Monday, November 16, 2009

Keeping me on my toes

Yesterday, the kids and I went to cousin Ethan's baptism in London, and it turned into quite the day. Chad came home last night after spending nearly three days away. The first and second days went well. We ran errands, we went to the park, we went to swimming lessons, we treated ourselves to a pizza and subs, we watched movies, we hung Christmas decorations, and we had a good time. The kids were well behaved and all was well. Then, yesterday happened. First, the baptism. 12 babies being baptized in a Catholic church, and the ceremony coincided with Mallory's naptime. I was so busy just trying to get the kids out the door on time and in clean clothes that it didn't occur to me until we were on the highway that I should have brought some colouring books or other distraction to keep them busy in the pews.Liam weathered it well, but Mallory is another story. She hadn't napped much on Saturday and by yesterday afternoon, she was tired. She spent the first 20 minutes of the ceremony in her seat but after that she wanted nothing less than to be on my lap, keeping up a running stream of commentary. "Why is that baby getting his head wet? Am I going to get my head wet? What is that baby's name?" She really does not understand the difference between an inside voice and an outside voice, and when you combine that with the echoyness of a cathedral... ay yi yi. On our way to the baptism we had had some discussion about how to behave during the ceremony (i.e. be GOOD and QUIET!) and as I buckled her into the car afterward, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, wasn't I SO SO GOOD in the church?" I couldn't help laughing. I guess her idea of good and mine are far different!
Then we went back to Darin and Jenn's (which is what I still call it, but the kids have started correcting me, it should be Darin and Jenn and Ethan's) for dinner. And I should have known something was up with Mallory when I kept asking to take her to the bathroom, and she kept saying she didn't have to go. I was pretty sure she did have to go and a few minutes later, Megan came down the stairs with her and reported a successful trip. Why she would go with Megan and not with me was beyond me. But I should have known that it meant she was having an off day.
Unfortunately... the next time, she did choose to go with me. Only it was when she was sitting on the living room floor in front of me. She suddenly got a very bizarre look on her face, and I guessed right away what the cause of it was. I was mortified. She's been toilet trained for three months and we had not yet had a public accident. In fact, I almost didn't pack a spare change of clothes yesterday simply because she had been doing so well. I always sort of assumed that any public accident she did have would be at Walmart or the grocery store. You know, the kind where they can call "clean up in aisle 4" and a guy with a mop zips over and cleans it up off the industrial tile floor - no harm done. I never imagined it happening in the middle of a major traffic path on someone's living room carpet!That was it... I had had about all I could take for one day. We made a speedy exit (during which Liam decided to take off down the street, around a corner and in the dark, without me - now he was giving me grief, too!) I was definitely not in the best of moods as I left. But while the kids can be a huge source of frustration sometimes... they can also be the best kind of stress relief. It was such a nice weekend, and a lot of people took advantage of that to hang their Christmas lights way early this year. We drove away admiring all the lights we passed on our way out of town. The kids were in the back, talking excitedly about Christmas. I stopped being mad at Mallory for being such a handful and decided it was really more my fault for not being better prepared to help her handle a long day when I already knew she was overtired. Maybe one of these days, I will get this parenting thing figured out.


jenn said...

I LOVE those top pics - Thank you!! I am so glad you guys made it yesterday! I thought the kids were very well behaved in church (was actually hoping Ethan will be as well behaved when he is their age) with all those babies crying no one even noticed Mal talking away (I think it is great that she is so inquisitive) And PLEASE put Mal's little accident out of you mind forever...really that is just the beginning of things like that in my house! I get how a few days of broken routines mess with little ones...hope your week is better!! :)