I wasn’t feeling enough pressure today so I took Z, T & D to OMSI. I guess I wanted to see if I could actually do it. The sand box held their interest for a stunning thirty minutes, all three kids. Then they began to rally. While I tried to get shoes on one, the others made a break for it in separate directions, of course. I couldn’t force T into the stroller fast enough to keep track of Little D. Z, sensing my vulnerability, quietly slipped away. I looked like I was on some crazy game show – running, stooping, dragging, quickly dumping one near the stroller then running, scooping, dumping, holding an ankle, grabbing an arm, wrapping my leg around someone, socks in my teeth, calling out to Z. It makes it even worse that I have horrible hair, bad skin, circles under my eyes and pitiful mom clothes. And for all my daily antics, though I sweat and sweat, I never lose a single pound. It’s just not fair. Anyway. OMSI was wilder than usual. Children were dumping sand on each other, throwing water, racing around, fist-fighting. I watched two little boys heave a chair out of the craft room where there ensued a passionate game of tug of war. One wanted to drag it into the sand, the other insisted on relocating it to the woodland cave across the way. These chairs are specifically designed for the craft/flubber room. Finally one of two dad-buddies who were watching stepped in and helped solve the problem by assisting the boys in a game of rock, paper, scissors. Whoever wins gets the chair he explained. Much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t stick around to watch the outcome, but we all heard the shrieking as I walked away and the match ended. I saw another boy dive over the wall of the Reading Center, leap two toddlers and pole vault across a bench. A different dad-buddy giggled to another and said out of the corner of his mouth, “I don’t know who’s kid that is.” A moment later, after the boy had leaped everything in the room and knocked a few kids down, he galloped back to the dad and demanded a snack. The dad took an old, crumbled cookie from his coat, handed it to the kid and the boy charged off as if he were in the middle of a fox hunt. There were other incidents involving other children. Then I looked around. By my count the dads outnumbered the moms 2:1. It must have been Father/Son Day at OMSI.
Stay away. Stay far away.