I done set myself up today, reader.
First, let’s talk about the vicious, vicious lie my favorite weatherman told me this week. He was talking all this jive about today possibly being a 60 degree day, and I totally fell for it. I planned my whole week around today being a glorious day. And when I got up before dawn this morning to get some fiction written (1,000 words in an hour! Yeah!) and saw that sun come up, I was too excited to have a great day.
I had my two cups of coffee, I got the boys up and gave them breakfast, I got my chores done with gusto… I was ready.
And this is where I really screwed up. I was like “oh! I am going to get myself a breakfast sandwich and some coffee… and maybe I’ll bring my knitting with me! That’ll be great!”
I walked out the door thinking that I was going to sit at the park with a breakfast sandwich, a coffee and my knitting. I thought I was going to be that mom who was going to have a pleasant moment on a park bench under a sunny sky while her children played nicely at the playground.
Are you laughing? You’re laughing, right?
Because you know I was sitting for all of 5 minutes, right?
We went to the playground that is on my side of town and while I expected that other families would be out, I didn’t realize just how crowded that playground could be. No big deal, right? It’s to be expected. I spelled out my expectations while we were still in the car: “We’re going to play nicely. No pushing, no throwing sand, no fighting over toys.”
Ursa Major: “No pushing, no throwing sand, no fighting over toys.”
Ursa Minor: “Ok, yeah.”
We get out the car, we walk through the parking lot, I let go of their hands and say “go play!” And they ran gleefully to the sandbox, both plopping down to play with trucks long neglected.
For about a minute.
Then they were at the play equipment. Ursa Major at the big slide, Ursa Minor at the little slide. Ursa Minor is doing a great job. Ursa Major?
I am writing an email, being “that mom” staring at her phone instead of paying attention, and I look up to see Ursa Major go down the big-boy slide, get up to run back on it, but not before slamming into arguably the smallest kid on the playground on his way. Does he stop to apologize? Of course not. Is the kid screaming next to his mom? Yeah. Cool.
“[Ursa Major], we need to be more aware when we play and we certainly need to stop and apologize when we knock over our smaller friends. That was not very kind. Please apologize.”
Ursa Major is pouting (in sympathy? In his own embarrassment? I have no idea.) but he apologizes. Little kid’s mother seems satisfied. I let Ursa Major go play.
I like how some other mom on the playground is giving me a dirty look. That “you shouldn’t have been looking at your phone” look. I ignore her and keep it moving. But now I do feel obligated to at least stand near the play equipment as I finish writing this email.
That lasts about a minute (just enough time to fire something off), because now Ursa Major has spotted the swings.
And the swings for toddlers are occupied. Only the goliath, obviously for adults or really big kid swings are available. We’re working on “big kid” swings, but Ursa Major isn’t quite ready for them. Even if he was, these swings are high off the ground. It would be hard for me to manage him without worrying about him falling.
I explain half of that to him.
He’s pretty close to having a tantrum.
BUT! But we’re able to save it. Someone is blowing bubbles and one of them has wafted in front of him. Huzzah!
Ursa Major has decided to go pop bubbles.
He’s trying to cozy up to a family who is having snack time (remember stink-eye mom? Yeah…). He has, literally, climbed up onto the picnic table and has scooched himself over next to the nearest kid and is smiling and batting his eyes like he’s gonna get a snack.
Seeing folks eating reminds me that my breakfast sandwich is still in my little shoulder bag (you know, the one that had my knitting in it?) getting cold.
Tantrum is averted because the swings are available. Fantastic. I saddle both of the boys up and start pushing. I also remember that my phone has voice recognition. I’m dictating emails like a damn boss. Push a kid, dictate a snarky email, push a kid, send the email. What? Modern technology is ridiculous! It’s going to be an ok day after all!
Of course, you can’t stay on the swings forever… especially because other kids want to use them after a while. So I let the boys down after 10 minutes and they run off to play again.
The playground had cleared out a little bit because people were going home for lunch and whatnot. Perfect, I thought. The boys went back to the sandbox where a few little girls are playing. Well, the boys, of course, start acting a fool again. Ursa Major wants to use the big heavy digger where a few the kids are huddled, disrupting their play. Ursa Minor wants to snatch toys and throw sand. Ursa Major wants to jump on other kid’s sand piles.
What? Who the hell are these children?
I give Ursa Major one more warning and tell him that if I have to talk to him again, we’re going home. So when he runs into the sandbox and dumps sand onto a little girl’s truck for no reason and without invitation, I was all set.
Noooow Ursa Major is all apologies.
“I want to go say ‘sorry’ to my friends.”
“It’s too late for that, bro!”
I wanted to teach them both a lesson about proper play and following directions (they are rarely this disruptive in public, even when playing), but I also wanted to leave because I was just so embarrassed by their behavior. Here I was, “that” mom with the aggressive children at the playground!
I put the boys in the car, ready to go home. Then I look at the clock.
It’s only 11:45.
Lunch isn’t until at least 12:30. Am I going to take these boys home? And do what? Fight with them in the front yard? Plop them in front of the TV?
You know what I did, right?
I drove them to the park on the other side of town like a crazy woman.
That’s how badly I need to be outside right now.
Mind you, it’s cloudy and cold. Ursa Minor is clearly getting sleepy. Ursa Major is feeling remorseful over his behavior at playground one. I was like, “You need to do better this time.”
“I am going to do better this time!”
Good enough for me!
Thankfully, there wasn’t really anyone there. It was lunch time. And cloudy. And Cold.
We were there for not 5 minutes before Ursa Minor had a little fall on the equipment, sending him into “I want to scream and also cuddle” mode for the rest of our stay. Ursa Major was actually pretty happy to play in the sand. Best part of little boys playing in the sandbox? Sand all over the floor you just spent your morning sweeping when little boys get home!
The good news? The boys are taking a really good nap today. So the ends justify the means, yes?
Would it be unbecoming for me to start bringing a flask to the playground with me?
Just to reiterate: I was the fool who thought she was going to sit on a park bench with a breakfast sandwich, a coffee and some knitting.
Did you laugh again?
See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.