Today's list of Must-Dos read: (Yes, I really do make a list. The evil placenta zapped most of my memory. Twice).
1. Bank - sign forms.
2. Boys haircut asap.
3. Post Office - post parcel, buy stamps.
4. Send off gas bill payment.
Shouldn't be too hard to achieve, should it?
Achieving #4 went without a hitch. Even I can't mess up writing a cheque and putting a sealed envelope in the mailbox. Well, almost. I put the envelope in after the post had been collected, thus missing today's mail. Then I forgot to take the bill to the main post office when attempting #3, therefore missing my second chance at getting the bill started on its little journey.
Don't fret Big Gas Company, my payment is in the mailbox for tomorrow's collection. I promise.
#2 was priority. I figured I should get what I anticipated to be the hardest errand, over with first.
However, getting both their hair cut turned out to be not that big of a deal. Littlest boy, Monkey, went first, and granted, there was a certain amount of objection to the water spritzer and the kids coverall. (He chose the much more chic chocolate brown one to wear instead of the one emblazened with Mickey Mouse. This child has taste. My work is done!) But he sat quietly and still (most of the time) on my lap and had me gobsmacked at his co-operativeness.
I put this down to the fact that the hairdresser was extremely cute and her big brown eyes definitely worked their magic on my two year old's mini babe radar. Older boy, Cheeky, even sang along to the ABC song with her, such was her power of persuasiveness. That and the fact that she plied them with butter cookies throughout their time in her 'Magic' chair.
Anyway, Mummy paid the tip and left on a high. Proud of my boys for being so good and also chuffed that for once, their hair hadn't been butchered and it looked exactly as I'd asked for: trimmed, but not too remand centre short. I am a fan of the longer locks.
Careful not to be smug, (I run too many errands with my boys to get cocky about good behaviour in public) we left the hairdressers and went to the Post Office. Time to do errand #3.
Wish I hadn't bloody bothered. This was an unmitigated DISASTER. They burst through the doors and ran round and round the counter in the middle of the room (the place where you write your address labels, can't find a pen, lose your keys, drop your cellphone, realise you forgot your wallet etc. You know?) I attempted to control them at the same time as stuffing my package in a padded envelope.
I tried diversion tactics. Hey boys, how about you go look at those airplane posters over there? I suggested.
While my eyes were averted and busy helping me fill out the Customs Declaration form, they boys wrecked the US Mail historic poster display and got told off by Mummy and the postmaster.
Monkey then decided he was off. Literally. He bolted for the door declaring it was time to eat. He had a point.
I went chasing after him causing me to lose my place in line, which totally peed me off as you can imagine.
The boys big finale however was when Mummy finally got served. The following debate about parcel tape ensued:
Me: Sorry I haven't taped the parcel. Could you?
Cashier: Well, we don't usually...
Me: But I had to buy the envelope here. i'm not going to take it all the way home to tape it, then come all the way back am I?
Cashier: We are not supposed to tape customers parcels.
Me: Could you make an exception please?
Cashier: Errr, well...
Me: Pass me that tape and I'll do it then!
Cashier: Ok, I'll make an exception. But only because we already have some tape open. Really you should buy your own roll.
Me: (inwardly) Arrrrgggghhhh!
And then the boys (accidentally) pulled over the whole, let me say it again, The Whole, display of envelopes and mailing boxes. My inward 'Argghh' went stadium and before I knew it my scream was audiable in the Post Office car park.
We paid and left. Fast. And I forgot to buy the blinking stamps.
I almost abandoned errand #1, fearing a trip to the bank would just about finish me off. But the forms had to be signed and I'd promised Him Downstairs I'd do it. Today. So we drove there amid serious discussion on how to behave properly in public places.
Me: Hands in pockets or by your sides please boys! Do not touch anything!
Them: Crying because Mummy was shouting.
Anyway, they cheered up slightly when we got to the bank because there were a few toys to play with. I breathed a sigh of relief as they situated themselves on the couch with the Abacus and a Dora book.
All was going well until Mr Bank Man took FOREVER to print off the forms and fill in his paperwork. Small boys can only find so much amusement with some wooden beads and one book. Had I remembered to bring a digger/airplane/train with me, we could have hung out in the bank all day.
Then Cheeky announced he needed the potty. A diversion. Hoorah! A nice lady showed us to the bathroom and we three locked the door behind us. Confined in a small space, we couldn't get into much trouble could we?
As I'm helping Cheeky with his 'toilette' Monkey spies a cabinet by the basin and opens it. It contains what I assume are the female staff members make-up bags and hair accessories. Before I can say, Flush and wash! he's opened two of the bags and has dropped compacts and lipsticks onto the floor.
I can feel the tears prick at the back of my eyes.
Why Me? I ask no-one in particular.
That's it. I'm so done running errands. So I scoop up the spilt make-up, hand it all in at the front desk, apologising profusely and I take the boys out to the car.
The forms can wait.
The glass of wine and the tears can't.
I think I failed the Teach My Children To Behave Well in Public lesson. Big time.