Alas, this distressed damsel is alone all weekend, every weekend. Her fair knight battles foamy dragons and upholstery riddled with dog hair at the car wash. And I am locked up in my tower with nothing but my two rugrats and channel E! for company.
Travis can’t walk. Ryan can’t walk. I can’t fit them in a double pram for twins, as Travis weighs more than 25kg. And would you believe I have even tried using industrial cable ties to tether their two prams together, so that we can leave the house? With no success – that little experiment was an engineering headache.
This is the reality of the special needs mom. Isolation. Loneliness. Talking to your pot plants.
Of course, if I removed the Miss Independent hat from my stubborn noggin, I could rope in a friend every Saturday and Sunday to help me get around town. But I’m mule-headed like that. I don’t like to impose or ask for help. I also find my anxiety levels go through the roof when I have to wrangle a grumpy, noise-sensitive Travis in a social setting, even if I know the people really well.
Last Sunday, I had one of those: “Screw you, universe and your chuckling asteroids!” moments. We were getting out of the house, by hook or by crook or by crowbar. I kissed the Husband goodbye as the sun rose, and determinedly packed a picnic basket. The Lionhearts were going to the Walter Sisulu botanical gardens, which are just down the road from us.
I packed as economically as possible, knowing that I would have to lug everything from the car, through the turnstiles and across the gardens by myself. In one trip.
Picture this: I squeeze Travis into his old pram (which is now his baby brother’s) – it’s the only pram that has a basket underneath. I roll up and shove two picnic blankets into the basket. Then I hang one fold-up camper chair across the handles of the pram. Then I hang the bag containing all our snacks, toys and my book across the pram’s handles too. Then I prop Ryan on my hip and we’re off! Me pushing this heavy pram one-handed, while it veers wildly all over the place, and pinning a very wriggly six-month-old baby to my hip…
We waited an eternity at the entrance to pay and my debit card to go through, while whole families wearing Ray-bans and wedge heels and belted mini-skits (seriously people, it’s a park not the fucking Riviera) politely ignored me. The only person who offered to lend me a hand was another single mommy. I grabbed the first shady spot under a tree I could find, which was close to the entrance – and unfortunately also close to the choo-choo train’s drop-off point, which made Travis freak out a little every time it came around.
But look at these photos – it was WORTH it! Sunshine, sarmies, ice-cream, book-reading and an afternoon nap.