Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sometimes It Just Doesn't
Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Even though you may have really, really wanted to be a super together mom eight months pregnant with three kids who can effortlessly meet her friend in the city for a museum trip, sometimes your kids don't show off that well. Sometimes the whole reason (Spark Lab!) for picking that particular museum (National Museum of American History) is closed for renovation and you're stuck in a museum that your seven year old son has absolutely no interest in. And sometimes the museum is pretty crowded because it's holiday season and your two year old vacillates from wanting to run through exhibits and wanting to be held so he can keep his hand shoved down your top. And even though your daughter does love the museum, you accidentally focus on the fact that your older son is moping and isn't finding anything to get excited about. You know he's disappointed, but you want him to rally. You want him to find a silver lining, to be a sport, but he's bored and claims his stomach hurts, but you don't believe him. And sometimes when you finally think that maybe everything will settle down for a few moments, and you'll sip a coffee with your friend who is in town from England, all the way from England, you forget to order the youngest his own ice cream. But luckily your mopey, sulking older boy volunteers to give his up and get in line to get
himself a new one. For a brief moment you think it's going to be okay after all. He may have whined and fussed, but at least he's sweet and generous. But sometimes, a few moments later he comes back on the verge of tears, ignored by the cashiers, and your sweet friend tries to help him out and when he finally gets to place his order, he finds out the ice cream is out now, and he just can't take it anymore. So you promise a hot dog from the truck parked outside. And you fight the toddler into his coat as he screams ow, and you feel completely incompetent. Sometimes when you finally make it outside, you discover the hot dog truck is gone, and you fear that your son's tears will freeze on his cheeks, and your friend no longer trusts that you can make it to your car without assistance, and sometimes she is right, and you walk around for an extra block or two trying to find the entrance to the parking garage. And when you finally hug her goodbye, you feel so defeated and a little ashamed of yourself because you know that it wasn't really any one's fault but your own. Your kids weren't that bad, and your friend was completely and totally generous. You just want to appear to a few steps closer to perfect than you will ever be, and you wanted your children to be less like actual children and more like well-trained, but still adorably quirky robots. But you aren't and they aren't, and sometimes you go home wishing for a do over.