Saturday, May 4, 2013

When Our Best Attempts Turn To Crap And Back Again

I fanatically love, love, love my little part of the universe, but the January-March/April weather is horrible.  It makes me want to homeschool my kids for those three months and take them on some random RV tour around the country, just to get out of here. But then I remember the "school" part of homeschool and laugh like a maniac because I am not a go-getter and those three months would simply be a first Summer break.

So when we woke up and the forecast was Potential For Lovely, I said we were going to a playground.  The field trip was necessary since the level of teasing, arguing, and general ugliness between the sibs was escalating and someone would have found themselves flying to the stratosphere if we had not left the house.

By the way, when planning a playground visit with four kids, ages 5 and under, just any random park won't do.  In order to keep it as easy as possible, the bathroom must be close, a drinking fountain that works (but not so much that they can have a spontaneous water fight - this does happen), and there is ideally only one play area, etc, etc.  So the one I chose fit a couple requirements and we were off.

It did not go well.

Within 3 minutes (golly, I wish I was exaggerating), someone had to go potty.  No real surprise here because someone always has to go to the bathroom, but I was caught off guard when the bathrooms were locked.  As in the "not yet opened for spring" locked. Totally and completely uncool and there was NO WAY I had time to load everyone up and haul them 1 mile down the road to a grocery store to unload them, take them in, herd them around the restroom, load them back up, drive the the park, and then unload them so someone else could tell me 4 minutes later that they needed to go potty even though they had vehemently insisted to the point of tears that they didn't have to while we were crammed in one stall at the grocery.  No way.

So, dag-nabbit, we hiked to the furthest point at the park where only a couple neighbors and playground families could tell what we were up to (it's hard to be discreet with four kids running like crazypants for the trees shouting "Is she going to tee-tee in the trees, Mommy??  IS SHE GOING TO TEE-TEE IN THE TREES?!!?!?  HAHAHAHA!!  YAY!!! REALLY??  FOR REAL??".  They had turned almost maniacal with how thrilled they were. It is most definitely a walk of shame.  But I held my head up and readied my "Well, what do you expect me to do" face if some random dared question my decision to allow public urination. 

So we're there and I was pretty confident I had perfected the art of girls urinating in the outdoors a couple years ago, but I had never managed this while one was wearing a skirt.  Because of that, it did not occur to me that the skirt would hang down and therefore be covered with tee-tee to the point of saturation.  And then the girl (and the mom and the girl's sibs) freak for different reasons.  And then the family re-emerges from the trees with one child wearing different clothing (thankfully it was one of those times she was wearing pants underneath), but sobbing because she really loves skirts and wanted to wear that particular one that day, and other children whining because they wanted to pee in the trees as well and why won't you let me, Mommy?  And I'm trying to look nonchalant as I hold the dry corner of a drippy skirt.

Part II

The kids didn't want to play on the fun, new playground, opting instead for the old-school, wood chip and pea gravel, metal variety artfully decorated with bird poop.  Fine, and I actually don't mind this and I sort of understand.  The rubberized playground is boorrriinng because there is nothing to pick up and throw at siblings or shove in one's nose or ear.  Or get stuck in a shoe so that "Mom, I had to take my shoes off to get the wood chips out and then I haven't had the chance to put them back on". And the plastic slides and stuff don't hurt our melons as badly as the metal bars.

This means that, within 8 minutes of playing on the preferred, older play area, three heads rung the monkey-bar-climby-thing, 5 shoes were tossed and I think Annie performed a taste test on the pea gravel, dirt, and wood chips.  Those which did not pass her exam were sprinkled on her head.

Part III

All's well that end's well.  Everyone eventually chilled out, had some fun, myself included, and I witnessed several other parents more crazed than I.  As we left, still holding what was now only a damp skirt, I did a mental pat-on-the-back.


 Three of them got their bell rung on this contraption. And one of them managed to do it by simply standing there. I have no idea how it happened.