It rained yesterday.
It rained a lot.
Can someone explain to me why rain, which is after all just water falling from the sky and getting things wet, makes everything a million times more difficult than it needs to be?
Take loading children in the car, for example. This isn’t exactly the easiest process at the best of times. It generally starts about ten minutes before the time I need to be actually reversing off the drive, with some gentle suggestions about the putting-on of shoes and the putting-down of lego. It then escalates, with some low-level chuntering and moaning, and generally finishes up with one small child being carried to the car, tucked under my arm, kicking and yelling that his shoes are on the wrong feet, or that he wants a caaaaaaaaaakeeeey, while child number two utters high-pitched shrieks from his car-seat and hurls purple, squeaky giraffes and multi-coloured caterpillars, before wailing that he can’t possibly be expected to survive for two seconds without the exact same toy that he just chucked into the nearest puddle.
But yesterday, we had rain to add to the equation. The kind of torrential downpour that you normally only get in cartoons – where opening the front door appears to be a trigger for a thousand tonnes of water to be dumped in about two square meters of space in three seconds flat. This meant that as well as a kicking, screaming small child, I also had to carry a brolly.
This did not go well.
I did think I had it sussed when I managed to balance the umbrella on the top of my head while strapping Thomas into his car seat.
Unfortunately the rain had other ideas and promptly changed direction ever so slightly in order to slip in underneath the brolly and soak me from the knees down. And while this was going on, Thomas thought it would be helpful to hold a conversation about the making-mummy-wet properties of rain.
Are you getting wet?
Yes, I bl…jolly well am, Thomas.
Nooooo, you’re not. Silly mummy.
Oh yes. Silly me. Silly, soggy, cold, dripping me. With one more child still to load in the car.
And then there was the reverse process at pre-school. I came up with the great idea that I would give Thomas a piggy-back, in order to avoid the usual snails-paced dawdle that characterises our usual progress through the school grounds in the morning. So I put up the brolly, squatted down beside the car door and invited Thomas to climb on my back. Or at least I thought that’s what I said. Thomas, however, clearly heard “Please stand up on the edge of the seat and then take a flying jump at me, knocking me flat on my face in the pouring rain.”
There is nothing more fun than lying face-down on a soaking wet pavement, brandishing a slightly superfluous brolly, with a small child on your back, while another pre-school mum walks past with a faint smirk.
Actually, yes there is.
Many things, in fact.
But it’s not just the small child factor. Everything is more difficult. You need extra layers, and spare shoes and a bag that doesn’t let the water in and then keep it there, sloshing about merrily. Your papers disintegrate and you stick your hand in your pocket and find soggy little nubs of tissue that then attach themselves to your nice black suit and refuse to be brushed off. Your iphone no longer works because Apple technology was designed for entirely dry countries, so you can see that someone is calling you but you can’t actually answer the phone, no matter how many times you swipe damply and ineffectually at the screen.
And then there is the traffic. Heavy rain appears to send the entire population into the kind of frenzy usually reserved for encroaching biblical floods. As far as I could tell, every resident of the never-more-appropriately-named-Bath had taken to their cars for no purpose other than to drive around frantically in the rain. They probably all had car-boots crammed full of pairs of any domestic animals that they happened to have handy. Two lop-eared rabbits, two Russian dwarf hamsters and a pair of elderly, incontinent daschunds.
Go forth, my people, and re-populate this brave, new, post-deluvian world with small, fluffy rodents.
It took about twenty minutes to cover a mile. Mainly because everyone had to drive reaaaaally slowly through an admittedly large puddle that was all of 2cm deep. And quite clearly 2cm deep because in order for it to be any deeper there would have to have been a fairly substantial crater in the road. And that is the kind of thing you tend to notice when it’s not raining.
And don’t even get me started on the crawling traffic caused by the burst water main that was not actually on the road, in any danger of leaking onto the road and not, in fact, causing any problems relating to the road in any way, shape or form. But everyone had to slow down to 5mph. presumably because the mere presence of a burst water main meant that WE’REALLGOINGTODIEOFLOTSOFWATERLOOKLOOKTHERE’SEVENABURSTWATERMAINTHATPROVESITHELPPANIC!
If it rains again tomorrow I am going to join in the general sense of impending apocalypse. I will remain home with all the windows locked and sandbags in front of the door.
If everyone else is going to panic and flap their arms then I don’t see why I should be left out.
Just trying to get in the spirit of things.
[runs about waving arms and wailing]