This, however, is not one of those times.
So on Spring Break, we decided that I would take the children to the Museum on Thursday while the Wife went out with her friends to a Corrination Street show at the Theater. Now, normally taking 5 children to a museum is not something to be considered relaxing after a long hard day of sitting on your butt typing on a computer all day, however, in contrast of going to watch some British Actors/Actresses with bad teeth go on and on about their compelling stories of going to the Rovers Return Inn and having a pint with their tosser friends, well, the museum seemed like a good idea.
Yet, I trundled off undeterred thinking I was getting the better deal here. A fun filled evening with my 5 children at the museum sounded good... until we got there...
... then all I could hear were the words of Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" ringing in my head "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men"... and then the mice get run over by a huge grain thresher... I could not hear the thresher coming yet... but oh it was coming...
|...waiting outside in the rain for 45 minutes...|
"Well, it's easy for MOM to say that, she isn't here. Besides, to get to the children's museum would take way to long because we would have to get through downtown during rush hour, and it's already after 4pm", I stated.
|He looks happy, but don't ask him to leave this display...|
... logic falls on deaf ears when passion is involved. Needless to say, the next 15 minutes in the van were filled with protests and complaints... and all I'm thinking is "you luck little buggers, when I was growing up in Northern Manitoba in a small mining town called Flin Flon, the ONLY museum we had was the museum of MINING. That's right, we could go and look at rocks. And not even NICE rocks. There was like 1 core of Iron, and a lump of slag, all in a single room which smelled of alachol and cigarettes."
We finally arrive at the "boring" museum and wander inside. Only to find out that on Thursdays, the museums were free after 5pm... not after 4pm like I had initially thought. The plan I had continues to fall apart. I was not faced with a dilemma... pay 56$ for us to enter the museum now, or wait 45 minutes to get in for free. Being a little broke at the moment, I decided to wait. After all, the perky desk girl pointed out that we could pass our time in the Gift Shop while we waited.
Yea, 5 kids, in a Museum Gift shop for 45 minutes... I'll let you guess how THAT went. Needless to say, we wound up standing outside in the cold rain for a good portion of time... I'm not saying we were KICKED out... errm...
|Having fun... in about 3 seconds, |
the next photo has a *very* angry Ping
and an all to smug Bing who made her angry.
Well, by the time 5pm rolled around, I was ready to go home. However, the fun was just beginning, and my plan had still lots of room to fail. But since this post is already too long, I'm going to just go bullet point over my many failures as a parent this particular Thursday...
Highlights of failure:
- museum was not free at 4pm as I thought - but 5pm
- children had to wait for almost an hour outside in the rain
- museum was absolutely packed because it was free, oh and it was Spring Break so EVERY family was there
- children were not able to run free through the museum "zones" as planned because there were too many people
- children were not fed diner before going to the museum*, so by the time we GOT in, they were all grouchy and hungry
- they were also grouchy from being in the car for over an hour getting from our place to the museum
- they were also grouchy from having to wait in the rain
- by the time we were ready to leave, as a last hurrah, we decided to watch the extinction movie - only to see a family from church in the same movie, this was not an immediate failure, however, upon exiting the movie...
- the mother stops to say "hi" and Bing decides to FREAK out. Probably because he was grouchy for all the reasons listed above
- we're talking DEFCON 3 level of tantrum
- thrashing around on the ground
- punching at me when I try to pick him up
Needless to say we beat a pretty quick retreat from the museum, I'm sure with the other Mom thinking I'm a horrible parent.
There was far more which went wrong than I'm detailing here, but I think I've painted enough of a picture of our failed outing. There were nice moments in there. We did have a good time. It was just sprinkled with moments of ... well... screaming, thrashing around, yelling, etc.
|Apparently the Dinosaurs scared him... |
so I left him there, for about a half hour...
telling him the dinosaur was going to eat him
if he yelled at me again.
Hey, I said it wasn't my BEST parenting day.
But he stopped yelling at me.
I guess the important thing to remember, at least for me, is that I can't expect perfection from my kids all the times. There are days they have where things just seem to go wrong for them at every turn. Maybe there is something they are struggling with, something at school, with a friend, or sibling, or parent... maybe some adoption issues have cropped up again, or even just are tired or jacked up on sugar.
All I know is that at times, I'm just exhausted from trying to "deal" with my kids...
... and I'm sure at times they are exhausted from "dealing" with me.
If I'm willing to forget about my bad parenting day, and look for the good moments in the day and say "hey, today wasn't all bad", I have to be willing to do that with my kids as well. To look at the fun and good moments we had in the day, even though there were tantrums and screaming, and say "hey, today wasn't all bad."
Yup... cup 1/2 full. Happy happy. Oh, and we ALL have bad parenting days... right?
C'mon, someone else tell me they have bad parenting days too!
Please? Someone... anyone...
At least I didn't take the kids to see the Sewer Boxes...
* == My Wife didn't feed them before bringing them into the city... I didn't know they didn't eat until we were already at the museum and wandering around.