Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010 recap

I think it would be impossible to survive parenthood without a sense of humor.

Yesterday morning the children had been playing peacefully upstairs for way too long. When I finally went up to check on them, I found Legume bum-naked in my bedroom, standing on a little red child-sized chair. Bean-girl was playing on the floor beside her. Um, why is Legume naked? I asked, and Bean-girl helpfully replied, “Because she asked me to take off her clothes and give her a bath so I did.”

Oh.

And that explained the mess I later found in the bathroom, and the shampoo bottle leaking onto the floor.

Actually, if you don’t already have a sense of humor, wouldn’t the crazy things that kids do bring one out in you? And if you never developed one, wouldn’t you go ape-shit crazy and homicidal sometime in the first year?

In its essence, it was a wonderful Mother’s Day. I had a bouquet of lavender roses, picked up earlier by my husband and girls from Costco. Husband had to work early this morning, so I had to make my own pancakes for the girls and I. But his early appearance at work meant that he was able to get out early and take us all out to lunch. We tried out a new pan-Asian restaurant, which was, miraculously, uncrowded when we walked in just before noon. “Hibachi table?” the hostess asked us. I hesitated, actually more in the mood for the Thai menu. “It’s up to you,” my husband deferred to me. What the hell. Hibachi cooking could be entertaining for the children. “Hibachi”, I decided, and the hostess led us to the table-top grill. As the kids waited, excited, for the entertainment to begin, I decided that I’d made the right call.

Big mistake.

Legume was terrified of the hibachi flames. The cook squirted oil onto the grill and lit a match, sending a wall of flame shooting sky-ward. The heat hit our faces. Legume covered her face with her hands. Then the fire was out, but Legume spent the rest of her meal with her hands covering her mouth, then spread over her cheeks, then hiding her eyes. When the flames started leaping at neighboring grills around us, she had too much and burst out crying. I had to take her to the waiting area (now crowded with people) and hold her as we waited for Husband and Bean-girl to finish their meals. (Bean-girl, on the other hand, had a great time with the hibachi entertainment and ate heartily, according to Bean-girl standards).

Legume cheered up when reminded that we were next headed to the botanical gardens, and cheered even more at getting a Hostess cupcake from the garden vending machine. A special exhibit has just opened at these gardens, and the glass sculptures —curving shapes like plants and seashells, blue forms dipping like abstract herons, neon-colored chandeliers and a twisting form Bean-girl compared to a gigantic octopus—really were spectacular in the garden setting. “Take a picture of this one! Now take a picture of this one!” Bean-girl kept demanding. Legume found what had to be the very last butterfly left over from the April butterfly exhibit. And the children ran through the children’s garden maze, beating drums and clanging a bell.

Then Husband made smoked ribs, corn-on-the-cob, and boiled potatoes for dinner.

It was a pretty great Mother’s Day, actually. Beautiful sunlight, good food, family time. And it was a day like most any other—tantrums, tears, frustrations and little tiffs along with the smiles and laughs. All mixed up together in this crazy stew of life.

Hope all the mothers out there had a great day, too.