It's no secret to my family and my dear friend, Auntie V that if things are going to go astray or just be difficult, I am usually at front and center. I believe my sister may be the only other competitor in this line up. If things are going to happen, they are going to happen to us. And not bad things, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, just frustrating and/or embarrassing things. It's just how our world works. For me, these moments usually happen when I'm trying to be super mom and/or fun mom and ALWAYS when I'm by myself. Well, except for the time that my sister and I were driving home from the river house with all of the kids in the car and partygirl started throwing up. When we pulled the car over, OF COURSE, we pulled the car over into a hidden ditch on the side of the road and the car tilted sideways (on my side). My sister and I just sat there, staring at each other with mouths open wide (laughing of course), listening to partygirl yakking in the back, the kids screaming and thoughts of how the hell are we going to get of this. Or the time on the cruise when my tampon fell out while I was bouncing on the floating trampolines. I mean, seriously, do these things happen to other people? I guess they do, since America's Funniest Videos IS having their new season in the Fall. Anyway, like I said, it is just the way our life works. We have learned to embrace it and enjoy it for the memories. This past weekend I had another one of those times, not as exciting as the two previously mentioned occurrences but just a typical Juno Mom day.
I have always tried to keep my family...scratch that....my kids active. G and Teen are usually too busy being a Teen or too tired. Now that it's warm out, we're taking our daily walks, bike rides, going to the park etc. On the weekends I usually try to find something for the kids to do. It's gotten to the point now that Seena's asks where are going today or can we go somewhere....which I love. It's taken us awhile to get here because of our difficult past two years but I'm committed to keep this going as long as I can. So, this past weekend I made the announcement that we were going to the pool. Ahhhh...best mom award goes to ME! Seena is sooo excited. Saturday morning comes and it's gloomy and chilly. Uh-oh. Trying to save the day, I check out local events and find that there is a Strawberry Festival going on. Ooh...fun...price not fun...but...it's an alternative. I give Seena the choice and she decides on the pool. Ok, we're off and yes, it's freezing! I got to hand it to kids, they can deal with cold water like no one else's business. Not me....my feet were the only things get in that water. So, that excursion lasted for about an hour and a half - noon time. Now what - I have a whole freaking day with activity thirsty kids. Seena suggests going to the "festibal". We rush home, check the time...it' s a good 45-60 minute drive and we'll only have 3 hours at most there. Was that worth the $20 ticket price? Hell with it. We're going. Thank goodness I showered the kids and had lunch at the pool, brownie points for me! So I repack diaper bags, snack bag, call G to tell him where we're going and change my clothes in record speed of 10 minutes. Out the door and we're off. As I'm pulling away from the house I begin to question whether I made this decision too quickly and not think it entirely through. And then made day really began:
1:05 - Pull away from the house
1:06 - realize I did not eat lunch and I'm starving. Ooh, I got blueberries.
1:07 - blueberries fall over the floor
1:08 - pull over and pick up blueberries. Ate them anyway...I was starving and the car was just cleaned.
1:10 - realized I forgot the stroller. I'll deal.
2:01 - estimated arrival time per GPS. Perfect - 3 hours of fun time.
2:30 - Actual arrival time because I drove behind every slow person imaginable on one lane roads without any passing opportunities! But, it was ok....the drive was beautiful.
2:40 - try to get half price ticket - didn't work. Place is packed. Immediately I notice awkwardness of carrying my diaper bag, snack bag and AJ all while trying to hold Seena's hand and look at the map to figure out where we should go first.
2:43 - make way to play area. Begin cursing that I wore flimsy flip flops. Between the gravel, the muddy areas and unbalanced luggage I was carrying it was not comfortable.
2:45 - get to play area...there's no baby swing. Seena immediately goes to the slide. I carry AJ over to the swings (next to slide). Put all of my stuff down while trying to hold AJ back from running all over the "muddy" areas that I'm starting to notice IN the play area.
2:46 - Get AJ on swing and then I hear the dreaded unmistakable sound of squishy mud. "Please don't be Seena, please don't be Seena" I turn around and ....yep, it's Seena. Right at the bottom of slide was a nice wet, squishy mud puddle and Seena was sitting right in it with a look of horror on her face. Light bulb went off - I brought a change of clothes!!! Yeah! Oh whoops, lights out - change of clothes was a white skirt. Console Seena that it's ok - I have a change of clothes but we'll change later. Try to wipe her off with one wipe because, of course, the bag of wipes I do have is almost empty. Curses.!
