Those of you who read my blog a couple of weeks ago will know we have been struggling with MC not wanting to go to school.
Well, despite her being ill all over the half-term she went back to school fine on Monday. I was expecting tears but none came as she happily kissed me goodbye at the gate. I was worried about Tuesday as I had to take TC on the school run with us but again she surprised me by happily skipping into school (encouraged by the fact she knew she was 'Helpwr Heddiw' - that means she was going to be the 'Helper Today' for those don't speak Welsh).
She was leading me into a false sense of security.
Today she had her biggest 'I don't want to go to school' meltdown so far. Even bigger than the last time.
It wasn't helped by the fact I'm not feeling well at the moment.
But what makes it worse is that it was in public.
Outside the school in fact.
We were already late. It didn't help.
We had to park far away from the school. I could've just pulled it up on the pavement or at a junction near the school like a lot of
TC wasn't for walking fast. I was constantly asking him to hurry up and stop staring longingly at trucks and buses as they passed. I felt like a horrible mother.
We crossed over the road to the school and that's when it all started.
"I don't want to go to school, Mummy!" my daughter cried.
"You have to, sweetheart".
"But I don't want to! I want to stay home with you and my brother!".
That's when the tears started.
"We are going to be late and you'll go into the late book" I said. It was probably the wrong thing to say but I was conscious it was 8.37am. Exactly 3 more minutes and the doors to her class would shut and we'd have to make the walk of shame to reception to sign in late.
That's when the screaming started.
"DON'T MAKE ME GO TO SCHOOL!"
Wave after wave of sobbing followed by various other remarks about her lack of love for school.
All whilst trying to fight my way through the vast tide of parents walking towards us after already dropping their little darlings off.
By this time I was practically dragging both children towards the gate.
I really felt like the worst mother ever.
Other parents wondering what on earth was wrong with my child that she hated school so much she was sobbing uncontrollably.
TC had decided he wanted to chase a truck he'd seen, I had to drag him through the school gate and eventually he opted for a sit down crying protest in the school playground.
I tried to walk MC towards the door of school.
She was still sobbing.
One of the teachers saw me struggling and came out and helped.
Some gentle persuasion and distraction and MC was quickly taken inside without a kiss or hug from me. I was left standing alone in the playground staring at TC who was still sitting crying.
I scooped him up and slowly made my way back to the car (after a quick diversion to go and look at a digger across the road).
Then I cried.
I pulled myself together eventually and rang my Sister and then rang Matt. Matt went away on Monday and won't be back until tomorrow night. I hate him being away so much.
Part of me wanted to go home and
It was all going well and I was starting to feel better when some bright spark at Ikea thought it was a good idea to display a train track on a play table.
Could I get TC away from it?
I don't think I need to answer that.
The boy is obsessed with trains, cars, buses, helicopters - any transport in fact - and there was no moving him. I left him to play for a while until I decided it was time to go.
He wouldn't budge.
I tried reasoning with him (not easy with a 23 month old).
I even tried distracting him with a football (his other love).
Nothing was working.
There was nothing left to do but go get him.
That was when the whole of Ikea heard him!
The meltdown was epic.
It wasn't just an average tantrum though. He swiped my face. He grabbed my hair and wouldn't let go. A guy from the warehouse came to my aid as I was wrestling him and trying to retain some dignity (not an easy task). The guy tried to distract him but to no avail. Eventually the two of us got TC in the trolley and I thanked him and quickly moved away from the hoards of people I thought must be judging me.
A middle-aged woman touched my arm and smiled at me "We've all been there dear" she said.
That's when I felt myself going.
I smiled back, mumbled something nice to her and I went into a corner behind some boxes.
Then I cried.
I pulled myself together (again) and continued my shopping
At the checkouts a few people where staring at me. I thought they must have seen me and the 'toddler battle' earlier.
Once I'd bent TC into the car seat - when I say 'bent' I mean got him to bend as he likes to scream and turn himself into a plank as he hates getting in the car - he went straight to sleep before I'd even started the car.
I glanced at myself in the mirror.
TC had drawn blood where he'd swiped me and I had walked around Ikea with a huge blob of dried blood on my face.
So THAT'S what the people at the checkout were looking at me for.
I drove home in a daze. Feeling like the worst mum ever (again).
Thoughts of MC and her school protest weighing heavily on my mind.
At 3.10pm I picked her up. TC had wanted to take his Micro Scooter and so I took MC's too. After school we went to the park. We went on the swings and we also ran around pretending to be monsters. Happy times.
It was lovely to just have simple fun with them both.
I started to feel the badness of the day dispel a little.
Because TC had an early sleep today he was really tired this evening. Getting him ready for bed was an awful battle. He didn't want me to change his nappy and started kicking me wildly.
I tried to distract him with toys in his room but he wouldn't have any of it.
He started kicking harder.
"Stop kicking Mummy" I said calmly over and over again.
I was close to tears through sheer exhaustion when MC came into the room with a small bell she had found.
"Look TC! Look at this! You can have it and jangle it" she said passing it to him.
He took it happily and the kicking stopped.
Then she turned to me and said "I didn't want TC to upset you Mummy so thought I'd come and save you".
After I'd changed TC he stood up and kissed me.
Yes my kids broke me today.
But they also fixed me too.