Or, otherwise entitled…
Fish, chip and ketchup confetti
I’ve said it many times (and I’ll undoubtedly keep on saying it!)…parenting can be hard. Really hard.
Add into the mix some additional needs and your parenting role gets a WHOLE lot more challenging.
…and, as a parent, there can be those completely cringe-worthy times…say, when your child takes it upon herself to lift up your t-shirt in public (yep, got THAT t-shirt!). Or, um, I dunno, is required to do a lovely drawing at school of what the family did at the weekend – said artwork is then completed and proudly presented to an aghast teacher on Monday who observes a stick mummy (or daddy…or both!) lay seemingly comatose on the floor whilst clutching an empty bottle of wine, whilst infant siblings happily tuck into a whole box of coco pops for their lunch.
Yeah, that would be pretty cringe-worthy!…good luck explaining that one, parent people!
(But let’s not forget that parenting can be magical and wonderful and funny and just utterly brilliant too!).
So, gentle reader, that said, permit me to regale a little (understatement) *coughs* cringey incident of our own that occurred this time last week.
Picture this: The Broccoli Gang are spending some time at (yes, you guessed it!) Broccoli HQ Cornwall. It’s a beautiful warm day (yeah! I know! In October!…it’s probably down to global warming and/or Brexit or something).
Let’s go for a nice long walk. We can have a little trot on the beach and have lunch out too! We said.
Good idea!, we agreed.
So, off we went; Hannah happily tucked up in her special buggy – making her lovely little sing song noises whilst enjoying making attempts to kick out violently like some tiny little martial arts warrior at any unsuspecting passers-by whilst wearing her very hard AFO’s (orthotic splints). A slightly cringey experience, but manageable. We just pre-empted potential contact with strangers limbs and ensured a rather wide berth from all who approached us, so no-one was injured. Huzzah!
Long walk had, trot on the beach completed (and obligatory roll around in the wet sand for Hannah…whilst mummy scoured said wet sand for any dog excrement or jelly fish or sharp things or whatever…like you do!), it was time for a spot of lunchingtons (that’s lunch, btw).
It’s too nice to sit indoors. Why don’t we get fish and chips from Rick Steins café at Fistral and sit in the sunshine so that I can also ogle at the lovely, lovely surfers?, I suggested. All were in agreement of this rather splendid idea (well, just Mr Broccoli…about sitting in the sunshine…not the surfers!)
We grappled with small and rather spirited small, but heavy, child; freeing her from her special buggy and carefully placing her on a grown up bench – daddy positioning himself so that if/when she spontaneously and violently threw herself backwards, she would be safe and no little heads would be cracked open and subsequent emergency medical attention required whilst on holiday. Fabulous!
Sat there, in the sunshine, eating together, was lovely. We were just like (okay, sort of) any other family out there that day. Granted, Hannah did eschew her fork and chose to eat with her hands; whilst occasionally rubbing her lunch into her eyes/ears/face/hair/clothes/the table/us/a passing dog/anything else…but hey, she was feeding herself and she was happy, so that was all that mattered, really.
By this time, other people began to congregate for their lunch or a drink. The outdoor seating area was pretty much full by this time and a handsome young couple (possibly dating, not sure, but looked a bit ‘loved up’ = so probably not married, yet) sat behind Hannah. (n.b as I proceed with this lengthy discourse, please remember this beautiful, probably loved up, young lady with freshly straightened, long, lovely golden hair)
All was well with the world.
…erm…apart from me repeatedly having to bat away twenty billion screeching birds – starlings and seagulls mostly – who made extremely persistent attempts to swoop on us (especially Hannah who enjoyed waving her food in the air! *sigh*) in order to taste Rick’s finest cod and chips.
…they weren’t daft!
At this juncture, I can’t exactly say that I was entirely relaxed!
Erm…not even moderately, actually.
A while later Mr Broccoli assumed that Hannah was making signs that she’d probably had enough lunch.
“Hannah, finished?” he asked innocently.
Oh…ha ha ha…Hannah was most definitely NOT finished…not by any means matey…she was just getting started! Don’t ask her THAT! Big mistake. BIG! (he’s not had the practice, is as quick as me, or possesses ‘the knowledge’ like I have!)
I held my breath in anticipation and in a split second, tiny hands delved into the flakes of fish/chips/ketchup combo and then arms were forcefully ejected backwards, spraying aforementioned loved up young lady’s long golden hair/the back of her jacket with fried potato and sticky red sauce.
Oh sweet Jesus and all the Blessed Saints!
KILL. ME. NOW!
You’ve seen confetti thrown at a wedding, right? Well, just imagine fish/chip/ketchup confetti instead.
Yeah. I know.
All those birds that’d been staring and swooping at us knew they were onto a right winner there and then…flying food! HOORAH!
…it was like a scary scene from a Hitchcock film!
There were birds EVERYWHERE!!!
Plus, they seemed to have multiplied tenfold in a millisecond.
They swooped. Golden girl swatted (whilst accompanying golden boy hung onto his beer. Priorities!). I cringed. A lot.
…and all I wanted right there and then wasn’t the ground to swallow me up, but a great big seagull – the size of a pterodactyl – to come and pick me up and plop me into the deepest, nearest bit of the ocean (preferably then a lovely, lovely surfer comes to my aid before I turn blue or a shark ate me, obvs)
CRINGE, CRINGE AND TRIPLE WHAMMY CRINGE!
Profuse apologies and much grovelling proffered by both TOTALLY mortified parents ensued….whilst small child cackled with great delight and held no remorse whatsoever.
Thankfully, golden girl had seemingly noticed we weren’t an ‘ordinary’ family, so to speak – squeals, AFO’s and special buggy probably being a pretty good giveaway and so she graciously brushed herself off, smiling…SMILING!!!…whilst offering us a “no worries”.
I can safely say, not everyone would react like golden girl (who knows, golden girl may well have a family member or knows of someone with additional needs personally or professionally, so perhaps she understood). No doubt there’ll be times when other people, uneducated people, narrow-minded people with little tolerance for or understanding of difference react less favourably. But we’ll cross that bridge/deal with them when necessary.
So yeah, that was pretty cringey. But in the grand scheme of life, no-one died, no-one was physically harmed, golden girls hair didn’t fall out, the world didn’t end and a seagull the size of a pterodactyl didn’t plop me into the ocean.
…it was just an average day for a SEND family on their holidays!
(On the plus side, what appeared to be the entire avian population of Cornwall had a lovely lunch!)
So, I guess that’s all for now my lovelies.
Thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated, as always.
Until next time.