April 10, 2012

Screw The Zoo and Other Parenting Fails

Yesterday was one of those days.  One of those days where every thing was an epic parenting fail and my children acted like they had lost their damn minds.  It was the first official day of spring break.  The day started out with so much promise.  I was up early, went to the hospital and had my gall bladder and other innards ultrasounded (is that a word?) and was in and out of there in no time (which was totally unexpected!).  I came home to three little cuties sitting in blankets and PJ's curled up on the couch watching TV so sweetly.  I took one look at them and smiled.  "Good morning, Mommy!" they all shouted with happy faces.  Then it went south...fast...

"Mom!  Can you get me a drink of water?" 
"Mom!  Will you make me some pancakes?"
"Mom!  Read this book to me!"
"Mom!  I spilled my cereal!"
"Mom!  My bed is all wet from last night.  I don't know what happened!"

And it went on like that- in rapid fire- until I said, "STOP! People, I only have 2 hands!!!!"  Within 2 minutes of walking in the door, I was barraged with no less than seventy eleven requests.  In the words of Alexander, I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

By 9:30 am, I was already feeling like the day needed redeeming.  "How about we go to the zoo?"  I asked the crew.  All were excited and it looked like we were going to turn the day around.

We packed up a picnic lunch and headed off to the zoo.  Now- when I was a little girl, the layout of the zoo went something like this: rhino, giraffe, elephant, lion, camel, zebra, tiger, polar bear, done.  Now the zoo layout goes something like this: enter, carousel, rhino, Spongebob 4D motion ride, giraffe, elephant, playground, snack shop, lion, giant bounce castle, gorillas, gift shop, dippin' dots stand, tiger, water park, another playground, pay to feed the lorikeets, zip line, hot dog stand, blah, blah, blah.  Essentially, it's now like an amusement park with the occasional animal.  Which means that we'd ooh and ahhh over an animal and then they'd spend the next 15 minutes freaking the heck out over me telling them we were not going to ride the 4D motion simulator.  Lather, rinse, repeat for the next 1.5 miles and the next 4 hours at every. single. attraction.  Seriously- if you said yes to all of the "extras" I guarantee you'd spend over $300 to take your kids to the zoo.  Miles was so overstimulated that he had to be "steered" through the zoo by his shoulder.  (Fancy talk for I had to squeeze the dear life out of the kid to keep him in line and keep him from jumping over the fence and throwing himself to the lion)

We were all frustrated.  It was so crowded we had to wait in line to even get a glimpse of most of the animals.  Noah was the only content one.  He was happily snapping pictures of everything he saw.  Sadie was pouting about the penguins being off exhibit (and this girl can hold a serious grudge).  And Miles was just being Miles- nuts.  He was so nuts in fact that Sadie (who doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body) said, "Mom, he's just being so annoying I want to kick him in the face!"  WHAT?  Who's kids are these?  Mother of the year, right here, folks.

I finally did say yes to cotton candy and we all breathed a sign of relief as the sugar went to work.  Even then, though, they still look like a band of tiny thugs.

We had to park in a remote field because there were just so many people visiting the zoo.  When we finally decided to call it a day, it felt like we had to hike about 3,000 miles just to get back to the car.  Which brought on the onslaught of, "I'm tired.  Carry me!"  "I'm hot!"  "Why did they make us park so far away?"  all said in the most drug out, whiny voices imaginable. 

We made it to the car, strapped everyone in and headed home.  I sat there in my seat just filled with rage.  How are we supposed to raise kids who are grateful and appreciative when just about every public place you want to take them is set up with such consumerism that it forces us to play the mean, "no" saying mom all day long?  I lamented all the way home about our horrible day. 

I came home and sprawled across the bed, still in my bad mood.  Within a couple of minutes, Kamron came home and I was replaying the horrible day to him.  "I just don't know why I even try to do fun stuff with them!  It never turns out the way I think it will!"  I was on the brink of tears.  But dinner waits for no hissy fit, so it was time for me to pull myself up and make some food for the heathens.

That's when it happened.  I backed off the bed on my belly.  One foot hit the floor and the other foot?  It plunged down on the heel of the stilettos I'd worn to church the day before.  It was like I was being speared. (My mom would say that this is what I get for leaving my shoes laying around!)  I tried really hard to catch my balance and stand up.  But the pain took me so off guard and threw my balance off so much that I fell backwards, in slow motion, arms spinning in circles.  I fell straight on my butt, legs flying up in the air as I fell the rest of way down and landed on my back on the bedroom floor.  For a split second, Kamron was concerned.  After all, I was flailing about and slamming to the ground.  And then that concern turned into hysterical laughter. 

And still, after all that, there was dinner still needing to be warmed up.  Noah said that he wasn't feeling good and wasn't hungry.  I made the other kids some pizza.  Before I sat down, Miles had dropped his saucy pizza all over my chair and didn't tell me.  Which means that I sat down and got sauce all over my pants.  I tried to let it go.  But then Miles decided that he was going to eat laying down on his chair and then kicked me square in the guts.  And then Noah came in and said, "Actually, I am hungry" after the food had already been made!   That was it!   I had had enough! 

Thank you Lord that I have a husband who realizes that when mama is cooked, mama needs to be ALONE.  I hopped in the car, cranked up my playlist that alternates praise and worship music and novelty rap ('cause that's how I roll) and headed to Target.  We only needed garbage bags, but oh my word.  Shopping for garbage bags was such a treat!  I find that there are very few days that an hour alone at Target with a good cup of coffee and good music blasting in the car can't cure.  It's also made a little better when you are able to look back at the crazy and embrace it and have a good laugh about it.  Oh- and it helps if you circle the block long enough on the way home to make sure the kids are in bed before you even think about walking through the front door.  I'm just sayin'.  Thankfully, today is a NEW day. 

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