Monday, September 15, 2008

Excess Baggage ~ Part 1

Have you ever felt like you were carrying around a bit more than you could handle? Well, let me tell you about my Saturday...

This past week we spent visiting my parents. On Saturday we attended the Scottish Highland games. Now, if you are a non-clan member, the weekend of “the games” are spent celebrating Scottish heritage and mixes in athletic sporting events based on farming chores from the past, traditional dance, food, music, vendors, individual clan booths, people dressed in Celtic garb and a lot of fun. Both of my parents have strong Scottish heritage lines and then I married into the McKay family. Saturday found my family--minus one husband--my parents, my sister, her son and a cousin all at the park on a beautiful, hot afternoon.

Not wanting anyone to feel tied down to the little ones in the afternoon around the playground, I sent the older 3 off to enjoy the other events with their aunt and grandparents. A very hot, tired and sunburned mother sat at the playground for the 8th time that day with a bulky Kelty backpack carrier, an overstuffed diaper bag with everybody’s stuff stuffed into it, 3 small children and 3 various colored balloons.

Now since it is almost impossible to swing on a swing or slide down a slide attached to a balloon, mother ended up wearing the 3 balloons herself while she glided from one play structure to the other trying to spy her 3 dressed in red amongst the other little lads and lasses.

All of a sudden, this mother notices that the 5 year old is doing the potty dance. Historically, this child waits until the very last second to give up whatever activity that she is currently engaged in for the interruption of nature upon herself. This appeared to again be one of those times. I went in search of the other 2 left on various toys and proceeded to convince them in my tired, but smiling, nice mommy voice, that it was time to get off now. The 3 year old was in a position on one structure that required a bit of effort in exiting and the 1 year old thought the mother was playing and proceeded to run back and forth hysterically laughing as I tried to get to the closest end he was at to assist him in getting off.

One glance back at the 5 year old proved the utmost of urgency was necessary.

Gathering the 3 tiniest clan members up, I grabbed the backpack carrier in one arm, the 50 pound diaper bag in the other and proceeded to hurry my little ducklings as quickly as possible to the closest temporary toilet facility available—with 1 blue and 2 purple balloons attached to my arms and flapping wildly in the rush. The thought came to my mind—“we must look utterly ridiculous!”

When I looked up to check the progress we were making in keeping all together and going in the right direction, I noticed a large truck parked in front of my destination. “You are kidding me!” I thought, as I made out the Honey Bucket sign on the side of the truck.

As we got up to the toilets I saw a man working proficiently with his tools as he sucked out, soaped up and watered down everything inside the toilet stall on the right. When he noticed me staring at him with my 3 charges in tow (along with the carrier, bag and balloons) he stopped working long enough for me to question him. “Please tell me that you haven’t cleaned the other toilet yet because my daughter is just about to wet herself!” He chuckled and said “no, go ahead, I’ll wait”. I thanked him profusely and tossed the blonde headed procrastinator into the little green building.

While untangling the balloons wrapped around themselves, the carrier and the diaper bag I tried to breathe out of my mouth as much as possible. Those trucks do not smell nice.

I grabbed the 3 year old away from the door of the other toilet as Miss Curiosity wanted to “watch the man clean the bathroom”. I then dropped the carrier just in time to grab the son who was reaching down to grab the hose of the sucking machine the man had been using. After the various words of caution—“no, no”, “don’t touch”, “that’s yucky”—I got him situated on the grass. I looked up to notice the 3 year old now intrigued with the big cleaning brush and bucket of soapy water. Tripping over the carrier, I grabbed her by the arm just in time to keep her from close inspection once again.

Five year old comes out of the toilet about now and three year old tells me she needs to go in. Okay, I get the older one sent over to the hand washing area, the other sent into the green outhouse and turn to find the curious little boy now trying to climb the big “twuck”. They leave those things running and the noises they make themselves are enough to drive a little man crazy with curiosity!

By now, the balloons are once again completely tangled up. I have dropped the diaper bag and half of its contents have spilled on the ground. The 3 year old once again appears and informs me that she didn’t have to go after all—Dandy!!

Okay, everyone over to the hand washing station to get clean. The 3 year old tells me she doesn’t need to wash her hands because she didn’t go potty. I tell her (no longer using the nice, smiley mommy voice) that she will wash her hands and will use soap just because I said so! I try my best to wash the busy hands of a 1 year old while my own hands are tangled and twisted up with balloon ribbons. 5 year old is frustrated because there are no more paper towels. She grows more frustrated when I tell her to just wipe her hands on her skirt. (With her "follow the rules" oriented personality this just is not done!) Little guy makes one last attempt to touch something, anything, to do with that truck and the man’s “toys”.

Finally, a now extremely hot, tired, sunburned “about to loose her cool” Mama, her 3 little clan members, the bulky carrier, dirty diaper bag along with the confused and tangled balloons leave the scene. I am in search of an older sister, brother, Grandpa, Grandpa, Aunt or cousin, anyone at this point for some help with my stuff and some smiles for my little ones.

I would have grabbed the closest bagpiper had I thought he could have been of assistance!

I’ll let you chuckle on this for today and write a little bit more of what God showed me in the midst of the funny tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, if your day involves a backpack carrier and balloons—watch out! :)

(Excess Baggage ~ Part 2)