Saturday mornings in our house are wonderful. I pop on my apron and whip up a full english breakfast, Phil pulls on his hand knitted jumper and walks the dog into the village to collect the papers and the boys sit down (after refusing TV or xbox time) with a glass of milk and play a board game or do a jigsaw. Once Phil's back with the papers, and we've eaten our breakfast we sit down and plan a full day of wholesome family fun.
Then I wake up.
(Incidentally I wake up because a can of deodorant has just bounced off my forehead, apparently thrown by Joe because Syd has woken him up by stealing his duvet and hitting him over the head with a football boot and has chosen to hide next to my side of the bed).
Phil leaps out of bed and grabs them both forcing them back into their respective bedrooms. I find him in the garage five minutes later with a pile of wood, that he apparently plans to use to barricade the boys into their bedrooms for the following week to teach them a lesson. I'm concerned about the manic glint in his eye so I give him the dog and tell him to go for a walk and calm down.
After I've hidden all the power tools/hammers/nails/wood/gaffer tape I go back indoors and find that peace seems to have been restored. The boys have made their own traditional breakfasts. Most parents would be concerned about their choices. Not me, I don't bat an eyelid.
THINGS THE BOYS OFTEN EAT FOR BREAKFAST
Chicago town pepperoni pizza
Tomato sauce sandwiches
Cup a soup
Cheese on toast
By the time Phil returns from his walk, Joe has left to go to the Newcastle match so things are fairly peaceful and Phil suggests that we have an afternoon out. We decide that in the name of economy we will go somewhere on the train (Phil has worked for the railway since pre-privatisation so we get free train travel) and debate whether or not Newcastle is a good idea. We remember that Newcastle are playing at home so we decide to go to York.
Breaking the news to Syd doesn't go well. He cries, he screams, he begs, he pleads. Apparently going to York on the train would signal the end of his life as we know it. (thankfully he doesn't go blind however who knows if its around the corner)
We try coaxing him (you can have an ice cream), we try threatening (goodness knows what Santa would think), we try the divide and rule tactic (I'd expect this behaviour from Joe, but not you, you're the clever one), and we're about to go for the direct approach (Shut up whining you're coming) when the phone rings.
Its my Dad. I attempt a conversation however Syd has reached a level of begging that wouldn't seem out of place in a Dickensian work house, so I briefly explain that I can't speak right now, why I can't speak right now and say I'll call back.
Within minutes my Dad calls back. At this point you're going to quickly realise how amazing my parents are. They offer to have Syd for the day, drive us to the station, tell us to have some lunch and drinks and give us some money for cocktails and all because we work hard and we deserve time alone together.
WHY MY PARENTS ARE AMAZING
On a daily basis they: Give Syd his breakfast, take him to school, pop to the supermarket for anything we need, pick Syd up from school, bring him to our house, do any ironing that's in the ironing basket(my mam), do any jobs that need doing around the house/in the garden (my dad), hang out our washing, hoover, make the boys snacks......
The list is endless. I know that they read my blog and they're going to be embarrassed reading this about themselves, but they really deserve that praise. They are wonderful.
So half an hour later, we're at the station waiting to get on the train to York. Its strange at first, we look at each other and wonder what to say. We're both used to shouting at children and we have no children to shout at. Should we shout at each other, just so we're back in our comfort zone. Phil stands up and walks towards the platform. I run after him, smack his bottom and threaten to remove his TV privileges for a week (Its dangerous Philip, this is no place to run around!)
Anyway the train comes and we get on. The train is packed however we find seats immediately, which seems strange. After the train has set off we realise why those seats are empty. They are directly opposite the toilet. Apparently it seems this train is full of people who, the previous night, have eaten a lot of curry and drank a lot of cheap lager. I'd imagine the toilets in a prisoner of war camp were more hygienic. Aggie and Kim would have a sodding field day.
There is a continual queue for the toilet, and its starting to smell like an incontinent buffalo has been let loose in there. To add insult to injury, no one closes the door. Meaning Phil has to keep reaching over and slamming it shut. This causes all the pensioners in the carriage to jump and look around if a gun shot has just gone off. Phil spends the entire journey slamming the door and apologising to people. I spend the entire journey with my face inside my top breathing in my perfume and wondering how acceptable it would be to vomit onto the floor between my feet (It couldn't possibly make the carriage smell any worse)
I beg to move however Phil refuses. 'We're almost in York' he keeps insisting. He's been insisting this since we pulled out of Darlington Station.
Finally we pull into York station. The combined weight of the train has dropped by 16 stone as in 40 minutes, approximately 139 passengers have had a poo in the toilet right next to us. We stand up and make our way to the doors. I forget that I have no children with me and loudly say 'Which side are we going to get out on....lets all guess'. Actually quite a lot of people get excited by this and start to guess. So I organise them to stand by the side they chose. Once it pulls in, the winners all cheer and the losers all boo. Phil is pretending he doesn't know me and I'm considering a career as a Sunday School teacher.
We've just been let loose in York, with no kids and beer money................