Oops. So for several months before traveling to Yellowstone I said almost daily something to the effect of “I’m not getting eaten by bears or trampled by a buffalo; I’m sleeping in the car,” half joking, but kind of serious depending on what it was like when we arrived. I figured I’d assess the situation upon arrival, but there was a great possibility that I was going to sleep with the kids in the car. I don’t love the idea of sleeping in a tent in a place where giant animals roam freely. After researching bear safety and articles about two people getting eaten by bears last year, my comments were valid, I think. But see, I should not have said these things in front of my six year old daughter because my stupidity in those comments led to this- me waking up the whole camp at 1 o’clock in the morning. I’m so fun to take camping,y’all.
I decided not to sleep in the truck because 1. We had not seen any bears & 2. The camp was crowded. I felt reasonably safe. I mean, of all those people there, the odds of not being the one eaten by a bear were in my favor. When it was time for bed we crawled into the tent and Lydia started freaking out. She cried and begged me to take her to sleep in the truck. I held her close and told her that we were fine and to go to sleep but if she woke up in the middle of the night I’d take her to the truck. She eventually fell asleep and woke up hours later bawling. I toted her and our sleeping bags to the truck and tried to get settled. Just as we were settling down enough for me to go back to sleep I thought that I should crack the windows for air circulation. I mean, people die in hot cars, right? So I turned the key in the ignition and cracked the front windows. Good, I thought to myself, now we won’t suffocate to death. Although it was cold out so I think we would have been okay with the windows up. Right? Just as I laid down again Jared came to the window to check on us. Why are the windows cracked? He asked. After my whole people suffocate and die in cars spiel, he convinced me that it was safer with the windows up since the coolers were in the car per camp rules as to not attract the bears we were essentially hiding from. That’s when I spotted a bag of trail mix in the seat pocket. Trail mix with dried berries and stuff that seemed a bear’s dream. So Jared opened the front door to put it in the cooler which then wafted a strong scent of hot dogs into the cab. Now the windows for sure had to go up. Hot dogs were surely going to bring the bears out! But I guess at some point I used the key fob to lock the doors from the inside and so when I went to turn the key in the ignition to put the windows up the alarm went off. This was not our truck. Neither one of us could get the dumb thing to turn off. I was flipping out and threw the keys to Jared and ducked into the back seat. I’m fun to camp with and I’m really good in bad situations. Win, win! The alarm blared for at least five full minutes before we got it turned off. I woke up the entire camp at 1:00 A.M. My mother-in-law who was sleeping in a hammock dangling between two trees in Yellowstone (not all afraid of being eaten by bears- obviously) acted like she did not know us. The line to the bathroom after I so graciously woke up camp was wrapped around the building. The death stares we got after sunrise still pierce my soul. So anyone want to go camping with us? We’re lots of fun!
Y’all know how much I love to fly, right? Being thousands of feet in the air, in a crowded, flying machine totally in someone else’s control does not make me anxious at all. My kids were so excited though so I tried to act like it was the greatest day ever. As soon as we took our seats Liam was asking non-stop “When are we going to BLAST OFF?” That calmed my nerves. I thought it would be smart to sit Lydia and me together with Liam and Jared behind us so that both kids had a window seat. We each had the responsibility of one child. Sounded heavenly. However, that left available seats next to me and Jared. Traveling from Atlanta. Bad idea. Madea sat by me. She had Coca-Cola can dyed red hair and at least three inch purple fingernails filed to a point dazzled with gold jewels. How is that not considered a weapon? She could’ve cut me! Big momma, Madea, didn’t exactly fit in her seat so I spent the almost four hour flight hunched over Lydia’s seat and Madea’s arm was still rubbing me. She spent ten minutes trying to get her phone on airplane mode because her purple sparkly nails were so long that she could not use the pad of her finger to swipe her phone. Her carry on was a family size bag of Doritos. Half way through the flight she decided that she needed to open her carry on and consume some cheddar deliciousness. I mean, if you are going to bring a snack on a plane shouldn’t you choose something that doesn’t have such a strong smell? I love me some Doritos, but come on! Well, again her nails were so long that she could not grasp the bag properly to open it. So she POPPED THE BAG OPEN RIGHT IN MY FACE! Y’all, it blew my hair, I swear it did! And I really wanted to say “Well, now that I have those in my hair and can taste them, you should probably offer me one. It is family size, after all.” But I refrained. Just after Big Momma had licked her fingers and settled in for a nap, Lydia had to pee. I tapped her on the shoulder and told her that my little girl needed to use the restroom. She tried to get up three times, failed three times, and then motioned for me to go ahead as if I could pass her. There was no room to pass her, y’all. So I stood for a minute thinking of the best way to straddle a perfect stranger. Do you go butt to front or front to front? What was I to do? So I straddled her, and by straddled I basically mean I sat on her lap to get over her as I am not that tall, and I chose front to front trying to avoid eye contact. My hands were bracing the seat on both sides of her head too. Then I hoisted Lydia over her. We used the freakishly small and terrifying bathroom and then straddled Madea some more. And I am not the only one that got to straddle a stranger. Jared too had quite the flight. The lady that sat next to him sat down, never took her sunglasses off, and asked Jared to wake her up when the snacks came. He said okay, but he did not wake her and when she woke up angry he gave her Liam’s snacks. She slept the whole time, with sunglasses on, breathing in Jared’s face. He had to climb over her to take Liam to the bathroom, but he chose butt to front. And that, my friends, was the first of many flights this summer. Yay!
