Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A laugh from the past

There are so many times I find myself wishing that I had started blogging years ago, when the kids were babies, and I could have recorded some of the crazy/funny/frustrating moments. Today I went to a store, and on the way out, Jack and Aidan were given balloons. Which they were gloriously happy about. As I watched the smiles on the faces of people in the checkout line, watching these two cute boys jump and laugh and hold their balloons, my mind was taken to another balloon gift....... long, long, ago...... and I chuckled.

I don't know if I can capture the true feeling of the day, because now it is more of a 'chuckle' moment and not a 'I'm going to jump off a cliff' moment. But I will try, because it really was something to remember.

It was the late winter/early spring of 2007. Abigail had just turned 3, and Jack and Aidan were about to be 2. I was tired of never leaving the house, but there weren't many things I felt brave enough to try. In my Mothers of Multiples newsletter, I saw an ad for a Mommy-and-me music class, and they gave discounts for siblings. It seemed perfect- designed for multiples, and cheap! I signed them up, and we went every week and played little music games.

This music class turned out to be a disaster. Of epic proportions. It was mostly 1 Nanny with 1 quiet, shy child, whose parents were hoping to increase their socialization. It was not really a place where 1 over stressed Mommy with 3 wild toddlers who was looking for an outing fit in too well. To get the mental image, picture a lot of these:

And one of these:
Just replace Kydon with me and wipe off all the smiles.

I persisted in going. I shouldn't have, because I was a mess, and the kids got nothing out of going, and I should have just NOT GONE! But I had signed up for it, and paid for it, so I went.

One memorable day, the wonderful teacher (she really was great) pulled out some balloons for play. The idea was to sit quietly, singing, with the balloon in your lap, until the appropriate time in the song when you could get up and dance with the balloon. 3 of the kids did exactly that. 2 of the kids were too shy to dance, so they sat quietly the whole time. 3 of the kids (ahem, mine) ran around the entire time yelling and screaming, playing with their own balloons and stealing others. 5 Mommies Nannies sat with their children. 1 Mommy tried in vain to make threatening looks and punishments while trying to look like I was gentle and loving with the terrors children.

Abigail came up with the funnest game. Bite the balloon until it pops. Then laugh like crazy and snatch another one. The boys thought this was the greatest game EVER. Mommy thought she was going to go completely insane. Most kids hate balloons popping. It freaks them out, and they never want to play with balloons again. Not mine. They think it is hilarious.

So the very nice music teacher very patiently blew up balloon after balloon for them, because she had told them they could each take one home. I told her that they didn't need any more, and they would probably just bite and pop any that she gave to them, but she persisted, time after time after time, and when we left they each had a balloon to take in the car.

By this point, I am a complete and utter wreck. My nerves were frazzled, I was frustrated to the boiling point, and more than ready for naps. The nap was already slightly delayed, due to the timing of the music class. And in those days, we had a pretty easy nap routine- sippy cup of milk, lay in bed and go to sleep. I was SO ready for nap. But we were out of milk, which was MONUMENTAL. There was pretty much no way they would go to sleep without the milk. So on the way home from our lovely music class, we had to stop for milk.

I got all 3 up the stairs, shoes and coats on and out the door of the teacher's home. No easy feat, especially with 3 balloons in tow. I buckle all 3 in their car seats, trying to just get in the car and go before I start crying. I gave them their balloons to shut them up keep them occupied. Which they bit and popped. And then all 3 SCREAMED and CRIED because they didn't have any more balloons. By this time, I was actually glad the balloons were gone, because I was hating the blasted balloons with every fiber of my being. But I still had to endure the screaming and crying and fits. The 3 kids screaming and crying is not so good for a mom on the edge of a breakdown.

We got to the store, I loaded all 3 (still screaming and crying) into the cart, and ran as fast as I could to the back of the store, grabbed 2 gallons of milk, and ran as fast as I could to the front of the store. (They are All. Still. Screaming.) At the checkout, I am just chanting 'nap, nap, nap' in my head, and trying to get out of hell the store as quickly as possible.

The bagger, trying to be nice to the poor crazy woman with 3 screaming kids and a glazed look in her eye, very quietly slips away. As I am signing the recipt, she comes back into sight. With 3 blasted balloons.

I know she thought I was crazy when I caught sight of her, started waving my arms like a mad woman, and YELLED (I'm normally a pretty quiet person, but this time I think everyone in the store heard me).


She shrunk back, I left, and the kids went home and took their naps.

Did this story make you laugh? Cry? Both? :)


Melinda and Matt said...

I laughed--because I remember talking to you after every one of those music classes! I laughed because I have been there too (but with library story time--and my one child was enough to bring me to tears!)

Rachel said...

I laughed! It was funny mostly because I would probably keep going to classes just because I paid for them to. I would've put up with all the craziness as well. And I think we all have days where we chant "nap" in our heads. Naps are the best. I wish I could get a nap....

Rebecca said...

I cried and then I laughed. And then I sighed because I have been there more times than I could count. I like the blast from the past idea!! :)

Adam and Lisa said...

I remember going to a music class with you. Those other kids had to be drugged or something. Normal kids do not just sit there and only shake the rattle at the right time in the song!! I laughed, but also cried because I know those days are not too far in my future. I really believe the reason kids take naps is so moms can hang on to one shred of sanity. (also the reason for early bed times!)

Shanna said...

Thanks for helping me that day! :) And thanks for the validation that all the other kids sat so nice and quiet and mine, uh, did not. :)

Elaine said...

i love this story shanna. :) it makes me smile, and it makes me wonder what it would be like to get my clan together with your clan. we would have the best time...laughing like insane mothers do when there is nothing left to do. :)

Cecilee said...

All I can say is YIKES! Aren't you glad those days are over? Sometimes you look back and wonder how you ever survived on days like that.

Thanks for sharing. It was a great story. I really couldn't laugh though. It sounded too horrible to laugh!

Kayleen said...

Made me smile. Nice to know you can actually live through those days just to enjoy another one. :)

eartohear said...

Hey Shanna! Your post made me laugh and laugh and laugh! Its SO funny that the lady brought ya'll balloons. That is a good punch line to a most interesting afternoon! I guess I can't relate of course, but appreciate your sharing- it made me LAUGH!

mommymuse said...

Oh my, this brings back so many awful memories! I feel the pain. Sometimes sitting in church with my own little beasties feels remarkably like your music class experience.

Emily said...

Shanna, that was one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Thanks for the laugh. Glad I'm not the only one!!

colleensewnsew said...

Oh, I love that story. I remember the music class well, and the crazy 3 & 2 year old ages.