October half term 2014 – the camera can lie!

I wonder how you read a post? Do you look through the photographs and then read them? Do you read and look at the photographs as you go along? I am pondering this because if you were to look through my photographs first, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they show happy family time, which, to some extent, they do. It’s not all doom and gloom, but before, after and in between, some of these pictures were events that haven’t made for the best start to the October half-term.

The Baby Show

The Beans broke up from school last Thursday, so on Friday, when I was invited to attend the Baby Show at Olympia in London, it meant that they had to come along for the ride. Luckily for me, my Mum offered to take the day off work to help me, in addition to Monday (today as I write this post), which she has already booked off to spend with me and the Beans.

Wood Green

The day started well, with the Beans seemingly in a good mood; they each packed a bag of items to keep themselves entertained in the car. Unfortunately for us, the traffic built up as we hit the North Circular, and so the Beans began to get a little agitated and understandably fed up at being cooped up in the car. They made a start on their packed lunch and then finished it when we turned the engine off at Westfield car park. The plan was to walk 25 minutes to Olympia, but this didn’t agree with Beans, who complained pretty much the whole way and waited until we were about halfway to complain that they needed the toilet (why do they never need the toilet when you are right next to one???). When we finally arrived at Olympia, we faced a flight of stairs to get the double buggy up. Thankfully, they did have willing men on hand to help, but it still made it a heavy load to handle, and I was less than impressed when I got to the top of the stairs to be told that I needed to go back to the office at the bottom of the stairs to print off my ticket.

Wood Green

Once inside, we booked the Beans into the free Fisher Price creche so that I could see those I needed to see quickly, and so the Beans felt they were having a bit of fun for themselves. The truth of it was that they enjoyed themselves so much that they were disappointed when I turned up to pick them up. It’s always nice to know your children are pleased to see you!! Whilst they were busy playing, I managed a couple of very good meetings and caught up with a couple of friends, but as planned, I kept our time at the Show to a minimum for the Beans’ sake.

Wood Green

Walking back from Olympia to Westfield was extremely stressful. Little Bean was complaining that her shoes were hurting her and that she had rubbed her heels, so she wanted to ride in the sibling seat of the Crusi. Beanie Boy wanted to ride because his legs were tired, too. I let Little Bean ride to give her feet time to recover and gave Beanie Boy a piggyback, but that didn’t help my bad ankle, so when I put him down, he pretty much cried the rest of the way to the car (Beanie Boy does not do quiet crying either!).

Wood Green

The Beans complained that they were hungry, so we stopped off on the outskirts of London to get some tea, but even that was stressful as Little Bean complained there was nothing she wanted until the nice waitress managed to put together a meal she did like. Beanie Boy and Jelly Bean each had meals they did like but wouldn’t eat, and all three of them behaved atrociously at the table, we left with pretty much-untouched plates and a very stressed out Mummy vowing that we would NOT be eating out again for the foreseeable future.

Wood Green

Saturday and Sunday didn’t fare much better, with stroppiness and backchat being the order of both days. Little Bean had a sleepover at Nanna’s house and woke up in a much better mood the next day after a good night’s sleep. The same could not be said for the boys, who were equally grumpy and stroppy on Sunday.

Wood Green

Mum took the day off work to help me with the beans today. Since the sun was shining, we made plans to go to Wood Green in Godmanchester and then to Johnson’s Farm at Oldhurst for a day of animal encounters. Still, to our disappointment, the majority of Wood Green was closed, and after finally finding Johnson’s Farm, we discovered it too was closed. Thankfully, the Beans were able to play in the play area at Wood Green and to see a few of the animals. Then, following the disappointment of Johnson’s Farm, we popped to Wyevale Garden Centre in Huntingdon as I knew the Beans would love seeing the fish, reptiles and small animals there and Mum and I would be able to enjoy a coffee whilst the Beans let off some steam in the play area.

Wood Green

The problem with today was that it was just one form of unwanted behaviour after another from the Beans. If I asked them not to do something, they would ignore me and continue or, worse still, shout at me and continue. I had backchat and dirty looks and was completely humiliated by their poor behaviour. I wouldn’t mind if I was a pushover parent but I’m not by any stretch of the imagination, that said, I am clearly going wrong somewhere as this seems to be a regular occurrence when I take them out for the day. I don’t know if it is because they get over-tired (they seem to be waking up earlier and earlier at the moment) or the trigger, but I am starting to dread outings where I used to look forward to them. The lowest point came when I spotted Little Bean pick up a large knife as we walked through the Garden Centre and chased her brother with it!!! We got in the car and came home, but it didn’t stop there. At home, teatime was the usual circus act with one or other of them getting up and down from the table, lolling around on the tabletop or messing about with their food and then again at bathtime even more cheek and messing about. In the end, enough was enough. At 6 pm, I put them all to bed and turned the lights out, already worrying that it would mean an extra early start and overtired children the following day.


