Once upon a time, about 5 years ago, I got a job Teaching in a brand new school in Sheffield. It turned out to be THE most challenging role in my career and it taught me so much about the world and about myself, but most importantly, I met some really great people including the Head, now good friend Debra! She once showed us this video in the first few days of team building, prior to opening the school, and it has stuck with me ever since…
And basically, it taught me that when everything is going wrong, celebrate it, because not only will it keep you smiling, and thinking positive but in the end, the whole episode will teach you something and make you a better person when you have conquered it.
So….today was VERY fascinating!
Ami and her beautiful family were playing host, and Debra and her partner Andrew, Twinny Claire and her partner Ben and Richard all who worked at the above school (aside from Ben) were meeting up for the first time in ages. I was a little nervous about twinning it on my own, but being me, went for it anyway.
Firstly, I had to wing it all the way there because my sat nav doesn’t work, i’d never been before, had no idea which junction of the M18 to exit, nobody text me back, I think they were secretly hoping I ended up in Cleethorpes, but having had a quick browse of the old A-Z the previous day, I managed to wing it and arrived with no problem. Rory was still fast asleep so I kept Austin entertained quietly with Fireman Sam on the Iphone and a packet of iced gems. Eventually Rory woke up and I gave him snack too, letting him in on the fireman sam fest that was going on in the back of the mummy truck before braving it and attempting to leave the car.
Now – I don’t know if you remember but we were aiming to phase out nap time over the christmas period. Rory was skipping naps quite frequently, but we just needed to get Austin into the same mind frame – well, since then, maybe the whole excitement of Christmas, who knows, but Rory cannot manage without a good hour and half. On a few occasions we have woken him up when we have arrived at a destination and our entire day has been a nightmare. So….today I let him finish his nap, as I didn’t quite have the balls to wake him when I was flying solo in a new house, with unfamiliar people!
Anyway, I took Rory out of the car, and then Austin, took everything very very slowly, assessing the situation, all was going well, we were walking hand in hand down the street to Ami’s front door, I was explaining what was going to happen next, where we were going, who was going to be there, all that jazz, when BANG, Austin trips over the kerb and bangs his head, sobbing his heart out. When One is upset, the other twin is upset, and so we had two sobbing twins on the doorstep. I didn’t knock, thought we had better compose ourselves first. Or at least try. I opened the boys snack and toy box we had brought with us, everything I offered was launched with a ‘no’ between sobs, both boys were throwing themselves around the floor in the doorway, neighbours were looking around and wondering what all the screaming was about. Ami & the rest of the team, non the wiser, inside, although on a few occasions I looked up at the spyhole in the door and wondered if they were watching me dealing with a double toddler tantrum, playing it calm, double dosing the patience and the ‘ok, no duplo, we will find that later, what about Thomas?’ HOW FASCINATING!
Eventually, when I realised that we weren’t calming this meltdown any time soon, I carried both boys back to the car under my arm, leaving a trail of snack and toys being launched in paddy. We got back in the car, strapped them in and I sat in the middle, trying to calm them, back in the warmth, in the place they feel safe. I was hoping to reset them and start again from the car, this time not tripping over the kerb. A couple more minutes calm and then I was ready to attempt again, but then Andrew came walking across the road, he had been sent by a bunch of worried folk to see if I needed any help and Austin’s meltdown was set off all over again by the stranger asking questions and point out that he had a hole in the bottom of his crisp pack and there were skips every where. I calmly and politely told him that we were fine (which we were) and sent selfies of us all in the car, calming AGAIN, with the biggest issue here being skips all over my car. haha!
Eventually I plucked up courage to try again, and went for it. We got about half way there and Austin pulled my hand back towards the car and started crying, he really didn’t want to go. There was no reasoning with him and rather than risk the FULL ON meltdown of both twins, I just thought ‘sod it’ and went back to the car AGAIN! Just as I was getting the second twin back in the car, Ami came out. We had a little chin wag, laughing and joking, she especially found it funny that Spice Girls Greatest Hits was playing out of my car – I explained that #girlpower is what gets me through. I also explained how I was considering not coming because of the boys not knowing the environment or the people and twinning it on my own being a HUGE RISK and all the rest of it, and I just thought, sod it, I love this girl, she has gone to so much effort, I have driven all this way, shes a Mum too, she gets it, the people inside this house have so much respect for A&R and they know what i face every day and so I just tried again, third time lucky. I had to carry Austin in, and practically push Rory through the door, the whole time he was trying to turn back and go back to the car. Austin looking petrified as he stands with his back to the door. I locked the door behind me so they couldn’t escape and literally sat on the floor in the hall way with them, screaming, I waved at everyone down the hall and just said, be with you shortly, they understood. Eventually, Rory saw a ball and went running in to score a basket, and then come back because he wasn’t sure about all of the attention he got. Ami brought a Freddo and Debra a chocolate mouse, which they were happy to do good sitting for and enjoyed, helping them to forget about the already traumatic hour we have already had trying to get this far. Most would have just given up right?!?With full on attention trying to bring them round, I hadn’t even spoken to anyone, I felt really rude at times, sat in the hallway ignoring everyone else, in a house I have never stepped foot in before, but to be honest, the best thing to do is shut off from the world and focus on what is important, two little people learning to socialise and control their emotions.
Gradually we shuffled down the hallway, Richard and Claire came to say hello and helped break the ice from the big group of people in the beautiful living room at the end of the hall. After about 20 minutes, we made it over the threshold into the kitchen and I closed the door behind us. As the house was open plan, we were now technically in the same room as everyone else and able to exchange the odd conversation from the kitchen floor where we remained for the entire time we were there.
Ami had made some lovely food, I managed to have a little snack, Richard made me a cup of tea bless him, although it went cold, so Jozef microwaved it for me, I managed to say a quick hello to baby Mila and Jozko was such a darling, taking the ball to Austin and Rory trying to engage them in play.
Debra had bought the boys a cute little tee, bless her for thinking of them.
It was lovely to see everyone and despite the HUGE drama, we made it in the end. Sometimes, as hard as it is, you have to push out of the comfort zones and yes, it might be fascinating, but it will be worth it!
We celebrated our courage and our positivity with a Mcds on the way home – much needed crap food and sugar for mummy to get through the rest of the day!
Once home, Rory refused to come into the playroom. I left him sat on the step and went to unpack all of the medical equipment and in he walks, in his wellies, with my boots in his hand. And then I remember. He was trying to get outside at Ami’s and I said to him ‘we can play in the garden when we get home, 10 more minutes here, and then we will go home and play in the garden’ and he must have remembered. So it was 3PM, 5 degrees and we are playing in the garden again until it turned dark!