I have no pictures to post of us at the library. Because I was too busy wrangling and making sure my kid didn’t murder the other kids in the five and under room. Ok, murder is a strong word. More accurate would be that I was ensuring he didn’t strip his clothes off, bash a nine month old baby with a bucket, rip the skirt off a little girl, and log roll other people’s kids. I was busy. And yes, I was sweating bullets. But I’m glad we went.
I’ve written before about taking these two tiny humans out into public alone. I always have a plan. And I have a line that when it is crossed, we cut and run. Heading to the safe haven that is home. If that means a TCA (total cart abandon), well, then that’s what it means.
Basically the line is, “Does Mommy want to lose her marbles?”. If I answer yes, then it is time to go. I’m not into proving anything. I know I’m “mom enough”. If they lose control over themselves, we go home. If I want to lose control of me, we go home. But we will try again another day. And then again another day, until we have a good day out and that experience will fuel my courage, like a good whiskey, for the next time when things fall into the shizzer. We keep trying. Because I am no longer afraid of them, err I mean, it. For a long time I would carefully determine whether or not the chances were high enough for success before I ventured out into the world alone with these two. A point system of how things were going that day based on eating and napping and general moodiness. If the stars aligned, I might try and take them out. But the stars rarely aligned. And my fear of a spectacle kept the car keys hanging on the wall. I started to feel trapped under our roof. I’m sure they did too. I mean, we have a lot of fun here and I am kind of the best singing and dancing monkey impersonator in the continental U.S. But things got stale and I realized recently that, in words from my childhood, spoken in the ever loving voices of my big brothers, I was being a total wuss.
So, now it’s official. I’ve stopped being a wuss. At least where this is concerned, I mean I’m still sweating bee season but I have been regularly taking these kids out in public by myself. And yeah, over half the time, we return to the house looking like we just survived the apocalypse, but the key word is “survived”. Yes, we did. And so did those children at the library because I pulled up the anchor and shipped out of their before things got bloody. But here’s where I double win, we didn’t immediately retreat to home. Instead we picked up dinner and went to the park to eat it. And yeah, Mr. Pants hulked out and tried to return to the wild by breaking for the woods several times. But for a few short minutes while he was distracted by the fact that we were at the park, Plum and I got to eat some dinner before we had to head home. And it is true that Mr. Pants screamed and kicked at the back of my seat the whole way and lost his ever loving mind. I miscalculated. He didn’t need more sensory input, he was on overload. I missed that mark. But we were all alive and a few hours more ready for bedtime and heading home.
I knew how to help him regulate when we got home. Bubble bath with a gazillion bubbles? Yes please! All the while when we have these times out in public I remind myself of a quote I came across a while back that reminds me that he not giving me a hard time but that instead, he is having a hard time. And that very true statement keeps my head from spinning around until I can kiss his head goodnight, pour myself a cocktail and watch Smash on Hulu. Which is how Mama regulates. I didn’t get any pictures of our outing to the library. But I did get this. My sweet angel all asleep, holding his wubby’s, on Daddy’s pillow after a long day of terrorizing mama, err I mean, playing hard. And remembering the day this way will give me the cojones to try again tomorrow.