One of the benefits of writing this blog is that people learn from it. So when they invite you to their wedding, they provide childcare. Two adults for my three youngers, Baby and Baba really can behave in public and while Mac can he prefers bubbles to bruschetta, and one other little child. The numbers seemed about right. The kids had a great time, although they still left their mark on the wedding. Or the reception. The bride and groom had lawn games set up for cocktail hour. When the children were brought outside to enjoy the fresh air, Cinco immediately found a ball being used in lawn bowling and toddled off with it. She made the reasonable choice of throwing it over the fence, which separated the reception area from a steep drop off to a river. She then found a Frisbee and did the same. Fortunately, in the bag a tricks the father figure has amassed over the years, jumping a fence in a suit is a life skill he has. Even with supervision, Baba still managed to give Mac a black eye. We’re that talented.
Despite some serious misgivings, I signed X-Man up for a Mommy and Me swim class. In an attempt to simplify my life, I had Mac’s class scheduled right before X-Man’s. I was very proud of X-Man as he did not stroke out in anticipation waiting for his class. He’s turned into quite the water baby. While in North Carolina, he discovered the joys of a life jacket and pool noodle combo. He gained independence that way and I got to sit poolside with a glass of wine. It was a winning pair. Until I had to jump in because, two hours in, X-Man was seconds away from falling asleep. Pool noodles make for very comfortable pillows apparently. Anyway, this new found independence translated into mad pool skills in X-Man’s mind. He wasn’t a fan of me holding him during class. He kept demanding I put him down. But putting him down, sans life jacket, didn’t work out the way he thought it would. He was completely uninterested in kicking his feet while sitting on the edge of the pool, or splashing with his hands. But hopefully, he’ll realize he’s not Michael Phelps quite yet.
I was at the tail end of a long drive the other day. It had been a long day overall and everyone was on edge. The best part of the forty minute drive was Cinco’s screaming the entire time. It started with her screeching that she was stuck, also known as buckled up in a five point harness. The point was, she was not free to move about the cabin and this outraged her. X-Man was yelling back at her that she wasn’t stuck, she was buckled. There was a point in time where he too would bellow that he was stuck and I would inform him that it’s pronounced “buckled.” So he was happy to share this information with his sister. But halfway through the lesson, he dropped his minion toy so his energies were directed elsewhere. Mostly at me, demanding that I get his toy, which I could not reach, nor anyone else. Cinco then decided that she should get some of this action and threw her own toy. Now she was stuck and toyless. Too much for any one person to endure. So she made sure to spread the misery. Loudly.
And so we drove home, with in stereo screaming. My foot got a bit heavy towards the end and did not escape notice of those who frown on such behavior. The kids were so involved that they didn’t miss a beat. The cacophony continued. I simply rolled down my window and waited. I didn’t retrieve any information; I just sat, with my head resting on the steering wheel. I was certain the noise could be heard over the freeway traffic. When the officer approached my car, I just turned my head, without raising it and said “I am three miles from home.” He looked in at the reddened, tear smeared faces and responded “Three miles? Be safe.”
And left me. Alone. With the screaming children. I am considering filing a complaint.