As a working mother I find that I really want to make the most of the time I have with my children, both after work/school and on the weekends. This limited amount of free time and my wacky personality cause me to want to find the most awesome things to do EVER and make this time that my children will treasure forever! We’ll take Gavin to the Bouncy House for no reason, except that we’re awesome parents! We’ll surprise him by taking him to the indoor playground at Chick Fil A for some delicious chicken and hours of merriment! Ooh, ooh, I know let’s take him to the toy store and let him pick out something and then take him to Friendly’s for ice cream, it’ll be so fun! OMG, LET’S TAKE ALL OF HIS MEMORY GAMES AND LAY THEM ALL OUT AND HAVE THE BIGGEST MEMORY GAME OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!
Those are my dreams, guys. But reality, she’s a harsh mistress that more often than not laughs at both me and my plans. I say this a lot and I’m going to say it again: Maybe it’s just me. Is my child the only child that can take what could be the most epic of toddler days and turn them into huge, steaming, pile of dog turds?! He can’t be the only kid, right? RIGHT?
Let’s take the scenarios from above, which have all happened, shall we?
Dream: We will take Gavin to the bouncy house and he will frolic happily with the other children for hours, then he will ask to go potty before we leave. When we get in the car he will say, with all the sincerity a 3 year old can muster, “Mom and Dad, you guys are the greatest! Can we go home now and lay down, I’m so tired.”
Reality: It’s getting close to closing time so we tell Gavin it’s time to go. It starts with the bottom lip quivering and ends with him writhing around on the lobby floor sans shoes screaming at the top of his lungs that he doesn’t want to go. Meanwhile the tweens behind the counter snap their gum and look at me like “who the hell let that lady have a kid?” The screaming continues in the car until Gavin passes out, we transfer him to bed only for him to wake at 3 a.m. to let us know that he peed the bed because, of course, he wouldn’t pee before we left.
Chick Fil-A: Each meal comes with a free side of WTF.
Dream: On the way home from school, on a Friday, we’ll surprise Gavin by taking him to get his most favorite chicken in the world and let him play on their indoor playground for a bit. Jim and I will sit right outside of the playground and have a relaxing meal to wrap up the week. Yay! no cooking.
Reality: “BUT MOM I WANT YOU TO COME AND SLIDE DOWN THE SLIDE.” “Gavin, this playground is for kids, not mommies, I’ll just watch, OK?” “BUT, BUT, BUT, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! “Gavin, if you can’t act properly in public we’re going to have to leave.” We pack up our dinners to go and carry a flailing toddler out of the restaurant. Happy Friday!
The Toy Store: IN THE HELL WAS I THINKING? I deserved whatever I got on this one. Sometimes even I am amazed by my own stupidity.
Memory: Fun for the whole family. So why can’t we play it eleventy million times IN a ROW?!?!
Dream: We’ll surprise Gavin by setting up all of his Memory cards on the floor while he’s in the bath. He’ll get out of the bath and squeal with delight because it’s his most favorite game and we’ll sit around and play and sip luke-warm hot chocolate. When we’re done Gavin will give us both a hug and a kiss and scamper off to bed.
Reality: Gavin squeals with delight and we have an awesome time playing. Maybe we finally got it! Then the game is over and all the matches have been found. It’s 8 p.m. and instead of scampering off to bed Gavin is busy crying the world’s biggest tears because he “wants to play forever and never sleep.” He’s further upset by the fact that he clearly lost the parental lottery because his are the meanest EVER. Sleep Tight!
Three has been crazy town for me and Jim. Toddler emotions rival that of 100 pregnant ladies on a very hot day, I tell you. He’s not this way all the time. And we clearly adore him, because we keep trying. Well, either that, or we’re the textbook definition of insane. Tell me I’m not the only one whose dreams get shattered on pretty much weekly basis.
Lisa is just your typical working mom who juggles being a mother to her two boys, a career in real estate, and her marriage. When she’s not staring at spreadsheets or wiping noses, she enjoys an ice cold beer, reading, and hanging out with her husband and best girlfriends, preferably while eating Mexican. You can tweet with her at @luckyandsass, if you’re into that kind of thing.