What You Don't See Here

'It was so hard to get him home': Shauna shares the tantrum-filled reality behind this snap

‘Then I had the audacity to put his juice in the wrong cup.’

EACH WEEK, A different Irish parent chats us through a family photo from Instagram and explains what was really going on outside the frame – from tantrums to toilet disasters.

Fancy taking part? Email with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

IMG_20200121_200419_045 (1) Shauna Melia Shauna Melia

This week, Shauna Melia (@onethriftymother) chatted us through a photo of her son Finn at the playground. 

Tell us a bit about this photo. What inspired you to take it?

This photo was taken quite recently. I had to take the day off work at the last moment as our minder was unwell. As we were already up and dressed, we decided to make the most of the situation and head out. We knew the playground wouldn’t be busy as it was only gone 10:30am, but the place was completely deserted. This was ideal for Finn, though, as he has autism and can often find crowds or loud noises too much. We spent over an hour there and he had a ball. He had the whole place to himself the entire time.

What’s one thing that’s going on in this photo that you wouldn’t know from looking at it?

Probably how hard it was to get him home. It had started to rain, but Finn was having none of it. Eventually, after making me walk around with him to say ‘goodbye’ to every swing and slide in the place (oh the things we do), he then got upset because we were, in fact, actually leaving the playground.

Finally, with the promise of a treat (I’m definitely on course for mammy of the year), we left, only for him to to start crying because I wouldn’t let him play in the ‘grasses’. This was swiftly followed by tears because the bus wouldn’t wait on him (we weren’t getting the bus!) and when we eventually got home, I had the audacity to put his juice in the wrong cup. It was definitely one of those days!

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

I’m forever taking photos. The photo count and lack of memory on my phone will attest to that! My strategy when out and about is usually to click and hope for the best, which is what I did here. I’ve taken some of our favourite family photos that way.

Do you have a family photo from Instagram with a great behind-the-scenes story?

The day at the beach when the little one ingested a mouthful of sand – or the smiley photo taken just minutes after a tantrum? If so, we want to hear from you! Email with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature in What You Don’t See Here.

More: ‘It took an army of aunts and uncles to get him smiling’: Karen shares how she made this family photo happen

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