It’s always a joy when I manage to get a parking space outside of Jake’s school in the morning. Especially when the sun is shining. In recent weeks, with all the rain, it’s been a case of pulling up outside the gates, a quick peck on the cheek and then my big boy is out of the car and into school without a backwards glance. When the sun is shining and there’s a space it means the triplets and I can wait in the playground with him, I can have a brief chat with some of the other parents and Ella, Louis and Theo get to cause havoc by either going missing or falling over – a tad stressful but manageable and it makes me feel better to know that I’ve stayed with Jake until the bell rings. So, this morning I smugly glided into the perfect spot outside the school and felt quite pleased with myself as I turned off the radio, unbuckled my seat belt and prepared to unleash the trio. It’s really hard to come up with new ways to describe the screaming fits and tantrums that are occurring at the moment over nothing. Louis went ballistic when I tried to get him out of the car minus the football he was clutching, screaming as though I was torturing him. I ignored him, pulled him out of his car seat , stood him on the pavement with strict instructions to stand still and then moved on to Ella who practically knocked herself out by falling dramatically down to the ground, banging her head on the pavement, shrieking and arching her back, dress up by her ears, nappy on display to the world. She was politely stepped over by several people trying to get past and it really wasn’t her most dignified moment. As I leant back inside the car to get Theo I didn’t see Louis dash between the parked cars and onto the road – it couldn’t have been more obvious to passers by that I’d lost control . A quick witted mum grabbed him, thank god, and returned him to me and having had my happy bubble burst I turned on Jake and shouted at him for not holding onto his brother. He’s only eight and I hate myself when I take my frustrations out on him. ‘Can I just go in by myself, mum, please?’ he pleaded, flushed and quite rightly mortified by the scene that was taking place right outside his school. ‘Yes, of course, darling!’ I said as brightly as I could, always keen to see him off on a good note. ‘Have a lovely day, love you!’ He didn’t look back as he crossed the road, head bowed, no doubt trying to make himself disappear. I couldn’t blame him. I was now very flustered and scooped up Louis and Ella, put them back in the car and seat belts firmly fastened proceeded to tell them off for being so naughty and they all, having suddenly and completely calmed down, just gazed at me looking like something out of a catalogue for cute kids. I caught sight of my angry face in the reflection of the car window, felt a bit foolish and wondered if I was actually the fourth toddler in the gang.
Three hours later I went to pick them up from nursery. I arrived a little early and seeing that they were playing outside with the sand and water parked the car just out of sight and watched them for a few minutes. Happy, giggling, carefree toddlers. I want to lighten up a little. Before I know it my amazing three will be striding into ‘big school’ just like their older brother and these crazy days will be a distant memory. For as many difficult moments that there are right now, there are so, so many more magical ones. It’s about time that I really started to notice them.