This week was a bit disappointing. I've been sick, and I deal with it poorly. Whenever I'm sick I get like really angry at the institution of motherhood. Like really? This is the plan, species? I just take care of my children all day and all night every day and every night until they kill me?
Also my car wouldn't start and the oven broke and the barefoot running shoes I ordered for cheap on ebay turn out not to fit and not to be returnable. And when Harvey was yelling at me because he wanted to put on the huge clown running shoes and splash through puddles (what? no!) I threw my tea cup on the pavement just to hear it smash and feel like I had the power to break something that wasn't a child.
To make a go of good parenting, on Wednesday I piled the kids into Dan's loud but working car and headed to the Concord Museum. We'd never been before, but it's right down the road from us, so I figured if it was a bust we could get out quickly. Also it's free thanks to the reciprocal program attached to my Discovery Museum membership (thanks again Grandma!) and the website said there was some stuff for kids.
The stuff for kids turned out to be a scavenger hunt printed on a piece of paper, so Zion waxed a little antsy and tended to scream "NO! NO!" whenever I read from a plaque out loud. Harvey, on the other hand, had a fantastic time finding the things pictured on his scavenger hunt paper, and he really seemed excited to make connections between the things he saw in the museum and the other historical places we've visited in the area: Mary's house at the Minuteman National Park, the North Bridge, and Henry's cabin at Walden Pond. I personally was excited to see the ORIGINAL FURNITURE from Thoreau's cabin, but Harvey was more confused than anything else. The replica cabin has actual furniture too, he says.
Also, Harvey stared a long time at the sculpture of Henry David Thoreau before asking me why he wasn't a bear.
The Concord Museum also has in their collection 50% of the lights that were used to signal "two if by sea" at Paul Revere's behest. In the picture below you can see Harvey folding down the tab on his scavenger hunt that had a silhouette of the lantern on it. And patiently listening to me explain how the Back Bay area of Boston used to be under water.... I don't always plan these lessons out for concision.
Zion was getting really bored by the time we got to the upstairs part of the museum. There he was entertained briefly by a game of checkers, but Harvey kept yelling at him to put the light ones on the light squares and it seemed like an hour in this museum was enough for one morning.
Since the museum visit was free, and since the kids polished off their snack of two apples and a big hunk of cheese in like seven seconds, I decided to stop at Whole Foods on the way home. A small Whole Foods shop feels free to me because if we get snacks from the right sections of the store than they're paid for by food stamps. (Well, Dan will disagree with me on the "free" issue, since we have a finite number of food stamps dollars per month so it's not really "free" and we should budget astutely. I say Yes, but I'm talking about a cup of berries and a muffin, and if I don't have to take $3 out of my wallet right then it's free to me.)
After our chocolate muffin snack we ended the free part of the outing and went into Marshalls to get both boys some waterproof shoes. That set us back $30, but at least their feet won't get soaked every time they go outside and they were so happy with their new matching shoes that they made me put them on their feet as soon as we got outside the store.
We got home around noon, and the boys immediately started hurting each other while I screamed at them that their behavior was unfair because I take them to do so much fun stuff even though I HAVE A FEVER so YOU SHOULD REPAY ME BY BEING GOOD! (Yeah, logic that totally works on a 1 and 3 year old whose mom is yelling at them.) Then I broke my tea cup in the road and Dan managed to come home before anyone called DSS. Dan very sweetly took both boys on a walk with the Dog and he said Harvey was talking fake history the whole time: "This train track was build in four-ten..." etc. So I guess it's not all awful. They say the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow...
ed note: I would hate for someone to read this post and think: WTF? What is her husband doing that she has to bitch and moan this much? That would convey the wrong impression. The truth is that Dan is working his hardest 100% of the time. When he's home he's playing with the kids and helping with the housework CONSTANTLY. It's just that there's a shitload of work to do, and we have two kids who are attention whores. Who hate to listen to THE SAME STORY AT THE SAME TIME. Which is to say, if there are two parents in the house they will make work for two parents in the house every single second. But I'll say this: even though raising children can be very difficult my husband is a wonderful partner who (unlike me) always remains loving to every member of our family and never loses his sense of humor.
Also, Dan reminds me that I have a VERY hard time when I'm sick, and when I'm well I can tote the kids around no problem and I even have fun doing it. And if I complain when I'm sick I have no one to blame but myself; if I wanted to be healthier I could ween Zion and get some sleep. I don't do it because attachment parenting is a lovely and gentle way to transition children from babies to kids and if it works when I'm healthy I'm willing to have it completely not work when I'm sick, as long as I'm sick less than 1/3 of the time.