Part of being a parent is taking your kids to events that are fun for them. I personally like to stay inside my house, but I fear their therapy sessions someday. Actually, I fear their therapy sessions in general, because when does a parent ever walk away scott-free when their offspring is being therapized? Yeah, exactly. Every dadgum psychopath in history might have had a lovely mom, but that's not what the news said. "Psychopath Kept Indoors Excessively As Child," the headline reads. "Ax-Murderer Recounts Being Told 'Life Isn't Fair.'" "'She Never Cut The Crusts Off My Sandwich,' Says The Subway Slasher." I could keep going with these, but the punctuating is getting on my nerves. And regardless, I could totally nail parenting and they'd still blame me someday because who can live up to that kind of Parenting Paragon? WHO?
So I take them to stuff. Tomorrow we're going to some kind of Amish village, and I will try very hard to extract some laughs from that for you, but I figure it will mostly be sober Yoders, unless I can find somebody in their rumspringa to interview about their dalliances with Englischers and whatnot. Might buy some cheese. Exciting stuff, this.
Now, last night was Halloween, and, being fairly churchy, I opted to take my kids to a Harvest Family Fun and Fall Time Celebration For the Ages Festival, or something. Initially I thought they were required to wear Biblical costumes and, being a rule-keeper of sorts, I tossed around some ideas with the MOG and then settled on Daniel and some friendly lions. My life is a comedy of errors, and piecing together these lions from thrift store costumes and yarn and hot glue and wigs (which I ended up not using) and face paint was challenging, all right? It challenged me. Lucky for me, my kids are still small and they thought they looked GREAT and even wanted to be entered in the costume contest, which we would have only won with the sympathy vote.
We did it. Tristan sat in the stroller as long as he had something extremely sticky to eat, and, considering that I had squeezed him into an abusively small hand-me-down lion suit, it was a good call to not let him try to walk. The other kids did ring toss and clothespin fishing and all the other sorts of things you do at this sort of thing, and I hung out and ate their candy. After 4 or 5 years, we went out to the outdoor part of the festivities and they jumped in bouncy houses and then Brynn found out about the pony rides and I am rapidly learning to do whatever Brynn wants. She almost has me trained. Toby pulled what is probably the best thing he's ever done and waited in line and got hot dogs for us. I'm starting to think these little people might be useful someday. But then, Brynn desperately had to use the potty, and so I ended up scarfing my hot dog in the ladies room. I didn't even think about it until some of the other waiting moms offered their sympathy, "You just gotta eat while you can," they said, averting their eyes as ketchup ran down my arm and into Tristan's hair, blending seamlessly into the clumped face paint and chunks of melted chocolate.
I should wrap this up, because I bet the MOG quit reading several paragraphs ago. "It's too long!" says the guy who watched an entire season of Lost in one day. It was a fun night, it was an exhausting night. I think they had a really great time, and I will continue thinking that until I am confronted in a therapy session 20 years from now.