The Nanny Chronicles Part 4: Costa Wars and The Visit to ThreeSupermarkets

So, there we were, strangers. Two of us to begin with, now three, awkwardly sitting round the table in the garden centre. All not quite sure how we got to this. Collectively, we avoided eye contact and frantically, we each social media'd the shit of of the situation (with a total of three different types of technology out), in a group effort not to actually confront the physical  human in front of us but you know, tell all our friends we felt #awkward.
Artist's (highly polished) impression of my coffee shop outing/war

This was my first day flying solo without the two kidlets whilst the nanny did a full day's trial in soul charge. My first day as a lady of leisure, almost nearing the final hour and I appeared to ended up awkwardly table sharing.
Had the world changed since I had been on maternity leave?
Was it the new social norm to ask if you 'could just perch here' next to a stranger then invite your partner to sit down too and wait until it just got too weird?

I mean, I know I was sitting in the nice 'leather' chairs, I had almost finished my coffee and 1,000 calories of overpriced cake, but it was 3pm on a Monday, the place had around 100 free seats. And, dammit, I was without my children and was LIVING IT UP, I was here to stay... At least until I finished browsing my Dunelm catalog and finished tweeting about it
Then I was left with even more social nicety questions; should I thank them and say good bye? (a bit like when you say sorry to the person who trod on your foot) or do I say something passive aggressive?
I settled for shuffling off for the Garden centre gift section, being hotly converted by people turning over figurines to gasp at the extortionate price. 

One hour left, and I wasn't in the slightest bit concerned about the kids. The were getting unbridled play with an enthusiastic youngling, different to mummy who is always play distracted by the rest of life; swearing under her breath at interupting PPI calls and meticulously planning what to pull out of the freezer next for dinner and the like.

The day had been pretty eventful. I had rekindled the freedom memories of what it was like not to have children. I had been to Lidl on my own and spent double the amount I normally do as there was no paddywinge-fest half way through. I had even leisurely browsed the weird shit they thrown in those baskets in the middle. I had packed my bags without my slinged baby trying to leap out onto the coveryor belt and I didn't have to have to discuss why the pound coin wouldn't come out of the trolley lock with the three year old.
I then visited a further 2 supermarkets that day - one to get the bits I couldn't get at the discount supermarket (obvs) and then the other for leisure (yes, leisure, a leisurely stroll through the clothes section, followed by a browse of the wine section without anyone declaring, "have you found your big drink for tonight yet, mummy?").
I had the pleasure of driving straight past the child and family spaces and the freedom to park where the heck I liked with no risk of any of my tribe accidentally defacing the car next door. But I still had a quick check that the child and family spaces were correctly filled - solidarity to my mum sisters and all that.

I had also fitted in at least seven other of my 'to do list' tasks and all because I could. Today I could 'pop' wherever I wanted. There was no restriction on how many stops I could do in car and risking breaking up the babies nap time. I had waited in line actually patiently, almost enjoying the time to think, at the post office. Am I just getting weird here?
Of course it helps that this was a nanny trial day and I wasn't actually back at work yet, otherwise I would of been chomping at the bit to get that post office queue going.
Oooh queue, don't mind if I do

I had a seriously good time, doing run of the mill stuff. Because I could. There was time to take in the mundane scenery and no distractions. This is how people live without children - how novel!

I know I could of planned a spa day (that may be on the cards), got my hair done, visited the dentist (both of which I also wanted to do, my dentist is quite the fox), but it was nice to not be kid policed and to be at that stage when it's the right time to go back to work. The right time being that the baby is at that whingey, pick me up, put me down, want to sleep, can't sleep, wants toys but doesn't know how to play with them stage. I used to think the 0-6 month stage was boring, but the 6-12 months is becoming quite tedious...dare I say bring on the 1 year plus stage and all the paddies is provides?

Whether or not I'll be saying this in a few weeks after I start back, may be another matter. I'll be going back to  job where every shift is twelve hours plus and their is little time to pee let alone talk to another adult about non work things but at least I won't be unwitting referee to the daily murderous intents of one three year old to one 9 month old.
"Just another day mum, trying to bury my brother alive under some pillows"
When I did return home, I could hear the 9 month old babbling away, the 3 year old playing trains. The older one quickly spotted me, running up, grabbing my leg, declaring, "I love you mummy, can we have a cuddle and kiss?" The younger one, slow off the mark, crawled in for his piece of the action. Uuuummm, delicious cuddles all round.
It's was certainly nice to be appreciated. Pretty much the only job where you never get appraised is that of a Mum. You critically appraise yourself, and fear that others do to, but no -one says. "well done for getting that load of washing done today mum, when I was being a bit of a shit all day and tried to bury my brother alive under four sofa pillows. You deserve a payrise - here have a bottle of wine on me as a thank you, oooh and I'll take myself to bed early tonight."
The nanny explained their day; going to the park and playing round the house. She told of how Bobcat wanted to do everything that Firstborn did and wanted a go on the wobbly bridge. She explained how when Bobcat swiped away Firstborn's meticulously laid out train set, they pretended Bobcat was a naughty dragon taking the trains to his lair. Strange how different your kids are with other people isn't it?
Bobcat normally clings to me like a limpet at the park and Firstborn remains unconvinced whatever I measure I use to get him to understand that his brother find it difficult to play the same way as he does.
Having someone else look after your children, be it your family or a child care provider can really balance your kids and bring out the best (and unseen) bits. I'll remind myself of this when I get the children in childcare guilt later on. Of course it definitely helps that the nanny is literally there to just take care of and play with the kids, and not have to do all the other gubbins involved with being at the at home parent.
I suppose I did miss the kids a bit when I was unwittingly taking part in Costa Wars, as normally I take my very visible force field of two children surrounded by a floor covered in mixed veg and cake crumbs, fending off one from licking the cutlery from someone else's plate and the other deeply questioning the man on the next table like mushrooms. But for now, bring on childfree Mondays!

* This is the forth part in The Nanny Chronicles series: One woman's return back to work, hiring her maaary paarrpins and footing the extortionate childcare bill...I'm sure it will be a best seller, er....*
Hi-ho hi-ho, it's back to work I go (just need to sort out this dodgy blusher first)
Are you returning to work soon? Not sure whether is the right choice? Feeling a little anxious about leaving the kids with someone else?
Well, you can tell me all about it below or on my Facebook page and we can journey back into the workplace together - drinking hot tea and having the occasional solo wee. Maybe even sit on the 'naice chairs' in costa every now and then.

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  1. OMG (can't believe I just wrote OMG like a teenager!!) I have literally just been roaring laughing at this brilliant post fantastically written it's been the highlight of my day reading it. I'll def be back for more #effitfriday

    1. That's fantastic - glad it made you OMG and ROFL! *blushes at the compliments*

  2. Hahaha!!! Aaahh really made me laugh!! I sort of feel a bit weird on the days I don't have the boys... a bit like I've forgotten something. But it is SO nice to do things without the fear of a paddywinge-fest!! LOL! I'm adopting that expression from here-on-in!! :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    1. Glad I could be of service! Love your linky!