“Want to know the true definition of the triumph of hope over experience? Plan a fun family day out.” – Jojo Moyes
I’ve been talking to a photographer about a family picture while we’re in Scotland. I really want a good family shot to remind us of our time here. She suggested Castle Fraser which I hadn’t visited yet. In my search for information I saw that they there was a free Sunday approaching and we decided to go yesterday (Sunday.)
It was an absolutely stunning drive through the countryside on mostly one lane roads where moos and baas (cows and sheep in Mia’s language) are so close you feel like you could reach out and touch them. And that’s saying nothing of the incredible spectrum of colors on the way. I think I might be experiencing my first change in season! The entire drive Mia did her impression of Stewie in Family Guy.
When we arrived we stopped at the Fairy Forest on our walk to the castle. It was an enchanting little place where you feel like you might actually find fairies hiding in the trees. Look what a great and understanding parent I am! I know that we should play before we go on to the historical aspect of our trip. I’m really patting myself on the back at this point.
After playing on the giant sized xylophone, castle tower and teepee, we continued on our way to the castle. Mia was starting to fuss at this point. Not real sure why. Just a general whine and grumpiness with everything. Constantly going back and forth between myself and Brett, refusing to get in her stroller, demanding to walk but going really slow and crying any time that Brooks is ahead of her – which is often. I’m no longer patting myself on the back for anything.
We finally make it inside the actual castle. Brooks proceeds from room to room with lightning speed. Once he gets his whole body inside a room he loudly proclaims, “Well, I’ve seen it!” And walks out. Mia wants to touch and sit on EVERYTHING and has the castle docents constantly chasing after her. It is in this way that I realize I might never learn anything about Scottish history while I’m here. In each room I can only briefly glance around before chasing after my children or having to usher them from the room because they’re being embarrassingly loud and/or destructive.
Mia has a breakdown while we’re up here that indicates that we really must leave. We maneuver our way down the
death trap stairs while passing Mia back and forth through the two of us. She’s heavy! We finally make it to the courtyard. We enter the tea room in hopes of a strong coffee and a sweet for the kids but they don’t have a single thing on their menu that doesn’t contain eggs.
We decide to cut our losses. Brett stays with the kids in the courtyard while I get the unused stroller from the front of the castle. By the time that I join them, Brett has about 15 more gray hairs and Brooks is in time out for the rest of his life. The walk back to the car park takes 2-3 times as long as it should have. It’s littered by Mia alternating between finding leaves and crying, wanting to be carried, saying she wanted her stroller, refusing it, wanting to walk and then finding another leaf. She didn’t want food. She didn’t want water. She just wanted to cry and scream mama. Although she didn’t want me to carry her. Being almost 2 is rough.
But all is going to be ok because Yaya and Papa Ed are coming to visit this week! It will be a mad dash to get our house into something that resembles order but we cannot wait to see family and share our day-to-day life with them!