After the Night Shift

My husband often works night shifts and on the days after those night shifts I always find myself desperately trying to keep one or both kids quiet to let him sleep. I’m not talking about making them whisper or sit in complete silence, I would just like it if they would desist from screeching like demented banshees for a few hours to let their Daddy get some much-needed kip.
This week was one of those crappy night shift-riddled weeks so on Tuesday and today (Thursday) I had to concede defeat after about half an hour of constant screeching, door slamming and shouted demands for drinks, cakes and princess costumes whilst I repeatedly hissed “Be quiet! Daddy is sleeping!!! FFS!” and take Bethan out for the day while her sister was at school to allow my husband to sleep before the final shreds of my patience self combusted.
On Tuesday I drove all the way to Anstruther on the East Nuek of Fife (a 3 hour round trip), thinking that a hearty stroll on the beach followed by the best fish and chips in Scotland for lunch would go down quite well with Bethan. It turns out I was wrong…the second she saw the beach she screamed “NOOOOO!!!” and promptly staged one of her lie-on-the-floor-screaming-as-if-being-murdered tantrums on the pavement whilst passers-by looked on in horror. I did my best to persuade her that it would be fun to see what colours of sea glass and shells we could find (and did find a nice swirly pink bit of sea glass which she seemed totally unimpressed with) but was defeated, once again, within 10 minutes and drove home lamenting the lack of fish and chip lunch while the little sod managed to reach the window handle and wind it down when we were on the motorway in torrential rain with nowhere to pull over.
Today I stupidly thought I would be able to grab a quick cup of tea at home after dropping Catrin off at school before the screeching set in for the day… if I could just keep Bethan quiet for a few minutes with the help of a DVD and/or iPad (yes I know that is bad parenting to allow your child within 50 miles of an electronic device with a screen on it, but I really wanted that cup of tea!). Predictably I didn’t even finish my single cup of tea before she lost interest in the stupid you tube ‘surprise egg’ videos and she had a massive screechy tantrum on the floor and woke up her dad. So I bundled her into the car (in the bloody Merida costume she insisted on wearing, complete with wig which is almost bigger than she is) and I drove…with no idea where I was going to take her as was rubbish weather and I hadn’t researched any elaborate plans for any fun and educational outings. 
We ended up heading towards Callander and the Trossachs and I parked up by Loch Lubnaig in a lovely empty car park. The lake looked very serene and I finally felt calm even though the mini harpy in the back seat would still not grace me with a tiny scrap of quiet for even a fleeting moment. Seconds later 3 tourist buses arrived and offloaded a hoard of eager-looking people with backpacks, raincoats and a forest of selfie sticks onto the lake shore in front of us.
Meanwhile, in the back seat, Bethan had made her trousers (and the sodding Merida dress) very soggy. So we set off in search of toilet facilities while I muttered ‘FML’ under my breath for the eleventy millionth time that morning.

Loch Lubnaig

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