I woke up Saturday morning feeling optimistic. My husband would be at work all day so I laid in bed thinking of fun things to do with the kids by myself. Fun things that wouldn't involve laundry or dishes or wiping marker off of anything. Fun things that maybe wouldn't involve remaining inside the four walls of our house.
I hear about other mothers taking their kids places. They appear to successfully leave the house without their husband and actual fun is had by all. So then I thought I could be one of them.
I decided to take my 4 year old and 18 month old to a fall festival at a local arboretum. We haven't been in several years but it's always super pretty. I figured I could get a cute picture of the kids sitting next to a pumpkin and they could run around outside. I'm so naive. It's almost sad. I didn't even take a stroller. Even the diaper bag was a last minute addition to the car.
First there were the giant mounds of pumpkins. My daughter wanted to climb them. I was worried she'd create a pumpkin landslide and crush a small child. Namely her brother. I need not have worried. He hated the pumpkins and refused to get near them. This is as close as he got:
The place even had a giant pumpkin shaped topiary. So cute. Here's my daughter agreeing to walk over to it:
And here she is coming right back after some random mud got on her pants. Notice how she's holding her pants up to illustrate the exact nature of the problem:
Here she looks at me with scorn for subjecting her to such horror:
What kind of mother are you? Why did you make me do that? You suck.
I redeemed myself by locating a large water fountain with four giant frogs that shoot water. I think the idea is that you can run under the streams of water without getting wet. It's fun. See:
Except suddenly, it's not fun. Too much water. Immediate change of clothes required or a nuclear winter will commence immediately. Must get to car:
That's the 4 year old with her hand in her mouth crying because I couldn't teleport her to the car. I managed to get everyone walking to the exit. Except then the 18 month old realized we were leaving the super fun fountain. So he flung himself to the ground in protest:
He was actually saying "water" and pointing. I had to carry him kicking and screaming several blocks while his sister followed behind whimpering. Then the 4 year old's water trauma began to affect her motor functions. She refused to walk another step and insisted she needed to be carried. So then I got to carry the 4 year old. Heaven help me that child weighs a lot. Here we are taking a break next to some flowers:
She agreed to smell them. Not because it's fun to smell flowers but because some other kid came by and smelled them first. And then there were no more photos because I wanted to die. I carried the crying 4 year old while cajoling my 18 month to keep walking. At one point they both refused to walk and I was carrying one child at a time from point to point. It was like a horrible nightmare where the parking lot seems to get further and further away in your head.
Shortly before the exit, a bride walked by. She was leaving after having photos taken in the gardens. I've never been so thankful to see a complete stranger in a wedding dress in my life. My 4 year old loves brides. Weird. I know. Whatever. I immediately sold my 4 year old on the idea of following the bride to see where she was going. Me, I knew she was headed to her car. My daughter? Pretty sure she thought there was a groom and a reception with a DJ somewhere up ahead. I rode that bride's tailwind the rest of the way to the car. Everyone was still pretty much crying but at least we were moving.
At the car, I strapped everyone in. My daughter was confused. She'd been under the impression we were changing clothes and going back in. Right. Good one. She'll be lucky to ever leave the house again.