Toddlers, toddlers, toddlers.
Oh. My. Land.
Last night I took Leif, Harriet and Avery to MCS's annual Open House. Before we left, Avery pointed out that this year will be the first time in his life that he will not have a sibling in school with him and he figured that this meant it would be a great year. I am excited for him and really hope he enjoys middle school.
We piled in the van and as soon as we got to the school, Avery took Leif and they ran inside to find some friends. I strapped Harriet to my chest in her sling and we were off. It only took about five minutes for me to realize that bringing Leif was probably a mistake - a big mistake. The school hallways were crowded and busy. There were booths set up for the local Girl Guides and Scouting programs, and of course, their pamphlets and bookmarks enticed Leif. He could not pass by them without trying to snatch some goodies for himself. Then the meeting started in the cafeteria, and it was hot, very hot. Not surprisingly, Leif would not stand still. He roamed through the crowd until he decided the best place to stand was beside the principal as she addressed everyone. Thank heavens we attend a small, rural school where everyone knows everyone and where people are much more laid back because his presence did not seem to phase the principal or bother anyone. Then he bolted outside. I chased him as best as I could with a backpack on my back and a baby on my chest. Thankfully a friend slowed him down a bit for me. For the rest of the meeting, I followed Leif around the hallways of the school, preventing him from playing in the fountains and going into the newly set up classrooms. When he tried to go somewhere he was not supposed to, I would try to redirect him by grabbing his hand, and then he immediately would go limp and scream like a banshee, drawing everyone's attention. Ugh! I felt bad enough that I was missing the meeting and that Avery had to stand in there alone, but now I was also embarrassed and frustrated with my uncooperative little minion.
Once the meeting was done, everyone headed outside for a corn boil. Avery took off to the playground looking for friends. Of course, Leif followed him. Exhausted from having to chase Leif around the school, I asked Avery if Leif could go with him.
But he looked less than impressed. So, off they went while I hovered at the top of the playground with the other moms and dads keeping an eye on their kids while they played. I am not going to lie; I was quite relieved with this break from being Leif's shadow.
When the evening was done, and we were driving home in the van, Avery seemed quite grouchy.
What's wrong, Bud?
None of my friends were there tonight.
Some of them were. I saw Will and Parker.
Yeah, but every time I would start to play with them, Leif would go somewhere else and I had to follow him.
Here's the thing: we all love our babies at Shenanigans Inc, and as much as we enjoy them, they do make things difficult at times. In hindsight, I should have sent Leif with Mr.Level-Headed to Elliot's soccer try-out, where he could run and play on the big, open field. Last night should have been Avery's night, and I feel bad that I did not recognize this at the time. Sometimes being a mom of five seems impossible; not just because there is more laundry, more mess, and more fights but because these five individuals all have needs and it is my job to try and figure out what those needs are (before they even need them sometimes) and to act accordingly. Last night Avery needed some time to shine and do his thing, and I did not realize this until it was too late.
And Leif is sorry too:
Yeah, right . . . tee hee!