We went to the park. My children needed to run, for the sake of their lives and our relationship. It had been a tough morning (see previous post), and the only cure was a wide, open space. Run, boys. Run.
On the way there, I called Robb to let him listen to the mayhem in the car. I do this, sometimes, on the hard days. I call him, and I say, "Hello, Mr. Corporate America. As you sit in your office far away, I just want you to hear what's happening in our Lord of the Flies House. Just listen." And I hold up the phone to give him an earful of two little boys on the loose.
It's only fair.
This time, he listened, encouraged, and reminded me that I could take their scooter and bike to the park. Our closest park has a playground area, but it also has a large span of grass encircled by sidewalk. (.42 miles, I later found out.) In case the slides and swings didn't burn enough energy, I could run them like racehorses. Brilliant. I literally pulled a U-turn in the middle of the road, backtracked to our home, and loaded up with their personal vehicles.
When we arrived at the park, we made a beeline for the sidewalk lane. Do not stop at a swing or slide - don't let that heart rate slow down, boys. Hit it. Go, go, go.
Tucker is very speedy on his scooter, and he was off to the races. Tyler's bike doesn't have the same vehicular capacities, so he sits and scoots at his own speed. (This is Tyler's general approach to life, so it suits him well.) Tucker was going far ahead and then back again; he would check in with the slowpokes, and then head off on his path once more. Tyler: scoot, scoot, scoot.
We got 3/4 of the way around the track when the boys found a pine tree, and thereby lots of pine cones scattered all around. The Good Night Show recently boasted a clever, timeless craft to make a bird feeder out of pine cones, butter, and oatmeal. When my children happened on to this treasure cove of ingredients, their mental wheels started spinning.
Must. Collect. Lots. Now.
Except whose job is it to carry their collection of pine cones? My job. And these were a prickly variety, let me say.
When we had collected all that I could carry, it was time to rally the troops and move on down the road. Except each of my happy travelers had bottomed out. No more. No thanks. Carry us.
No can do, kiddos. See, you have loaded me with pine cones. Not that I could carry children anyway, since there are two of them, one of me, and oh, yes. A bike and a scooter. This was of no consequence to them. They whined. They complained. They were toast.
When I finally persuaded them to draw from their inner core and please, oh please, move on, they decided they didn't want to venture the rest of the path. They would rather turn around and go back the way they came. Mind you, we were 3/4 of the way around. My boys would rather take the long way... at least it's familiar.
We started back, but they were done riding. No more with the bike and scooter. Tucker dragged his scooter sideways behind him, which certainly seemed much harder to me, but whatev. Tyler wouldn't even do that much. I had to carry his bike, while he held onto a rear wheel, since I had no hands to offer him.
Picture this: Tucker, dragging his scooter sideways. Mom balancing an armload of prickly pine cones in the crook of her elbow, carrying a bike in the other hand, with a toddler dangling off the back. Oh, and I kept taking calls on my cell phone. Sure, I could have let them ring through to voicemail. But that would mean missing a social opportunity... have you met me? I am hereby an extrovert before I am anything else. Including sensible.
It was a long, long walk to the car. When we arrived, and I had loaded the blasted bike and scooter into the back of the minivan, they got their second wind. Of course, they did. Off to the playground. Mommy will just sit for a bit, thanks. Hit the slides, boys.
Oh, you'd rather swing? And I need to push? Are you kidding me?? Exactly whose idea was this field trip, anyway??
After one more episode which involved one very potty-trained child threatening to poop in the mulch right there in front of God and everyone, we scurried to the van and headed home as fast as the green lights and school zones would allow. And as we pulled into the driveway, said child of mine said, "What? Go potty? No, I don't need to."
Some days? My kingdom for a nanny.
(I love you, boys. Even on such days. Thanks for keeping Mommy running... literally.)