I'm going to be straight up honest with you: I loathe taking my kids out in public. It horrifies me and it makes me want to renounce my religion and go drink myself silly. It doesn't matter if it's McDonalds or Walmart, the park or theatre, a city sponsored family event or church...either one of my kids or I am getting into trouble. Perhaps this is my fault since after all I am their mother, but I've got a feeling that other parents can probably relate whether they want to admit it or not. Don't act like you've never lost your kid at the craft store before because you were too busy looking at jewelry findings while your youngest ran off to ask one of the employees where the candy was.
You know exactly what that sinking feeling feels like when you realize you've lost your kid again. He was just running inside the bouncy house and then you hear over the loud speaker that a little kid has been found in the dirt arena.
You probably also know what it's like to threaten another mom within an inch of having her butt kicked when she tells you you're a terrible mother for leaving your kid all alone at a McDonalds play area table while you took his brother to the bathroom inside the play area to drop a deuce. And then you never visit that snotty McDonalds again.
However, you see that same mom later in the year at your son's elementary school. And you avoid her like the plague.
Which is why I knew my decision to take my kids to a town event in June by myself was doomed from the very beginning.
I envy all y'all parents with seemingly perfect kids that have it all together, because I evidently don't at all.
Me and my three boys arrived at the event around 5 PM, which is supposed to technically be evening. My husband couldn't help me because he was working at the event. It was hot outside. This was my first clue to turn around and go home. However, I wasn't about to have three boys crying in my ear for the eleven-billionth time that day because I promised them they could play in the bouncy houses later. I also entertained the thought of tying them together so I wouldn't lose any of my boys, but I had a snotty McDonalds flashback.
And honestly it wasn't all that bad at that point. The first thing we did was purchase some Italian ice from a vendor. I shared a mango flavored one with one son and I made the other two share a green apple flavored one. I found an empty table and we were all enjoying ourselves when suddenly one of them had to pee. I was so hot that I didn't want to walk over to the port-o-potties just forty feet away, and since not very many people were there I decided to have my oldest walk his brother for me. I thought that was a great idea until I saw that my oldest hadn't shut the door behind his brother who was now peeing in plain sight of everyone. I ran as fast as I could to shut the door so no one else could be mooned, but my husband beat me there who was obviously mortified on the job.
Then he showed us where the shaded tables were. He left to get back to work and me and my boys finished our Italian ices under a large canopy. Once our cups were empty, I asked my youngest to throw them away. He walked up to the garbage cans with our empty cups and then just stared inside. Stared. I had no idea why he was just standing there, so I told my middle son to go tell his brother to throw the cups away. My middle son walked up to where his brother was, delivered my message, and then too began staring at the inside of the garbage can. I was getting annoyed at this point, so I instructed my oldest to tell his brothers to throw the danged cups away. He walked that way, looked into the trashcan and then came running back to me yelling, "Mommy, there's candy in the trashcan! Perfectly good candy! Who throws candy away?" Just my luck of all the trashcans I picked it had to be this one.
After I had pried my boys' fingers off the trashcan, we then walked around the booths which had everything from t-shirts to air conditioning installers. Pretty soon we were getting lots of freebies like hats, whistles, and helium balloons (that one of my sons had to have replaced five times).
We took goofy photographs,
my children almost hit a cop with a frisbee,
and then we finally made it to the bouncy house area.
I had my oldest two go play together while I watched my youngest climb the wall.
Once my youngest was through I then had him join his brothers. Too soon he came running to me to tell me that someone wasn't letting him play. I asked him why and he said, "because they are mean." I knew I wasn't getting the full story, so I had him play in a different bouncy house. I don't know if it was because I was exhausted or what, but as soon as I saw some stranger grab my son and tell him he couldnt go in even when there was no one behind him in line that I bit my tongue and put my hands in my pockets and told my kid to get out. We were leaving. And I better get out of there as fast as I could because I could feel my temper swelling inside. I was not about to embarrass my husband again that evening.
On a good note, I didn't lose anyone or my temper.
On a neutral note, another reason I won't take my kids to Disneyland.
On a bad note, I think my patience is even less now.
On an advice note, don't have three kids in three years.
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