Guest Post from my better half

I’m handing over the blog reins to my husband for a post. Many of you have seen his handywork in the comments of some of my posts, setting the record straight where I “obviously” needed to be corrected. Now, without further ado–unedited, unfiltered (obviously, since there are glaring half-truths about me):

Our Saturday (through the eyes of the man of the family)

     After working for 12 days in a row, I was looking forward to a weekend. Time with the family, time to catch up on some chores, some reading, maybe even go into town. Well, Fri night I tell Vicki, “let’s go to KC Sat.” She says “great” but I can tell by the look on her face that she really wants me to do the planning. OK. No problem. A few internet searches and between Fri night and Sat morning I have 3-4 places to go. Sat morning, Reagan throws out two more. OK then, flush my ideas. We’ll go to Paradise Park. It’s a kid focused “edutainment” center that has activities where kids play and learn at the same time.

     Like the good driver I’m trying to be, I have a blue tooth hands free set for my cell phone. That’s what I use when I drive so I don’t get distracted with all of the button pushing and holding it up to my head while driving. Well, it’s an hour to civilization so I decide to give my mom a call to use that time efficiently. Good idea, right? Wrong. As soon as I connect with Mom, Ashlyn starts coughing up a lung. Then she works on the other lung. At the same time, Reagan, who now sits in the 3rdrow of the truck because she thinks its cool, is trying to ask Vicki 101 questions on anything and everything. I also had to make a few turning decisions as the coughing and questions were going on. Then my mom was asking me questions on politics and it was making me actually think of policy positions on very complex matters. All of that put together caused what some would call a “snap”. My blood pressure goes up, I start flashing the “quiet down or I’ll whoop you” hand signals to Reagan and not so kindly ask Vicki why Ashlyn hasn’t been to the doctor again. Ahh, a stress free weekend… And I am known for my awesome stress management J

     After talking with my Mom, I apologize to Vicki, Reagan, Ashlyn, the Dodge, the next door neighbor, anyone else I can think of and then take a deep breath and get a grip. We get to Paradise Park and it was not very crowded. The kids had a great time and it was nice. Reagan painted her face. She also painted a “flower” on Ashlyn’s forehead which really looked like a yellow bruise so the “looks” from other parents already started. After the pretend bank, pretend grocery store, the cooking class, eating lunch, playing in the plastic ball pit and more it was time to go.

     Off to where you ask? A civil war battlefield? A sporting event? No. Shopping it is. Woohoo! I drop Vicki off at Jo-Ann fabrics and per Vicki’s request, I can take the girls anywhere I want, just not to Jo-Anns J. OK, Just kidding. She does want me to take them though so we head to the Christian bookstore. Awesome. I drive over there, open the hatch to get the stroller and …. no stroller. Vicki has taken the “permanent” stroller out of the truck. No problem, right? It’s only two kids. Well, it’s a 6 year old that asks more questions than Jeopardy participants and a 1 year old, I mean octopus, that loves destruction. I held Ashlyn most of the time but when I was picking up an item to put in the hand basket, I would put her down. Boom, off like a shot. Reagan says, “Ashlyn”, I look down to see books, a book display, wire frame and all strewn across the ground. I look around, “nothing to see here, move along” as I quickly try to reassemble the display. I needed to put Ashlyn down to look at the back of a t-shirt, she pulls everything out of my basket, then proceeds to the bottom shelf of CDs; those don’t need to be there, they look much better scattered all over the floor. “Nothing to see here, move along” as I realize my welcome, even at this fine establishment is probably wearing thin.

     So, it’s off to Target. We get there and yes, they have carts. Woohoo! Ashlyn’s now in a cart. After a bathroom mishap that made someone else think they were in the girls bathroom instead of the guys, the girls and I have an uneventful time perusing every toy aisle, outdoor activities aisle, game aisle, video aisle in Target. It was a great time and after another 6 hours (just kidding), Vicki says she is ready to be done at Joanne’s and I can go pick her up.

