It’s always nicer when it isn’t you.
There you are. Enjoying a meal out with friends in a restaurant with kids, in a foreign land and then the atmosphere changes.
You can’t quite put your finger on it, but things become chilly. The wife gets up after her meal and pretends to be busying herself with the kids larking about on the beach. The husband busied himself clearing his plate and that of his daughters, head down, not speaking.
This is what happened to us, one day on holiday. Then it was time to go home. A relaxing wander down the boulevard from the beach to the rides, the “bouncy thing” the two girls are desperate to have a go on. We headed off to our car to dump an excess bag, they wandered to theirs with our daughter and theirs to do the same.
We crossed the road with The Monster to meet them, but they seemed to be spending an awful lot of time at their car. So we headed into the little fair ground, found out the cost of the Bungee Trampoline and purchased the tickets for the girls in readiness.
Then we waited. Waited some more.
Eventually I left hubby behind with The Monster and wandered down the road to find out what the hold up was. The girls were leaning against the wire fence holding hands with very worried faces and my friend took one of their hands and walked them towards me, wiping a tear from her eye as she did so.
Clearly her and her husband were having a rip-roaring argument.
We’ve all been there. You can never pick the right moment to finally kick off. It had been brewing all day (or so my husband said) and I think a criticism of a parenting manoeuvre had been the last straw. The husband is very hot-headed, so he got pretty angry. My daughter and their daughter looked quite alarmed. It’s never nice to see a big argument.
My friend looked up at me (she’s shorter) with a look of apology and asked me to take the girls for me at which point she walked back to the car, had a few more (unheard) words with her husband and stalked off in the other direction, shortly followed by him.
Neither of these two are drama queens. They don’t argue for a bit of excitement. This was a big deal.
So we took the girls in. I reassured both of them that it was completely normal. Made a joke to Pickle about how me and her daddy do that sometimes and tried to diffuse the situation. They soon forgot all about it as they leapt in the air on the bungee trampoline and hubby and I did a little post-mortem on what we’d seen. We’ve not been having the best time, ourselves. Lots of argument in the last 6 months, but I’ve not been too concerned about it. Raising young children is a mighty task, especially as we share the childcare and both work as well. How anyone escapes divorce will always be one of life’s great mysteries to me. I spend far too much time angry at my husband for not swilling a breakfast bowl.
Anyway, I digress. We did a post-mortem, because let’s be honest, it’s always nice when it’s not you.
We didn’t know how long these two would be off up the road “having it out” so once the bouncing was over, we paid for all 3 kids to go on a roundabout as well.
Eventually after 2 rides, we saw them walking back alongside the fair ground, so we took everyone back to their car. Immediately their daughter said she wanted to come in our car, bless her. Pickle looked alarmed again. I told both girls that everything was fine and brushed it off. Both girls went in their car, we followed in our’s with The Monster.
As we climbed the steps to the front door the husband turned to me and said he was very sorry about having such a public argument. He felt awful the girls had witnessed it as well. I told him, with a laugh, that I thought it was good for Pickle to see other couples argue. At least she doesn’t think it’s just her parents. He smiled. He added he thought it was important that they had come back with them because then both girls could see that he and his wife had made up, had reconciled their differences and I agreed.
Still. Nice when it isn’t you, hey?