With my daughter heavily pregnant, I decided to take my grandson Jack more often to give her a bit of a break.
I had some time to take off from work before the end of the year, so chose to spend a few days with him to let Emma do some housework before the new little one arrives.
I know what you’re all thinking - what a good grandmother I must be!
I could be spending my time being a lady who lunches or maybe a woman who frequents spas.
I could have booked a mini break, gone shopping, or any number of things.
But no, I wanted to spend it with the wee man who, at three years old, can set my heart racing with his smile.
However, two things got in the way of such quality time, turning me from fairy grandmother to exhausted cynic.
First up - parent and child parking!
Yes, I’ve had it!
Would the driver of the (absolutely gorgeous) black convertible Mercedes parked in a P&C space at Livingston Designer Outlet on Friday please own up.
You did not have a child seat in the back of your car, you did not have half-chewed Quavers all over the car’s floor, and you didn’t have tiny finger prints on your windows.
Ergo, you don’t have a wee one and are therefore not entitled to this space.
Yes, before you ask, I only know this because I walked past the offending car several times, peering in like some sort of weirdo.
It was after Jack and I had been forced to park in a tiny wee ordinary space.
We were so close to the car beside that I think I bumped Jack’s head as I tried to squeeze him out of the car.
So, for you folk with cars and no kids, stay away from our spaces, we do need them and there’s not enough of them.
Moving on to gripe two - the rain!
Ye Gods, have you not hammered us with enough bad weather this year?
And does no-one up there know how hard it is to entertain children when it’s so cold and wet.
Depending on Jack’s mood, Cbeebies will only entertain him for so long.
After that, he’s desperate to get out, but where to go?
I wasn’t too keen to head to shopping centres and supermarkets because of the parent and child parking situation (see above), and it was too wet for the park and too early for soft play.
There was only one thing for it - take him to my mother’s.
Mum’s really great with him, and has been a doting great grandmother, something she boasts about at weekly bridge meetings.
“Where’s my little Jackey Wakey?” she cries as we open the door, using a voice she reserves for Jack.
Jack leaps up on her knee, and it’s almost like 10 years falls off mum as she giggles and bounces him.
Oh, to have the energy of an 80-year-old.