I hoped I wouldn't...
It's not as easy to write about yesterday now, because today didn't get any better.
I mean, yesterday was AMAZING! until about 5:08pm and then it all went down hill.
Let me start at the beginning:
My mom invited me and the kids down for tacos and a trip to Olson's Garden Shoppe in Payson to pick out pumpkins.
We are out of school for fall break so I was planning on visiting with my sister or mom anyway because I knew that would make the kids happy.
The kids were excited to pile into the car and head down to Grandma Judy's for some fun.
They were so excited and I felt so accomplished that I was doing something with them that wasn't causing any anxiety or drama. I guess you could say that I started getting a bit hopeful and began making other plans in my optimistic head.
It was even greater when I walked into my mom's front door and noticed this beautiful sight behind me:
My sister, Kirsten, and her kids were there too and we all ate tacos together and my mom reveled in the fact that my kids actually ate.
After lunch we made chocolate Halloween suckers with a kit my mom had.
I was so happy that Sister and Brother were so excited about it and even wanted to make one and not just watch. That's when my day got really good. I helped Sister and Millie make theirs and they were so excited. Then they got bored and went to the play room to have fun while they waited for their pumpkin suckers to set.
Brother, however, was right by my side the whole time and was giggling giddily about everything that Kirsten, my mom or I said and was having a great time finishing our sentences, blurting out snarky come-backs and "socializing" in his way.
Did you get that? I sat side by side with my son as we put colored chocolate into Halloween-themed molds... and it was great! I made Kirsten take some pictures:
I kept thinking to myself, "hey, this was a totally last minute activity and none of the kids have freaked out or fallen apart... I should do something else fun that is a surprise... I know, I'll have Marc meet us up the Canyon and we'll have take-out for dinner and go on a little hike before I go to play rehearsal." The idea was so awesome in my head.
My day just kept getting happier.
It was fun to take pictures of each of us with our favorite sucker we made.
|Brother was the most proud of his green witch.|
|We laughed that Kirsten's mummy looked like an Ewok from Star Wars|
|My Frankenstein was a lot of work... you can see I am quite proud...|
Oh, and I got a pink streak in my hair in honor of breast cancer awareness month!
After our candies were done Kirsten had to take Zac home because he was worn right out and I kept Millie with us and we went to the pumpkin patch.
We hit the little straw maze when we first got there. I had to laugh that Sister and Baby made it through no problem and then had to help me get through the opening. I was proud of them, but I felt a bit sheepish...
We also went to Olson's Garden Shoppe because my mom had painted some Halloween photo props for them and she really wanted us to get some pictures with them.
We had a great time laughing about how silly/cute we all looked! My mom did a great job!
Jessie and her kids finally joined us and we got a group shot.
They even had a great spot for our group.
Here they are with the pumpkins they picked out. Baby was so enamored with her pumpkin that she ended up putting it in her room instead of on the front porch with the others.
At this point I am getting more and more excited about my "surprise" plan... this day just can't go wrong...
I mean we were even able to stop and see the foal the kids have missed seeing on the way to grandma's because he's been in a visiting pasture.
Could this day go any better?
I said, "Yes!"
After some homemade french fries and some good laughs with Jessie and the kids we were off for the next phase.
I dropped Millie off at home and Baby had a slight melt-down at that point, but it was short enough lived that I was still feeling good about my surprise plan.
I had texted Marc earlier and told him where to meet us at 5:15 and I was keeping it all a surprise for him too.
I was so excited!
We stopped at Dairy Queen and I let them all order what they wanted. Brother got a burger, Sister got an ice cream sandwich, baby just smiled and I got salads for me and Marc.
All was well...
until I drove past the street we usually turn on to go home.
Sister started to fall apart.
The day had gone so well, I just hoped it would pass once we got to the canyon and she got excited about playing and hiking.
So we all endured her screaming and wailing for the 7 minute drive up the canyon.
When we pulled into the parking lot she got worse. I said she could calm down and eat her ice cream sandwich in the car and when she felt ready she could join us at the playground that was right by our van.
Marc found us and we were going to sit down to eat together but realized that he had been given knives instead of forks for our salads...
I was getting creative about eating my salad, but Marc opted to wait until we got home.