As you may or may not have seen last week, I have enrolled in a parenting course as I need guidance before my relationship with the Beans deteriorates even further. I want to enjoy spending time with my Beans and I want them to enjoy spending time with me, I want them to look back on their childhood with love and laughter, not memories of a screaming, ranty Mum so I guess we shall have to see how things go.


Have you taken or would you take part in parenting courses? Did you feel they helped you?

14 thoughts on “October half term 2014 – the camera can lie!”

  1. Sabina, I admire your honesty. You love your children and do your best for them. That is all any of us can do. You are too hard on yourself. Tomorrow is a new day lovely. x

  2. Hi Chick I agree with Caroline … You are too hard on yourself. Everything will be fine even with a few minor hurdles along the way. You love them and they love you and that is most important and you all know it. Thinking about you xx

  3. I have not contemplated a parenting course, but nonetheless recognise a lot of the behaviours you’ve mentioned. I think we have chosen the path of least resistance. I leave Mr J to handle mealtimes- the children have more respect for him than I. I will take the children out together- but it is rare and well planned. Mr J generally doesn’t. So from time to time, we will separate them and they all do fun activities- but not as a three.
    It’s not perfect, but I am hopeful it will come- short trips will work as a family but that’s about it- longer trips will happen, I am sure! I definitely wouldn’t work yourself up, at work and home I am a great believer in the saying ‘walk a mile in my shoes’… there are so many I couldn’t begin to walk a mile in, and vice versa I know others feel the same of me…It’s just about making it work for you and your family.

    • Oh how I would love to hand over the mealtime reigns to someone else, unfortunately for me Hubby can’t get home early enough for that one although my Mum often is there to help. Hubby isn’t keen on taking the children out on his own as he gets stressed out with their behaviour too and we definitely recognise that they are each better alone than as a group – I like to think of it as ‘divide and conquer’ although there is rarely the need to conquer when they are separated. I always look to my friends who raise children alone and wonder how on earth they do it so I don’t know the phrase ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ and I do try to think of them on the bad days as I know at least that the cavalry will arrive at some point. Thank you for your reassuring comment Debbie x

  4. So been there, and lived, barely, to tell the tail. The worst is I am in the early childhood development field so am supposed to have perfectly well behaved kids and know exactly what to do at all times, right? Parenting kids with a 12 year age span, meant I dealt with toddler and teen melt downs simultaneously. I learned through trial and error to under promise activities, and realize we all, kids included, just have days that aren’t our best. It doesn’t mean you have to pack it in for day trips, or assume you need classes because you are doing things wrong, though, sharing and learning with other parents at classes and work shops is often a great thing to help get ideas, insight or at least affirmation that overall, you do a good job as a mom. Cut yourself some slack!

    • I always find it so refreshing to hear that people who work with children often struggle with their own children too, it makes me feel like we aren’t so different from everyone else. With my stepson in the equation we have a 10 year age span. I too have learnt to not tell them about activities as it has backfired too many times but on the flip side when I plan a surprise they do nothing but moan whilst we get to our destination. I guess I’m doing the classes as a way to help me handle my reaction and their reaction to different situations. Fingers crossed it will give me some helpful coping strategies. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  5. Oh Sabina, I want to give you the biggest cuddle I can. I fear that there is something in the air at the moment as my two seem on top form too. I often wonder if bloggers children have become spoilt, too many nice things, too many nice trips that they are no longer a treat but a chore. I don’t have any magical answers I’m afraid but will be looking out for updates on your positive parenting course as I feel I would benefit from a similar course

  6. This is so refreshing to read. My two have been quite horrendously behaved recently and I am finding myself shouting at them a lot. It all came to a head on Wednesday when we went away for the night and they were just so badly behaved all day we did nothing but bicker and argue. I hope you will blog about the parenting classes as I would love to know if you find them useful, I think we can all do with a little help at times.

    I hope you manage to have some lovely, fun, family time together soon.

    • Whilst I’m sorry to hear that you have been getting stress (something you don’t need with a bump) it is nice to know that I am not alone as it’s all too easy to feel like my children are the only ones who are acting up. I shall be seeing my course tutor again this week and will speak to her about what I can or can’t say about the course online and will update you 🙂 x

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