Some kids are just so smart. Yesterday morning, I took Riley and Finn on an outing while Logan was attending her acting class. Yes, as she nurtured the “diva within”, I filled the two hours with something that could entertain both a 4 year old and a 2 year old – the park! I felt like a great mom bringing them over and doing something solely for them without the opportunity to get something I needed done on the side. It goes without saying that they were thrilled.
So we went and they cheered and danced all the way from the parking lot to the sidewalk and on to the jungle gyms. I realized that Finn was not next to me at one point and quickly turned around. There he was, backed into and on purpose, a four-inch deep sludge puddle. The mud-line was somewhere above his ankles and no shoe parts were visible. “Yucky Mommy!” he announced proudly.
Now, I can only tell you how happy I was that he was wearing his backup sandals, not because his nice ones required days and days of searching to find his extra-wide size 61/2, not even because he threw one of those nice sandals away and I didn’t catch it in time so I had to purchase another pair, but because just that morning he was wearing the new pair and sprayed the hose all over the nice leather, leaving them a wet mess. So I freaked. This was my second (and final) set of footwear for the little man to wear that day and now every ounce of them was covered in goopy mud.
I huffed and puffed and sighed and said, “I think we need to go home.” And then Riley, who was twirling with happiness moments earlier, looked me right in the eyes, smiled and said, “This just isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.”
“I say that all the time Riley,” I half joked. But then I felt horrible! I pulled those mud-filled clod hoppers off his fat feet and rubbed the shoes and his feet all over the grass until although they were still brown, it was just a thin coat of drying mud. We stayed and played for an hour and I know they appreciated every minute.
Sometimes I wonder why my kids seem to be losing their ability to bounce back from little disappointments here and there like they used to. Sure they’re getting older and feeling the word “no” more and more. But I bet it’s not their age that’s leaving them more disgruntled, it’s seeing their mom not bounce back from all the silly day-to-day stuff like I should. Yes, I need a break and no, I don’t really get one. But a summer helper of sorts is in the works and will hopefully add some adult time into my life.
Instead of shooting out my normal bite-back boomerang response of “This isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be either!” I’ll say it with a smile. This whole stay-at-home-mom thing may not be exactly like I thought it would be, it may not be fun all the time, but it is fun and it is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, my number one career of choice. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.
Sometimes it just takes the quick wit and intuitive understanding of a four year old for me to see it all clearly. Another point for Riley girl.