So, do you ever start off your day with the brightest and best of all expectations, to see them roll down a hill, towards a cliff and plummet to a certain death? Pleasant, I know, but as parents we do this on a daily basis. I try to take it in stride, but inside my type-A half of me says, "Dammit, don't stray from the plan. No matter the cost, the crying, or the cramps." While my lazidazical half says, "What? Oh, who cares, just go with the flow." Now, most of the the time I would like to say that the latter half wins, but usually it is not the case.
For example, today I was accompanied by my 3 and 5 year old boys, that we shall call "Mudget" and "Booger" (because in fact those are their beloved nicknames), as well as my two nephews who are 8 and 11. Today was Mudget's first dentist appointment that went amazingly smoothly, even though it ran late. And I had planned and promised that we would go to the East Bay Bike Path to ride happily along a flat, winding trail to a Del's Lemonade stand and a playground. Oh, what a good mommy and auntie I must be. But Murphy stated in his laws that it shall not be. So, I take of my bicycle, that I haven' ridden in a year off the racks I have never used, with help from a passer by watching me struggle. Ok, that's done. Kids bikes out of the back of the swagger wagon. Great. Trailer unfolded and hooked up. Thanks hun for checking the tire pressure and adding air to the tires. Helmets on. Check, let's go. Kinda.
As I begin with my preliminary ride around the Shaw's parking lot, I notice how incredibly difficult it is even though I am in the lowest gear. So, I park it, with Mudget still clicked and in tow and the rest of the boys getting, well, restless. WTH. I poke and prod making it look like I have a clue of what the heck is wrong with this bike. Thinking maybe someone will come by to help. But no. And as I sit there pondering what I am going to do, BANG. The frigging trailer tire EXPLODES. Like a gun shot, like my blood pressure.
Oh, this is good. Here comes my Type A half sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, "Getter Done or this day is gonna suck." So I push the tire back on, tell the boys we are off to Rite Aide in hopes of me finding an Allen Wrench, which is the one thing I will add to my What-To-Carry-When-Biking-With-Kids list, that of course I didn't have. And no they didn't have one. And neither did the gas station. But at least a kind gentleman helped me finagle my brake problem enough to get me and the troops moving. Of course we get a 1.5 miles in and the boys get tired, Mudget starts screaming and I say back to the car. Totally worth the 40 minutes of travel x 2, 30 minutes of aggravation of malfunctions, and the hour of screaming and crying from an exhausted three year old who refused to take a nap.
So, yes. Today's plan went off, but I wouldn't say without a hitch. And if you are a parent, you know what I mean. Now why did I do this to myself, you might ask. Survival. Having four boys with me is a test of energy. I must keep them busy or they will fight, bleed, cry, etc. resulting in me doing the same. But also, I am a firm believer in Play and Exercise (sorry the OT in me had to say it). Kids need to be out and about using their minds and bodies in other ways than just with the electronic. Don't get me wrong, all of them were playing their Nintendo DS during the dentist, a saving grace. But they got shut off after that. And frankly, I love it when Booger tells me I am his best mom ever.