the comments…
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