Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I knew exactly what type of day I was in store for when I walked past Isaac's room this morning early (much too early for little boys) and discovered him reading. To his credit, he was reading the Bible and hosting what he called "A Berenstain Bears Devotional" for his animals (the book next to him was Berenstain Bears Go Trick or Treating...which would make some cringe at the thought of discussing the Lord and Halloween in the same breath). But it was early, both kids are fighting colds, and I personally wanted to call in sick to work today.

Alas, I work for some pretty strict bosses who seem to have forgotten to schedule mental health days into my pay ladder (or to schedule a pay ladder for that matter...unless you count hugs and kisses as pay, which I do most days).

Today is Tuesday, meaning we should have been loading up in the car to drive to bible study immediately after breakfast. Bible study: a place of adult conversation and free childcare. Sigh. Due to the children's colds, I unfortunately (and quite begrudgingly) had to decide that spreading our germs was not kind nor helpful to my fellow bible study mommies. Knowing my attitude would improve slightly with a venture out of the house, I dressed the children after breakfast and pulled out of the driveway

I stopped the car 1.5 minutes later and unloaded everyone at our local bakery. Isaac had cookies and milk, Evelyn ate the second half of her soggy waffle from breakfast (the cold has been affecting her appetite), and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee savoring the quiet that only comes from toddlers who are engrossed in their food. After a quick potty break (and by quick I mean 15 minutes...does everyone experience a three ring circus each time they take two little ones to the restroom?), we set off down the sidewalk in our stroller. Evelyn was still working on that waffle and Isaac was happily walking next to me toting what he refers to as his suitcase (others call it a Little Einstein lunchbox) that was filled with the necessities of a three year old boy: one Cars house shoe, a dozen unsharpened personalized pencils, and a pretend camera.

Definite necessities.

Fortunately we live in an area with various stores/historical things to admire all conveniently situated on one long stretch of road. We slowly made our way down the sidewalks and eventually to our local historic train station. My original plan had been to look at the display train and then continue on walking up the other sidewalk. However, the volunteer who was working the museum located inside the train station came out and enthusiastically encouraged us to come and take a look around.

A museum..how educational, I thought. Perhaps the day would not be a wash and I could redeem my stay-at-home mommy hood status by enlightening the children about our fair city's history.

Maybe another day they will be enlightened because today was certainly not the day.
E. immediately began screaming, "Bye! Bye!" the moment the stroller was wheeled into the doorway of the museum. This was only intensified by the nice volunteer sticking her face into E.'s face to perk her up. Over the screams I attempted to explain that we are dealing with a separation anxiety phase right now and E. likely thinks she is being left with this strange lady. The lady then directed her attention to Isaac, showing him all of the wonderful train toys they had for sale. Um, thanks for that. Fortunately Isaac has learned that if he sees something in a store that he likes, he can ask for it to be placed on his birthday or Christmas wish list. I then pull out whatever scrap of paper I can find in my purse and write down such a request, which ranges from the typical to the "hope you forget about this one" toy.
After browsing the gift shop and adding "ceramic train coasters" and "plastic toy that won't survive two days in our house" to Isaac's Christmas list, the lady lead us through the museum. She attempted to explain various historical artifacts to Isaac, who was more interested in standing over the air-conditioning vents in the floor. He put on a good show and did tell her he loved dinosaurs after the volunteer finished a lengthy tale of how dinosaurs used to roam this area thousands of years ago. Upon realizing that the three-foot-and-under crowd I had with me were not interested in her stories, the volunteer turned her focus towards me.

Let me say that I do love my little town and I do enjoy some good historical tidbits, but I was quite torn between being polite to our apparent tourgide and between making sure my three year old did not climb into the antique wheelchair nor did he feel the need to type on any of the typewriters that were 100+ years old. Did I mention I was holding E. by this point who had stopped crying simply because she had been allowed to hold a fistful of the pencils from Isaac's "suitcase"?

We finally managed to escape the museum, after signing the visitors log and promising to check out various exhibits that come to this depot during the year. The kids looked at the train on display and then we headed off back down the sidewalk, in search of our car and air conditioning (It had been overcast when we started this venture, but the sun had come out in full force by this point).
As we walked down the sidewalks, it became evident that our local Senior Citizens center had brought a group of its members to this same area to do some shopping. E. was again wearing her cute little kerchief, which was a big hit with the elderly crowd. Countless people stopped us to talk to E. (who, quite frankly, was in no mood to talk nor be talked to), commenting on her hat and many calling her a "little lady." One woman shared tales of how she too used to wear scarfs on her head as a little girl and then her husband asked E. if he could take a bite of her waffle (yes, she was still eating it at that point). All I could think was, "Get me out of here. Now."

After a hot trek back to the car and a screaming 15 month old who decided she did not want to get into her comfy car seat, we finally made it home. Lunch was served, various globs of applesauce and crumbs fell onto the floor, and then everyone was sent off to nap time. Ah, glorious nap time...only to be interrupted by crys of a little boy who fell out of his bed despite its four rails, coughing spells, sales calls, and plain ol life in general.

It is now nighttime, both babies are asleep, and I can hear the low murmur of the Olympics on the television in the other room. The husband came home, extra perky knowing that I was tired, with a warm dinner in his hands. My Mommy tank is on low...not for any one particular reason or circumstance...its just on low, that little shaky line hovering below the tell-tale E.

How do you refill your Mommy/parenting tank when your energy supplies are depleted?

Tomorrow is a fresh day, one filled with two happy, (relatively) healthy kiddos...and will hopefully be free from any unplanned museum trips or encounters with large groups of people over 85.

1 comment:

GPaty said...

You are so precious...I love the phrase, "my mommy tank is low". I wish I had some solid advice except to say that when my tank is low, I do something to get away. I leave the kids with Cody and go running, take a hot bath, go get a pedicure with a girlfriend, or something that doesn't require me to be on duty. Usually, after about 3 hours without the babies, I miss them and am ready to see them. If I am not, then I go another three hours...just kidding. Maybe you can do something this weekend to get away. Give yourself a break. You deserve it!