This post is to the inconsiderate woman on Whitstable beach today that made me cry in public with Riley, Summer and Buddy surrounded by crowds of people with nowhere to hide.
Yesterday the kiddies and I had a pj day. I tried to get on top of my pile of paperwork whilst Riley and Summer went from room to room causing destruction. I felt really guilty that I hadn’t taken the kids out and I knew they felt bored.
This morning I woke up in the same mentality. I got Riley and Summer dressed but I lounged around in my pjs hoping to spend another day indoors. There was box ready to drop to Co-op (to music magpie) sat by the front door and another ticket from Royal Mail where I had missed yet another parcel that needed collecting. I thought ‘right Clare, get your arse in gear and take the kiddies out’
So I got dressed and packed the car up with kiddies and dog (Buddy) I drove in the direction of Clowes Woods but as I drew nearer I thought I would head to Whitstable beach instead as it was a bit more sociable for the kids and Clowes Wood is a bit creepy on our own and not a very long walk.
I park near to Whitstable Castle (one of my favourite places) get the trailer set up, get the kiddies belted in, attach the bag including everything but the kitchen sink ‘just in case’ I grab my Ecover (free samples) bag with 50 small 120ml bottles and get Buddy out of the car.
Buddy was super excited, I guess it makes a huge change of scenery than the park he sees everyday. I had Buddy on the lead as I wasn’t sure if I could fully trust him with it being so busy. The kids wanted to get out of the trailer and explore, I let Summer out first to see how I could cope pushing the trailer, holding Buddy and keeping an eye on Summer walking close behind me.
Riley started screaming to the point that I got him out. The moment Riley set foot out of the trailer he was off and headed straight for the sea. I abandoned the trailer with probably over £1000 worth of technology on, kept hold of buddy and tried to shield the kids from running straight in the sea.
Summer is 2 and ‘normal’ so when I shout with worry or say no she understands (although its selective understanding) Riley is 3 and was diagnosed severely Autistic in June 2015. Riley has no awareness including any sense of danger, no understanding and he is non verbal. So in a sense when I am saying ‘no’ to Riley it is the equivalent of me speaking to him in a different language.
I was so hot and running around like a headless chicken, yes maybe I had bitten of more than I could chew today but I used to do walks like this 3-4 times a week with the kids and dog, so what had changed? I had to let Buddy off his lead in the end as it was too much, he ran off straight into the sea to cool down. Whilst keeping an eye on the trailer half way up the beach, preventing Riley and Summer from running into the sea and make sure Buddy wasn’t pissing anyone off I felt just for 2 minutes like I was a ‘normal’ Mum at the beach with her kids and the dog. Yes it was super hard work I could feel lots of eyes on us. I was sweating out as I had my Zagorra hot pants on (help you lose weight super quick!) but just for a few minutes I felt ‘this is nice’
After a while of battling with Riley from going head first in the sea I had to carry him up over my shoulder and strap him in the trailer kicking and screaming. I ran back down and carried Summer up to the trailer by which time Buddy decided to the biggest poo right on the beach in the middle of everyone so I had to run back down and pick it up leaving the kids alone in the trailer at the top of the beach. Buddy then starts limping although he had hurt his back right foot…seriously?!
I’d love to film our adventures out to share with you so you don’t think I’m over exaggerating but I just don’t have the extra hands as I’m already spread pretty thin!
Riley’s in the trailer screaming and Summer is walking alongside me and Buddy is…somewhere. I let Riley back out of the trailer (on the concrete) as I felt I was getting some funny looks – my youngest walking and my eldest in the baby buggy! Riley wanted to go his own way and do his own thing but Summer was getting left behind and Buddy was pottering around exploring out of sight more than he should be. I crouch down on the floor to Riley’s level and cuddle him to try to ease his mind it’s ok and I try taking his hand to encourage him that I lead.
To cut the ins and outs of a ducks ar@e out of this post Buddy runs up to a woman, her daughter who had ginger hair and either her dad or husband (maybe you saw them today if you were in Whitstable) She jumps up saying they don’t like dogs, I run over apologising and hand out a sample of Ecover and said sorry here’s a peace-offering. I carried on handing out samples as and when I could with my already full hands and carry on walking.
There were many people who kindly commented how I had my hands full and what a great job I was doing. I wasn’t doing any of this for my own benefit it was all for the kids and Buddy but the comments gave me motivation and although everyone else seemed to be in pairs or in crowds and therefore their children being a lot more manageable I just felt focused to get the walk done, hand out my 50 free samples, wear the kids out, grab some fish and chips on the beach and head home after some fresh air.
We turn around and head back in the direction of the car. I shout to Buddy to come back as I saw him heading for the lady and her family that didn’t like dogs. I said sorry again and that he wouldn’t hurt them he’s only 10 months and exploring and I’m still trying to train him. As I turned around she said ‘well you should try training him better’ I turned back around and said ‘sorry’ and she said ‘you wouldn’t let your child run over and hit some other child for no reason, would you’ What I should have said is – if my child did run off and hit another child for no reason that is also something that is out of my control (with Riley’s Autism) however what I did say is my 3-year-old was diagnosed autistic last year, I have a 2-year-old daughter going through the terrible 2’s, a 10 month old dog as Labrador’s and proven to help socially with Autism plus I am doing this all on my own. Her other half/ father said ‘shut up, clear off we’re having a good day here’ I said why do you think it’s ok to say what you think and secondly what did you think I would do, just happily walk off after you comment about something you know nothing about?
I turn around, walk off and can’t hold the tears back its as though I mentally had a break down, I walked a few meters along the beach before I had to sit on the wall and cry my eyes out. I felt so stupid, embarrassed, choked sat by myself in public with so many people passing and looking at me whilst I was in total meltdown. Riley was still trying to get out of the trailer and Buddy was pulling on his lead.
I called the one person I thought would be able to help me calm down. They sounded pre-occupied typing away on the computer in the background and after I explained what had happened in tears they replied ‘I don’t know why you do it to yourself’ Talk about smack me when I’m already down.
I power walked back to the car putting on a brave face and trying to smile wherever possible, packed the car up, had a cry and then drove home. What a horrible horrible outing, I wish I had stayed at home! I feel rock bottom.
If you know me personally then you know I’m not one to usually mess with. On the outside I’m fun, like a laugh, bubbly etc but that doesn’t mean you know what I’m like on the inside or how I’m feeling. For a very small amount of time today I felt like a ‘normal’ Mum out with her family. But we will never be ‘normal’ and that is no fault of my Son but its times like this that happen to people like me that make us want to hideaway from doing ‘normal things’ perhaps next time if you’re in a similar situation it’d be wise to think before you speak and no assume you know what that person is going through.
A feeling depressed Mumsy Mum 🙁