Yes, yes, I did it again...I took the girls to Wegmans for lunch. (For those of you who don't know what Wegmans is-- it is an incredible grocery store that carries everything you can imagine, has childcare for children 3-7 (though now that my daughter is 3 she refuses to go in, but that's another story!) and has a wonderful lunch/cafe area).
We actually did not purchase lunch from Wegmans today. I packed lunches and my friend Sarah and her two little girls met us at a park and then we ventured over to Wegmans to eat (Sarah needed some food for her girls).
Sometimes I wonder why I do some of the things I do...the answer-- pure distraction!
I need distractions in my day and so I opt for things that are physically chaotic (like taking the girls to a park and then lunch) rather than emotionally chaotic (the tedium of being home alone without any adult conversation all day and watching the girls undo every portion of the house I've straightened up...at least when we leave, the house stays cleaner and I get adult interaction-- not always conversation--I'm not sure Sara and I said 12 consecutive words to each other-- but at least interaction).
After we managed to push the behemoth truck/grocery cart into the store (a cart we really didn't need because we were not shopping, but that our girls decided they MUST ride in) my Ava (Sarah's daughter is also Ava) decided she needed to pee (of course!). Sarah graciously took her while I pushed the cart into the cafe area. We found a table near the play area, some high-chairs and started setting up food and cups, etc. After Sarah grabbed food for her daughter, her youngest (around 8 months) needed to eat so Sarah ran out to her car to nurse her while I started feeding the other three children.
Ella launched food on the floor, Sarah spilled her soup after she came back while trying to simultaneously hold her baby on her lap and eat, our 3-year olds completely pulled the play area apart-- pulled all of the kids chairs out from under the kid tables, lined them up against the wall (so that they could look out the window), left puzzle pieces strewn across the floor, and pulled crayons out of boxes that they used momentarily to color, but that were left scattered around (and thrown on the floor by Ella) once they were onto something else.
Sarah and I decided that all of the other lunchers in the cafe either A) hated us or B) felt bad for us...I'm sure there were shared feelings on both fronts. After the girls ate, our 3-year olds jumped on each other on a bean bag chair and we lined everyone up along the window for an impromptu picture before we packed up and headed home.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?!
In all truthfulness, I would rather be able to have these chaotic experiences WITH the girls than have them be cooped up in a daycare all day somewhere having chaotic experiences with non-family members. I know not everyone feels that way...but as crazy as things get I do feel that way.
I hope I don't get in trouble for saying that...but hey, it's my blog!!! ( a.k.a. my soapbox to stand on!) and I think kids deserve to experience their early years at home if at ALL possible...whether that means a smaller house, or less extravagances, there is an importance and a security that children inherit when they spend the majority of their pre-school years with their parents and at home.
Off to book club tonight to discuss "Water For Elephants"-- if you're looking for a good fiction read I would highly recommend it. It's actually coming out as a movie this fall (with Reese Witherspoon-an odd choice in my opinion, and one of the teen babe boys from Twilight). Great book. Looking forward to some tapas and ACTUAL adult conversation with some great gals!
Here are some pictures that don't do our afternoon chaos justice, but at least give you a sneak peak into things!
(this is a kids table that formerly sat on the play rug with 4 chairs prior to our arrival--that puzzle was also nicely boxed and sitting on a shelf)
(we first caught the two big girls on chairs with their heads behind the blinds, then Ella joined (in pink), then we threw the baby in for fun!)