|the photoshoot in which Jada would not stop teasing Leila|
In that moment on that day (Saturday) when anticipation filled the air.
Anticipation for what you may ask? Family Fun Day of course.
I will admit it. I set my hopes high. I think we all do when it comes to Family Fun Day. We have some sort of delusion of grandeur that everyone will be as well behaved and anticipate this day as much as we do as a parent.
But if you have a truck full of kids like I do...(or if you have a toddler who is very particular like my friend, Lisa, does) you start to ask yourself 'why do I bother?' Because Family Fun Day just isn't very fun when you the fun is sucked out by the kids who should be having the fun. Let me clarify. Sometimes the kids actually ARE having fun as they antagonize and instigate. But Family Fun Day for us this past weekend ended in a near melt down.
I wanted to take the family to celebrate our heritage and culture, so we started getting ready for Indian Summer Festival!
It started bad and just got worse. I should have known.
1) Leila's comb-over. I tried to fix Leila's hair in french braids. She has a huge clump of knotted up hair that she will NOT let me brush through, so for a week now I have been brushing 'over' it in order to hide said clump. This wouldn't work with french braids. A lot more hair separating is needed. SO I get lots of wiggling, yelling and crying instead. We ended up with regular braids brushed over clump (as shown above). This is how our day began.
2) Photoshoot gone awry. So the braids were necessary for my little native girls. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen I was pretty excited to go. So I got the girls all braided up, clump comb-over and I wanted to take some pictures. The better portion of them were of Jada pretending to be picking her nose and wiping it on Leila and Leila was getting mad (as shown above). And there was a lot of me saying "JADA! KNOCK IT OFF!"
3) Leila wants chocolate milk. We are driving away from the house and she starts yelling and crying that she is going to puke if she doesn't get chocolate milk. I tell her I am not stopping for chocolate milk and whining and crying is not the way to get her way. She keeps whining in hopes I will make a stop for her. I didn't, obviously.
4) We got lost. How on earth we could get lost in a city we have lived in our whole lives pretty much, I will never get. But we still manage to do it. A trip that should have taken about 12 minutes ended up taking about 30. And the last 20 of those minutes was spent in a 2 mile radius trying to find a parking lot.
5) We got there late. We left later than planned. We drove longer than planned. We parked farther away than planned so we had to walk longer to the main entrance than planned. Everything just takes longer with kids. A lot longer. You would think I would know that by now and plan better. But as much as I plan better, I never plan for kid fights and last minute announcements of "I NEED chocolate milk or I will puke" as we are driving away. And when we finally reached the gate, there was a line that was way longer than I expected.
|proof that we actually did make it to Indian Summer for the 25 minutes I claimed|
6) There were 'bees.' Bees are not a friend of our family. Really they are wasps, but you get the point. My oldest child is terrified of bees. He runs (like Phoebe on Friends) and he screams. Well, if there are a lot of bees, there is a lot of screaming and running. He knows people are watching. He doesn't care. He panics and cries. I feel really bad for him, I do. I seriously have no clue what to do to help him. He never enjoys anything outdoors in the summer, which means neither do we. But the whole 25 minutes we were at the festival, he didn't stop screaming and running. Yes, I said 25 minutes. That is how long we lasted.
7) Jada wanted to take a nap. First let me say, Jada is 9. She isn't 2. We finally get to the festival late. Wesley is crying. Leila has matted comb-over hair and a booger on her arm from Jada. Jeff and I are irritable from the extra long drive and getting lost. We hadn't even made it to the pow-wow yet and Jada starts crying and whining (oh that whining) because she has now decided she wants to go home and lay down and take a nap. Her words, not mine. I told her to lay on a bench and she said 'No. People put their butts on there.' Okay, I can understand that so I told her to lay on the ground with Wyatt's blanket. But that wasn't acceptable either. Home was the only place she wanted to be.
8) War breaks out. At this point, Jeff had finally decided that he would take Wesley to a safe haven (a place free of bees) and come back later and pick me up. The panic Wes was dealing with was more than it was worth to try to push through it, for any of us. So we decided we would swallow the $19 we paid for Jeff's ticket and parking so he could get Wesley to safety. The girls both decided they wanted to go with Daddy. I had a feeling that was a bad idea, but hey, it meant I could get a break. Just me and the baby. Not really. Within 2 minutes I saw them all walking towards me and Jada was crying and Jeff was ticked because the kids were already fighting with each other.
9) We give up. 25 minutes into the gates of Indian Summer and I hadn't even met up with my family yet who was saving us a spot, but we couldn't deal anymore. The entire day thus far was a bust and I couldn't see it getting any better. I prayed for strength. Seriously, I did. I breathed the heaviest breath ever along with a loud sigh and said "Lord, give me strength to do this."
10) The kids are 'sorry.' Wesley and Jada are both crying now because they don't want me to be sad. Of course I was upset. They were whiny and misbehaving and we had to end up leaving because of it. And Leila was now crying as well, but because she wanted to stay. So now $33 is wasted instead of just $19. I made sure Wes knew with his repeated "I'm sorry mommy" that it was not his phobia that got him in trouble, but it was the fighting with Jada. Although the phobia is stressful for us, of course he can't help it. I am trying so hard to get him to understand the screaming has to stop though. He holds it back just fine in front of his friends when he sees a wasp. He just runs away like any other person, so I know he can do it. But for some reason, when it's just him and us (and the general public) he has no problems with making a scene.
|after we left the festival and before the apocalypse we stopped to stare at water?|
11) The Apocalypse. Or what felt like it anyways. So on our way home, the kids are told to not speak to one another. Not a peep. You know how that goes. Jeff and I decided to treat ourselves to WINGSTOP-(because that makes everything better.) And we have to stop at Target and grab some easy quick food and drinks for the kids. As soon as we walk into our house, it's like everything that can be shaken is shaken.
It's that moment when you have a million bags, cameras, diaper bags, purses, the baby seat and your food of course and you are trying to bring it all in. The baby is crying and wants me to feed him. I have to go to the bathroom. The dog needs to be let out. Leila is crying about chocolate milk (again). Jada is asking for cookies before dinner and complaining about what dinner is and teasing Leila. Wes has calmed down but is talking a lot and digging in the fridge for the 'pre-dinner food' that he always seems to need. Everything is going on and no one is calming down, and we can't even hear ourselves think. We told the kids to go upstairs to their rooms, (both because of the fighting and because 'Jada needed to lay down and take a nap') and we told them 3 or 4 times with no response. They acted like we didn't even say anything. And that was it. The apocalypse happened.
I almost felt bad for Wesley because he was just talking at this point, but it happened to be when everyone else was doing everything else, so he probably couldn't even hear us tell them to get upstairs. But enough was enough.
I told a friend of mine that I felt like my hopes and dreams for a perfect family fun day were shattered. I was joking of course but it was one of the top 3 most chaotic days out with my family. Sometimes, I seriously don't know why I try. Ever feel like that?. My kids are much happier and well behaved at home...plus we save money. It's just more work than it's worth. I'm learning little by little to plan better.
What goes wrong this time, I will try to remember next time... if there is a next time.
Depends how brave I am.