Then I noticed a raging, sticky, steaming mess of a Sister stomping towards me.
She screamed at me, grabbed the bag with Marc's salad and threw it and then tried to throw my salad all over me... she was semi-successful there... but there were still lettuce leaves and Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing splattered in the would chips of the little playground.
I stood up to take her to the van to let her settle down and realized when my fingers stuck to her arm that she had smeared her ice cream sandwich all over herself out of anger. When we got to the van it was apparent that she didn't neglect getting the car seats with her raging, sticky mess.
She went crazy while I was trying to clean her off with diaper wipes.
Why did I think that this would work?
Of course they're OK with a surprise trip to Grandma's... it's Grandma's for Pete's sake! Of course they'll go there. It's happy and familiar.
What was I thinking?
I forget sometimes.
After about 20 minutes she calmed down enough that she suddenly decided that she was happy to be there.
She skipped off happy as could be and joined Marc and Baby by the river bank.
Phew... OK... this is all going to be OK.
|I mean look how serene this looks. Picture perfect moment.|
|Brother was so happy to be carrying Ranger around. We had forgotten his leash so he had to hold onto him and he did a great job. He loves his puppy.|
After I took this picture I had to look at it to admire it.
I turned to show it to Brother and he was gone!
We were by a river!
My son was gone!
Where was he!
I panicked and my eyes scoured the river bank on both sides and then I thought maybe he had gone to the van so I walked up the bank to the parking lot and I still couldn't see him!
At this point Sister had sensed my panic and she ran up to me and started looking and then blurted "Mom! He's right there!" I looked the direction she was pointing and I saw him standing by a tree next to a family who was there picnicking... I couldn't figure out what was going on because they were all trying not to make eye contact with Brother and then I noticed Ranger in there socializing with them and they weren't wanting to socialize. I could read from the body language at that distance that they were very uncomfortable.
As I got close enough to hear I heard that Brother was crying and whining.
He was distraught.
He knew he wasn't supposed to let go of Ranger but didn't know how to get him while a crown of people were watching him.
My heart ached for his situation and I wish I could have gotten to his side in a flash, especially to shield him from the dirty looks and stares he was getting from the group of people at the picnic table.
When I got close enough for the group to hear me I apologized to the them about Ranger and tried to get him to come so as not to impose on their gathering. Brother was still whining and whimpering loudly at this point.
The group said nothing to me and just gave me dirty looks as I grabbed the dog from their vicinity and apologized again, this time making eye contact with a couple of them, thinking they hadn't heard me before. But, they continued to stare at me and one even nodded her head toward Brother as if to say, "he's the bother, not the dog."
I didn't know whether I should snap or cry.
I did neither.
I just comforted Brother the best I could.
Then, like a glutton for punishment I still just had to follow through with all 5 (6 including Ranger) of us going on a little hike. After Sister's umpteenth fall-apart, Baby almost getting run over by a long boarder and a biker yelling at Brother to get in the other lane, I gave up.
They had won.
I came home in a defeated and crumpled heap.
I wanted to blog, but I thought it would be best if I waited until the next day when I had a better and more humorous perspective on things.
Then today it started all over again.
We were trying to do something fun as a family for Marc's day off work and the kids' fall break. We had even widdled down the activity from camping to just getting in the car and going for a drive.
Sister still would not have it.
She did her fall-apart thing again and it sent me into a spiral of feeling inadequate to raise these kids and thinking how hard it is that they NEVER want to do anything that is not completely and totally familiar.
I felt trapped. I wasn't able to go anywhere without drama to come before or after or during.
Marc was keeping his head about him though and was hopeful that it would all work out. So with some time for Sister to calm down we headed to Wendy's for dinner.
It was going well.
They were all happy and we ate together like a regular family in a restaurant... well, as regular as we can be (wink).
|How cute are Wendy's Kid's Meal toys right now? Sidewalk chalk and a four-square game! So fun!|
It wasn't easy after this. It was enough for Sister to have survived the restaurant.
I won't give you all the details, but I knew I would regret it if I didn't share my UP with you today.
I've never enjoyed a Wendy's meal so much.
Day 289 of 365 Days of Up