1. Take Cole and Bennett to the Park
Sounds like a small feat, but for me I had visions of Cole catapulting himself off of the jungle gym while I am trying to run to catch him with a baby in my arms. I worry about things like that. But I was determined to put my fears behind me, so I strapped Bennett to my chest and made the trek to the park down the street. Much to my surprise it all went very smooth, Cole learned how to go down the slide on his own, and climbed all over the play structure without me hovering and gripping his hand the entire time. I was able to stay on the ground and cheer him on when he needed it, and remind him to step away from the drop offs if he approached to close.
Low and behold, we ALL had fun. And we made it back with all limbs intact. I wiped my brow and remember being excited for the next nice day to do it all over again.....
And so we did. We did it all over again.
And yes, all went well....We played, we laughed, we ran around like nuts. But then came the darkening hour of "time to go home". I swear I picked Cole up to put him in his stroller and the kid sprouted like 10 arms and legs. His lungs became like a rocket taking off, going up, up up in decibels and blowing everyone's ear drums in the process. My cheeks were blaring red, I had sweat dripping down my forehead as I tried to finagle my son's legs to both be in his stroller at the same time. It became a royal two person circus act, poor Bennett joined in on the fun and began wailing...most likely do to "getting in the way" of one of Cole's flailing limbs. All the while I am fully aware of the scene we are making and try to ignore the stares that are directed our way. I actually contemplated ditching the stroller and dragging Cole home on foot behind me.
After what seemed like a marathon of darting elbows and corralling legs I finally got him placed bottom down in his stroller. Then Bam! He turned to jello and starts oozing himself out the bottom of the stroller...seriously, how do kids learn these things?! Luckily I stopped him in the nick of time with my knee and shoved him back up to his stroller and quickly snapped the harness closed. I might also mention that I had originally been a really nice mom and had let Cole bring along some junky plastic animal toys that he loves. They had been neatly placed in his tray upon arriving. As I tried to regain composure I notice that they had been recklessly strewn all about the grass around us. Being a not so nice mom I pointed to them and said, "because of the fit you just threw I am leaving your lion." In a huff I started pushing the stroller away only to be chased down by a little old lady who didn't speak a lick of English, in her hand she held out the lion. I tried explaining that I was leaving it to teach my son a lesson, but she insisted I take it, I had no fight left in me so I calmly thanked her and took the blasted lion.....oh well, next time my boy you will not be so lucky.
I finally had that moment that every mom dreads, I was the mom that had "that kid". I suppose it happens to the best of us. I don't know why i thought I had some sort of immunity to it or something. It was a very humbling experience, and one that will likely unfold again...hopefully I can learn how to gracefully place my son and all 10 arms and legs into his stroller with less fight. Until then I will accept that this is all part of being a parent, you have moments where you want to scream, moments where you want to hide your head in shame, moments you want to burst in tears, then there's that moment when you look at your children and you realize you just fell deeper in love their little beings...
It makes eating humble pie worth every bite.