The morning started out so well. The kids were behaving and the smoke from recent fires in our area was no longer in the air so it was now safe for us to leave our home for a little trip. We decided that since we had a coupon for buy one, get one free pretzels, we would head to the mall play area to try to get a few minutes of indoor play time before the mall opened and then grab a few pretzels as a treat. It was a cheap thrill and a brilliant plan all around. I patted myself on the back for my awesomeness. The kids decided to get dressed in matching colors (see how much fun they were already having? I seriously had the supermom glow because clearly my fantastic mothering was kicking in today, as shown through this rare moment of cooperation). I got the baby a new diaper and his favorite toy and we were out the door in record time, ready for an adventure!
We arrived 30 minutes before the stores opened and found the main mall doors already unlocked! Again, I am glowing with pride and thinking how excited my kids will be to have the play area completely to themselves. We walked together, hand in hand, until we neared the play area where we were stunned to see approx. 10 wild children already there! Poo! Other moms had figured out my totally original and brilliant plan of taking kids to a mall play area and had beaten me there! That’s ok, I thought, we’ll head over to the food court where Tropical Smoothie was giving away free smoothies in honor of National Flip Flop Day, drink a little and go back in a few minutes. Again, I smiled in honor of my quick-thinking brilliance.
Well, we had to wait a little because all of the mall workers were taking advantage of the smoothie deal before they headed off to work and naturally, one of the kids decides right then that there should be a bathroom emergency. Did I panic? No, I did not. I distracted him with insightful questions like the supermom that I am and he lasted until we all received our drinks. Then we raced to the family bathroom!
Having made sure everyone was set in that area, we headed off to check out the play area again. At this point, only 2 kids were left! That was more like it. The kids put their socks on, mostly because I have a thing with sharing the funkiness of other children’s feet, but also because I follow the rules and the sign says socks required. We played together for a few minutes and I even let the baby sit on one of the little butterfly seats to watch the older kids play. He thought it was the coolest thing ever to be included in the “fun”. As the time passed, the other kids started to get a little more wild while their mom sat and messed around on her blackberry, totally oblivious (huge pet peeve of mine, but I won’t go there at this time). I wanted to prevent the crazy from erupting in my kids so I told them they had 2 minutes left to squeeze in as much fun as they could and then we could go get pretzels! Hooray for my supermom ability to sense a potential problem and solve it before it happens! How good am I, right?!
But that was to be the end of our fun at the mall for at that precise moment my very clumsy daughter decided to try to grab her smoothie as I was taking her ‘preventing funky feet’ socks off to put her sandals back on. She couldn’t possibly wait 2 more seconds to take a sip. Naturally, she went flying backward on her butt while the smoothie went flying forward and landed on me then bounced off to splatter all over the floor and on her. My adherence to mall play area rules turned out to be my downfall.
I closed my eyes and stood perfectly still while I took a deep breath so that the human side of me wouldn’t lose it – supermom temporarily left the building. I looked over at my little girl with her body glistening in a Jetty Punch smoothie scrub and saw her eyes and mouth wide open in anticipation of the inevitable breakdown of my mental state. If she hadn’t looked so completely shocked, I probably would have lost it. But the look on her face made the whole situation comical for some reason. The simple act of a smoothie spraying all over me was the literal translation of my ideal version of a supermom blowing up in my face.
I learned today that a supermom is really just a regular, everyday mom who learns to go with the flow and handle these situations as they happen. Nothing goes as planned, especially if it seems like a perfect plan; that’s just life. Thankfully, kids are there to remind you of that fact, and they do it very well and on a regular basis. Today was my turn to be reminded.
We still went and got our pretzels after we tried to clean up our mess as best as we could…we just got them to go this time. We headed home and hopped right in the bath where we had fun laughing about how sticky we got. Our adventure ended quickly, but it was still fun and I didn’t freak out! I guess I can still be supermom. I’ll just have to remember to redefine it a little for the sake of reality (and my ego). 🙂