I was coming home from Costco one day last week. Costco is a big enough trip in itself, when you have a toddler and infant in tow (thankfully my mom was with us….well heck, it’s her membership!). The timing worked out so that we would get home and it would almost immediately be nap time. I thought for a brief moment, “Let’s be a fun mom. Let’s not go straight home.” (And yes, some days you have to coax yourself to be fun! Okay, at least for some of us it takes coaxing for spontaneous fun! 🙂 ) My toddler was hungry and I had food from Costco that would make an easy snack. My infant needed to eat. Let’s stop and do something fun!
We stopped at a local trail near our house, parked the car and my big, awesome plan was to sit in the trunk of our SUV, eat a snack, feed the baby, and watch the geese and birds. It would be fun, simple and a quick detour on the way home. HA. I forgot the Golden Rule of parenting… Everything takes (at least) twice as long with kids and at least one unexpected thing happens.
First unexpected thing….the trunk of an SUV is actually not as big as a room. It’s just a tiny trunk. Oh, and the random stuff in your trunk? It’s in there. Oh, and you just went to Costco, right? Yeah, that stuff is in there, too. And your toddler, and you, and your hungry infant. So now, I am simultaneously trying to move groceries around, get a snack out, feed the baby, make sure my son doesn’t sit right ON the eggs and bread, and oh yes, keep the fun alive!
This is supposed to be my big, fun idea…don’t get stressed, don’t get stressed, don’t get stressed…. (Pause for a tea break. Thank goodness for my tumbler keeping my tea warm. At least that’s one constant!)
Second unexpected event… A mom in the park’s favourite words to hear, “I need to pee!!” Oy. We clamber out of the trunk (trying not to land on the eggs and bread), stop feeding the baby, put her on the floor by the passenger seat and rush behind the car to the bushes. Whew, made it. I didn’t even get pee on his shoes or mine. Yeah, keeping it real. Time to clamber back to the trunk, move some more junk around, grab the angry, hungry baby and resume the fun! I think my favourite moment was when we were on the way home and I ask, “So pal, was that fun? How did you like my idea?” and he responds, “It wasn’t that good. Claire was crying too much.”
My little adventure has somehow become a new favourite activity. My son is always asking to “go watch the geese.” We went again today after a few errands and I was slightly more prepared this time – a cleaner trunk! We even managed to enjoy snack time while the baby slept, and then ventured out a bit for some exploring. My husband and I are ALL about limiting electronics and “screen time,” so sitting outside listening to birds is a nice break to the indoors and a child’s desire to watch TV. It can be beautiful, exciting and totally EXHAUSTING being the person that is in charge of helping teach a child everything about the world, but that is a job I am glad to have. Some days though…..some days….I need a break from the millions of questions!
I tell you though….sometimes being a mild Type-A, OCD, introverted mom is not easy… It can be hard to keep the fun alive while thinking about needing to vacuum the car after your adventure or colouring with your son while worrying about breaking crayons. 🙂
Next time, I think we will make it a real adventure with binoculars and a blanket. (It’s the simple things, folks.)