Perhaps I was a bit overzealous this morning... I think the disposal of the high chairs yesterday made me think that perhaps I was the mother of 5 and 7 year olds, not 1 and 3 year olds... and so it was that in a serious lack of judgement I called to the kids: Let's play out front this morning! (insert the threatening musical tone: dum dum DUM!)
What's the problem with going out front you ask? I'll tell you: The STREET! Now I had no intention of letting them in the street, I stared with everyone inside the front fence. Smart right? Yeah, except the boys made a break out of there in less time then it took me to close the door. Reassessing the situation I modestly and cleverly positioned myself at the end of the driveway to rescue any escapee balls, lawnmower push toys, or - should it be needed - a child. This worked like a charm... for about 2.5 seconds. 2.5 seconds of the sun in my face, the breeze through my hair, coffee cup in hand and as I contemplated the blueness of the sky and gazed over the faces of my children (1, 2, 3...) THREE?!?
Crap, I'd lost one already.
It was Jack... Marching to the beat of his own drummer he deemed pushing the mower on the sidewalk in plain eye site too pedestrian and started actually trying to mow the grass in the neighbors yard (which Daddy would have appreciated had there really been a blade on that thing.) I ran to get Jack and move him to a more visible location (as he screamed and kicked in protest). Mid way up the rise Emma's frantic voice was heard:
What the hell? I dumped Jack and took off at a sprint to find Alex, walking down the center of the road like he was in the closing scene of a 3 hour drama. After trying my best to instill the sense of danger and urgency into a nonplussed Alex I then heard Bella:
"MOMMY!!! Jack is crawling under the car!"
I realized this was a loosing battle and reconfigured... as you do. Come on! Let's play in the dirt! That ought-to centralize the disaster and occupy everyone for a longer amount of time, right? Wrong.
It worked for a bit with the girls at least - and Alex joined in for a time - just enough to throw dirt at the girls and do a breakdancer type head-spin to encrust his hair. Where was I during this time? Chasing down Jack again... I'm surprised you had to ask. All this did was get me 3 really dirty kids.
Before I gave up once and for all we had 2 more street incidents involving small boys, 4 incidents involving deliberately encouraged street bound toys, mud in eyes, a broken plant, a broken plastic baseball bat, and 3 dents in my car. I tried to wrangle my muddy crew out back - simultaneously - and up onto the deck to get cleaned off. At least the area is confined... and gated, with a pad lock.
After cleaning everyone off and getting fresh clothes we were able to end our morning with this far more appealing scene... all four happing snacking on the deck. Look how cute they are. Look at these smiles, couldn't you just squeeze them?
Yeah. Me too.
So what I learned was this: If you go in the front yard with all for of the kids and are moronic enough to do this by yourself you will:
- Break a sweat
- Rescue your boys from playing Chicken with oncoming traffic
- Have to change at least 3 sets of clothing
- Loose your cool at least 3 times.