Sometimes we make plans and they SO don’t work out the way we thought they were going to, and that’s actually a GOOD thing. Other times, not so much. Yesterday was an example of both.
In the morning, I was making a mental list of all the errands and to-do’s I was going to accomplish that day. I had big plans to be all sorts of productive. About ten minutes before we headed out the door for the bus and round one of my errands-productivity, the phone rang. It was bff Rebecca. Usually a call first thing in the morning means one of us had a hell of a night or is having a craptastic start to the day and needs to vent in order to shake it and face the day without continued feelings of dread. I braced myself and answered in (what I hoped was) a sensitive and caring, ‘uh oh, what’s wrong’ “Hello?”
Instead of the expected response, a perky, “Hi, whatchya doin’?” greeted me. We chatted for a sec, and I told her that I was just trying to figure out what all I was going to get done.
“Well, I know what you SHOULD do,” Rebecca said all cheeky-like.
“Oh really? What’s that?”
“You should really just drop everything and come spend the day at the beach with us. It’s going to be 70 today. You really SHOULD be at the beach.”
“Oh REALLY? I should, huh? But I have so much to do…I want to…but…”
“I’ll make us a delicious lunch…” she bribed.
“Yeah, but…I don’t know…let me think about it…I want to but…”
“I’ll bring wine.”
“OK!” And that’s how my day turned around! Little did I know that I was the one REALLY needing to shake off a bad night and a rough-ish morning.
We’ve been having a kind of lame week. Both boys have been giving us some major attitude. Matthew’s comes in the form of moody, emotional grumpiness. And Zachary’s ‘tude is all freak out-and-tantrum-throwing when he doesn’t get his way. (Yes, this is the kid who will turn seven in two days and yet has been throwing down toddler-type-tantrums at the sign of his not being the boss of the universe. The irony is that our ACTUAL toddler-tantrum-throwing two-year-old has taken a step back from tantrums this week. Maybe she’s so fascinated by Zach doing it. Or she’s taking notes. Crap).
So, after spending a perfectly, splendid hot sunny day at the beach with Rebecca, I was ready and happy to greet the boys from the bus after school. Thankfully, my good mood (or just their nice days) had rubbed off and we had a lovely afternoon and dinner when Mike got home. It was still so nice out we decided we should head out for a walk and family trip to one of our neighborhood parks.
We’d discussed that maybe Matthew would ride his bike and Zach wanted to ride his scooter, but by the time we’d all gotten socks and shoes on and finally were ready to go, we decided that it’d be quicker/easier if we all just walked. (Matthew’s bike was still hanging from the garage rafters and would need the tires pumped, etc. Plus, when Zach brings the scooter we inevitably end up carrying it for most of the time.) When Zach found out that we’d opted not to have his scooter along the fit began. It began and lasted and lasted…out of the garage…up the driveway…up the street…around the corner…next to the golf course…along the sidewalk. He and I had stopped a couple of times to “talk” (so he could continue screaming and yelling and I could scold him for his riDONCUlous handling of disappointment), but he wouldn’t stop. He just wouldn’t. His fit, his full on freakin’-tantrum was escalating. I was done, so I just continued walking to catch up to Matthew and Mike (who was pushing Kayliana in the stroller). Zachary planted himself ON THE GROUND on the sidewalk to bask in his fit-throwing glory. Mike gave me the stroller and walked back to try his hand at calming Zach. I was done. I was SO done. Kayli, Matthew and I kept going. We walked around the corner and stopped to visit for a few minutes with some fellow school bus stop/neighbors. (They wanted to show us the dead baby bunny they'd found. Totally super exciting!) No sign of Zach and Mike coming around the corner. We kept going and slowly walked towards the farther and “little park” which was our destination. We’d opted to go to that one earlier instead of the “closer park” that we usually go to.
Eventually, with Kayli yelling increasingly louder and more concerned, “Zachy! Daddy! ZACHY! DADDY!” I thought we should just stop and wait for a bit. We waited and waited. No Mike. No Zach. Finally, I decided, “Well, they must’ve had to go home,” and, thinking that Mike probably could use some back up, we turned around and walked back home.
Well, then, I was dealing with a more and more upset Kayli who realized that we were returning home after not having gone to the promised park. She was starting towards re-embracing her role as tantrum-thrower in our family. Matthew ran inside and came out a bit later reporting that Mike and Zach were, in fact, not home. I’d already gotten Kayli out of the stroller in the garage, so we headed back up the street on foot. Matthew was able to get ahold of Mike on my cellphone and was able to (sort of) understand that they’d ended up going to the closer park thinking that maybe we’d gone there. Well, unfortunately, we get terrible cell service up here on our hill (that is apparently a black hole for cell phones). We arrived at the CLOSER park, only to discover that they were NOT there. There was no way we could keep walking to the farther little park (especially now that we were stroller-less). So, we stayed and played.
A few minutes later, Mike calls and says that he and Zach had just arrived at the farther little park since that WAS our original destination and since we weren’t at the closer park when they’d first gone, and figuring we must’ve continued on, well……we were at different parks. Yup. Fun family outing! Then, Zachary started to get one of his awful stomach aches (he’s been having constipation-related issues again despite receiving daily “Poopy Potion” – Miralax). So, I hear Zach crying in agony in the background. “I’m going to have to carry him home. We’re outta here,” Mike grumbles. “Fine,” I grumble back. “See you at home.”
After a little more playing, I tell Matthew and Kayli that we better head home. When I walk over to retrieve Kayliana she runs away yelling, “I’m pooping! I’m pooping! Don’t get me!” Awesome. Eventually Matthew and I manage to corner her (and the accompanying stink). I pick her up – kicking and screaming, full-on-tantrum-throwing – throw her over my shoulder and we start our second return trip home. Eventually I’m able to put Kayli down and she walks singing a newly composed original tune to which the lyrics were, “Poopy owie bum. Poopy owie bum. Poopy owie bum.”
And that pretty much sums up our family fun evening outing to the park.
So, now if you want to be uplifted and read about how apparently awesome -- and happy, I guess -- I USUALLY am, check out this unbelievably kind and touching post Rebecca posted at HER blog: http://mammavintage.blogspot.com/