I don’t work on Fridays so I take all three kids with me to drop Brady at preschool. Today it was raining. The logistics of trying to get a baby in a car carrier, a toddler, and a preschooler across a busy school parking lot in the rain is enough to exhaust a seasoned mom. Rain is so much worse than snow when it comes to dropping off. I usually throw a blanket over the car carrier to protect the baby and have the older boys pull up their hoods in order to avoid umbrellas. I don’t have a free hand to hold an umbrella and an umbrella in the hands of a five or three year old might as well be a weapon.
Today, Brady found an umbrella in the van and insisted upon using it. I am very much a ‘pick your battles’ mom so I agreed to let him use it. He did just fine with it and everything was going great until we approached the school. All along the front wall of the school was a pond, 30 yards long and three inches deep. Someone had placed orange cones around it. I’m guessing they thought that would keep people out of it but it just attracted my kids that much more. It’s like the outlet covers. They are supposed to keep kids out of the outlets but all they ever did was attract my kids to them. I was telling my mom, one day, that the kids were pulling out the outlet covers and sticking them back in. She told me to just take them out and the kids will leave the outlets alone. And you know what? She was right.
“Don’t even think about it,” I said in my sternest voice. And they didn’t. They did not step one little foot inside that pond. You see? Sometimes I can control my kids.
When we returned three hours later to pick up Brady, I noticed that the snow wall was still present but had diminished in size. When Brady came out, I was sure to hold tight to his hand and he held Sully’s hand. We passed the snow wall without incident. As I was loading up the kids I saw another mother walking along the snow wall with the three kids she was picking up. I laughed and told her she was a much nicer mom than me. Things escalated quickly when all three kids moved in different directions and she couldn’t get them reigned in. Her voice became increasingly more frantic as she called to the kids to come back, the kids ignored her just like Brady ignored me last week. I locked up my kiddos in the van and climbed the much smaller snow hill and helped her gather the kids. She looked at me with such gratitude and I just laughed and told her I was in her shoes a week ago. It made me feel good to help out, but mostly it felt good to know that I’m not the only mom who could use a little help from time to time.