Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hell on Wheels

Being a single mom for the past year, there is one part of the change that I fully believe I will never adjust to--at least not for the next 8 years or so until the kiddos become somewhat self-sufficient. That one thing that really makes me want to become a hermit, hide under the covers, and never show my face in public again? Taking 4 kiddos out to do things.By.My.Self.No backup to bail me out.

Now, before you get your panties in an uproar, I'm not talking about grocery shopping, doctor's visits, church (HA! Yeah, right.), or even going to a restaurant (as if most single mothers really get the luxury of someone else cooking food that the kids will refuse to eat!). I'd like to believe that I mastered doing all of those years ago. Hell, what SAHM wasn't forced to manage doing all of those things alone?!?!?

I'm talking about FAMILY OUTINGS. You know, the fun stuff. The outings where you laugh, take pics, make fun of each other, and frame those pics, set them on the mantle, and fool the world into thinking your kids are anything less than perfect. Our "outings" are not very often anymore. Time, money, and my utter fear that these memories will be the ones coming to mind when they are picking out my nursing home/insane asylum one day all make it more of a commitment than I am willing to make most weekends. But I know, that every family needs a chance to make memories outside of the house.

Today, I chose to make some memories.  Roller skating, here we come!! A family first for us! I'm going to get so many pics and make so many damn memories that I'll be picking up my Mommy of the Year award with the kiddos rolling up beside me!

I grew up spending every weekend at the rink. I honestly don't remember ever not being able to skate. Granted, it's been over 25 years since I've been on skates, and I'm cheap, so there was no way in hell that I was skating! Kids are bouncy and they have health insurance! Momma, not so much.

Errr....I mean, for the safety of the children, I decided not to skate so I could better take care of them.

So all 5 us us headed to the rink. I paid for the boys and the Princess to skate. It didn't even dawn on me that the baby would want to skate. She's 2 and barely coordinated enough to walk without busting her head open on counters and tripping over thin air. (She may have health insurance, but it's not that damn good!)

Screaming baby, aside, I manage to get skates on the boys and "training skates" on the Princess. Turns out, those stripper boots that Santa brought her don't exactly fit well with training skates. Back to the counter. New skates on.

And they're off! And, by "off", I really mean, "down". Repeatedly. And horribly. Hell, I don't even think they really got "up" for the first 15 minutes.

OK, they aren't hurt. Time to appease the baby who won't stop screaming. Back to the counter. Training skates for the baby on. Holy crap! She's actually more coordinated on 8 wheels than she is on two feet! Go, baby, go!!! That's when she insisted on leaving the sitting area and hitting the actual rink. I'm still not sure how that poor child managed to keep the same number of fingers she started with! All I can say is, thank goodness I was too lazy to change her wet diaper before getting there, because I'm sure her ass appreciated the added protection.

By now, I'm exhausted, and I need a break from the 4 of them hanging onto me for dear life, so we hit the popcorn stand. No fewer than 18 people cut in front of me while I was too distracted by preventing skull fractures and broken bones from causing us (and by us, I mean me) from sitting in the ER all night. We finally get our popcorn and can relax. Of course, the baby tries to throw it once she realizes she has to share. (Great save, Boy1, btw!) Two seconds later, Boy1 spills it all on the floor. I'm. So. Done. One more trip around the track, and we are leaving! Boy2, however, can't even let us do that, because, of course, he now hates Boy1 for dumping the popcorn!!

Now I have 4 screaming kids, a 1/2 hour of my life that I'll never get back, and skate wheels hitting me in the face as I rip them off their feet.

 As for those "memory pictures"? Really?!?! How dare you even ask!

We go to leave, and the guy at the counter stops us. "Someone" told the owner about what a hard time I was having managing all 4 first time skaters alone, and what a wonderful (WTF?!?!?) job I was doing with them, so they offered me free passes "just in case" I ever wanted to try it again.

What's your opinion? Would you try again, since it's free, or save your sanity and leave the engraved roller skating picture frame blank and give the free passes to a frenemy?


  1. Someday, you will look back on this as a happy memory. :)

    As for trying again: You could go back soon so whatever they learned is fresh and maybe it'll go a little smoother. OR You could wait awhile until everyone's memory recall of this day blurs a bit and start fresh!

  2. Heck yes I would go again! Especially if it was free! I've always been a single mom, so all outtings I do with my 3 rugrats have always been managed only by me. I'm even considering tackling Disneyland this year since the kids are all old enough for everyone to enjoy all the rides. Wish me luck on that one! (And thank God for tax returns because deadbeat fathers suck). Each outting will be better and easily than the last. Hang in there!

  3. I know that HAD to be rough!This might sound crazy but....I would very much want to try it again. The more often you do have outings like this, the easier they get. This is something I have an intimate understanding of, with the exception that I am a single mom of two instead of four. Kudos to you for trying, and please don't give up!

  4. Love it! I have yet to experiance my Norman Rockwell moment, but I continue to believe it will happen!!

  5. I'm not a single mother but my husband isn't a big fan of "family outings" so I do lots alone with my four kids. It's tiring. I've done roller skating and it sucked. Would I go back? I'd probably call my mom and say, "hey mom, the kids got free passes to go roller skating and they really want Grandma to take them!" She'd probably do it too. Bumper bowling is way less stressful.

  6. I think I'd give it a shot again, if only to stamp out any remaining doubt.

    It's totally not self-serving that I say this, though, or that I want to read about more such adventures after reading lines like this:
    Kids are bouncy and they have health insurance! Momma, not so much.


  7. You're awesome. And yes, you can do it.

    I look at it this way - if I can take all 5 of my kids out by myself, and we all come back alive, it's a good day. ;)

  8. I remember my first outing with all of the kids when number 4 was a newbie to a school carnival day. I shit myself thinking one of them would escape and I'd never find them again. We survived and I remember thinking I was so awesome for being able to take 4 kids out in public on my own.

    That being said - the first time we went ice skating indoors, the son thought he was too cool to wear a helmet, jumped out onto the ice, got a little momentum and then smacked his skull so hard on the ice I thought his brain was going to fall out.