I hope you’re having a good week so far despite the not so happy weather!
On Saturday, Arjun was invited to Eva and Ryley’s 2nd birthday. It was a soft play party and wasn’t too far from home. This was going to be my first experience of taking him to a party alone. It was really daunting. I usually have Preetam or my sisters with me just because I feel I need them. I think that stems from when Arjun was first born and the fact that I was physically exhausted and felt broken and bruised from the whole labour experience which meant I was unable to do much for Arjun in the first two weeks. Those two weeks resulted in my confidence really being knocked. Even till today. I’m so eternally grateful for the help I receive especially from Preetam and my sisters.
I packed Arjun’s bag and dressed him in comfy clothes so he could play freely. We set off and arrived pretty quickly. As we got there and I approached the car park and saw the “pay and display” sign. I realised I had limited change for the pay and display meter. Great. What a start I thought. Arjun was fast asleep so I managed to scrape together a few pounds to get a parking ticket. “£2 for 4 hours” is what I read. Perfect I thought! Not such a bad start after all. I had exactly that. I popped the money in feeling pleased with myself – I love it when a plan falls in place, I clicked the big green button and heard the sound of my ticket being printed.
The ticket’s expiry time was 5.05 (only an hour and a half!), what happened to my four hours?!!!! Oh gosh, I felt flustered and panicked. I had no more money! Plus what would happen when it hit 5.05?! The party was due to finish at 5.15. Was I supposed to bring Arjun back out with me to top up again?! With what money?! Should I just leave the party a little earlier?! That would be rude plus what if we are right in the middle of something?! Why does stuff like this always happen to me?! I swear I’m a sh*t magnet!!
My thoughts soon came to a halt as I spotted a traffic warden and marched up to him fuelled with disapproval that his silly machine wasn’t working. Thankfully Arjun was still asleep in the car during my mini ordeal. I asked the warden with confidence why on earth the machine had spat out the wrong ticket. To my embarrassment, I had read the machine wrong – it’s £2 for 4 hours for those who hold a local residents card. I of course had left mine at home. I felt so stupid. How did I not read that? I didn’t know what to do. All those questions rushed back in to my mind and at the same time I was really aware that the party was going to be starting. If you know me personally, you’ll know I really don’t like lateness (when in ones control). I felt so hot and bothered.
The traffic warden watched from a distance while he jotted down info from other cars. He must have thought I was a right loon. I decided to just go inside and ask Shivani if I could borrow some money to top up again at 5. What choice did I really have?
As I got Arjun out, the traffic warden watched. “Your car isn’t parked in the yellow box” he said. Oh FFS I thought! Thanks for telling me once I have a half asleep baby in my arms! The Range Rover does require a little attention when parking but I was so preoccupied and worried about not having enough money for the ticket that I didn’t pay much attention. As its a little larger than my last, the back side of my car was ever so slightly out of the box. He saw my face – which probably looked like I was ready to give up, keel over and collapse (I’m not even being a drama queen lol). I think at that point he felt pretty sorry for me – which isn’t normal for traffic wardens that are driven my commission! He told me not to worry and to bring him my ticket over. I suddenly became really paranoid, was he going to be mean and give me a ticket as soon as I turned around?! I didn’t really have much choice at that point so just went along with whatever he asked. I handed over my ticket, he punched in some numbers in his little handheld device; scribbled some unlegible bits on my ticket and told me to pop it back on my windscreen. So I did. He had extended by ticket to 6.15. I was taken a back by how nice this stranger was being to me. What a palaver! I really hoped this guy was genuine and wasn’t lying and that he’d restore my faith in humanity – he could be my silver lining in that mini ordeal.
Now that I was parked (albeit dodgily), armed with my baby, gifts and change bag, we were ready to go in (finally!). I felt like I’d done a full on cardio session by this point. I was knackered. I know it sounds so minor and actually typing this out I feel a little silly because it does sound a bit ridiculous, but at the time it felt huge and so overwhelming.
We went in and said hello to Shivani and the babies. I suddenly felt really nervous. I didn’t actually know anyone else there. What if people judged how I am with Arjun? What if he started crying?! I felt a little overwhelmed to be honest. But I was soon comforted by smiles and small talk from fellow mums and dads.
We haven’t taken Arjun to soft play since he started crawling so I didn’t realise how much harder it is chasing after him (while dodging the other children). He is super speedy and has a mind of his own! He enjoyed the ball pit playing with Shivani’s nephew and also enjoyed his first experience of a trampoline. He seemed so happy and bright.
Eva and Ryley looked absolutely gorgeous and I’m amazed at how much they’ve grown since we first met them when they were 8 months old in Dubai. Time has passed by quick! Arjun managed to get some playtime with the birthday boy and girl too – he loves Eva and Ryley!
Arjun really enjoyed his dinner there and was one of the last babies to finish – definitely my son! Haha!
Arjun had a great time and if anything it really increased my confidence (and exhaustion!) or at least proved I could do it. I really enjoyed meeting other mummies and daddies – especially two of Shivani’s cousins that also have twins who were really welcoming. I have a new found respect for mums with more than one baby, because I just about manage with one! Shivani is an amazing mum and I’m so glad we met because she understands me so well.
And oh, I didn’t get a ticket 🙂 Nice wardens DO exist! 🙂 x