Yesterday we planned with friends (W, S, L and J) and their children to spend the day at our local park having a picnic. Games were at the ready, S was bringing a tent for the kids to sit in and we were going to have a fantastic day. Between the five of us we have 15 children so it was going to be noisy but fun.
In the morning it looked like it was going to rain. The clouds kept coming over but then the sun would shine again, we had a few spits but nothing that would stop us going so we left the house at 11am and headed to the shop for some picnic food. We were meeting J and her children at the nearby grave yard – it did spit on the way but we thought it would just pass over again.
We reached the graveyard and saw J and the children and started walking through towards the park when it started raining quite fine but heavy. We hid under the trees for a bit then it started thundering, at first it was just little rumbles but these soon turned into the biggest bangs I have ever heard from a thunder storm! I was trying my hardest to be brave for the children but in fact the bangs were so loud it did make me nervous – then it starts lightning! Not just lightning but fork lightning! They touched down not far from where we were and as we were in a graveyard full of trees we decided to head back to my house.
We just stepped outside of the graveyard when it started hammering it down, and I mean hammering! We could not see anything and we were drenched from head to toe in less then a minute. The children all had sandals on and either dresses or t-shirts, and baby C was asleep in his pram. We ran under a tree to try get a bit of shelter which was at the bottom of a hill and the water was just running down and we were soon standing in a little flood as well as having water from the tree pour on our heads.
I peeped into C’s buggy where I see he is covered in water and gasping for air. The rain was coming down so hard it was level with his buggy and pounding him in the face (I did not take a rain cover and now I feel guilty) so I had to quickly turn him towards me and try keep him sheltered. I thought the massive hood hanging over would of protected him, he did not cry he was so brave. Considering he hates having a bath or shower I thought he would of been in tears but I think he was a bit shocked being dry and asleep one minute and soaking the next. In the end I took of my little cardigan and put over his hood to try stop him getting drowned!
All the children apart from C (that’s 6 children) were screaming and crying and begging to go home. The changing bag was drenched through and contained my camera and mobile phone as well as the spare nappies and clothes for the children. I quickly took that off the buggy and put it over my shoulder, grabbed the buggy and ran (note: my friend J is 39 weeks pregnant and had to run pushing her toddler V (3), I had J’s little girl T (4) hanging off the buggy handle, my little girl R (6) running behind with K (9) and then LA (5) holding onto T for dear life. My little boy LU (3) was in the back bit of the buggy as it is a double. Here we are running as fast as we can down roads, while the kids were screaming and crying and cars were passing us laughing! As if you would laugh at such young children terrified from the rain!
We were only a minute from home and I had to search my bag for my inhaler, I was so out of breath. We reached my front door and we all pile in, then less than a minute later it stops raining – seriously takes the P! The sun starts shining and here we are in a house with 7 kids looking like drowned rats. I searched for some towels and helped all the children undress, we chucked the clothes in the bath and wrapped them in towels. They had to share out the knickers and pants I could find and J rang her husband to come and get them. Once they were gone I got the kids in their PJs (and myself too) and we had an indoor picnic.
It was the first time my children had been in a thunder storm, I think they may now be scared of thunder storms for life.