Every Time!

We are fortunate to have a great science center in town. The family pass we purchased was well worth the money. Big One can stretch his legs and really dig into the interactive displays throughout the building.

He does, however, have difficulty remembering that he is supposed to walk from room to room as opposed to breaking into an all out sprint. Hello! Overweight mommy over the age of 30 here. Slow down, Son!

One of the displays is a weather stage sponsored by one of the local news stations. It has the green screen with a camera and TV. The kids can stand on the stage and see themselves on the TV with the map and everything. Pretty cool, huh? Yeah... except for the fact that they actually broadcast the weather from the stage for the noon news. Whose idea was that?

"Hey, let's slap a weather stage in the middle of a giant room in the middle of a science center full of preschool aged children. We could even broadcast the weather from the location. But let's not put a door on the room or anything. Let's just leave it out in the open. Where any child who happens to break out into a sprint and slips away from his 30 year old overweight mom can jump up on stage."

Big One has never made an accidental appearance on the weather segment of the local news but he has come close. More than once. The first time they were actually doing the weather at the moment he ran into the room. Fortunately, he kept sprinting right past the stage and checked out the snapping turtle instead. At that point, I caught up with him and steered him clear of the stage.

The second time, the meteorologist was standing there waiting to go on air. Lucky for everyone involved, the cameras weren't rolling because Big One headed straight for the stage. After some coaxing, I was able to get him to go visit his beloved snapping turtle. Another crisis averted.

Today it's very possible that some audio of me screaming at Big One was picked up. But I can't really be held responsible. After all, it was 12:40. The news should have been over. It's like they know we're in the building and intentionally go on air when we're in that room. Big One did not make it into the shot thank goodness. But I did yell after him as I chased him past the stage. And I caught up with him just outside the room and informed him that we were done for the day. Let's hope the microphones they use aren't very sensitive because he wailed with despair after learning his fun was over for the day.

Oh, I forgot one more thing. This one qualifies me as Mom of the Year. As I'm chasing Big One out of the weather stage room and pushing Little One in the stroller, I happened to look down at her. Just in time to see her head slip under the tray on the stroller. That's right, folks. My daughter slid right out of the stroller as I was chasing my son through the Science Center. Fortunately, I stopped before I ran over my own daughter with the stroller she had just been sitting in. Seems I forgot to strap her back in after I took her out in the toddler room. Oops.

Screw You, Friendly Toys R Us Employee

Big One had a birthday party to attend tonight. Being the organized mom that I am (ha!), I spaced off the party until this morning. Hey, at least I remembered today and not tomorrow morning! That meant we had to make a quick trip to Toys R Us for a gift.

Today is also my dad's birthday (happy birthday, Dad!) so he was on his way to our house. I told him we would be home by noon. I knew we would probably not be home by noon. But I thought if I told him that I may actually make it. Again I say ha!

Big One was warned that it would be a quick trip. But he's 3. And 3 doesn't understand "quick" especially when we're talking about a trip to the toy store. I quickly lost patience and started snapping at him, trying to hurry him along.

Out of nowhere, like a stealth ninja, we were attacked with sugary kindness of a friendly Toys R Us employee.

"What are you looking for, little buddy?"

As if to break up our little mommy-son feud, he poured on the sugar. What the heck? When I want a helpful employee, there's none to be found. But on a crabby day when I just want to be left alone, Mr. Employee of the Month with his bright smile and perky personality is lurking. I don't even think he was actually working. I think he planted himself, pretending to stock a shelf, waiting to pounce on some poor mom who was having a rough day. Or has a 3 year old.

He led us to the Cars toy section. And then he hung around, pointing out all of the different Cars toys to Big One. As if we don't know about every. single. Cars. toy. ever. Ever. There was a strange tension between myself and Mr. Happy Go Lucky Toys R Us Employee. I felt him judging me. (Or was it me judging me?) I willed him to leave the aisle so I could sulk in my "bad mommyness". He finally left us alone.

I suppose there is a slight chance that he was just a genuinely nice person who truly wanted to help. He may have even been judging my crankiness. Perhaps the tension was all in my head.

The thing about my impatient snapping is I know I'm doing it. And I don't want to do it. But I do it anyway. And then some happy, perky, childless person comes along trying to help out. And then I feel even worse about my snapping.

So, friendly Toys R Us guy, thank you for leading us to the Cars toys (even though we already knew where they were). Thank you for rubbing in the fact that I was impatient and snappy (even though you didn't actually say the words or even shoot me a look.... your over the top kindness was criticism enough). Thank you for ruining a perfectly mediocre trip to the toy store with my 2 young children. I'll remember this trip when I actually need some assistance and the only thing I will find are grinchy trolls donning Toys R Us uniforms.