I consider myself to be someone of above-average intelligence, but certain parts of motherhood really stump me. I like to bring the kids fun places, but doing it by myself during the week definitely presents a challenge at times. For your entertainment, I will share with you a recent outing.
I took the kids to the train show at the NY Botanical Garden on Thursday. There was snow pouring from the sky, but nothing motivates you to hustle the kids onto the slushy highway like non-refundable tickets. I got them into their coats, hats, gloves, boots, packed the bag and walked them to the garage. Of course our car would not start because our garage cannot remember to remove the key everytime which kills our battery. Finally, I got the kids strapped in and away we went. Molly of course decided to forgo her morning nap in the car and scream at the top of her lungs the entire way. Nothing improves your concentration more on an icy highway than your child screaming like the Exorcist in the back seat.
But, we made it there for our appointed timeslot. You could not bring strollers, so I brought the front carrier for Molly. I anticipated a crowd and/or lots of rules, so I did not bring our large backpack. We got there and it was too hard to squeeze Molly in her snow suit over my coat into the carrier so I just carried her. It ended up being a long, cold walk but we eventually made it. Henry, despite being cold, does not see this as a motivating factor to speed it up and stop kicking every bit of snow. We arrived and there was no coat check. I was trying to figure out the logistics of holding three coats, sets of gloves, hats, a small diaper bag, a non-walking baby and keep track of a wandering three year old.
We managed through the exhibit and enjoyed seeing it. Henry then declared himself STARVING right after so we bundled back up to find the cafe outside. While holding Molly and wrangling Henry who insisted on touching everything, I grabbed: an orange juice, a bagel, 4 containers of butter, a large fruit cup and a uncrustable PB&J. After paying, I added straws, a cup, knife, forks and napkins to this teetering pile. Dropped it all onto a table, got Molly a high chair, took off my coat, Henry's coat, Molly's snow suit, buttered the bagel, poured the juice, cut the fruit, opened the sandwich..."PEE!" Huh? He didn't just say that right? Henry, you didn't just say you have to go to the bathroom did you? "PEE! I need to go pee!"
As I surveyed the table I think I muttered "You've got to be kidding me." Upon further investigation I saw that the only bathroom was outside, about 25 snowy yards away. Forget about it kid. I am not cleaning up all of this uneaten food, getting everyone re-dressed and walking back outside for you to void 1 tsp of fluid. I am willing to risk it here. I instructed him to "Hold it" which he took quite literally. I told him in my best hostage negotiator voice that he needed to wait a few minutes. He bravely soldiered on and made it through his meal.
We bundled back up and hustled over to the bathroom. All three of us squeezed into the tiny bathroom and I attempted to help Henry with Molly strapped to my chest. She of course couldn't be left out so she screamed and swung her fists wildly. I decided to seize the moment as well since I really could not remember the last time I had used the facilities (days? weeks?) and got to pee with Molly strapped to my chest and Henry trying to open the door.
I will spare you the rest of the boring details of our journey, but we all took a nice long nap when we got home. I'm sure my twitch will subside eventually.