Tuesday, 15 October 2013

adventure time with Dora

I took my three toddlers on an adventure today. We went on a train to the city to see a live Dora show at a beautiful old theatre. It was epic. In planning, it seemed really simple. It was, however, epic.

I stocked up on snacks in toddler size, you know the ones - loaded with sugar and individually wrapped so they could be thrown in a bag quickly and easily. I even bought emergency boxes of Smarties in case it all went to hell ie triple throw down tantrums in a busy public place. I planned the timing, checking train timetables and how long it would take us to walk from the station to the theatre, then adding the obligatory 15 minutes of toddler dawdling time. We set off on time and to be honest things went a little downhill from there.

Traffic was a bitch. The normal drive from here to the train station of choice is about 15 minutes. Today it took 30 and meant the kids were a bit tetchy before we even got out of the car. Some loud music and car seat dancing eased that. We walked from the carpark to the station and before you know it, the whinging of 'my legs are hurting' started. A few minutes of train spotting and lift riding and the whinging was quickly ceased ie forgotten about. We bought our tickets and boarded the train really easily. I started to get cocky at this point. What was so hard about this? This was easy!

A random lady on the train started talking to me, asking how old the kids were, how far apart, commenting on how well behaved they were. This was obviously a sign for the kids to start acting up as all three started asking for drinks and snacks simultaneously. Snacks were handed out, silence once again reigned supreme - for 2.3 minutes anyway. Water was promptly spilled, meltdown #1 followed closely by as I didn't have a change of clothes for Missy Moo. Previously mentioned sugar didn't take long to kick in and the kids started running riot on the train. They were shrieking and laughing and swinging off rails like monkeys. I did my best to control the chaos but lets be honest, I was fighting a losing battle. I will say that Monkey Man in particular was interested in the station names and liked to practice saying them which was pretty cute. I had visions of them being snatched or pushed out the doors and falling between the train and the platform when we stopped at each station so I didn't dare take my eyes of them for a second. Any time they went near the doors, my heart was in my throat.

Due to the traffic holding us up we ended up on a later train than planned, so my 15 minutes of toddler dawdling time was gone. We got to the city with a few minutes to spare and had to hightail it to the theatre. Little Miss was in the stroller, Monkey Man and Missy Moo were walking until both started complaining about 'broken feet and hurty legs' again. I loaded Missy Moo onto the back of the stroller and kept boosting Monkey Mans ego about what a big boy he was, how good a job he was doing and how he was walking so fast with Mummy as we practically ran through the city. He kept saying 'we're going SO fast!'.... we were! Imagine going all that way, all that build up and then missing the bloody show? No freaking way!

We made it just in time to dump the stroller in the parking bays and find our seats. All three once again started asking for food - damn those sugary snacks burning off already!! The thought of taking all three out of the theatre again to buy more food was daunting to say the least, especially as the lights were dimmed and the show about to start. My emergency Smarties supply was handed out and rapidly demolished. I was now helpless in the face of a triple meltdown so I had to just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The show started, Little Miss didn't like it much so climbed onto my lap and stayed there for the show duration. The fact that hubby didn't come as we bought 4 tickets only was now void as there was a seat for him afterall. Bugger. She did get into the show after a few minutes but wasn't giving up her seat on my lap for love nor money. Monkey Man started asking for flashing-made in china-over priced merchandise which I said we would look at after the show. Crisis averted. Missy Moo started asking for a dummy as naptime approached and the tears started when I said no. Those tears quickly stopped when she realised I meant no. I promised some lunch as soon as the show ended. Once the show ended we joined the hundreds of people trying to exit all at once. We battled to get the stroller back and load Little Miss in - both she and Missy Moo decided they wanted in and of course today I only had the single stroller so a hair pulling, clothes yanking battle of wills commenced in the middle of more than a hundred people. More tears flowed. Monkey Man started asking for merchandise again but I said no, telling him the girls were tired so lets go and get lunch and an ice cream and then we're going back on the train. He didn't ask again.

We commenced the 700m walk from the theatre to McDonalds. According to where is.com it should take 8 minutes. It took much freaking longer than that. Missy Moo dragged the pram, pulling at my hands and legs, demanding a dummy and crying that her legs were hurty. Monkey Man kept asking how much further. All three wanted a drink and kept saying it was so hot, Monkey Man and Missy Moo kept fighting over who could ride the back of the stroller. I'm sure we were quite the sight! We made it, I swear it took like half an hour to get there and I ordered lunch for everyone. We all sat down to eat and of course Monkey Man decides now he needs a wee. The toilets weren't far from where we were sat but what to do? Do I pack up the food, load it into the stroller and take everyone to the loo? Do I ask a random to watch the girls and take Monkey Man to the loo? I can't send him by himself? Argh! Great timing my son! He keeps reminding me he needs the loo so its now or never. I decide to let him go in by himself once I realise there is only two cubicles and I can see him from the door if he leaves the door open. I can stand at the door, pretty much smack bang in between the girls and him and sort everyone out.

Everyone eats and drinks and before I know it, its almost time to go. Little Miss decides to get down from the table and go and sit on the floor, right in the middle of everyone ordering food in a busy restaurant. When I tell her to get up, she lays down! Kill me! I drag her to her feet and back to the table and decide to call it quits and head for home. As I'm loading her into the stroller and trying to keep the other two with me, Monkey Man starts climbing up and down the stairs. A maccas employee yells in my face to 'CONTROL MY KID!!' I'm shocked and angry. He backed down a little, saying that 'he will hurt himself' which I get was his intention but to have a random stranger yell at me like that, and say what he did really pissed me off. I went and found the manager and told him perhaps he should control his staff and they should not be permitted to speak to paying customers like that.

I gathered the troops and we made our way to the train. Both the older kids whinged all the way to the station and Little Miss cried til I let her out of the pram. All three were overtired and ran about the carriage all the way home with multiple tantrums every few minutes thrown in for good measure. I had three randoms tell me 'you've got your hands full'....  Good times!

Overall it was a good day, 3 toddlers and I on a little adventure - making memories is what its all about right??



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