“You no eat the baby. Me eat the baby.”
Yesterday was the famous annual cub scout Pine Wood Derby race. We all went as a family. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to go in time, so Alan and boys 1-3 went ahead, and the baby and I went 20 minutes later.
The bad thing about this is that by the time I got there the parking lot was full.
Now that wasn’t really that big of deal, except that it was about 15 degrees outside, there was still snow all over the place, and the wind was blowing me in the face and trying to throw JD’s blanket off of him.
There I was, pushing the stroller with one hand, holding the blanket over the stroller so it wouldn’t blow away and expose JD to the elements, with the other hand and of course carrying my 20 pound diaper bag on one shoulder, only it wouldn’t stay on my shoulder.
I looked like a limping hunchback woman, pushing a stroller.
Plus it was about 11am, and I hadn’t had breakfast yet.
As you can imagine, I was in a pretty bad mood by the time I got into the gym.
But I told myself, “It’ll be okay because they’re serving Chick fil a.”
I was right in time to see Jeff entering the gym carrying the yummy chicken goodness. Yes! I chatted to a few friends and then got in line. It didn’t seem like that long of a line, and yet when I got to the table…..the woman in front of me……got the last. chicken. sandwich.
I don’t care how good a person you are or how much you try to say, “Hey, I have it good compared to a lot of people, I should just be thankful,” this sort of morning will put you in a seriously bad mood.
After that I just kind of gave up on happiness. A few things happened:
–People occasionally brought Dan over to me when he couldn’t find me, and he was pouting. (Don’t worry. It was a small gym. He was fine.)
–I spotted Dan with a bag of chips, was just sure he’d swiped them and went to the snack stand and paid for the chips…..only to find out later that Alan actually had bought those for him. I could’ve saved myself that embarrassment.
–A big kid knocked Caleb over, which hit him right in his fever blister, which caused about 5 good minutes of Caleb tears.
–I decided to settle for the pizza, once I got over the Chick-fil-a disappointment. I waited in line again, put in my order, opened my wallet, and WHAAAT…. discovered that my wallet had been completely emptied (accidentally) by Dan when I had him fetch my wallet out of the bottom of the stroller.
Only my stroller was on the other side of the gym.
Yes, I panicked. I ran back to the stroller, leaving my snack table friends standing there waiting, and there was my cash.
So that provided yet another moment of snack table humiliation.
–After the wallet incident, Alan and Joshua left for Joshua’s basketball game. I stood in the middle of the gym, struggling to eat my pizza without getting any on JD (who I was wearing in an Ergo carrier), while Dan was not eating the pizza he’d asked for– but instead was playing at my feet, and Caleb was standing there crying from his fall.
I was standing there thinking, “I must look like a sight,” when a grandfatherly gentleman passed by and pointed out to me that Dan was running over his pizza over and over again with the stroller wheel.
I was so annoyed, but I just handed Caleb the pizza and told him to go throw it away, which he did.
–Then Dan kept pushing that stroller, and nearly running into people, and a part of me really just wanted to cry, but of course I decided against it.
–Then a woman I’d never met came up, introduced herself, and thanked me for all the work I’ve done as room mom for Caleb’s class, so that was nice.
You know, good things do happen. God bless all the people who take the time to say thank you and spread words of encouragement. You can imagine how much I need it.
–Right before I left, I was having a good conversation with a group of friends, and the boys were all playing nicely, so I was feeling much better.
Then it was time to go, and I got all the boys’ jackets on them, and happily headed home…..until I actually walked out the gym door, the arctic wind hit us in the face again, and I remembered the long walk to the remote parking space that I’d found.
Caleb said, “You know, Mom, Dad parked a whole lot closer.”
Dan kept whimpering when the wind would blow his hat off.
You’re picturing the misery?
—Oh, and the back van door sticks in the cold, so then there was that.
Once I got home and all of this was over, I didn’t leave the house again. I remember nothing about yesterday after that point.
No, no, I will not ever miss days like THIS.
I will miss my children being children. I will miss cuddling babies, and reading to sweet little ones. I will miss kissing their soft cheeks and crossing the street holding tiny little hands. I WILL miss those things.
I will not miss that feeling of hopelessness, when you’re out in public, and it just feels like there are more babies than you have hands, and your arms just ache.
And other people don’t miss it like they think they do.
They just don’t remember.
Right before I had Daniel, things had started to get really good. Joshua was 5, and Caleb was 3, and I remember being at the playground and being able to sit on a bench feeling quite carefree. Meanwhile, my friend Olivia would be following her 1-year-old all over the playground, and I remember thinking, “Oh, wow, I’m so thankful to be past that.”
Ha! Oh, how things do come back around.
Here are some photos from the race!
He LOVED the pizza crust, but I had to take it away because he kept gagging on it. Oh well, we’ll try again soon, JD.