I have so many people comment on the fun we have during daycare and all of our outings with the minis. Well, I’m here to tell you that everything is NOT usually as amazing as our pictures indicate.
Take a few of our recent happenings:
What the world saw: Our daycare handprint canvas is hanging in my living room!
What people said: “What an amazing idea!” “It turned out adorable!”
How it really went down: Only a few kids actually put their hands in the paint and left a print. We did this on the same day we did the cards for their dad’s for Father’s Day. We did the cards first. When we went to do the canvas painting, more than half of the kids flipped out and wouldn’t touch the paint again. I talked a few of the kids into it, while the entire time they made their hand prints I heard “it’s too sqooshy. It’s hurting my hand!” Two kids loved it so much that they covered their body in the paint. But damn it, that painting is still hanging in my living room and parents comment on it every day!
What the world saw: I wound up wearing the kid’s red panda masks.
What people said: “I love that you’re wearing those!” “So funny!” “You’re such a fun mom!”
How it really went down: I had to talk the kids into coloring the masks because their aunt (my sister) was working the Blank Park Zoo’s booth at the Des Moines Arts Festival. When they were done with their masks, things went from okay to they’re lucky to still be alive. They whined, they cried that they were sweaty, they were thirsty, but they didn’t want the bottles of water that were in my purse. They wanted “fresh water.” Their legs hurt from walking, they were hungry, but didn’t want anything to eat from the 20 food vendors that were at the Festival. They didn’t want to wear their masks and they didn’t want them to get wrinkled in my purse. So I put them around my neck…and then they cried ten minutes later when I spilled water on them. Then they were fine because I bought them new t-shirts. But those masks must have been extra special to them because the minis still won’t let me throw them away….but they won’t touch them either.
What the world saw: “$30 of cherries, black raspberries, and blueberries. Successful morning picking at Berry Patch Farms!”
What people said: “What a fun idea!” “How much fun!” “Oh I loved picking berries as a kid!”
How It Really Went Down: We were there for five minutes and we heard about how the long grass was itching their legs and the sun was “too hot.” We had (minor) issues finding the ripe blueberries and had to remind the kids every two seconds what a ripe blueberry looks like. There was a lot of “don’t eat the green ones!” Then we moved onto the black raspberries, which we heard screams of “it pricked my finger! They’re too sharp! We’re never going to be able to eat these!” Almost two hours after picking our first blueberry and we made it to the cherry trees….only to hear “I have to pee!” So we had to head to the bathroom. In the middle of peeing, Harrison informed me there was something on his legs. Apparently the raspberry bushes DID scrape up his legs and gave him a rash. He freaked and peed on the floor, which I had to clean up while I told him to chill out (but I wasn’t that nice about it). Three hours of berry picking and then we had to drive the 35 minutes home. The minis spent the drive home hollering, hitting, and spitting at one another. I had to threaten to take away fireworks that night. Luckily they went home and took naps for the afternoon or we may have been down a kid or two.
What the world saw: “Promoting summer reading with a book day!”
What people said: “Great idea to keep them interested in reading all summer!”
How it really went down: Actually the kids did read 90% of the morning because it was the Monday after 4th of July weekend. All of the kids were exhausted. However, I really wanted a picture I could share on social media. My three were spread out all over the living room reading books. I had to bribe them with Jurassic World fruit snacks to get them to lay near each other and only long enough for me to snap 2 pictures. We all won this round….until I opened Harrison’s fruit snacks first.
What the world saw: Elizabeth’s first movie in a theater!
What people said: “Have fun! My kids loved the movie!” “Such a special outing!”
How it really went down: She was great while we waited for the movie to begin and during the previews. The theater even had special theater booster seats so she wouldn’t get folded up in the seat. As soon as the movie began she needed to sit on daddy’s lap. Then to mommy’s lap. Then she needed to pee. Then she wanted to sit in her seat without the booster. So she threw it to the ground with a loud thud that made the people in front of us jump out of their seats. Then it was back to daddy’s lap. Pee break. Dance time in the aisle. Then she crawled under the theater seats and nearly got stuck. Then it was apparently time to try to talk like the Minions. Then back to daddy’s lap. Then time to pout because she wanted the booster back on her seat, but she didn’t want to sit in it. When the movie was over she declared “that was a good movie! I did really good!” I declared that I’m never taking her to another movie again.
What the world saw: Crazy Days sale at Merle Hay Mall! Fun shopping times!
How taking this picture really went down: “You stand here and smile and let me take this picture or I’ll take those new shoes right off of your feet!” I snarled at my oldest. So they all stood there….and Elizabeth almost knocked over the sign. Matt caught it before it fell, the picture was taken, and then the kids skipped away. Nearly knocking into a couple walking nearby. We then had to pause to have the discussion about watching where you’re going and being aware of the world around you. We had that discussion 13 other times on that day.
So the next time you see a “perfect picture” don’t be fooled. Behind that oh so fun activity or walk downtown, there’s always a story that typically involves tears, a tantrum or two, and some kind of threat made from a parent. As I say, even the smallest tasks are always an adventure.
This post was originally featured on Ashlen’s blog, The Kidsperts.