In my constant quest to make sure my kids have every opportunity to experience life, I have this tendency to schedule a lot of stuff. You can read it in my posts – swimming this, karate that, going to the circus…whatever.
To my credit, I’ve learned to back off a bit. Over the past couple of years, I have learned through various, er, experiences, when to set limits. You know, those times when I get dissent from Mayor Bee, usually in the form of a meltdown with some sort of incomprehensible screeching and flailing limbs. And of course the bystander’s various looks – whether pity or disdain.
However, I still have that tendency to accept invitations first then think later how on earth am I going to fit everything in. And some times it blows up in my face. This past weekend was a prime example.
First, we as a Family went to a baseball game. We actually made it THROUGH THE GAME. This is a big accomplishment (see our last year’s trip to Nats Park). So, while it was a long ass day and we had some frustrating moments, I keep thinking: well, at least we got to see an entire game this time.
This year we went with Husband’s parents and his sister. I was ambivalent about going – but Husband really wanted to go and so I thought it would be a good family event. We had excellent seats – along the third base line, second row. Yeah, these were not cheap seats. And, they were, er, in the visitor’s section – because I married into a family of Phillie fans. It would make sense to be a local fan but alas I just don’t care enough to pick sides.
And it was cool that B got a baseball player (that would be Hunter Pence) to sign his glove. But it was really hard for B to stay still for most of the game. He was more inclined to sit on the ground or play with his bleacher seat. Or even better, flirting with the two women seated next to Husband. Luckily the girls liked him – they gave him high fives and was teaching him how to cheer. Ok, so they were also a bit tipsy, but I will take happy drunk people over judgemental fools any day.
Mayita on the other hand was a bit more difficult to deal with. Of course the game was during her naptime. Have YOU tried to nap in a stadium? Plus with the warm weather, she was more cranky than usual. (Read: screaming her lungs out, spitting out her pacifier, and generally wiggling in five different directions.) Husband and I had to take turns taking her up to the Concourse to keep her occupied (and, well, quiet). She was more interested in people watching than a baseball game. Rather, she was more interested in people cooing over how cute she was then sitting still. Though she was able to get a quick catnap in for about 1 1/2 innings.
It was a long day for us – between getting everything ready, making the trip to and from DC, and then the game itself – we were all quite exhausted when we got home.
But the next morning we were up and running again. This time – to the annual March for Babies walk. I have done this Walk for four years now, for one friend or another. This year, I agreed to walk with a friend whose daughter was born prematurely. We were due at the same time, but in the end, her daughter is a couple of months older than Mayita.
I figured it would be good for the whole family to participate in this event.
Yeah, I was so wrong on that one.
We took two strollers because we decided B should stay in the stroller for the 4 mile walk. Needless to say, it was brutal. When we started the Walk, he noticed the “Fun Bus“. He became hyper focused on that and we pretty much lost him. Every few minutes one of us would have to answer some question like, “when are going back to the ‘fun bus’? (soon)” and “why aren’t we back yet? (also: soon)”
We constantly got sepaprated from our team. Mainly it was because we weren’t able to keep a good rhythm together. Finally we decided to break free, mainly because B was having royal fits having to wait for someone to catch up, or take a picture…whatever it would be. Thankfully it was a mutual decision – my friend was understanding and knew we needed to go.
We finished the Walk and made our way to the main plaza. We fulfilled B’s wish and he got to go into the Fun Bus. And it was fun for him…not so much for me, because HE WOULDN’T GET OUT. It’s a simple concept – it’s a retired bus, painted green, and instead of seats has a bunch of neat stuff inside. B at this point was really tired, overstimulated and pushed to the limit. When I finally got him out of the Fun Bus, he tripped on the mat and fell down. I tried to console him but he was having none of it.
I knew he was “gone” so we tried to get out of the event as fast as we could. B wailed, screamed, and thrashed his legs in the stroller…all the way out of the event and to the van. I knew I couldn’t do anything to stop it. So I pushed the stroller, ignoring the looks, happy to have my sunglasses on to hide my tears of pain and frustration. Wishing he would take his breaths and do this “bubbles and hands” – but no matter what I said it just didn’t work.
Thankfully we made it to the car and was able to load up quickly. On the way home, I knew I had pushed it. Both B and Mayita are wailing in the back and I’m tired, gripping the steering wheel hard to divert my stress. Husband asks why I constantly put myself in these situations – why do I agree to do so much? Or why I sign B up for various activities? And it’s not just this time – it happens off and on when I’m trying to juggle the multiple events going on in my life.
The only way I can answer that question is because I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to show my support, or to give B some great life moment that I may have not gotten to experience. And while I get tired and overextended, I feel good about doing those things. I just have to learn that my family’s limits may not mesh up all the time to mine.
No doubt this will happen again. I mean this Saturday we have karate AND we are trying group soccer. I don’t have an easy answer. I’m sure you don’t either. But you can commiserate with me, right?