Turning a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day into a pretty good one!

Today started off seeming like one disaster after the other.  The kids were ill behaved pretty much from the moment my feet hit the last stair on my way down this morning.  They were bickering with each other and everyone seemed to want different things.  When I went to make my morning coffee I thought as a treat, and to get everyone into better spirits, I would make pancakes for breakfast.  The first day of Spring Break last week I made them, and the kids couldn’t get enough of them.  I got them to the table thinking we’d all sit together and it would be relatively quiet because they’d be so into their breakfast, but not so much.  I should have remembered that as soon as you believe your kids love a particular food so you make it again purposefully, they will no longer enjoy said food.

It wasn’t even so much that they didn’t like the pancakes, I think it’s more that they didn’t get the chance to enjoy them.  Emily decided she didn’t want to sit in her booster seat and instead sat on my chair, which was fine as I was standing by the kitchen counter.  Then Andrew came flailing into the room, as per his usual completely oblivious to his surroundings (he’s a major klutz, like seriously, one of the worst) and he smacked into Emily on my chair, who fell off the chair (luckily not hurt) and took her full cup of juice with her, as well as her entire plate (plastic, at least) of pancakes complete with syrup...The juice and syrup were EVERYWHERE.  I’d just given the kids a bath, and Emily had the juice and syrup all over her, as well as all over the table, my chair, and the floor.  Of course, I should have known something like that would spill on the floor, because I steam mopped it the other day.  I don’t steam mop it all that often because literally EVERY time I do, something major gets spilled very soon afterwards!

I felt like I was going to go into a total rage by about 9am and I couldn’t stand the way my blood was boiling, so I decided that rather than let the negative stuff get the better of me, I had to completely change the course of our day.

So I got myself dressed, got the kids all dressed, pulled the stroller out from the back of the van, and off we went to one of our nearby parks.  The kids were enthusiastic about it and I was happy to be out in the sunshine, getting some fresh air and exercise.  No one else was at the park when we got there, so the kids and I completely took it over and they were all well behaved the entire time.  I’m still of course very watchful of the girls, and at times have to coax them into staying in the same general area as me and Andrew, but for the most part they did really well, and since we go to this particular park more than most others, it’s familiar enough that I know what they tend to want to do there.  Emily is definitely getting more into climbing and at times I was a bit worried she might slip, but she did great and there were no accidents.  Just as we were with Andrew, I’ve never been one to be too overbearing when it comes to my kids climbing and playing at the park.  The only real challenge has become the fact that I am so outnumbered by my kids, so I have a lot more to look out for, and that causes me some stress at times, which is one major reason I don’t take all 3 to the park on my own very often.  But I want that to be able to change, and I do think as they’re getting a bit older it will only get easier.  Yes, there will always be different challenges to face, but it’s not as impossible-seeming as it was even just last year.

It worked out well because being a little bit more comfortable with what the girls were doing (they found a giant mud puddle to play in and they LOVED that, and I was totally ok with it because it was my favourite thing to do when I was a little bit older than them, I can’t help but indulge them when it comes to a good puddle!) I was able to focus a little more on Andrew, like I used to be able to do, which in turn made the experience far better for him, too.  We played tag for quite a while, and I was racing around the playground and climbing it, too, so yay for a little outdoor exercise today!

After a while the kids wanted a drink so we sat at a picnic table and they had a little snack, and then I suggested we go to the store for a couple of things and I thought the girls especially would refuse, because it meant getting strapped back into the stroller and leaving the park, but Andrew only resisted a tiny bit and the girls were happy to sit in the stroller and head off to the store.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Just as we were leaving a bunch of kids showed up, and while on the one hand it would have been good socialization if they’d been there at the same time as us, on the other I was a bit relieved to be leaving at that point.  Part of it’s the introvert in me, but it also seems like more work when there are other people involved because I’m also having to watch how all the kids are interacting and….yeah, what can I say, I like it when we have the park to ourselves!

We went to the store mainly to pick up some milk and some bananas but I decided to treat the kids to some ice cream, and Andrew picked out some raspberry frozen yogurt bars that ended up being SO delicious.  Walking home eating frozen yogurt and taking off coats because it was too warm even for a light fleece jacket - I am SO happy that we’re finally heading into Spring :) I'm also glad I decided to change things up and take the kids to the park today. It did us all a world of good to get out.


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