Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Karma in the form of a fountain

Do you remember that scene from The Sound of Music where the Von Trapp children are laughing and screeching with joy as they climb trees and sail down the river. They're filthy dirty and wearing clothes made out of curtains, much to the horror of their father. This is the scene in case you need a memory jolt:

I'm always torn watching this scene. The OCD, control freak part of me agrees with the father, kids shouldn't be making huge scenes and should be tidy at least, especially in public. I have no issue with them wearing clothes made out of curtains. I'm not sure if I'm putting this across how I wanted to but there it is. The fun loving mother in me also disagrees with the dad and thinks that kids should laugh and have fun, of course they should.

At my local shopping centre there is a set of fountains, those ones that go off and on and shoot up at various heights, ie toddler height (there's a correct, technical term for it which evades me right now).  I've managed to keep my kids out of them so far. I've managed to promise 'next time' or 'after a donut' or 'another time' and it's worked every time. I've walked past there many times and seen kids playing happily in the water, fully clothed. I've judged, I've said nasty, judgemental parent things to myself like 'oh for gods sake, put a swim suit on your kid' or 'for fcuks sake, is it really the place to play?'... I've used words like bogan and feral when seeing these kids in the fountains. I've also smiled when I've seen the joy on these kids faces as they splashed and jumped. Again, I'm torn between OCD control freak mum and fun loving mum.
But seriously, I mean the bloody fountain is in the middle of a busy shopping centre and surely its for decoration purposes, right?  Until today.

Today we were close by meeting Dirt Girl, The Cat in the Hat, Shaun the Sheep, and Tweety Bird (don't ask!) and I was hoping the fountains would be switched off. No such luck. We met the characters . . . Monkey Man went up to all of them with no fear whatsoever, Missy Moo was a little hesitant but after a few high 5's she wanted to go back again and again. Little Miss clung to me, wrapped herself around me, dug her fingers into my back and screamed in my ear the entire time. She was apparently not keen. We had cake earlier on, the kids had balloons, and I chased them out of the fountains a few times. I mean in toddler terms of a day out it was perfect, right? I thought I'd gotten away with it, kept them out of the fountains for yet another day. Until I turned away for 2 seconds. Then I found this:

It was over. They were soaked head to toe, I had no spare clothes or towels for them, it was over. I was officially one of those parents who let their feral children run wild in a public place. The Baroness** would be disgusted... Every OCD fibre of me wanted to scream at them to get out and to bundle them into the car. I fought myself, I fought hard and found a way to somehow, let go. It was bloody hard I tell ya, especially when I heard other people walking past comment on 'how wet those children were'. The tone of those comments were pure disdain and disapproval - judgement. I became the Mum I've looked down my nose at and commented about previously. Karma. It gets you eventually. 

I had no idea how I'd get them out of the fountain let alone to the car and home. I knew the pram would get soaked, I knew I had no clothes and definitely no towels with me so we would have to go and buy some. I usually have a bag of spare clothes in the boot of the car but knew it was currently sitting in the study. Buggeration!

I asked another Mum friend I'd run into to watch them in the fountain while I ran into a store and bought them clothes, towels etc. There was a plan, I was calm and I was actually enjoying watching my kids run, shriek and laugh. The plan was abandoned when Missy Moo decided to hide in a corner and fill her already full nappy. The smell was horrendous and her nappy was officially bursting at the seams. Given it was full of water, I knew there wasn't long before it all ended rather nastily. It was time to go. I bunded two kids into the pram, made Missy Moo stand on the skateboard as I figured sitting on that load would no doubt cause an explosion and into Target we went. It took ages to find summer clothes in their sizes as everything is on clearance and just a giant jumble sale of clothes. Missy Moo peed all over the floor as her nappy was now officially overflowing and all three were dripping water everywhere. I had a baby wipe on the floor and was wiping as we went with my foot, like some kind of idiot. God I was embarrassed! Some random old lady asked me in serious WTF tone 'what on earth happened to them??'... I explained rather sheepishly that I let them in the fountains but now we had to find clothes urgently as the nappy situation was getting dangerous. God bless her (ie so she fcuking should!), she put aside her tone and judgement and helped me find clothes. She did so while saying nothing about the smell. She clearly was a mother. She must have remembered what it was like to lose control and vote fun over rules. Maybe she had no sense of smell?

We took over the parents room, dried everyone off, changed bums and threw all the wet stuff into a plastic bag. Mothers with newborn babies, clearly their first babies were looking on rather horrified. You could see them also wondering what the hell happened. Crisis averted and 3x new outfits purchased... just another day out really.

**The Baroness was the cranky woman who almost married Captain Von Trapp on The Sound of Music, in otherwords the almost step mum. Luckily for us all he chose Maria and all was right in the world. Seriously if you haven't seen it, you're missing out.



  1. Love it! Pretty sure E and Little Miss have the same shoes! Loving mostly that it happened the one time that you didn't have a change of clothes on you - damn Murphy and his law!


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