The scent of the morning air, fresh and crisp after a rainy night, hit us the moment we stepped out of the house.
Never mind the fumbling around earlier, scrambling to get together cream cheese on toast, banana apricot cake that I thought we’d better eat up before it got bad, and bottles of water. Never mind Piglet clamouring around my feet in the kitchen, trying to reach for – what was that? – a piece of paper sticking out of the rubbish bin. Hey, butt-scooting baby No. 3, it’s time to hang up the trash.
It was going to be a great day.
Everyone was up earlier than usual so I planned breakfast in the park, hoping to catch the morning dew. Food, ball, frisbee and a spare nappy for Piglet in a bag, we were good to go.
We were early enough to catch the hive of activity at the park. There was a large group of line dancing women, mostly in their mid-50’s, jiggling their booty on the basketball court with pop music blaring away. Happiness! We seated ourselves at the edge of the court and I handed out slices of toast. Puppy and Lamb couldn’t sit for long. They were soon up on their feet, eating and staring at those ladies.
Nearby, a band of elderly folk were doing qi-gong. A pair was playing tennis. I was bent over, trying to negotiate toast through Piglet’s mouth when Puppy cried, “Look! Fans!” I turned and saw a group of elderly women doing some slow moves with crimson coloured fans. After a few minutes, they used swords! Faint, mother, faint.
“What’s that they’re doing?” the bunnies kept asking. I didn’t know.
Toast and cake done with, Puppy and Lamb started playing basketball on the empty side of the court. Puppy was delighted to get quite a few shots through the ring and Lamb was just plain happy, bouncing away and throwing some. Piglet sat contentedly on my lap, munching away. I drank in the sights, the breeze, the laughter, the music, the smiles of joggers passing by. We didn’t have kindergarten to rush to, we had all the time in the world.
After lots of basketball, some frisbee, swings, tunnels and slides, the sun climbed higher in the sky and the groups began to disperse.
I wish I could’ve said that everything ended as well as our morning trips to the park usually do. But at the end of our happy hour, I had on my hands a squealing Lamb who’d bruised his shin on a step and a rather squirmy baby who kept wanting me to walk some more. I scooped Lamb up with my other free arm and tried to calm him down.
(Ask me about arm wrestling, I can beat any average man now. It’s just something I fancy thinking, so indulge me.)
We got home pretty smoothly, but all hell broke loose at the bathroom.
Tell me how to persuade a sweaty, dusty and screaming 3 year old to let you clean up a wound. Tell me how to stop his older 5 year old sister from screeching because she’s mad at you for trying to torture her little brother by cleaning up his wound. Also, the butt-scooting baby’s started wailing because his older siblings are bawling at the top of their lungs.
Anyway, all that finally got sorted ….. kind of.
After a mid-morning snack, poor Lamb again received the short end of the stick.
It happened this way. Piglet finally fell asleep after I spent 20 minutes putting him to bed. I went downstairs and was only 2 minutes into school time when he started crying. I rushed upstairs to settle him, but Lamb soon appeared at the bedroom door, pushing it open and shut numerous times until the sound woke Piglet up for good.
I yelled. “Why did you do THHHAAAAAAAAT???????”
Apparently, Lamb loves seeing me.
Tons of guilt, apologies and hugs later, Lamb tells me, “I’m so happy, Mama.”
“Why?” I ask.
“Because I have a Mama,” he says, and reaches out to squeeze my hand.
The crimson fans, swords and dancing ladies are quite the bomb, but my kid surely takes the spot.
Tomorrow, I’ll be doing it all over again. Trying to feed Piglet in his high chair while someone calls out for a butt wipe after a poo, and another bunny requests tooth-picking services because she can’t continue chewing her lunch with That Thing stuck in her teeth. And, because I’m lucky, it’ll all happen at the same time.
Remind me to draw a deep breath. I’ll smell the fresh morning air and think of my Lamb with a Mama.