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Alfie has moments when he is just so bloody ... TWO ... I just don't know whether to hug him or throttle him. While this tale isn't exactly his fault, there is a whole "Butterfly Effect" that I lay squarely at his door.

After a long day at Keith's show, Alfie decided that his sister looked hot and bothered, ran over to the pushchair and emptied a bottle of water over her head.

Esme - unsurprisingly - freaked out, flailed her arms and roared at the injustice of being dowsed in ice cold water. I don't blame her, I would've done the same.

I caught Alfie by the arm as he ran past me cackling in glee and, ignoring the usual conventions, had to talk over his head about how hosing his sister down was not a nice thing to do. I couldn't look at him, or our friend sitting nearby because we were both going slowly crimson trying not to laugh. The more we looked at each other, the more we wanted to laugh, and the less I could keep my voice level.

Poor Esme was still sitting in a puddle grumbling and pouting, even as Alfie went over to hug her and apologise. I assume he did anyway, I had to run round the corner of a nearby building to collapse against the wall.

Why am I telling you this?

Last Saturday I decided to take the kids out despite a slightly worrying forecast. Keith was out and Alfie wasn't in the mood to be indoors so I thought it would be nice to visit a local open farm. You know the drill, see some animals, run round some woods, look round a farm shop, maybe pick up some veg. The usual shit.

Or if you are a toddler who is SOVERYTWO it goes something like this:

Fall asleep 5 minutes before we reach the farm. Wake up 45 minutes later ANGRY. Shout. Hate the pigs. PIGLETS ARE DULL. Run into the woods. HATE THE TREEHOUSE. Go down the slide. WANT MORE SLIDE. NO MORE SLIDE. Run out of wood. HATE BENCH. Push over bench.

It being Saturday there were any number of other families about, mostly clad in fashionably muddied Joules with fashionably tousled hair and names like Oscar. All were looking on with a fashionable mix of fascination and horror at the dishevelled woman with tattooed arms, a baby strapped to her chest speaking very firmly to a fast moving collection of limbs about how he had the choice to calm down or go home.

I decided we could all use a break and managed to herd the still flailing limbs in the direction of the cafe where I ordered a cream tea for us to share under a gazebo in the courtyard.     


I amused Esme with this bear while Alfie walked round collecting stones in a toy wheelbarrow.

For just one fleeting moment, we were a picture of fashionable calm.

And then just after I'd dished out the first pieces of scone, the weather got biblical on our asses. It rained fit to give Noah a turn and there was thunder and lightening right above us. Neither of my kids batted an eyelid as we watched other families pour themselves under neighbouring gazebos.

I divided up the last of the scone thinking it was probably time to give up the entire outing as a bad job. At that very moment, a freak gust of wind whipped under the gazebo, and a massive pool of water was thrown out of the roof and all over my baby.

Esme - unsurprisingly - freaked out, flailed her arms and roared at the injustice of being dowsed in ice cold water. I don't blame her, I would've done the same, especially a mere week after the last time she was dowsed with ice cold water.

The family in the next door gazebo looked at me, I looked at them and while I hugged poor soggy Esme to my chest, I chortled quietly into her shoulder.

Don't judge me, if you saw it on some dreadful video clip show you would've laughed too. The family in the next door gazebo certainly did.

Next week's post: My Baby Has A Phobia of Showers.

Only kidding, in actual fact she now seems to love showering more than before. Maybe she's just grateful we take the trouble to warm the water.    

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