With Bip, Pots and the twins there are some things that are just inherently difficult. This weekend I dealt with four of the worst all at the same time and came out tired but strong. It is a triumph that has been long in coming.
If I am going to deal with crowds (more than 15 people) I need a quiet place to run away to when Ann (the oldest of the twins) starts getting bossy. If I don’t have a quiet place when Ann gets bossy then Nick comes to see what all the ruckus is about. Once Nick comes to play I’m done for the day.
This is something that didn’t use to bother me much. I went to dances with loud music. I went to amusement parks and was just as loud as everyone else. That changed a several years back when Bip and Pots became friends. It happened slowly and imperceptibly over a long period of time. I didn’t notice until one summer day during a family BBQ. There was the normal local crew of about 35. Children were running around outside with squirt guns and screaming whenever they were shot. Parents were talking and occasionally calling to their children to behave. Laughter was everywhere. The noise however became overwhelming to me and the anxiety started to become overwhelming. I had to go in the house and find a quiet corner. I missed out on a lot of fun that day and in successive BBQs and family gatherings.
Too Much Fun
Yes, that is exactly what it says and it can be a very bad thing. I blame this completely on Bip. There is never even ground with this dragon. It is either totally awesome or totally depressing. It is not, however, an even trade. I can have the most fun ever but I will have the biggest fall into depression and fatigue after. I do not have an equal high if I have a huge low. I find this totally unfair and cruel. (More on this in another blog.)
Taking a child to a public place can be stressful. Taking several children to the same place can be overwhelming. The more activities that are available for them or the more people around the more stressful it can be for the grown-up in charge.
Seven Girls at the Fun Park
So this is what I did this weekend. I took my daughter (8), two of her friends (8 and 10), three of my nieces (11, 13, and 15) and my granddaughter (4) to Trafalga, a local fun park. There are bumper boats that are armed with long-range squirt guns, miniature golf, laser tag, go carts, a merry-go-round, a small roller coaster, an airplane ride, rock climbing and LOTS of arcade games. Everyone had season passes except my granddaughter and my son-in-law.
Since my granddaughter is only four I made my son-in-law come with us. She was the youngest and wouldn’t be able to do some of the things that the big girls wanted to do. The six big girls decided that they wanted to get on the bumper boats. They stood in line and I decided that I would take my granddaughter while her dad stood in line for their passes. There were two of us in each boat. I guess that I got in the wrong color boat because all my girls went after me and I got absolutely s-o-a-k-e-d. They especially seemed to enjoy shooting me in the back of my head. My granddaughter had a good time sharing my boat and I kept her from getting too wet. We spent two hours in a crowded park having fun though I did more watching than playing. The girls went to play laser tag and I could not. The lighting triggers and anxiety attack every time so I hung out with my granddaughter and son-in-law playing games. About 5pm the park really started to get crowded so we left for home. My car was filled with the sound of chattering girls and laughter. It was a good afternoon.
The Emotional Aftermath
I had told my mother that I would need her to take over when I got home because I wasn’t sure what condition I would be in when I got home. I was exhausted, but not, surprisingly, anxious or stressed. My mother did make the store run because I was so tired. Another niece made dinner and the girls set the table.
My three nieces were spending the night with us and I kept my granddaughter so her parents could go out. More chattering and laughter. They spent quite a bit of time outside with my mother so I got some quiet before the bedtime chaos. My daughter fell asleep within minutes of her head hitting her pillow. It took about an hour for my granddaughter to settle down and go to sleep.
All in all it was a great day. I had gotten my housework done, written some e-mails, stripped and made my bed, washed and folded most of my laundry and took seven girls to the fun park. After everyone was in bed and the house was quiet I sat and enjoyed the fatigue of good day.
This is something that I worried would never happen again. To go to a fun park or amusement park and just have fun. It has taken me almost two decades to get to this point again. I cannot express my gratitude to God for the miracles of my life. One of which is Eleviv, without which I would not have been able to enjoy my day with the girls.