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.
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?