When we go to the mall on Monday, I come prepared. Not with wipes, as you might think (or the other necessities such as diaper bag loaded with essential, the actual diapers, small dinosaur toys and cars, snacks, stroller and baby carrier etc. etc.) but with a slightly larger secret weapon, our nanny!
Wouldn’t you know it, I never did end up getting my textbooks at the school last Friday, which wasn’t only super inconvenient but frankly sucked!
That is why I had to bring our nanny today first to the school and then to the mall as a “reward” afterwards, (on a day she doesn’t normally come, since Tuesday is her only day off from school to come “see” us but luckily she got done early with an exam today).
She has never come to the mall with us before but I have an appointment and am still in the never ending “return cycle” and want (no need) an hour to actually get some things done. I promise her that I will be gone one hour only because I like the poor girl (and because no amount of money in the world…) and let her know we will all go to lunch together afterwards (incentive for her), and if the kids are good, dessert (incentive for them).
It just so happens that both kids fall asleep in the car, my little angels (sure, in this state). Baby surprisingly makes the transfer to the stroller and nanny M carries my big boy (under my protests “he is too big to be held”, but she “doesn’t mind”, no wonder her loves her.
Our plan is to drop her and the kiddos off at one of the family lounges where the kids can play, watch cartoons, read books AND potty/get their diaper changed. How convenient is that?! Didn’t I tell you, I love this mall. This lounge is right inside the food court so you can also get food there AND to my son’s complete excitement watch people skate on “real” ice (or even better play ice hockey!). The one time the ice wasn’t there he had a complete meltdown and blamed me for some reason (“mama, you get the ice back right NOW!!!). Anyways back to the dropping my little gang off.
I hate the guilt you feel when you are leaving your kids. I know they are in very capable hands. She has proven that she can handle both of them. Even baby girl now likes and accepts her, so why? I run towards the first store and feel stress mixed with the inevitable guilt that makes this “alone time” less enjoyable and more…lonely.
Because, no matter how difficult it is to bring the kids, no matter how loud and busy and yes annoying they can be, I still miss them terribly when they aren’t around.
I’m promptly back within the hour and meet our slightly distraught nanny trying to stop the baby from tearing all the books apart and the preschooler from tapping the large TV screen with a wooden toy. Yup, I found my kids!
Surprisingly (and pretty humorous) enough she told me that a mom had come in with her two pretty rowdy kids just after I had left and was apparently amazed over how well-behaved my kids were (as if). Since they had been sleeping moments before, my best guess was that they were still in a haze (and baby might have been a little sad mommy left). Our nanny said they were just standing there, sweet as can be. As the other mom’s kids interacted with them, they let them be wild and shared their toys, my boy was even (gasp), “quiet and polite” (it’s true!).
She had asked the nanny what I did with my kids (ha ha), if I followed some type of discipline, schooling or “parenting program”, she would “love to know”. Or did I put them in some kind of “academy”? At this point I’m laughing. Yes, they are my kids and they are sweet and adorable (even polite at times) but quiet “sharers” who are disciplined? No way!
I do love my two littlest to death though and there is no way I’m putting them in some “academy” instead of right here with me!
Thursday I pick up my boy from camp dirty, hungry and tired. Which is exactly how us mamas want to pick our kids up because now we can feed them and relax with them (because someone else has taken care of the daily activities, physical exercise, creativity and outside play, yay!) and give them a bath before bedtime. It’s not just that he is tired, hungry and dirty, he is also happy! And that is of course the main thing.
They have different theme days and so far my son has probably been on cloud nine due to the jungle animal and dinosaur themes. He has been a leopard and a T-Rex respectively and the camp leaders tell me he has been the only one out of the whole camp of kids who has stayed in “character” the entire time- never mind the inconvenience (tail safety pinned to behind) or the scorching heat (full on t-Rex mask covering head and face). Even when they played elephants he was a “leopard elephant” and he played “duck, duck T-Rex” (and made them all call him that) Now I don’t know whether that is good or just weird but I choose to go with good!
Before we leave camp I get the negative feedback from his main counselor that he is not eating his lunch (he is taking “picky eater” to a whole other level this kid) but then it happens, I stand their making my excuses as she says this.
“Thanks for letting us play with him, he is such a JOY”
Word for word! It’s not like I’m surprised or anything, he is a JOY. Just of the wild, energetic, driving you nuts kind (relax, I’m only kidding…sort of). I’m looking at her, scanning her face to see if she is somehow being sarcastic (which would have been kind of a cruel joke) but she looks completely honest and sincere. I look at my friend (whom I must say look equally shocked) but does give me a thumbs up.
It feels nice I can totally get used to this. Actually after last week and the dreaded Friday, things have gotten smoothly this week, maybe this is a positive trend that is here to stay!
Yes, I will savor this for a bit!