     Now, it’s off to dinner. TGI Fridays. A nice place. Vicki and I were feeling a little cocky as Ashlyn hadn’t acted up in a few weeks at a restaurant; surely we can handle her at TGI Fridays. Boy, were we wrong! The food takes a while to get there but when it does, Ashlyn woofs down over half of Reagan’s oranges. She won’t eat any macaroni, potatoes, or anything else. When the last orange is eaten, she points at the empty dish and starts screaming her head off. Not the “hey, I’m hungry, dish me up some more food” scream but the “hey, I’m having my nails pulled out by these torturers” scream. Half of the restaurant is now looking at us. OK, then. I pick up Ashlyn and try to comfort her. No joy. The waitress comes over and asks if the police need called (just kidding). We order another thing of mandarin oranges (contrary to what we would do at home) but we couldn’t let her scream her head off in public and ruin everyone else’s meal, could we? I pick her up and head for the lobby. It doesn’t even take 3 steps and she’s acting totally normal. I hang there for about 3 minutes and think, she’s OK, let’s head back. Bad move. As soon as I sit down with her in my lap, the “help me from these evil people” scream comes out. Back to the lobby. Another baby is yelling somewhere else in the restaurant. A staff lady looks at the smiling Ashlyn and says, “you wouldn’t do that, would you?” I look her straight in the eye and say, “that’s why were standing here.” She obviously doesn’t believe me that this “angel” could holler like that. Just then, I see the oranges arrive at the table. We go back, set Ashlyn down and she eats the entire thing of oranges in about 2 minutes. She’s smiling, laughing, pointing. Good old Ashlyn. Then, she eats an entire thing of mashed potatoes. I tell Vicki that this is the other Ashlyn, the first Ashlyn isn’t ours.

     We have an uneventful trip home. It was a great day with the family! I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

Du

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4 thoughts on “Guest Post from my better half

  1. Ashlyn rocks!

    And again, as I told Vicki during one of the “that kid” stories while on the big FL trip, I appreciate your honesty. Because we went through this with Caroline (and she still has her moments, since we’re being all truthful here!) last year, and whenever I’d tell (whine) about her restaurant antics, most of my peeps would be all, “Really? But she’s so good!” or give my favorite comment, “My kids have always been really well-behaved in restaurants.” Well…la-ti-da then. Thanks for making me feel like the world’s worst parent.

    The mainest thing in all this is that Vicki got some uninterrupted JoAnn time…and oooh, what kinds of fabric did you get??? I’ll have an order to place soon! 🙂

    Du, you rock for taking the girls off by yourself…I’m always very appreciative of my husband when he does the same…and he never fails to remind me of the enormous reward he’s earned because of it.

  2. Grandma Dee says:

    With your words, “No problem, right? It’s only two kids” I knew I was in for a few laughs and you did not fail me.

    Funny how the view can be sooo different from another’s eyes,,,and location. Vicki’s description of the shopping trip would probably be enjoyably quiet, peaceful and the only stress was in deciding which material to buy and adding, “we” need to do this more often.

    You are a good man Du. How many others would have ended the post with, “It was a great day with the family!” without adding, NOT! Thanks for sharing your day.

    BUT, I’m sure you were exaggerating the vocal expressions of your youngest angel : )

  3. Jami says:

    I wish I could offer you some hope Du… last week I was at JoAnnes (no kidding) and Shawn took the boys to Best Buy. Needless to say, they were done long before I was. So they followed me around JoAnnes for about 30 minutes. Now, people expect certain behavior from a 1-year old – at least anyone with kids does. They chalk it up to being tired, or whatever. But when your 12 and 15 year old boys decide that Styrofoam wreathes were meant to be halos, and Styrofoam balls were meant to be thrown down aisles, it’s a whole different set of looks you get from people. Next time I’m keeping the car and picking them up when I’m done! 🙂

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