Tonight Liam was being a punk and not listening. Jared told him not to do something and he did it anyway. So I asked “Liam, why would you disobey Daddy like that? Do you think that makes Daddy happy?”
S- Do you think that makes Jesus happy?
S- So are you happy with the choices you are making?
Great. We have failed somewhere, y’all. Sometimes I am not sure what to do with him!
So we were having a pretty incredible tea party for family night (Lydia’s pick). Per usual, we were saying some pretty fancy English-tea appropriate things. At one point Liam said “Oh, man, I forgot to hold out my pinky!” And Lydia slurped worse than Papa Great eating soggy bread in a bowl of canned milk. In the mist of all this properness I asked Lydia “What do you find the most delightful about this lovely evening, dear?” To which Jared interjected “YOUR TERRIBLE ENGLISH ACCENT!!!” Although I was highly offended, we all cracked up. Liam laughed so hard he spewed his “Lemon Tea” all over the plate of crumpets. Then he cried and cried because they were wet. And that, my friends, is how the best tea party ever was ruined. Dang my aspirations to be like Princess Kate and my attempt at an English accent. And apparently it was all my fault. “You shouldn’t have made me laugh,” Liam said with a scorn. We really need to work on taking responsibility for one’s actions and missteps instead of blaming it on someone (anyone and everyone) else. No matter what happens, he trips, he falls, he knocks something over, he always crinkles his eyebrows and says something like “You should have helped me” or “You shouldn’t have put that there”. It is usually quite humorous, but it is probably something we should start working on. Because obviously, everyone laughing at my English accent and Liam spewing Lemonade across the room is not all my fault.
Today was Liam’s first day of preschool. We had no intention of putting him in school this year, but as we were looking for a Pre-K for next year for him we kept coming back to the same school Lydia went to. It just felt right. Well, they only had two spots left and the only way to secure his spot was to enroll him now. So we did. He is going two days a week for just a few hours for the next month or so. This way he will get into the lottery funded Pre-K next year. We were all very concerned about how he would do today. He is very shy and sensitive if Lydia or Madi are not with him. So we did lots of talking about school and what to expect and about how Mommy and Daddy will always come back. He seemed excited. Last night Jared gave Liam a Father’s blessing. We got out a special coin that he can keep in his pocket to touch or hold if he is feeling sad or scared. We tried to teach him how he could keep a prayer in his heart or pray quietly to Heavenly Father any time he was sad or scared at school. He was ready to be so brave. Then Lydia said family prayer and asked “Please bless Liam when he goes to his first day of school tomorrow. Please help him be brave and make new friends. And please let him be happy at school.” We were in tears over her sweet prayer in behalf of her brother. Her words came completely from her heart with no help from Jared or me. She is the sweetest.
Jared dropped Liam off this morning after getting him ready, feeding him breakfast, and helping him color a picture for his teacher. He texted me to let me know that he cried a little when he left which made me need to throw up a little in the middle of my math lesson. I get so nervous for them and feel their pain. I hoped and prayed that he would have a good day. And he did.
I took a half day off work to go pick him up. Nanny will normally pick him up since he gets out before Lydia and I do. But I really wanted to be there to pick him up on his first day. We got there like 35 minutes early to watch him through the one way window. He wasn’t crying, but he was standing off to the side just watching everyone else do circle time. He was not going to be a part of that today. Then they went outside so we went and peeked out a window to watch him. He went down the slide a few times and then followed the teacher around. But at least he wasn’t crying.
When it was finally time for class to end he came out and was excited to see us. Then I totally embarrassed myself. We were walking out of the building and I was standing against the door, holding it open, and I turned to tell his teacher that Nanny will usually be picking him up (just so that it was clear and she didn’t let anyone else take him- because I am paranoid like that). So I told her, and then she reached her arm up kinda behind me and for some crazy reason my brain thought she was comin’ in for a hug or something and before I had a second to think I had both arms wrapped around her waist kinda huntched over hugging this woman that I don’t even know. SHE WAS NOT COMIN’ IN FOR A HUG, Y’ALL, SHE WAS REACHING FOR THE DOOR!!!!! And for some reason when I all awkwardly let go of her and picked my head up off of her shoulder she kinda patted me on the back and said “ohhhhh”, like how unexpected and bless your heart and please don’t touch me again. And something totally must have possessed me because this pat on the back made me go right back in for another. I HUGGED HER AGAIN, Y’ALL, AND I DO NOT KNOW WHY! IT JUST HAPPENED. It was the most awkward thing I can remember happening. Ever. As I pulled away for the second time, I thought to myself What in the world are you doing???? I turned and walked away, my head hung in complete humiliation. I got to the car and sat there laughing so hard my face hurt. My stomach hurt. It was the ugly laugh ’till you cry and your face looks pretty messed up laugh. My mom and I could not leave the parking lot of at least 15 minutes from laughing. I seriously do not know where to go from here. Do I apologize? Do I ever step foot in that building again? Do I just keep hugging her every time I see her? I am not even a hugger, y’all. I have no idea how this even happened. She probably thinks I am an emotionally fragile hugger lady. I hope she still treats Liam normal. Because I am sure she is like BLESS HER HEART!
At least Liam is young enough to not be embarrassed by me because if he was older he may never talk to me again after this.
Lydia asked for her princess shoes back to which he replied “Goose, you are ruining my life!”