Any pride I feel at getting three under four safely to Kew Gardens earlier this week is shattered when I lose Hector in the woods.
Then humiliate myself in front of one of the other mums from his nursery.
For some reason this woman seems to crop up whenever I lose my children. She was there when I lost Hector is a soft play in Wimbledon and was OF COURSE at Kew today.
There we were, at the end of this log obstacle course, by a life-sized badger set (that I’d already crouched my way through – not easy when you have a big baby in a sling on your front) and the little bugger just disappears into thin air. I wasn’t even checking my phone.
One second he was there, the next he was nowhere to be seen. I call, I go one way, and then the other and then start shouting. It’s amazing how quickly you turn into a nutter in these situations.
Still no sign of him so I start shouting more frantically, describing him to anyone who’d listen … of course he’d bloody insisted on wearing a non-descript plain white t-shirt and plain blue shorts….
And suddenly Nursery Mum is in front of me, all smiles and hellos and I just howl in her face like a crazy person: “Have you seen Hector? I’ve lost Hector.”
She shakes her head and I hurtle back into the badger set.
Of course he’s in there, totally oblivious to my state of panic. “Mummy, you didn’t come in with me, ” he says rather crossly.
Naturally I give him a right bollocking, right there in front of all the other mums and children.
They stare at me through the darkness. I’ve got “terrified mother whose relief at finding her lost child is manifesting itself in intense anger” written all over me and Hector isn’t fooled for a second.
“Come on mummy, let’s go!” he says cheerfully.
I take Hector by the hand and lead him out into the daylight.
Sods law, same thing happened again today. That’s two days in a row. I lost Alfie in Sea Life Aquarium, a dark labyrinth of fish tanks designed to swallow up two-year-olds. I must stop going to these places.
This time I was to blame. I was taking a picture of a clown fish (Hector insisted) and Alfie wandered off down the passage.
My heart was beating so hard when I eventually found him that I didn’t have the strength to tick him off.
I just looked around warily for Nursery Mum but for once she had the decency to give me some privacy during my moment of ineptitude and negligence.
That’s it for London attractions for me this summer. My nerves just can’t take it.
So we went to @sea_life_london … And met some prehistoric-looking dudes. I didn’t realise fish could have fingers? Eugh. Yuk. Terrifying experience if you’re fishphobic like me, the boys LOVED it though and I have to admit the #seahorses were pretty adorable. Use the voucher on your cornflakes packet and get one adult in free (makes the whole experience a bit less financially crippling). #sealife #sealifeaquarium #sharks A photo posted by @mumfidential (@mumfidential) on