The idea itself was noble…I think. I’ve got family in town, so why not leave little ninja at home and squeeze in some mother/son bonding time by attending a birthday party together? What could possibly go wrong in a fast- food restaurant play area? I only have one ninja to wrangle, right? WRONG.
Kids are a mess. Let’s face it. There will be germs, a lot of germs. From one OCD germ-a-phobe to the next, I’m going to prepare you. There will be random toddlers running around in diapers. There will be half-eaten french toast sticks and empty milk jugs littering the tables. There will be sugar, boogers, and LOTS of energy. And probably some meltdowns. Even some mystery puddles to navigate here and there. But FUN. Let’s not forget the FUN element, shall we?
I was busy chatting (i.e. digging adult interaction) distraction-free while Caleb wreaked havoc on the BK playground. It looked like a lot of fun to me, and also to Caleb, I imagine. That is, until he reached the top, or as I like to call it, the “point of no return.” I hear his frantic shrieks for backup beckoning from the highest part of the tower. And I think, “Stop overreacting!” But I say nicely (I’m in public, remember?), “Calm down son, just go back down the same way you came up!” I really thought he might take my advice to heart. I was HOPING he would. Did I mention I was wearing a skirt? I know, dumb move. What was I thinking? Don’t worry. I won’t be wearing another one until sometime after 2025.
Anywho, what’s a ninja mama to do? He’s still shrieking with his hands to his face a la that cute little Macauley Calkin kid in “Home Alone.” That’s it- time for action! I’m going in, people. I foolishly picked the first point of entry I saw. Huge stairs. This would take some very clever, covert weaving with my legs because the skirt had a SLIT. I know, I know. I’m a total risk taker. But I’m getting my rhythm down by level two. I’m coming, son! And then I stand up at level three, and I can see him, and he can see me. But there’s no way to ‘get’ to him. What kind of fresh hell is this?! Who makes these kiddo cages? Why isn’t the route of egress clearly marked?!
And then I begin to panic, because I realize that even I don’t know how to get him down. Until I see the covered slide. And without shame or concern of anyone else seeing my lady bits, I dove in and started scrambling up to level four. I frantically waved my hand and instructed him to come down the slide. Incoherent babbling coupled with hysterical sobbing. But then, it begins to echo inside the slide. This is a good sign; he’s coming my way. At last, we make contact. I wipe off boogers, dole out hugs, and promptly announce that we are going home RIGHT NOW. I don’t even want to know how many people I flashed on the way up, OR the way down. I really don’t care. Sandals in hand, birthday treats wrapped up, we have said our goodbyes and are out the door in under two minutes flat.
Lessons learned: you’ll NEVER have yourself all put together so long as you are raising little ninjas. Don’t pretend. Just go with it.
I am now fully converted to the wearing of running tights and leggings at all times and at all costs (who cares if it’s 100+ degrees outside?)
I vow NEVER to wear a skirt to any sort of social event. EVER. Or until 2025 passes. That is all.