Let me just start by saying that Kip returned from a business trip at midnight Friday, and Jesse stayed up waiting for him until 11:45. Because it was CAMP MOMMY--where there are no rules! So heck, let's blow up some aerobeds in the living room and watch a SpongeBob marathon. You guys get the bag of Doritos, I will get the bottle of Pinot, let's hunker down and hope Daddy's flight is on time. And all would have been well if the the next day I could have stuck to my original plan of foisting the tired buggers onto my tired husand, and running away to Mexico.
But as luck would have it, there was a birthday party. A small intimate affair with a few of THE COOLEST PARENTS AT THE SCHOOL. A picnic in Central Park.
And it would have been a wonderful, awesome, amazing time IF I COULD HAVE LEFT MY CHILDREN AT HOME.
To be fair-Annie (who made it to 11 pm by the way) was passed out for the entire thing-so while she wasn't great company, she definately did not detract from the party atmosphere. All the good parties I've ever been to have had someone sleeping it off in a corner.
But Jesse. *Sigh* Jesse. I lost count of how many times he dramatically stormed away from an activity to sulk behind a tree. He refused to be in the group photo. Refused to play soccer. Wanted ice cream when there was only cake. If another child was hit in the face with a ball, Jesse would start crying about his injured arm. While five other faces were filled with sunshine, Jesse was a big, dark storm cloud just raining all over everybody's parade. To the point that even I was thinking: Who the hell invited this kid?
I must have said at least ten times "He's tired-he was up all night--THIS IS ALL KIP'S FAULT" to the other parents who were there. And while they nibbled on the turkey sandwiches with basil, and nodded sympathetically, I still felt deep, deep Mommy Shame.
I will never be a Sophie Mom--who has very smart children who do not watch television--she is able to do impossible things: like get her son to wear a sweater. I will never be a Tara Mom--she with the laid back mop tops, who signs the boys up for classes that they miraculously attend after she has paid for them. I will never be an Allessandra Mom--who has managed to raise two kind and gentle sons who shrug their shoulders and sit out if hit at dodge ball, instead of halting the game for ten minutes as Jesse does, while he argues and insists that: "THE BALL JUST BRUSHED MY PANTS-IT DOESN'T COUNT-IT DIDN'T HIT ME-IT HIT MY PANTS-I AM NOT OUT--DO OVER--DO OVER!"
And so I foisted the kids onto Kip for Mother's Day and got my butt down to Barnes and Noble to stand for an hour in front of the parenting section. To read titles like: "How to Turn Your Impossibly Difficult Child into A Well Behaved Kid in Five Easy Lessons" and " How To Get Your Child To Do What You Want Him To Do Without Bursting A Blood Vessel." I made my purchases and headed home.
To find my children playing quietly together in the living room. Play acting with tiny figures around a plastic castle. And when Annie cries out in falsetto "Help me , Help me--the dragon is going to eat me," Jesse answers back in a deep voice "Don't worry--I will save you!" At which point, she says "Oh Thank You My Bestest Brother" And they both look up and see me and say "HI MOM! Wanna play castle with us?" And for a moment, I believe the depth of my love for them might be enough.