Friday, April 10, 2009
I realized yesterday that there is something I hate. Loathe. Detest with every fiber of my being. I feel a visceral reaction when I see it: I want to panic, seethe, and curl into a helpless ball all at once. The bane of my existence. The thing I abhor:
Let me get more specific. I hate swings because my kids are obsessed with swings and I have to PUSH them on said F'ing swing for hours on end. Seems like an over-blown reaction to pushing a child on a swing, right? Isn't that all part of the 'joys' of motherhood? Well, there are other factors involved here. I'm not alone in a quiet field filled with butter cups, pushing one child on a tire swing suspended from a huge branch of a weeping cherry tree in full bloom... with no other distractions, obligations or annoyances. It's never so idyllic. For instance, there are never enough swings for all the kids on the playground, and I have 3 kids (CB is at school). This means, that only one child can usually swing at once, leaving the other 2 screaming and crying and whining. Or, they can't ever find a swing next to each other so it's impossible to push them at the same time. Which brings me to the next thing I loathe:
"Push me Mom. Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!" Push me! Push Me! Push Me! Push Me!"
It plays like a broken record. This must be some type of torture conjured up by the CIA or something. Forget the bamboo under the finger nails, freezing water or electrocution. This is the kind of stuff that would have me relinquishing top secret plans if ever captured by the enemy. They're even yelling "Push Me!" WHILE I'm pushing them.
So, yesterday I had my 2 youngest girls (Tink and Rella) AND my 2 nieces at the playground. It was the first really warm, spring day so the park was packed with kids. There are only 4 swings and one baby swing on the entire playground. That's 200 children per 1 swing. Whatever. I'm explaining to the 4 girls that they should just go have fun on the other equipment... play... be a kid... run... do SOMETHING other than stand here and mope, whine, and obsess about the swings!
An hour later, the laundry list of complaints has grown. No swing, they're hot, they're tired, they're bored, they're hungry. Seriously, was I this grumpy as a kid?
I finally cave and realize I might have to check myself in to a local mental hospital if I don't get these kids on a swing, and fast. We hone in on the swing set, circle the mulched area like proprioseptic-seeking vultures until a child jumps off. Then, we pounce on our prey. My sly 8 year old niece snags her prize and I squeeze 3 year old Tink into the baby swing. I need to push Tink while holding the baby (who would just run in front of any moving object and get plowed over). My 5 year old niece is without swing and whining effectively. This is soooooo fun. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Then my 8 year old niece requests that I push her too. I'm shocked. She knows how to pump - she's 8 for God's sake. "Oh no," I protest a bit too annoyed. "You know how to do it. I'm holding a baby and pushing Tink." My niece continues moping and persisting. "I just need you to get me started."
So now I'm pushing Tink and an 8 year old while holding a squirming Rella and soothing an upset 5 year old waiting quite impatiently for her turn. Suddenly, this other girl - about 8 or 9 who has been pumping on the swing herself for the past 30 minutes- turns to me and says "Can you please push me too?" She's DEAD SERIOUS. I look at her incredulously. "Are you kidding me????" It comes out a bit too sardonic. I mean, I don't mind pushing children who literally can't swing themselves, but now I'm supposed to push Tink AND 2 third graders???? No, I'm drawing the line. I hate pushing my OWN kids, let alone a complete stranger.
I do the only thing I can to save myself: "Who wants to go to get a drink and watch a movie in the car?" They shout a cry of joy and leave me in their dust to climb aboard the mini van and sit in air-conditioned bliss.
They're all happy now, belted in and mesmerized by "The Little Mermaid." Who needs a stinkin' playground with slides, sand, jungle gyms and fresh air on a beautiful day? All they really want is sugar, a movie, and to hear the soft sound of their tiny muscles turning to jello against the upholstery.