It Was One of THOSE Days
by Theresa Reichman
I hate days like today. Days when I decide to venture outside our abode — kids in tow — only to be met with obstacles at every turn.
It started out simple enough. I was on a mission for new flip flops for my girls. Seeing as at 3-and-a-half and just a few breathes away from 2, they are already completely obsessed with shoes, I figured it’d be an exciting event with little resistance on their part. But of course as soon as we entered the store, my 3 year old started whining about being hungry and wanting chicken nuggets. I half dragged and half-pleaded with her to get to the back of the store where the flip-flops dangled tauntingly far away.
Eventually we arrived and I was right — the girls were smitten. Until Scarlett fell in love with a certain blue and flowery pair of kicks that they didn’t have in her size. Scarlett sobbed and sobbed as I explained that they didn’t fit and she had to put them back. Fortunately, I was able to slip her into a pair of orange flip flops and gasped when they fit. I told her she was Cinderella. Bingo! Crisis averted.
But the hunger issue hadn’t been dealt with yet. We zoomed around the quaint outdoor shops and found little in the way of fast food until we landed ourselves the jack pot: a pita place. However, Scarlett was adamant that she eat chicken nuggets. Sorry kid, pitas it is. I ordered her a pita quesadilla and we settled ourselves down at a table with an umbrella while she cried because mommy failed in the nugget department. And then she took a bite. And she dug it. Devoured nearly the entire thing on the spot and happily slurped her lemonade.
On the way home I made a bit of a blunder. Lately Scarlett has been memorizing what route we take when going certain places. You might wonder exactly where a 3-year-old might wish to go… Scarlett has three favorites. The bank (Lollipops. Need I say more?), McDonalds (play place heaven), and the park. Unfortunately the park is in very close proximity to our home and it’s difficult to avoid passing the road it’s on in our travels.
“Yay!!! The park, Mommy! The park!”
By that point, all I want to do is go home and take a nap, but I know that will never happen after my girl just had the park brandished before her eyes. So we put on our new flip flops and we go to the park. We throw stones into the creek. Cecilia’s shoe falls off. We swing. Cecilia’s shoe falls off. We explore the big wooden castle together. Cecilia’s shoe falls off.
I’m getting really flipping angry about this shoe and I tell Scarlett it’s time to go home. She cries. I bribe her with candy from her Easter basket. It works. I decide to take the shortcut to the car through the field. As we’re trekking along, Scarlett shows me that Cecilia’s shoe is missing. We go back and look and finally find it lost among the woodchips. We attempt to leave again, but realize that the field is quickly becoming marsh-like. I take a step and kick mud up all over the backs of my legs, soaking the bottom of my shorts. Scarlett’s shoe gets suctioned off in the mud and I’m fumbling to put it back on while balancing Cecilia on my hip and ankle deep in brown slime.
We get home muddy and sweaty, and I’m about to swear off of ever leaving the house with the girls again without some serious backup.
It’s just not worth it!
And then a little voice says, “Thank you, Mommy.” I look down at Scarlett’s ruddy cheeks that stick out like walnuts when she smiles.
She’s smiling big.
I look to Cecilia. Her golden locks are sweaty and she’s beaming at me, and says thank you in Cecilia-speak, “Tan too, Mommy.”
These are days they will remember. Memories they will revisit. This is so worth it. I love days like today.