Dear elderly lady…

Dear elderly lady in the supermarket,

I’m here because I need something for tea, not because I want to be.

I’m sorry that my child is annoying you but she has been at nursery all day so that I could work to afford to pay for this trolley of shopping.

She is overtired and wants to be here as much as I do which is why she’s trying to climb out of the seat – its why she’s un-gripping my fingers shouting she doesn’t want me to push her, it’s why she’s screaming at me to buy a million items that she has no idea what they are such as goats cheese and chillies and it’s why she’s hysterically laughing one minute and sobbing the next.

I’d have loved to come earlier, or yesterday, or without her even but my only time apart from her is when I’m working so I will whizz in and out as quickly as I can, please don’t huff and puff at us in annoyance.

Dear elderly man in the swimming pool,

I will try my hardest to stay out of your way but my babies are learning to swim, they want to jump in and have fun, they are going to play fight under water because that’s what siblings do. They want get my attention to show me what they’ve learned at their swimming lessons. They may be a bit loud at times but they have to go to school 5 days a week and I have to work so we can’t come here as much as they want which is why they’re a little over excited.
I will keep reminding them to ‘think of others’ and we will stay out of your swimming lane but there is no need for you to storm out the pool in temper and shake your head at us in disgust.

Dear young couple enjoying your Sunday carvery,

Please note there are lots of other families in this restaurant – with children behaving similar or worse to mine.

I’m sorry that I have to firmly whisper at them to stop them being too loud, I’m sorry when you hear my daughter moan that she’s turned vegetarian because she’s spotted a hair on her chicken and I’m sorry if it offends you that I tell them they’re not allowed pudding then I give in because I’m too soft.

It would be so easy for me to bring along 2 iPhones and 3 iPads; I am confident they would then sit in silence and you would probably enjoy your romantic lunch more but then I’m not ‘teaching’ them how to behave in public.

Please don’t try and pretend to slag us off in hushed tones in a voice that you know is loud enough for me to hear.

You see – this chaos that surrounds me, these little hooligans you see, they are my world – this follows me around every day – and all of these things will just keep having to annoy you because I’m not changing anything.

My babies weren’t born knowing how to behave – they need to learn. So I will continue as I am so that one day, when they become who you are now they will be far more patient and tolerant in life.

They will go and ask the mother in the supermarket if she needs any help, they will approach the lady in the pool and reassure her she’s not upsetting them, and they will giggle in a restaurant when they hear that 2 year old screaming she needs a poo.

They will do all of those things because they’ve been taught to – and the only reason they need teaching is because there are people like you in the world.

Please – be patient,

Love from a mum that’s trying X

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