I had one of those evenings tonight.
So big bro had t-ball practice, as he does many nights, but Thursday nights are difficult. Thursday nights I'm outnumbered two to one, and considering little sister has about an hour less of a nap than what she needs, I think, in reality, she counts as the equivalent of five children by herself. Seriously - tag teaming ten in our two's class is easier. I kid you not. And that's with Big Bro behaving and acting in someone else's care.
And tonight - I decided to make a quick "non-cold" run into the grocery store to pick up a few essentials. Dish soap and vinegar (for my handy dandy 'clean your shower while you're in it' contraptions), dish rags (because mine were rank, seriously), a loaf of bread (because we need bread, yo), and ice packs for the kiddos lunch boxes (since we were there and all). Knowing we had 30 minutes and it was a ten minute drive, I figure we have all the time in the world. Right? Ahem.
So I'm clicking and buckling the kids back into the
So granted, we were in a bit of a hurry unsnapping all previously mentioned snappys and getting all the gear out of the car. It wasn't until Coach called for first water break that I realized we'd forgotten Big Bro's hydration in the vehicle. Grrr.
Now - two very important notes to include:
A.) The field the kids practice on is the farthest from the parking lot. As in - I can't even see the cars from there.
B.) One (of several) of the reasons we joined t-ball, is to make some friends outside of the church.
Okay - now that you know those things, I'll continue.
I reviewed our hydration problem in the few seconds I had to compute, "Ok, I don't know these people from anyone. I can't just leave my kid here to go back to the car (with Little Sis) to get the water. It's only like 60 degrees out today, the sun is not beating down. Practice is only an hour. He's not upset about it. We're good." To which I say to Big Bro, "I'm sorry, buddy, we forgot it in the car. Can we wait until after practice this time?" He's fine. So we're good, right?
Well - coach calls for a lot of water breaks. Which I'm thankful for, since we live in Texas now and all, but it was after the second one that the assistant coach brought Big Bro back over and shuffled through his own bag (near his wife, who I'd been chatting with), and said to Big Bro, "Here, B, let's see if I can help you."
Hello, Earth. Open up and swallow me, please.
Out pops the little water bottle, with instructions, to me, to go fill it up at the water fountain. I left Little Sister there with the people I didn't know. :/ Can I just get lost on the way to the water fountain, please? The other's are probably more responsible for my kids than I am.
And so - a little humiliated - I try to brush it off and hydrate my kid with the best of them, when Little Sister decides - as she does so many other nights at practice (on an abbreviated nap from school) - that she's ready to join the boys playing t-ball. And - of course - I restrain her and keep her from the beloved field she wants to frolic in, and she fits. I mean high - speed come apart fits. And nothing will make her happy. And she's stomping her feet. Then she's laying on the ground. And - OMG - did I just tell these people I worked at our preschool! Good grief!
I'm threatening time out. "Yeah, right," she thinks. "Put me down, I dare you."
I threaten a spanking, "Yeah, right," she thinks. "They'll all turn you in. You didn't even hydrate my brother."
Ouch, she's right again.
So what do I do (since, again, all of the parents and the boys are now staring at the screaming, crying, shrieking toddler that is flailing in my arms)? I carry her as far out of earshot of the field as possible (where they can still hear - and clearly), where I stand with her for ten minutes before she finally gives up the ghost. The demon, I mean. Good gravy.
Jesus - if you'd like to come back now - I'm ready.
And the crying stops, and I walk back to the stroller, where she innocently goes back to trying to strap the strappies on her stroller. Most of the parents don't even look at me. Another gives me a look of some kind. Is that a look of sympathy? Or judgment?
Praise God, practice is over.
Can I have a minute, coach, I need to try to convince them all - it's not usually like this. Really, I'm a good parent. But my feet carry me quickly away, and as we are walking swiftly from the presence of the good parents, Little Sis, who rarely speaks, calls back to them, "Bye" with a big ole wave.
She's in on it. She has to be.