(This entry had great pictures of my kids on an elephant statue, but Blogger's uploader is being weird, so just imagine them, ok?)
Today was beautiful. Sunny, slight breeze, warm enough to wear summer clothes without boiling. Aside from a minor SNAFU that involved hauling my miraculously still sleeping children out of bed at 6:30 so we could drive Daddy to the train station, the morning was going relatively well. At 10 a.m. I got a text from my friend Jess.
"Did you want to go out today? [Semi-local] Park or aquarium in Boston?"
Since I did not particularly want to haul three kids back to the train station, I picked the playground/park, packed some sandwiches, made sure everyone had on appropriate shoes and had been to the bathroom, and headed out.
We arrive, and the parking lot is busy but not packed, and I score a shady spot under the tree. I unload the stroller, strap in Lily, apply sunscreen as needed and chat with Jess as she gets her son into his stroller. We head over to the playground, stop and let Anna worship at the feet of this almost life-sized elephant statue. and join the mass of kids and parents socializing on this fine day.
Jess and I had just staked out a nice shady spot to stand in with the babies, and I had almost pried Anna off my left leg when Mary returned.
"Mommy I hafta go to the bathroom," she announced.
"Really?!" I asked. "But you just went before we left the-I don't even know if there are bathrooms here," I finished feebly.
"I think there's some at the ice cream stand," Jess said.
"Okay," I said. "Anna, do you have to go potty?"
"Okay, then. Mommy will be right-"
"NO! I wanna come with you!"
So we gamely left the playground, detoured around the elephant, found the bathrooms (at which point my mantra became "Don't touch anything, don't touch anything, put your arms up high, don't touch ANYTHING"), let Mary go, soothed Anna when the flushing scared the pants off of her and went back to the playground. It was 11 a.m.
For the next 30 minutes I wound up reminding the older two in turn that it was not yet lunch time, despite their excitement over the whole picnic idea, before I gave up at 11:30 and we claimed the only bench left.
The girls ate in relative silence. Then Anna piped up.
"No, I don't. I don't like the noise. I teasing you." Okay then. But five minutes later...
"I really have to go pee!"
I eyed the busier parking lot.
"Okay, fine, Anna, but hop on my back and I'll carry you, ok?"
And that's when I realized we'd, shall we say, missed our window of opportunity to successfully use the restroom.
"I no hafta go pee."
"YEAH I KNOW," I said, as we went back to the car for a change of clothes. I got her cleaned up, we returned to the bench, at which point she informed me she still had to go to the bathroom.
"No you don't. You just went," I said.
"If we get all the way over there and you don't pee I'm going to be very angry," I said.
So off we went. And she went. (How?) And we returned to play for another hour or so. Then Lily got cranky. And Jess' son Jack was ready for a nap and Anna whacked her head on a piece of climbing rope and absolutely melted down, so back to the car we went.
At which point Mary piped up.
I'm sure you can guess.
So we went. And she went. And I'm pretty sure I saw more of the public toilets at Local Park than I did the playground.
"Mommy, can we go to another playground soon?"
As long as they have a bathroom, I guess.