We decided to take our kids to Dunsmuir today. It's about an hour from us....totally do-able. They have a gorgeous water fall there and a really pretty area that has a park and trails to walk. Perfect for some family time.
We walked around and went on our own little adventure. The kids got to have their own "moment", when I asked them to find one thing that they found really awesome, that they'd like to tell us about. That was a hit obviously, you give a kid some spotlight and they are thrilled. ;)
The kids loved the waterfall. We were able to get right up next to it, and they thought it was super cool to be able to touch the waterfall. We walked on the trails, and talked about all the beautiful nature, that we were lucky to be around. It's nice to get kids outside, around trees, water and the sounds of nothing more than birds chirping and the breeze blowing. It's relaxing to everyone.
We decided to go to a place a friend of mine recommended to us for lunch. Normally I don't take my kids out to eat. It's not that I don't think they will behave. I just get really anxious about it. I worry that they might choose that time to have a meltdown, and they will disrupt other families. I've been a mom long enough to have completely noticed the eye rolls when couples without kids, sees a big family walk into a restaurant.
I worry that William won't want to sit in his seat and Katie will be needy, Laura will have attitude and Nicholas will talk LOUD! All thing's that I can completely handle at home, but I just have this THING about my kids being....."THOSE kids".
So.....we decided to venture out to the restaurant, and my kids were......angels. Literally. They couldn't have been better. They ate most of their meal, if not all of it. They spoke quietly, used manners, stayed in their seats, colored nicely. SHARED! It was nice. I saw two tables with couples at them, starring several times. I realized they were noticing how behaved my kids were. How wonderful my family was being, and I felt proud. I held my head high, showing that yep....these are MY kids. :)
We got in the car, and I thanked them individually. I wanted to show them that I noticed the way they chose to behave. I am sure they were tired, and yet they still were great. They had proud smiles, and we ventured back home. Hmm.....this is where things got a little.....stressful? Yea.
They were AMAZING at the restaurant, and then.....well, I'm just going to say it....BRATS in the car! Yes, I called them brats. If it quacks like a duck, its a duck! ;)
Nicholas however was not....so I need to make that clear. He of course is a teen and wants to talk your ear off, but he was certainly no brat. :) In our truck, we have all three little kids in the back. Laura is in the middle and William and Katie on either side of her. They all got to buy a stuffed animal bear to bring home, or in Katies case, a journal (my little writer girl). I should have kept everything with me until we got home. I didn't do that. I let them have their stuff, and the fighting began. Sigh.....how many times can a mom say "stop fighting, use nice words", "Laura, can you say that to Katie, in a sweet voice?", "Katie, you chose a journal, so give Laura her bear back", "William, please stop screaming", "Laura, again....find nicer words!".........I couldn't keep track of how many times I had to say all of that. William had to pee, so we had to pull over twice. Which if you have more than one kid, you KNOW that means another child will all of a sudden HAVE to go too. I was asked for juice, water, snacks, tissues. I heard "MOOOOOM", more than a billion times!
Toys got taken, attitudes were at an all time high and I was so confused. HOW did they go from being angels to THAT?! I can sit here now that they are all in bed, and see that they were just tired. We walked a lot, played a ton and were at the restaurant for a long time. They were just worn out. No excuse, for all that, but.....well, yea I guess for kids, yes it is a perfect excuse. HA!
I learned today that even though I have my own anxiety issues, I can't keep my kids away from restaurants. They might disrupt another family sometime, but that shouldn't matter. It's life. It will go on. I learned that kids like to keep you on your toes. They heard me thanking them for great behavior and thought "oh really, you think we are great?! We can't let you think TOO highly of us.....let's bring that crap down a notch!". ;) But most importantly, I learned that family time like this, is crucial. It's completely needed for each and every one of us. We thrive from it, and become closer as a family.
I hope you all can find time in this crazy world of ours to take a quick drive (even if it might be a stressful drive lol!) and spend quality time, with your loved ones. Our days, weeks and years go by so quickly, so make those memories now.