There was a woman at the park today. She had two kids, one was a girl baby in a car seat and the other was a toddler boy enjoying digging in the sand.
She gave her son the two minute warning. At the time-to-go mark, he refused to go. They discussed it for a few minutes and then she walked away. He screamed. She came back and pulled him from the sandbox. She dragged him a few feet, the car seat hanging from her other arm. He got away and ran back to the sandbox. “We. Are. Going. Now,” she growled.
I wanted to hug her. To say, “I’ve been there.” Because I have. In that very park.
Instead I smiled as empathetically as I could and took my own children by their hands and led them home.
Sometimes I make a point of getting out of the house because I know I will be a better parent with other people around to witness. Not always. I have screamed across playgrounds. But I am much quicker to lose my temper and say things that are inappropriate if the only one around to hear them is me. Well, and the little people I am supposed to be setting a good example for.
I forgot until we were coming home that Fresco had immunizations yesterday. He was all tears and screams this morning, grabbing things, throwing things, bugging the heck out of his brother.
While I was showering, with the two of them gated in Trombone’s bedroom, I heard,
Trombone: “I am so angry at you!”
Fresco: “I am so angry at YOU!”
Trombone: “I am so ANGRY! AT YOU!”
(good talking about feelings, boys!)
so I got out of the shower and put Fresco in a different room. Where he continued to scream that he wanted to be in Trombone’s room.
“I don’t LIKE YOU,” Trombone said later, while they were playing with Lego.
Fresco burst into tears.
“You love me!” he argued, “you LOVE ME, Trombone.”
“No,” Trombone said, “I don’t.”
Eventually we got dressed and I put some tea in a mug and we walked over to Queen’s Park because it was too late to go anywhere else. There were a few minutes of inhaling and exhaling before I could walk anywhere. They both wanted to hold my hand but I had to hold my tea. I suggested they hold hands with each other. The suggestion was rejected.
In the petting farm at the park, Fresco tripped and bashed himself against the steps that lead up to the rabbit cages. He dropped his water cup in some goat poop. He wanted to pet the kitties but there were no kitties.
Trombone decided he had to pee. But then he couldn’t because there were no places to pee. It took me a minute to remember that the last time we went to the park he went to the men’s room, where there are urinals. “Maybe I could pee in the sink.” No.
It started to rain.
We walked home.
“Listen to the sound I can make, Mummy!” said Fresco. And started grinding his teeth.
“You. Wow. Um, can you make a different noise?”
Grind, grind, grind. Smiles.
“I have to sing a song now or I will go crazy! OK!” And I broke into Stone Cold Crazy. (The Metallica version.)
“What’s a fully loaded tommy gun? Would it work on ghosts?”
Grind, grind, grind.
At home we had hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Fresco: “Does your elbow go in your hot chocolate?”
Trombone: “Can I have more marshmallows?”
T: “But I ate my marshmallow.”
Me: “Drink your hot chocolate.”
T: “But it’s hot!”
Trombone: “Did you know Iron Man can fly?”
Me: “No, I did not know that.”
Fresco: “My spoon FLY!”
T: “My spoon can fly too!”
Me: “Don’t throw your spoons on the floor. Please.”
T: “My spoon is dirty.”
I could feel naptime getting closer. 45 minutes. 30 minutes. 15 minutes.
I have things to look forward to. We are over the colds we had this week. The sun is coming out. Tomorrow is Hats off On the Heights Day, the annual parade and street fair in my old neighbourhood. The Burnaby North High School Marching Band will play something amusing while wearing Viking hats.
I ate my own lunch, head down to read the Canadian Tire flyer and when I looked up, the children were dancing. Trombone with his bike helmet on, playing badminton racquet air guitar. Fresco shaking his behind. His jeans are always falling off. Poor kid has my butt.
“We like this song!”
“Yeah! This song!”
They danced. They bumped bellies. They laughed. They LAUGHED.
OK. Bring on the afternoon.
I hope the woman from the park laughs today.