Friday, May 4, 2012

Busy Friday

Wow, what a busy day!  Brace yourself for a large post with a gazillion photos!

First:  We (finally) took the kids to the Clifford Exhibit at the Atlanta Childrens' Museum.  We're nationwide family members of the Chattanooga Childrens' Museum -- some of the best money we've ever spent, by the way -- and used our privileges to catch the Clifford Exhibit before it ends this Sunday.

Although the kids enjoyed themselves, it was not my brightest idea to go today.

I've always been of the mindset to go to these kinds of places during the week, when it's not "weekend busy," but .... dum dum dummmmmm ... I kinda didn't worry too much about field trips.

Bad idea.  Or at least today it was.

There were two elementary schools there today, and the kids they had with them clearly had no idea of how to act in public like human beings.  It was ridiculous.  At one point, WHM literally was run over, and had his hand stepped on and got kicked in the head.  And the exhibit was really not that big; if we'd actually paid entrance ($56!!) Mick and I would have been pretty angry both for the lack of museum personnel on the floor and for the size of the exhibit.  As it was, we packed up the kids and left shortly after WHM got trampled (but not before I found a teacher from the school and gave her a piece of my mind about the behavior of the kids and quality of their chaperones. Sadly, I think I was preaching to the choir.  She was mortified.  This was a rough bunch, and there's no way she could teach there and not be well aware -- and weary -- of it).

CAM and WHM had a good time, though -- and despite the countless kids there who understood absolutely nothing about sharing or behaving, Mick and I managed to steer our kids away from the monsters most of the time.  It wasn't even as if talking to the chaperones would have mattered.  In this case, apples and trees were still very much attached.  (And people wonder why I hate people.)   When I win the lottery, I'll just rent the places out when I want to take my kids.  We'll invite a few friends, have our own parties, and not have to deal with the elementary-school riff-raff of the world.  But seriously, we survived, a few battle scars notwithstanding.  I don't want my kids to grow up to be wimps, and I think places like this are great ways for the kids to learn about sharing and taking turns and not always getting everything you want.  But c'mon.  There's no need for eight-year-olds to stampede over a two-year-old.  Ever.  And likewise, there's no need for an eight-ish-year-old to slap a ball out of CAM's arms.  I really wished at that moment that she'd punched him, but instead she just came to me completely flabbergasted, and I don't blame her.  They weren't playing basketball.  Slapping it out of her hands was unacceptable.

Anyway.  The kids had fun and I don't want to rant (too much).  And this much is true:  Remember that day two weeks ago when Mick was out of town and I wanted to take the kids by myself, and I was so bummed that I couldn't?  I am very thankful that I couldn't.  It wasn't clear to me then, but it's obvious to me now that I wasn't supposed to take them by myself.  I need to thank the little angel that looked out for me that day.

Second: After the museum, we went to a nice (and delicious, I might add!) lunch, and from lunch ducked over to the mall to pick up the clothes I put on hold at Gymboree yesterday.  I'd forgotten my Gymboree coupon when I dragged Mick to the mall yesterday, and there's no way I'd shop there without a coupon -- especially if I know I have one sitting on my desk -- so, back we went today.  Mick was a trooper, but more importantly, now CAM doesn't have to wear dresses to school every day and she has some appropriate summer clothes.  Phew.  And now I can procrastinate on the laundry for another week.  Bigger phew!

After lunch we came home for a while and then ...

Ballet recital!

It was fabulous. Very intimate group, and the parents and families and teachers were all, to a person, so nice, and so friendly.  It's like a family, and I love it, and it was the perfect (much-needed) counterbalance to the museum's misadventures earlier today.  CAM made our hearts melt.

Conversation on the way out of the performance:

ME:  CAM, you look beautiful tonight.  We are so proud of you.
CAM (very matter-of-fact-ly):  I know.  I made Daddy cry.

Yep!  That about sums it up!

I'm posting photos here for you from our day's adventures.

Before I sign off, though, I want to say just how much I really adore all of CAM's classmates and their moms this year.  (And no, I am not just posting that in case any of them read this!)  I am so incredibly happy with how wonderful this school year has been, on just about every level I can think of.  And just as it all feels like things are beginning to gel in our world, I am so incredibly sad to leave this amazing group of moms (and teachers).  I finally have friends I really love to pieces (and with whom I see eye-to-eye on so much about school and parenting!) and our daughters adore each other, and we're leaving this summer.  I haven't cried yet, but I am sure the fountain will come, because I don't have a lot of girlfriends and I don't always like people (as you all know) ... and here it's the perfect group of all of it.  I know, I know, I can take some solace that we'd be splitting up anyway, with kindergarten and the girls all heading to different schools next year, or if we were moving to Tuscaloosa instead of New England, but it still breaks my heart.  But for now, I'm going to focus on how lucky we are to have this at all, even if we're moving soon.

Anyway -- I hope you enjoy the photos.  What a fantastic day.  We sure are blessed!!


 p.s.  One last thing. WHM was downright hilarious watching the recital. He had so many funny quotes I can't even remember all of them (though they're all recorded on someone's video somewhere!)  At the end of the recital, one of the dads took a screaming "baby sister" outside.  In that silent moment before the ambient noise returned, WHM said for all the room to hear, "That little girl sure misses her Mama!"  Of course, he also remarked on how "all the ballerinas are booful," when they all first came out, and kept trying to call to CAM.  He was precious, if I say so myself.  Which I just did.  

Driving the ferryboat to Birdwell Island!

Sorry about the color quality.  I was playing with the white balance.

Getting ready to leap over Minnie!

All the ballerinas!  Such a precious, perfect group of girls. 

CAM getting flowers and a hug from WHM.

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