You could call it Murphys Law. In some cases, you could call it Entropy. Just don’t call it a surprise, because we all know…
It’s always some damn thing!
Have you ever had that experience where you see an opportunity to do something for your family (or friends), and you imagine it’s going to be so great only to have it blow up or fall apart on you?
On Friday, I received an email from the Children’s Museum for a members only trick or treating event last night. I don’t think we’ve been since school started, so I thought it would be a real cool opportunity to enjoy one of the last Halloween nights with our kids before they completely out grow their imaginations. At 7 and almost 7, they are getting wise to the facts of life, so instead of Santa this year, they have realized that they’re depending on mom and dad’s broke asses for gifts. 😟
The first struggle would be to negotiate the change of parenting time. Just about every holiday is met with frustration over this act, so I made sure not to get excited and just expect she would be difficult about it. She did accept the change without difficulty, so it was officially on!
My kiddo was over the moon to hear he was getting two trick or treating nights this year, so all in all, I guess it still makes for a win in the light of parenting. Fortunately, I know the value of bringing groceries home in paper bags, so we had an easy source of costume material on hand. A few bucks at the dollar store later, we were well on our way to a full Bowser ensemble!
I could tell by his acting and wanting to go run and look in the mirror that this, right here, was the peak of our Halloween excitement. Kim cut out her costume mostly from a cardboard box, and I glued together paper bag strips for the iconic Mario hat. Kiley was immediately dressed in her princess garb, so she spent the time dancing merrily around.
We gather up in the car to go pick up my son. I was told I would be getting him from his babysitter as she is at work. I try to relax, but oh how I’ve been lied to and set up before. I know her father has some pent up shit to dump on me, and I would guess she’s pissed that Kim ran interference for me to get my son on those occasions. As we are driving up, I see his sitter waiting with him. I am grateful for finally having one hassle free holiday. (And rocking it for $3)
“So, where are we going, Dadda?” he asks.
“To the children’s museum! They’re having a special night to go trick or treating!” I announce!
“Oh, yeah. And they have a make your own trick or treating bag and candy.” he adds.
“Wait, what? How do you know?” Kim exclaims. Since I had just about felt like letting my guard down, I knew this familiar blow had struck.
“Yeah, my mom took me there. And there’s adults dressed up in costumes, that’s where you get the candy from.” he went on.
Kim turned to me in wide eyed disbelief. “Why would you say anything to her?”
“I didn’t. Why do you think I took so long to send that one little email asking for one little thing?” I feel the wind knocked out of me.
“Yeah, my mom is a member, too.” he informs us.
“So, when did she take you?” she asks him, thinking, hoping, he is referring to some irrelevant time earlier in the month.
“Yesterday, before she went to work. I was supposed to go to soccer practice, but we went to the children’s museum instead.”
Kim starts to curse and I lose control of my voice. “Well, that’s fine! Your mom didn’t spend a whole day making your costume with you, did she?” I challenge him.
“We can always go see Uncle Aaron in Hmm hmm hmm where she can’t find us and ruin our time together, and she can go f <muting myself> eat a giant… Sausage!” I bite my bottom lip.
I was pissed, but I add it to the already thick file in my mind labeled stupid shit baby’s mom does to spite me. I was determined not to let my irritation ruin it, because that just lets her know she succeeded instead of having to convince herself of it. We get there minutes before opening and stand in line. We do so seldom little as a family anymore, I forget what a nightmare this whole wait in line thing is. By time the doors open and we start to move, Kiley has already started to make a show off herself and irritate her mom. My son starts bouncing around like crazy, causing even more. I defend them by stating they have to wiggle to stay warm, as the sun is already behind the hill.
Inside, the kids cut loose as usual. They embarrass us with their ravenous grabbing at every tray. They get cranky and fussy over our limiting of sugar intake. No water feature this time? Oh, the outrage! Costumes? Ugh! Get them off! The two and a half hours went by so fast, and just about every kid there protested the early closing. I imagine most parents are like us, and this ends up being a whole day event.
We left dragging our two wound up, demanding, whining kids protesting our candy communism the entire way to the car. Kim admitted later that having to deal with her daughter really ruined the fun for her.
“I’m cross!” my son cuts the silence. “I’m cross because you said I could have more candy and you didn’t give me any more!”
“I said maybe and only if you could contain yourself. It’s still a school night and I’m not trying to make life hard on your babysitter by returning you all wound up” I assert.
“Fine! I’m just going to be angry at you!” he insists.
“Pfft. Alright. I think Santa’s taking note of that. ”
He did hug me and say he loved me when we dropped him off. So, I think it’s all okay. I still feel like I went out of my way to arrange it, dropped the ball on counseling in the rush, got undermined once again, and left everyone unsatisfied and wore out.
Another day, another drama.