The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Minute Warning...

   The five minute warning...I have seen many parents execute this with success.   You know what I am talking about.  The kids are playing somewhere, and the parent issues the five minute warning.  "OK guys, we are leaving in five minutes..."  Shortly after this warning, I get to observe this family leave, children in tow.  Of course I have seen it fail.  In fact, I have seen it end in tears, but the vast majority of the time, this seems to bring desired results.  I am never above watching and learning from other parents, so I have tried this simple technique with my kids for years.  I am about 50% successful...and by that, I mean I can usually convince one child to follow me out, not that I leave with both children peacefully 50% of the time.  Not the kind of odds that work in my favor.

    You see, tonight was Kindergarten Appreciation night at our local Chick-fil-A.  The decision to head there for dinner was what most people would refer to as a "no brainer."  It helps my child's school since it is a fundraiser, and Mommy doesn't have to cook.  Win/Win situation.  This is of course if you leave out the fact that the fast food restaurant is going to be FULL of families with kids exactly your child's age.  Ok, again, bonus.  Colin gets to play with his school friends, and Mommy gets fried chicken goodness, and no dishes for the evening.  What I am failing to mention, or even see for myself until I was stuck in the situation, is that this proves to be a very difficult situation to escape.

   Challenge number one of the evening...getting the children to eat the food that you have just purchased.  Bribery and bargaining commences.  "How many chicken nuggets do I have to eat before I can play?"  "Can I play now??  Maybe now??" The overwhelming temptation of the playground is almost more than the children can stand.  "But Mommy, my friend is over there, can I go play with him?"  After negotiations are complete, and the children eat at least half of their kid's meal, they both bolt to the play ground with glee.  Every now and then, returning to the table to have a drink or  eat another french fry.  So far, so good.

   Then out comes the giant cow with balloons following closely behind.  They both request a balloon, and then quickly leave them with me so they can continue playing.  I stick my head in the play ground every now and then to listen out for screaming or crying.  The noise of that many children in a small enclosed play space is deafening.  I decide that despite feeling that it is getting a little akin to Hunger Games inside the play area, that I would sit down and patiently wait.  I am sure everything will be fine.  Molly has set up camp at the top of the play ground...

    When the princess finally graces me with her presence at the table,  I offer ice cream as a treat, and I mention that we should be going soon.  I suppose that was my mistake.  You see, as I stated earlier, this seems to work for most parents.  In fact, it works on one of my children.  Molly sees the five minute warning as an opportunity.  An opportunity that she simply can't resist...An opportunity to hide thoroughly and out of Mommy's reach.  Yet another opportunity to prove to me that she is always looking for a chance to make me look like an ass in public...I swear, I think it has been their mission since day one on this planet.  Make Mommy look like a crazy woman every chance they can.  For a little while, the ice cream was enough to keep her coming back.  Then, both children abandoned their cones, and left the melting, sticky messes with me.  I start to eat the cones not only to prevent the waste and clean up the mess, but, well also because of the obvious.  I wanted the ice cream.

    Eventually, I was able to tempt Colin out of the play area, and put on his shoes.  Molly remained far out of reach in the very top part of the play ground.  I called her name, I reminded her about the ice cream, I started counting...But she is smart.  She knew I had no way to get her out of the play ground, and I think she knew I hardly wanted to make a scene in front of the other kindergarten mommies.  I knew what she was thinking..."I'd like to see you try and get me down..."  She knew there was no way for this pregnant mommy to scale the tall, enclosed play space.  I was at her mercy.  I sent a few of the older kids with messages that she needed to come down.  I tried to send her brother, and he simply shook his head and told me, "No Way."  Still no Molly...

    I have no idea what eventually changed her mind.  Maybe she knew she was pushing her luck.  Maybe she knew she was in trouble.  Or maybe she simply wanted to finish her ice cream.  I may never know, but I have been reminded yet again, that no matter how long you have been a mother, no matter how many tricks of the trade you learn, that you are still often at the mercy of these crazy little people you have created...And I was also reminded that giving Molly a five minute warning is more like issuing a challenge to my daughter.  A challenge that she accepts readily to simply prove me wrong...We will leave when she is ready, not in the five minutes I have in mind.  Perhaps a sneak attack is the only way to go with my children.  While it sounds good in theory, the five minute warning simply gives Molly time to plot her grand plan...Thank God she is so cute, and that I was able to leave another Chick fil A stand down with my pride still intact instead of with a screaming child under each arm.

  PS...I wound up eating the majority of both cones and my nuggets...Between my lactose intolerance and the horrible reflux I have been having, I will be hating life for the rest of the night.  Awesome.

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