Friday, March 28, 2008

SLAP on the forehead

My kids have the uncanny ability to suck me into activities I just KNOW I'll regret in some way.

Today for instance.

I'm returning to the land of the living after a nasty cold, the sun is shining, and the temps are rather pleasant. My older kids and the 8-year-old BEG me to take them hiking at the Carleton College Arboretum. It's one of my all-time-favorites haunts so I'm happy to oblige.

First we drive north of town to my personal favorite Arb entrance. But alas it's still too icy - about 10 feet in we realized we wouldn't be coming out without a broken wrist or twisted ankle. So we drive back to town to the common entrance with it's nicely paved path. During this entire car trip the kids are fighting over literally everything - dog poop, whether or not the neighbor girl can be called "calm", how to pronounce Arboretum, god help me EVERYTHING! Perhaps I should have driven back home, but such was my mania to get outside and breathe air that wasn't tainted with cold germs and other people's recent exhalations.

The older kids walked well ahead - that's fine - I understand their need to distance themselves from a Mom who dares to wear layers and a HAT for god's sake. I also had on mismatched gloves which just enhanced my eccentric appearance and inflated the embarrassing Mom factor.

The 8-year-old bounded up the path with zeal, and of course stopping every five feet to examine something. I know this form of nature observance has it's merits but I just wanted to MOVE. She pleaded to wander up the earthen paths but I stated "no, it's too muddy, it'll tear up the paths and we don't have waterproof boots on and you'll be miserable" and blah blah blah blather blather blather. She threw caution to the wind and headed up the muddy inclines.

Within 10 minutes can you guess what I was hearing in a miserable whiny voice?
"My boots are muddy!"
"These boots are letting the water in!"
"I'm hungry!" (I offered lunch earlier, she refused)
"My legs are sooooooo tired!"
"If Daddy were here, he'd carry me!"

It was a very, very loooooonnngggg walk back to the car. Somethings just can't be thoroughly enjoyed by adults with kids in tow. And somehow I always forget this, and keep taking them on outings that make me want to drink heavily within an hour. Like our train trip to downtown Minneapolis last summer. But this is what good mothers do, right? RIGHT??!??!?!?!


Missy said...

Oh I admire your bravery.

Christopher Tassava said...

Yes, that IS what good moms (and dads) do. I've carried many a girl back out of the Arb - and more than once, two at the same time. But mine are little enough that I can't expect them to go too far. Those little legs can't go a mile! I guess an 8-year-old isn't that different than an almost-four-year-old.

What's your favorite entrance - the one on Canada Avenue, near the Iron Bridge? That's my favorite one, though the one down by the West Gym is great because if the water's low and the weather's god, the girls can go into the creek.

Kim in MN said...

I love your blog -- it is absolutely hilarious. You sound like a great mom!

My 6 year old boy and 4 year old girl rode bikes to the park with me yesterday. I didn't get to ride bike -- At 4 years old, that means I hold on to my daughter (even though she has training wheels) the entire way. My son found every mud puddle available while looking for those plastic BBs the older kids have been shooting around here lately. I feel your pain as we were all muddy and cranky when we returned -- but we got some fresh air! :)

Cheesecake Maven said...

I can hear it all now, really I can.

Mnmom said...

Missy - I'm not brave, just optimistic.

Christopher - yes the entrance on Cananda Ave is my favorite. I call it the cathedral. But the paved road comes in handy at the other end.

Kim - small children and puddles - it's a given.

CM - I KNOW you can.

laurie said...

"If daddy were here, he'd carry me."


my dad used to take us on hikes like this when we were kids. we called them forced march. we got bored, we got dirty, we got tired, our little bladders always needed to pee.

he never carried us.

and guess what? hiking is my favorite activity now.

there's hope. you're a great mom.
(and speaking of happy to be from sister and law and niece from iowa are visiting right now. they're happy to be from iowa, too. and also happy to be in the Cities.)

michaelg said...

You should always carry a car aerial for moments like these. They're telescoping and fit nicely in a small purse or clutch.

Mnmom said...

He he he he he he he