Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Five Minute Memories

So a quick update on the weekend of spontaneity!

Sorry I'm a bit behind on this, but I spent every free second of the past three days with my feet up and my nose in a book, trying desperately to recover.

We woke up Saturday morning, stuffed the troops into shorts and t-shirts, played the old "I don't know what I want for breakfast" bit with toddler for about thirty minutes, and finally hit the road around 10.

Our first stop... the grocery store.  Pick up some food for a picnic lunch.

Our first meltdown... the grocery store.

It all began with a simple request.  Some Lunchables please!

(I guess I should note here that both the request and the meltdown were courtesy of yours truly.)

I have not eaten Lunchables since I was a little girl and thought they would make for a fun afternoon.  I know the preservatives are terrible, but just this once, I thought.

Plus baby just entered his deepest phase of car sleep.  I knew that more than five minutes in the store would result in awakening, followed by approximately thirty minutes of contented baby noises and the remainder of the trip in wild crying, forcing mom to squeeze between car seats shoving toys, fingers, and possibly breasts in said baby's mouth while stomping her feet as they inevitably fall asleep.

Anyhow, my health nut husband (and I mean that in the kindest possible way, honey) decided to get some crackers, deli turkey, and natural cheese instead.

Fifteen minutes and an incompetent deli worker later he sheepishly ducked into the car, bracing himself for the wrath.

And he got it.

The baby awoke as I suspected and all I wanted were some freaking Lunchables.

I completely flipped.  There was hardly a plan, but already things were not going according to it.

I dreaded our two hours in the car with our now wide-eyed baby, but since I could not possibly beckon a spark of anger towards my tiny little man, I found a target in my husband.

Sparing the gory details, I will simply state it was not pretty.

Eventually I apologized and we moved on with the day, but it was a rocky start.

Plus, my husband was pouty when I told him a four hour trip to a semi-nearby city was out due to a Sunday afternoon commitment.

So instead we began our adventure with a picnic at a state park just a couple hours away.

Already I began thinking that the lack of planning was a bit of a mistake.

There was an amazing, little beach at this particular park.  The facilities were brand new and sparking clean.  Families everywhere donned brightly colored swim suits and cautiously tiptoed into the cool water.

My family and I stood sweating in our jeans and sneakers, dressed for the weather back home.

After explaining to our sweet, little toddler (who was convinced we were spending the day at the beach) that we, in fact, could not take him in the water, we packed up our picnic and took off for our next destination.

A nearby mountain resort that boasted a huge Memorial Day Celebration weekend.

After checking the internet that morning I timed our arrival with that of the "children's games on the lawn."  I thought it sounded like something out of Dirty Dancing and anxiously hurried my family along.

But when we entered through the gate I noticed an immediate lack of cars... and people... and events.

I expected an outdoor venue crawling with running children, anxious parents, and friendly vendors.

We found, instead, a few lone stragglers and some mountain bikers descending a long, dirt path.

After finding a parking spot near the so-called center of the festivities, we plopped the kids in the stroller and set off for, well, something (we hoped).

Before I knew it we stood before a daunting ski lift and a long, luge-like slide.

I noted a glimpse of excitement in the eyes of husband and toddler.

So, although I pictured The Tine jumping off the lift and tumbling down the rock-covered mountain, I swallowed the lump in my throat and asked my husband if they would like to go.

It was not like me at all.  I am the queen of safety and the enemy of adventure.  But I couldn't handle any more disappointment on either of their parts, so we bought two tickets and waved furiously as my two year-old son became an extremely proud speck in the distance.

I played with the baby as though I had not just sent the loves of my life to their ultimate demise, and, in an ironic twist, I actually enjoyed the moment.  For five minutes I stopped picturing disaster and started imagining my smiling son twisting through the exhilarating curves of the longest slide he ever imagined.

With wind-blown hair and wide eyes the twosome stepped off the slide and toddled excitedly to my waiting arms (okay, that was just the little one).

After ice cream and dinner (in that order) we began our return trip home, deciding a night in our own beds necessary to survive the rest of our picnic-heavy weekend.

So it wasn't all that we hoped, but also it was.

And with summertime quickly approaching I hope this adventure is only the beginning.

Because the fighting and stress is a small price to pay for those five minute memories.


  1. Kim,

    What a great story. I completely identify with the grocery store challenge and the wrench in your plans. I too get very stressed when things don't go according to plan, but what I took away from your blog today was, that as long as you get even five minutes of good memories, you shouldn't sweat the small stuff. I guess maybe I should have looked at my Memorial Day plans a little more like you did. Unfortunately my account of my weekend was not as positive as yours. you can check out to find out why.

  2. I love that you did this. Good for you. And while it didn't go exactly as planned, hey it went and you found bright spots in it. So well done!

  3. Queen of safety; enemy of adventure...OMG, I love that!!!!! I'm normally like that too but, like you, I know when it's time to just throw caution to the wind and pray for the best!!

    I don't blame you for having a meltdown over the lunchables...those things are GOOD!!!!

  4. Hi Kim, traveling with toddlers and babies is never easy, but as you discovered there is much joy to be found along with the not so fun moments and it does everyone good to just get out of the normal routine and go somewhere different, as I am slowly but surely discovering myself. I hope you have many more adventures this summer.

  5. I laughed out loud at this post; my favorite parts were your reference to the gymnastic involved at attempting to breastfeed a child in a car seat to calm him down (been there, done that, bruises to prove it!) and your phrasing "enemy of adventure"... so funny! I suspect you weren't always like that, but it is a development of running your home and caring for children. I, too, have a husband who, in my case, prefers I make him lists ike a personal assistant, rather than him look around with his own eyes to see what needs tobe done! Sometimes I feel like an "enemy of adventure" too! I even wrote on my facebook page that I needed to schedule some time for spontaneity...!

    Anyway, saw you on Girl Next Door and We Need a Flood, and as a new particpant of Feel Good Friday, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post!

  6. Wow. That was ambitious for a spontaneous trip! You're braver than you give yourself credit for. I loved your telling though. It is so familiar. I spent our entire two day trip to TN craned around in my seat trying to keep a frustrated one year old entertained during the 16 some odd hours we were on the road.

    Those brief joyous moments are fantastic, but you've really got to brace yourself for the not-so-fantastic in between.

    Glad the slide trip made the day.


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