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We (the boy and I) love going out with our friends. In fact, we look forward with piled up excitement to that part of the day when we've made plans to go out with our friends. We have this amazing friends circle, who have over the period become more like family, a bunch of mammas and their cubs, with whom we go out every now and then. In fact, we eagerly wait for an excuse to make it an outing for all of us.
To the world who sees our happy, smiling pictures and those who comment on our frequent shopping/outing escapades, our world would seem to be perfect with us friends having our much needed outing with kids, coming back happy to have spent quality time with our friends while the kids had fun, playing amongst themselves. Can I take the liberty to laugh out loud for the misconception the pictures create? In fact, I do not know if I should be pitying you for finding the picture so perfect or if I should pity myself for portraying such a wrong, misconstrued picture of the happy life a certain Mamma and her son leads.
Do you know that we plan our outing a day ahead and still we've never left home at the time we decided on? There will always be one kid who sleeps longer than usual that particular day and by the time that little one is up, the rest would've gone to sleep. While one finishes his/her lunch, it would be snack time for the other one and finally, when everyone is ready, trust me, there would definitely be one kid who would want to go potty at that exact moment. There, gotcha!
Do you know our supermarket visits are like adventurous treasure hunts that by the time we are done with the billing, we are tired out that we do not even feel like talking to each other? This is one place we curse ourselves if by any rare chance we forget our baby carriers! And even if we've carried it, this is one place where the kids hate being carried. Why would they want to? When they have so much alleys to run around and get lost! You know those car trolleys the supermarkets have? Yeah, the kids want to sit in the same car and they would prefer sitting not on the inside, but on the top (well, isn't that the easier way to fall down and cry out loud so that strangers start giving this weird look at their mammas?). They suddenly find potatoes and tomatoes very fascinating (strange, since the very same tomatoes in curries are termed yucky!) and want to play with it (read throw at total strangers and laugh out loud at them). Once this is done with, they realise supermarkets are the best place for a game of hide and seek. While one kid runs through one alley, the other one would run the opposite way leaving us mammas to figure out the best possible way to make sure the kids don't get lost and at the same time continue with our shopping. After all this, comes the billing counter drama. Right there, right where the kids eyes and hand reach are the chocolates which every mamma is trying her level best to shield her kid from (Whoever, came up with this brilliant sales idea, is sure to be shot by a toddler mom, one day!). Suddenly, all of them has one each in their hand and demands this too to be billed! In spite of being tired out and just wanting to get back home, right there, you need to polish your negotiation and patience skills and need to explain to the 'not-so-ready-to-listen" toddler how he/she doesn't want any chocolate at that moment and next time, Amma will buy something special for sure! By the time we get out, we are drained (in fact, thinking about the whole episode itself has left me drained out!) and by the time we manage to get back home, we would've realised that half the items we put in the basket has not been billed because the kids played a 'throwing out of the basket' game with it!
Do you know lunch dates mean paying the waiter extra tip because not one, but atleast three kids have made a mess having food and there is food strewn all over the place? The last time we, friends, were over excited to go for a long pending lunch with the kids. All was fine, with the kids having a gala time playing with each other and happily chatting away, until the food came! And then all hell broke loose. The kids were adamant that they wanted to eat on their own. After two bites (erm.. nibbles would be a better word?), these three musketeers decided that they wanted to run around while eating. And there, in the blink of an eye, we see noodles all over the floor. The kids were running around putting strands of noodles to mark their way (remember Hansel and Gratel? Well, kind of like that!). Imagine our horror (and embarrassment)! We, mommies, had to grab whichever kid was near to us, not stopping to think if it was our own, pinned them down and fed them. Only if we could've thrown a towel over our head and silently walked out, we would have done that. After rounds of profuse apologies and a generous tip, we walked out of the restaurant, hoping that we would still be welcomed the next time we go there to dine.
Do you know that our shopping trips are always about deciding which is the safe bet to buy rather than what we like? Taking an extra five minutes for shopping would definitely result in one kid getting bored and this inevitably results in pushing, pulling, poking and fighting with each other, which is sure to end in a crying session. Hold on. Within a second, there would be so much love, that they want to give a tight hug to each other which throws them off their balance, resulting in one or all of them on the floor, which takes us back to the crying session.
Do you know get togethers at home brings the entire house down? By the time it's time for everyone to go home, the house is sure to look like it's war struck with toys, snacks and water all over the place. You need to figure your way to the door, praying that you don't trip and fall or a random half bitten apple doesn't get stuck to your feet. After all this, by the time you reach the door, you realise that your toddler doesn't want to go home and wants more playtime with his friends. Negotiations don't work at this point and you are bound to end up with a crying baby and a few kicks on your body because you've pulled him away from his friends.
This is just a slight sneak peek into the 'oh-so-beautiful, happening' life of ours. Of course, we try to take a snap of our times together whenever we go out, how much ever tired we are. And thus the pictures portray a beautiful lie, yet it still shows how happy our life is. Happy because, how much ever tiring going out with kids are, it still reminds me of our happy times together, the horrifying and embarrassing experiences that has brought us closer, the 'we've survived it all together' feeling and after all, whatever it is, ain't motherhood all about these? Don't we all, after a roller coaster ride, come back and say it was amazing, in spite of it being scary?