Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Little Drama Queen

I am directionally impaired. To utilize an old cliche: I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. Seriously, I still get lost at church and I'm there every week. (To be fair, the building is a ridiculous maze of hallways). So driving new places, especially at night, makes me a little tense. Last night my daughter had a skating party at a fun center I'd never been to before. Add in the fact that it was at 5:30 p.m. and I knew the area it was in well enough to know that traffic was going to be insane, and you have a recipe for an Angela Surprise.

The night started out so well. We got on the road, I was getting through the traffic with only a few honks and muttered words under my breath. And then, I realized I was lost. I thought I was going the right way, so I was focusing on not dying in the mad rush of traffic and not paying attention to the street signs. Turns out, I had gone just a few blocks too far, not a big deal, but traffic was nuts and I was stressed. So I turned quickly, thinking I would be able to find a street that cut off and take me where I needed to go with little fuss. Not so. I drove for another 15 minutes before I finally pulled over and yanked out my GPS. Mind you, I had already been hollering at anyone that cut me off or tried to talk to me for the last 10. My poor kids.

In total the trip took about an hour, when it should have taken 25 minutes. And.... the mood was set. The kids had a good time skating and climbing through a gargantuan play area. I had a good time averting a migraine, sneaking in a game of skee ball and people watching. When it was time to go, it got ugly. "Wait," you say. "But, the trip there was ugly, surely going home couldn't have been worse." But, you'd be wrong.

I am pretty aware that my oldest is a little bit of a drama queen. She's one of the sweetest kids and really well behaved....except sometimes she's not. I'm grown up enough to admit that while I think my kids are the most amazing kids on the planet, they have their faults. And I'm also willing to admit they get a few of those faults from yours truly.

After letting her skate around "three" more times (read about 12 more times) I finally got her shoes on. She suddenly decided she wanted to jump on one of the bouncy houses "just once." I firmly replied that we needed to get home so she could finish her homework and go to bed. Of course she kept arguing, this wouldn't be a good story if she didn't. She tried to make a run for it after I refused to pay $3 for her to jump just one time. Fortunately the guy guarding the entrance was the size of a linebacker and she decided not to try and swindle her way past him.

The entire time we walked out she kept muttering the traditional "You don't love me. This isn't fair. But my friends..." I've heard (and used) those complaints enough to just tune them out. By the time we got to the car she wasn't speaking to me. (To be quite frank and probably a horrible mother... I was a little relieved. Tuning out the complaints was getting a little wearing and I didn't want to get mad at the kids after I'd let out my lost-driver induced hail of crankiness earlier).

As we drove I turned the radio up to relieve a little stress and an oldie, but goodie came on.  Green Day's Time of Your Life. I crooned along with it and as the last words faded out (I hope you had the time of liiiiife...) I heard my drama queen in the back mutter, "Well, I didn't."

Fortunately, I'm pretty good at making me kids not hate me any longer than necessary and she even told her dad how fun it was when we got home, completely editing out the ugly parts. The way I figure it, when you cut out the ugly part of most days it's a lot easier to see how good it really was, because the ugly parts are only parts and usually not very big ones at that.

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