Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

So I got up this morning and watched the weather report and saw that it was gonna be a cold day (compared to how it has been, in the 70's and 80's....the 60's seem cold). I think the kids and I are getting a little bored with the park so I decided I would take them to the indoor play area at the mall. I must have been smoking someone's crack pipe to think this would be fun. Well, it was fun until the little ones realized there was no gate or door preventing them from leaving the play area (who the hell designed this???). It was Garrett who realized it first, which really surprised me b/c he's my clingy baby...he generally doesn't leave my side for anything. And then of course....monkey see, monkey do...Landon saw Garrett leave the area and he figured he'd do it too. I spent a majority of my time chasing after them each time they'd try to escape...the funny thing was they never really ran off or anything once they were out of the play area. They just kind of stood there and looked back at me to make sure I was chasing them and it was like "game on".

I had told Cole and Bella we could eat at the food court at the mall so I kept checking my watch, praying that it would be lunch time every time I checked the time. That was the longest 60 minutes of my life. And the other moms were just politely smiling at me the whole time and some were daring enough to make comments like "you sure have your hands full" and "you're brave to come here without help" which I translated as "lady, you're higher than a kite to think you can bring 4 kids, ages 3 and under, to the mall by yourself". But I kept telling myself...I can do this, I can do this, I can do this....I think I might have even said it outloud at some point.

Finally, it was lunchtime...and I figured the best thing to do was grab a table close to the McDonald's area and get it all situated (grab 2 highchairs, clean them off, get the table cleaned off, get the kids' hands clean with antibacterial gel). And then I went to wait in line while Cole and Bella stayed at the table with the babies, who were still in the stroller, happily munching on goldfish while they waited. I was only like a few feet away from them and I had my eye on them the whole time (and the mall wasn't crowded at all) but for some reason, it just didn't feel safe to me. I kept envisioning taking my eye off them for a second to place our order and someone coming up and taking off with the babies in the stroller or luring Cole and Bella away from the table.

So I got out of line and grabbed the stroller and told Cole and Bella to come wait in line with me...it just felt more comfortable to me this way. In the meantime, as I'm getting ready to place my order and I took my eyes off the table for maybe 2 minutes and when I looked back, someone had taken off with my highchairs...the 2 highchairs I took the time to sanitize thoroughly with antibacterial wipes!!!! At the same time, even though I was very annoyed, I realized it was probably a good call to bring the kids in line with me, seeing how fast someone was able to swipe our highchairs without me even noticing.

I got the kids all back to the table with our order and all hell broke loose...as soon as they all saw the food, it's like they were starving orphans from Africa. I couldn't put the food in front of them fast enough...and then Cole needed ketchup, Bella was mad b/c there were pickles on her cheeseburger, the babies didn't want their cheeseburgers (thank God, I brought a back-up container of ravioli, just in case), Cole and Bella were fighting over the fries, Garrett managed to grab Cole's lemonade and spill it, then Landon pushed all his food on the floor....I could feel my face becoming more flushed by the minute. I looked over at the next table and noticed the 2 ladies were staring at me and when they noticed me looking at them, they quickly looked away and started whispering, sending me even further into embarrassment.

But thankfully after a few minutes of getting settled, things were fine and I actually enjoyed about 10 minutes of conversation with Cole and Bella while we all ate...oh wait, did I say "we all ate".....let me change that....while "they" ate. It was at this point that I realized I never got anything for myself so Bella was kind enough to give me her "disgusting pickles" and a few sips of her lemonade and then I snagged a few french fries from them when they weren't looking.

Then Cole and Bella wanted to ride this little tiny carousel near the arcade so we all walked over there and I cleaned the babies up while they rode that.

And finally we left....we got home, I put the little ones down for a nap, and told Cole and Bella they could stay downstairs instead of going upstairs for a nap as long as they laid down on the sofa and watched a movie so we could all get some rest. That lasted about 20 minutes...

So yeah it seemed like a good idea at the time....I was telling Tim about how it went and I said "I'd love for you to take the kids to the mall by yourself and feed them lunch at the food court sometime"....he said "I'm not crazy"....but apparently I AM!!!

But what made it all worth it was tonight when Cole and Bella were getting ready for bed....I said to Bella "I had fun with you today" and she said "I couldn't have done it if you weren't there" and I said "done what?" and she said "climb up the bridge and slide down". There was a bridge in the play area that she needed help getting up and down on and I had helped her (when I wasn't chasing the escaped convicts). I said "well, I was happy to help you" and she said "I'm glad we went...you made me happy". Awwww, how sweet is that....what mother's heart wouldn't melt upon hearing that???

However, don't be mistaken...it will be a VERY VERY long time before I take all 4 kids to the mall's play area and food court by myself again. For some reason, the outdoor park is much easier for me....that's where we'll be from now on....


MamáChanga said...

Whew!! I'm exhausted from just reading that. I think I'm going to have to start smokin' some of that stuff you are, I need courage just to take my 2 ANYWHERE!!! LOL!!

Joy said...

I have sooo been there with the play area (only one less child though) :) My kids run out and of course they want the kids to only wear socks so every time they run out onto the tile they would end up flat on their backs and crying only to repeat that again.You would think they would learn their lesson after the first fall! It's hard to think it's worth it at the time but sweet moments like your's with Bella reminds you. Those are the kinds of things they'll remember later, you rock!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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