Tuesday, June 16, 2009

They Win

Today was... huh. Every time I start to bemoan a certain day, I think about all the women in the world who would love to be in my shoes, with a roof over their kids' heads and food in the fridge and then I feel guilty.

And yet.

We started off pleasantly enough, with a playdate with some friends we haven't seen in awhile due to the arrival of a new baby, so it was doubly great (triply great, since the friends are twins) to see the friends and the newest addition to our little group.

I planned to take the girls to Charlevoix after Marta's nap to visit their new children's fountain (new to us; it's been up for a year now). It was remarkably warm in these parts, with our thermometer reaching 83 degrees (in the sun, but still). So I thought the girls would revel in the newness of the fountain and the chance to be outdoors without coats on.

Charlevoix is about 40 minutes from our house, but I thought the fountain was worth the drive. I packed tons of snacks, since Marta is eating everything, all the time, and by 10 minutes into the ride she'd eaten a banana, twisted fruit stick and crackers. She then began chewing her cheese and raisins and spitting them out onto her chest, and she dropped her water (NOT a no-spill cup) upside-down into a corner of the car that I couldn't reach. I stopped the car, got out, got the water. Fine.

Berit is in this magical phase where all she does is make noise. She is very literally constantly talking, and not just to herself, but needing answers and when said answers are given, she's clearly thinking of something else and asks me to repeat everything. Therefore:

B: "... Mom look at this FRECKLE on my leg! Look Mom! Hey Mom, look at this freckle!"
Me: "Wow, I love that freckle."
B: "What?"
Me: "I love that freckle."
B: "Mom, what did you say? Did you -"
Me: "I said-"
B: "What?"
Me: "Nothing."
B: "What?
B: "Oh. Mom, did you SEE that truck? When I grow up can I ride in that truck with that man? MOM, that truck was LOUD! I don't like LOUD things! MOM! There are people walking on that sidewalk. I like sidewalks. Remember when we walked on the sidewalk and Marta fell down and hit her head? MOM, do you remember when..."


So anyway, we do this all the way to the fountain park, we run up to what seems to be an amazingly fun fountain and realize that the jets in the ground, the ones that shoot water up into the air, are set on "power wash the paint off a house" or possibly "shoot holes into houses" because they are intense and my toddler, who loves water and anything really that she might get into, walks right up onto one that's currently dormant (because helpfully they're also set on "random," so you can't figure out which ones might be safe to play over) and sticks her face over it, studying the dribble of water popping out of the hole in the middle. Of course, what you're thinking happens happens, and this sets the tone for the entire visit. Berit is terrified and never so much as ventures three feet into the fountain, and Marta desperately wants to play in the fountain but keeps getting shot in the face, head and hands with the vicious spray.

It may have been helpful if another child were playing in the fountain that my kids could watch and mimic, however the only other kid there was a baby with his mom and her friends who just yelled at him the entire time for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ("Don't you walk with that towel!" "NO you can't go over there." and my favorite, "Mommy can't hold you because I'm SMOKING. You know Mommy doesn't hold you when I'm smoking, and can't you see I'm smoking?"). The poor child was also completely and painfully developing a serious sunburn, and I tried in vain to offer them sunscreen and they laughed at me when I put even more on my girls' parts in their hair.

I ended up carrying both girls in a "dance" through the fountain, trying to convey to Berit that water spraying up at random can be fun and to Marta that if she does it this way, she could enjoy herself without needing to be taken to the ER afterward. Berit freaked out and tried to climb up my now-soaking wet self and Marta cracked up. Half a point for mom.

Also: Berit threw my camera onto the cement (by accident); Berit threw a full-on screaming tantrum because she wanted me to put her pants on for her but then wanted to put them on by herself but then wanted me to do it for her; Marta found a bag of Annie's Bunny Crackers and shoved honestly 10 in her mouth at once, wobbled around with her mouth completely open for a minute or so trying to figure out how she was going to make it work, then launched into her own screaming tantrum when I scooped them out of her mouth; and I found a bag of very old peaches in the front pocket of my diaper bag that had melted into peach vodka and covered everything in the pocket, which happened to be where I put my keys and now my "fob" is all sticky in the buttons with rotted peach juice.

And: Trevor is working until 9 p.m., so I took them on our nightly family walk by myself during which they both scream-fought the entire time, even while our neighbor tried talking to us about his newly three-legged dog who needs chemo WHILE THE DOG HOBBLED IN FRONT OF US. Oh, and I tried to give the girls a bath but Berit threw a tantrum while she was on the potty before the bath, refused to get off, I removed her, she informed me she was so mad because she just wanted to dance, immediately realized she needed to go #2 and spent the next HOUR working on this while Marta ceremoniously begged for bites of oatmeal and spit them out onto the floor while I wasn't looking, but have now discovered.

Now I'm off to clean the oatmeal and the peach-soaked diaper bag, IN PEACE AND QUIET, thank you very much. Sorry, didn't mean to yell at you. Force of habit today, I think.


Liza said...

Hil-a-rious! I needed that after trying to keep all 3 afloat in the lake today! WOW! Motherhood is exhausting?!@!...and wonderful.

camtaysmom said...

i continue to chuckle and yet feel a little bit guilty for having recommended that darn fountain in the first place ... we'll try it out next week and then compare notes with you about the experience :)

Mackenna said...

The "Mommy is smoking" part is just sad. And it makes me want to punch her. But your story writing is, as usual, terrific. I love it.

Thanks for sharing with us other moms, who often wonder, "Is it just me?" when our kids are whining or babbling incessantly and their traveling food conduct is so much less than questionable.