The days here are starting to get beautiful and I feel guilty every beautiful day that we don't spend some of it outside. I don't go out with the girls very much because of the pain in the buttness of getting two toddlers out the door, Middie Biddie's habit of barfing in the car, and general laziness. I often think that after their nap, we'll do something, then they end up sleeping later than I expect and it's too late. But while last summer I was able to use the excuse that they were still just babies, couldn't walk, so no point in doing things outside, this summer they are going to be 2 year olds and I can't keep them inside forever. I need to figure out how to do this.
Today, both girls decided that naps were for suckers. They were throwing a party in their cribs, tossed everything out, including a sleep sack that one of them managed to get off, and there was no stopping them. So I decided to give up on a nap and take them to a park instead.
There's a place near where I live called Country Village. It's a bunch of little shops, a park, chickens running around, farmers markets in the summer, pretty much what you would expect from a little shopping center called Country Village. There's a coffee shop there that has a child play area that we've gone to a few times. My plan was to take them to the park to work off some energy and then go to the coffee shop when we got hungry and let them play there after eating. It was a lovely plan.
Side note - I've been given a couple of those backpack leashes for toddlers. We haven't actually used them yet, but I got them fitted on the girls today and brought them along in case I felt the need to give them a try.
So we get there, I get the girls unloaded and set them down on the grass and look at all the older kids playing. Fortunately the girls tend to be a little shy in new places so they didn't just start running. I'm realizing that there's really nothing here that's toddler appropriate and with so many older kids on things like merry go rounds and tire swings, it's very likely that they are going to get hurt. I also realize that this is a huge expanse of space that's not at all enclosed, and there are a lot of places that are currently unattended (like the set up for the pony ride or train ride. There's also some none too shy roosters pecking around that have no concept of keeping a distance from kids who might not understand not to pull feathers. The more I'm looking around, the more I'm realizing that I can't just let the girls run around, there are too many directions they could go that they really shouldn't go and with my crappy ankle, I wouldn't be able to get to either of them if they got too far away from me.
I do get them into the one basket swing and we spend some time enjoying that. But that wears off quickly and I think "Ok, I guess the park is a bust, let's go to the coffee shop". But of course neither of them will cooperate and we have to cross the parking lot to get there. So I bust out the leashes.
Wow did that not go over well. They wanted to cuddle with the backpack animal and got pissed off when the animal went on their backs instead. Middie Biddie only wanted to be carried and Teeny Tiny throwing herself on the ground and just generally being difficult. When she'd get up, she'd have a leg tied in the leash, then Middie Biddie wanted to get down to pick up a rock over there but was stopped by the leash and crying about it....the whole thing was just a mess.
At this point, screw the coffee shop, these kids need to go home. But just as I couldn't get them both to head in the direction of the coffee shop, I couldn't get them to head the direction of the car either. Seriously guys, I was that frantic, flailing, frazzled mom running around in circles who couldn't do a damned thing that we all look at and think "glad I'm not her!" I fucking was HER.
The car was about 30 feet away in plain sight of the park so out of desperation, I looked at the lady that Middie Biddie was nearest to and ask her "Could you just make sure she doesn't die in the next three minutes while I get this one strapped into the car?" I'm pretty sure everyone there was pitying me by that point. She was very nice and instead of just watching Middie Biddie, she picked her up and brought her to the car for me while I was strapping in Teeny Tiny. Much crying ensued on the way home because they were pissed off and hungry. Fortunately I had a couple of boxes of raisins in my purse and that pleased them for a few minutes.
This is why going anywhere for me requires an hour of internet recon. Does this park have a toddler area? Is it generally gated in? Does that restaurant have space for two high chairs at a table? Stuff like that. Today I just tried to do something a little spur of the moment without major planning or double checking a billion details first and it sucked. Just a disaster.
I really don't want to be so uptight. I want to be the kind of person who can just go and do something and trust that I'll be able to figure it out when I get there rather than mapping out the logistics of every single step of the way before I get there but then I try something and it ends up a disaster like today. These are simple things I'm trying to do but I just never seem to be able to do them.
I know the only answer is to just do it more so I can get over myself but days like today are just not encouraging and make it really difficult to be motivated to do it again.