2:48 - move on to sand pit with big trucks for AJ to play with. Yeah!! Fun mom!! AJ not interested. Curses!
2:49 - holding and fighting with AJ (while still holding bags and camera) because he wants to go back to the swing area. Not happening.
2:50 - look around area and realize there's too much mud to enjoy, so we try to move on the next area which was in a woody area. Before I could stop her I see her run through what I am sure was a poison ivy patch. Curses!
2:52 - move over to the big jumping pillow. This was fun. Socks probably would have helped since the surface was hot but we made do. Got great shots of Seena jumping. AJ loved jumping with me but I couldn't get any pictures of us because I was alone. Curses!
3:10 - move on to next area - Seena falls again in a nice wet squishy mud puddle. Now her entire right leg is covered in mud and I only have 1-2 wipes left. Curses!
3:11 - begin walking over to the many other activity areas while holding AJ and my bags. I think this was the time that I started cursing at G for not coming with me. It didn't matter that he was at work.
3:12 - get to the puzzle areas - kids won't get it
3:13 - get to slides - other end way too muddy
3:14 - get to pedal tractors - can't do it alone with two kids.
3:15 - rope swing - too muddy
3:16 - 2nd big tunnel slide - ooh, this one is dry! We climb up the many, many awkward natural steps while carrying AJ and my bags. ****I keep referring to the bags because no matter where they are on my body or how strategically I packed them....they are always in the way.***moving on. Seena goes down. Yeah, fun! My turn... with AJ and the bags. As I'm squatting and trying to get situated into the tunnel I start picturing stuffing ricotta into an already stuffed manicotti shell. Some nice mom I guess felt pity on me and tried to help me get situated, meanwhile my sunglasses are falling off my head, AJ's is wiggling like a worm on a hook and I'm trying to hold on to him while trying to hold and situate my freaking bags. Curses! Since this is one of the few non muddy activities we played here for awhile. After our first run AJ was perfectly content going down by himself. Thank goodness.
3:30 - sit down for snack time, unpack snacks. Hand sanitizer is missing from diaper bag. Curses! And Seena has to pee. Repack snack bag.
3:32 - find port-a-potty. Gross but not horrendously gross. Begin to curse at G again for not being with me and making me deal with two kids in a port-a-potty by myself.
3:35 - screaming at kids to not touch anything, use Seena to trap AJ in the corner while I pee. Oh, and of course the door opens while I'm peeing.
3:37 - thank God for having hand sanitizer in port-a-potty
3:38 - check out farm animals
3:45 - make way to hayride to go to the strawberry fields. I notice that there is a very nice restroom. Figures.
3:47 - start to get looks of pity from moms getting off the hayride when they see me carrying AJ, my freaking bags that are no longer strategically placed and now my tray to collect the strawberries. Is it really going to be that bad? I just wanted to have a fun day with the kiddies damn it!
3:49 - load up the kids and all of my crap. I start to feel like I'm getting the "looks" from people. I try to give my best "all in a days life of a mom" look hoping for some sympathy and hoping we'll just be ignored.
3:51 - hayride begins and finally....peace.
4:00 - get to strawberry field. We find our row and begin picking. Well, Seena picks, I keep running after AJ since he wants to go in the opposite direction - of course - meanwhile I'm still holding on to my freaking bags.
4:05 - finally get into a rhythm. Bags are off, AJ is sitting eating strawberries as Seena and I are picking. Finally, finally, this is the cohesive moment that I waited for all day. Besides looking at the bright red strawberry stains on AJ's white shirt and realizing that I didn't bring an extra shirt for him, it was the best part of the day.
4:30 - tractor comes back, reload kids, bags and tray of strawberries - this time we got help from other riders. On the ride back I see a look of pure joy on my kid's faces. Ok, so maybe it was all worth it.
4:45 - try to explain to a very disappointed Seena that there are no more crayons for face painting and there's no where to get more.
4:50 - go to the super nice restroom. Change Seena's clothes and AJ's diaper in a regular sized stall. Um? What happened to the handicap stall?
5:00 - Put AJ down for a minute to pack car and immediately he runs off. Come on!
5:25 - kids asleep and no slow cars in front of me.
Yes, these are my typical days but in the end it really is worth it. Really :)
When You’re Always on the Go with Your Kids
3 days ago