Story time is over but the friends I made from there wanted to continue to get together once a week. So three other women and myself are still meeting at Mc Donald’s every Wednesday, kids in tow, for a play date! I feel like a part of a new club, ‘The After Story Hour Club’ an elite little club for mom’s with no life beyond the local library story reading. Oh well, that’s me. Just happy to be a part of something.
It was a good time yesterday, as always. I enjoyed conversations ranging from concerns about our kids not putting on weight to whose husband has to put on a shirt to answer the door and whose would just as soon mow the lawn in nothing but boxers. To clear up any speculations my husband puts on a shirt if we’ve got company.
Everything went along just fine, the kids played in the cleanest Mc Donald’s play place I have ever seen. The mom’s visited and snacked on french fries. Only two little fiascos occurred and both involved my children.
As conversation flowed among us a lady from the neighboring table leaned over to ask. “Excuse me, does she belong to one of you?”
We looked in the direction the lady was pointing and there, just a few feet from the bathroom door stood Bella. She looked a bit disoriented as she scanned the now crowded room. (It was just our little group when we arrived but we had been there so long that the play/seating area had filled up to almost full capacity.) Bella’s worried expression softened as she finally found me. It was then that I realized why she was being pointed out to us in the first place.
Bella wore absolutely nothing but a t-shirt and a ponytail holder. Neither of which covered much.
Leaping from my chair I grabbed Bella’s, arm and we whisked off into the bathroom where her panties and shorts lay crumpled on the floor in front of the potty. This is not the first, second, or third time we have had this problem with Bella. It was, however, the largest crowd we have attracted. So far this has occurred in the nursery, where she streaked the nursery worker that use to change her when she was still in diapers, her brother and myself. Mrs. Sylvas and I got a good laugh out of it. Then I promptly walked her to the little bathroom in the nursery, helped her redress and explained the importance of putting your clothes back on after pottying, before coming out of the bathroom.
The next time this happened she made it all the way out of the nursery and into the hall where a few of the boys from my husband’s youth group stood bright red and chuckling nervously.
The last ‘episode’ before yesterday was when we had a high school student in our home eating dinner with us. Bella had been excused to use the restroom. Moments later, mid sentence, this young man glanced over his shoulder, quickly tossed his head back in the opposite direction, flushed and muttered “um, um”. I don’t think we ever heard the end of the story he was telling. Nor do I think he will be returning for another family dinner. At least not when we are serving up moon pie for dessert!
It is always in an attempt to get some help getting her clothes back on that Bella makes these ‘grand entrances’ I’m just not sure why she can’t use that loud voice God gave her to call me into the bathroom.
The rest of our troubles yesterday afternoon came courtesy of a bright red shiny new car. Buddy was the only one of the 4 little boys at the table who had received the coveted red car as his happy meal prize. Everyone else was stuck with a boring old white car. And every other little boy at the table wanted to get his french fry greased hands on that red one. Bella did a fair job keeping track of it for Buddy. Her policy is, “if I aint taking toys from my little brother, aint nobody taking toys from him.”
She had already tattled too many times to our friend J’s mommy for taking Buddy’s car and I was afraid the other mothers would get annoyed with the interruption. So the last time J had grabbed and dashed I told my kids to just let him play with it for a few minutes. I would get it back from him before we left. This satisfied the two of them and they went off happily to climb and slide.
A few minutes later with my children’s shoes on and them waiting at the table for me to gather the last of our things and get going, I approached J. Sure he wouldn’t hand over the car to my three-year old, his peer, even when she asked politely. But I was a grown up, a mother come to retrieve her son’s toy. This should just take a minute. I tapped on the window of the big plastic tube where J sat happily driving ‘his’ new red car over imaginary roads. He looked up, I politely asked for the car, letting him know we were leaving now and wanted to take it with us. He shook his head ‘no’. I smiled, explained again that it was time for us to go otherwise I would be happy to let him continue to play. Again, his head shook.
Okay, he needs to be told to give it to me. He is confused by my asking, thinking that is leaving him with an option. “J, come bring me the car. We are leaving now.” J, also realizing he needed to be more clear, shook his head once again and added an audible “No.”
Okay, I’d like to see him say no to my face. I took a short cut into the tunnel, through the slide, ignoring my own rule of “No climbing up the slide”. This kid needed a firm look in the face and the presence of an adult, telling him he must hand over the toy, and he needed it fast!
J looked surprised to see me in front of him only for a moment before he returned to his driving task.
“J, give me the car.”
J, I mean it, we are leaving and Buddy needs his car”
This time he looked straight at me when he said it. And with not a glimmer of fear in his eyes he tucked that stupid red car up under the long hem of his shorts and dared me with those big brown eyes to ask for it again.
I picked my jaw up off the floor of the tunnel, raised my eyebrows and said.
“Don’t think I won’t reach in there and get it.”
He gave me that ‘sure you will lady’ look and I was left with no choice but to reach under his shorts hem, grab the car, give him a victorious, and perhaps somewhat haughty, smile and say. “Thank You!” And turned away just as his own jaw was hitting the floor.
Let me just take a minute to explain that his shorts where all the way down to his knees and the car was small, resting just barely above his knees making it hardly inappropriate for me to reach in and grab it. The attitude, the smile, and the, I told you so, tone in my “thank you” may have been inappropriate but the action itself was not.
I was only a little bit ashamed of my attitude by the time we got to the car. I am not sure, but I think even my two year old would have handled the situation more maturely than I did. Nonetheless we now have a shiny new red car parked in our own toy box and I am pretty sure J will not mess with me again.
Until another Wednesday with our friends at Mc Donald’s that is all I have to report on our adventures.