Well, at least we did plan to go out for coffee and cake, as all husbands believe we do. You know ladies, all that sitting around with your friends, cappuccinos, lattes, tiramisu cakes all round; with all our hundreds of six, four and two year olds seated calmly on their own table next to us - not yelling or whingeing or ignoring people or conducting hurdle races over the café poufs or climbing onto the Gloria Jeans bain marie and telling the waitress she’s a bum bum head. Just sitting nicely, not a mother’s voice raised or a death stare delivered. No.
However, sickness struck us the first week. Just a small delay to the normal proceedings, you understand, husbands. I did have the coffee – in fact, quite a lot of coffee, for those 4am wake ups, then again at 7, 8, 9 and 10am, 1, 2, 3, 4 and wine PM. Did I say wine? Oh…
So we had coffee and coughing instead. Croup, to be exact – otherwise known as honking by Mr Middle Man. “Why am I honking mummy?” he asks, as he forces out a deep ferry-approaching type sound. Pretty good description I reckon. The unfunny part though is that they cannot breathe with croup. So I spent the week dishing out ventolin, steroids, and ferry loads of garlic (apologies to the postman who was the only person who smelt us for SEVEN DAYS).
But we’re patient, we can wait for the cake part.
Week two approaches. We tentatively edge out the door, waiting for the cold wind to whip up three children into an asthmatic frenzy along with theatrics (collapsing, grasping chest, rolling around in the driveway, you know the stuff…don’t you?). We make it to the café, finally, for our coffee and cake.
My coffee goes cold whilst delivering ventolin, tissues and valium-I mean water. And the café had run out of cake. Nevertheless, my beautiful post-honking children managed to down a milkshake like it was the last remaining non-garlic thing in this world. Then they arked up a bit and wanted to go to the park. Things were looking up!
A few meagre swings, sand play and a spinny thing later, as we approach home, Master Spinny Thing Six claims he feels a little–BLAAARRRGH! My car, my poor, sodden, chunked up car, was covered in vomit. Now I’ve never had this happen before, and I would otherwise consider myself lucky that I'd avoided this for six years. But if I think about how much garlic and milkshake a four month old baby could extract in one spectacular mouth eruption, it aint anywhere near the volume of someone 20 times their size. No sirreee….
After cleaning up said car covering and intricate ins and outs of a child restraint, for two hours, I came inside to be greeted with a full glass of milk dropped on its head, which left my half done photo albums and photos floating, and the loungeroom floor covered, edge to edge. And to top the afternoon off, Little Miss Toilet Trained, appear to have forgotten the trainED part, and left nice puddles for me to clean up for the proceeding three hours. A day of cleaning. Cold coffee and no cake.
Let’s try again. In the ensuing days we booked up some play dates and were raring to leave these four walls, which the children were now climbing, using 900 decibel crow type sounds. But instead of organising play dates, I should have organised an Ark. Because rain, did it rain! Yet still, enthusiasm reigning, we ventured out….to the City, an hour away: Where I found myself - having not packed enough food for three ravenous hyena’s - parked miles from our destination as the heavens opened, missing a rain jacket for one child, facing 379, 000 steps between us and our target with a heavy two-year-old child covered up in a pram. It was at this point that I gave up.
Coffee and cake can wait: 500 litres of Gin please, hold the tonic.