Pretty much each day I think, "Well, I lost Mother of the Year today." There are a variety of ways in which I do this. Often, it's merely in refusing my children some whim and having to hear the painful cries of how dissatisfied they are with me. I'm bad like that. I'm certain my husband may even have a few items he has observed that he might write in to the committee to take away my title, if he were the writing-to-the-committee sort of man.
Today I lost because I disregarded the schedule of when preschoolers ought to be in bed rule. By more than a few minutes.
It all began innocent enough. It is our last night without Daddy (he's in Luxembourg for business). Rather than do some mundane thing like eat leftover pizza from last weekend (home made, though it is - and with a light wheat crust) and watch a movie, I asked if the Vs would mind running and errand with Mommy.
The errand was to procure a "Klean Seam" silicone strip to bridge the gap between the stove top and the counter. This became an imperative task today after an embarrassing situation during our play date. Someone forgot the rule that the HexBugs had to remain in their habitat. (It's disconcerting to see what looks, at a glance, like cockroaches in the corner of the kitchen, thus the rule was established.) The sound of these little HexBugs under the stove/oven is quite alarming. I ended up having to pull the appliance several inches away from the wall in order to find and capture the escaped toy. And in doing so, I revealed that the team hired to "super clean" our rental home prior to its being leased had clearly neglected to take this same action. I also revealed that I had not, in the nearly four months we've been here, investigated and remedied this fact.
After our guests left our home and I got the Vs situated for a moment, I fired up my Shark steam cleaner and set to work on the cooking indiscretions of other tenants (as well as us). I could not let another meal preparation pass before procuring said Klean Seam and further cinching my transition to becoming my beloved MIL. I hope my hubby is not horrified by this when he returns home and discovers this little item adorning our counter-stove gap.
The item could be found at a store at the Crossroads Mall. The incentive for the Vs to come there with me was that they would get to ride any number of mechanical rides, each of which costs a quarter. My favorite is the replica of the 1886 German carousel, because three children can ride for a quarter. I'm pretty sure the Vs love the race horse the best, especially since some more experienced child let them onto the secret that pulling back the reins makes that horse go even faster!
We didn't even head to the mall until after 6 PM. What was I thinking? That we would shop, ride, and be home for dinner, tubbies, and bed at a normal hour?
While we were there, we couldn't help but take notice of a band playing near the food court area. There is actually a stage set up there. And on it, a band. Suddenly, Mr. V was very hungry. We settled on soup (chicken noodle, minestrone, and butternut squash) and took a seat. Mr. V was pleased with his spot as he could still see the pretty woman in the band. Ms. V was extremely disconcerted when they stopped playing. "Why are they not talking, Mommy?" was asked repeatedly between her establishment of the best bites on her spoonful (no zucchini, tomato chunks, or spinach were to pass her lips tonight). I don't know how many times I explained that they were taking a break. And then why musicians take breaks.
Once our soup was consumed, the Vs asked if we could sit in the seats by the band. Absolutely. We found a spot, and the standing bass player announced that their two greatest fans had joined the fun. The Vs moved us up to the front row. They abandoned the safety of their seats to dance. I got up to dance too. When I sat down after some silly dancing with Ms. V, the gentleman of the older couple beside us said, "She really loved that. You could just see on her face how much she loved dancing with her Mommy."
We stayed (and continued dancing) through the last song of their set. We bought a CD. We spoke with members of the band. Mr. V saw someone hug Tekla, the lone woman in this "Spaghetti Western" quintet, and I saw that he felt somehow disappointed that there had been no hug for him. We went back, waited, and then asked for a hug. She gleefully gave hugs to both the Vs. We heard the announcement that the mall was closing in 15 minutes. One pit stop at the restroom proved worth it, and then we were out to the car. It was almost 10 PM.
Tonight, I lost Mother of the Year because I kept my children out at a mall until 10 PM. In all my many losses of this award, I don't believe I've ever had so much fun with the Vs. Mr. V impressed all (I heard them talking) with his break-dancing moves (he can jump into a worm/handstand now, and then back out of it). Ms. V was charming with her waves, her funny pichinouli-shaking, and her smile. We had lots of run-into-Mommy's-arms moments, ending in what Ms. V declared was a "group hug" (my first day hearing her say that).
Yep. I'm a terrible mother. In a time when I've been so desperately missing my own Mommers, this night really lifted me. Boulevard Park (or maybe it's just Blvd Park) transported us all. Mr. V asked if we can come back for more music. Ms. V stayed awake the entire drive home and then sounded out "Fro-sty...snow-man" as we read the book. All this AND developing literacy? Yes...I'm a terrible mother.