I want to be the parent who brings her children to fun places. So today I point to the McDonald’s playground and say: Let’s go there for lunch. (I’ll be the fun and healthy parent NEXT YEAR.)
HOORAY my kids shout!
And then I realize that I’m pointing to an outdoor playground. It’s 37 degrees out.
But my quick thinking mommy-ness recalls an indoor McDonald’s playground just down the street. I am again a hero!
Until I remember it is right by the LARGEST MALL IN OUR CITY. The week after Christmas. At noon.
I freeze. My hungry children outnumber me 2:1. I will be surrounded by other hungry children. I am Piggy* (*Lord of the Flies reference)
I backpedal: Can we do the drive-thru and go to the playground? (The weather doesn’t occur to me again. Nor does the snow.)
My son begins to cry. And scream I WANT TO GO TO THE MCDONALD’S PLAYGROUND!
My daughter joins in. Because she would join in anything he did that involved making loud noises.
His reaction, while undesirable, is reasonable. I dangled something big and fun in front of him. And then I took it away.
But I also recognize my limits. So I explain why mama is nervous about McDonald’s playground being really busy and me not having a buddy. To a four year old.
My son: But you’ll have me, Mama
And I die. Because he is so sweet. And I realize that I am trying to explain to my son why I’m a freak. Why I cannot handle more than two hours of negotiating children and moms and play areas. And I already use it up this morning on my adventures with his sister. I just didn’t have the wherewithal for another session of awkwardly parenting other people’s children to stop throwing bouncy donkeys down slides. And I didn’t want to lose it. Because I’d lose it at my own kids.
I beg Twitter to help without admitting I was begging. And you tweeted me places to go. From Applebee’s to a suggested play date of arson and Chuck E Cheese.
I go with the McDonald’s drive-thru and a bribe.
Me: If you stop screaming, you can watch television when we get home.
This awesome parenting moment is emphasized by my car fishtailing. On the one patch of ice in the parking lot.
My children continue to beat their voices against the unfairness of it all.
I scream: EVERYONE STOP YELLING.
Which is pretty much the most asinine sentence a person can yell.
My son and daughter are now crying. Hysterically.
E: You hurt my FEELINGS, Mama.
I think: I SUCK.
But more like: I SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK ISCUSCKUSCKJCSKUFDKJHS
I debate justifying my actions. Because I am so tired of sucking. And really, could children just be a bit more reasonable?
But instead I say: I’m sorry that I yelled. When Mama gets scared, sometimes she yells. And I thought that we were going to get in a car accident. But I’m sorry.
And I order two happy meals and a quarter pounder.
When we get home, my penance is an hour of Barney and Friends.
A couple of snuggles later, I tally up one extra week of therapy. For them.
And a blog post for me.