Yesterday was one of those Sundays. It's our only full day off together without work and I always scheme master plans for accomplishing chores, making little day trips and preparing a tasting dinner from one of my many unused cookbooks. The plan yesterday was to take Ayla & Jackson to pick out pumpkins at Soergel's Orchard.
Last year was a relatively successful visit. The weather was beautiful, everyone enjoyed picking out pumpkins and enjoying the fresh fall air. We managed to balance babies and pumpkins on the tractor ride and Ayla enjoyed some local, delicious apples.
This year, however, with our children one year wiser and more strong-willed, was not as relaxing. I brought the camera, but forgot the battery. Ayla whined when we got to the pumpkin patch because all she wanted to do was ride the tractor. I paid $2 for her to jump in one of those inflatable bouncy tents and all she did was stand in the middle covering her eyes. Neither child could be put down, therefore making it difficult to carry our pumpkins. Jackson was REALLY not into visiting the farm animals. With small children, I'm discovering that most activities are a sport in coercion and negotiation - a mental task that can exhaust me in minutes. Gregory talked me down from my own temper tantrum right in the middle of the pumpkin vines.
The fun continued when we got home. More whining and crying. Jackson is going through a mommy-hold me all of the time-phase. I can't explain how difficult it is to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer while holding a 26 pound baby in your arms. Everyone was grumpy and hungry.
Then I had to go over to my mother's house to do more chores.
Then I went to the grocery store. I filled my cart, got everything on the list - and then realized I had left my wallet at home.
I was desperately counting down the minutes to bath time and just hoping we could make the transitions to bed without any more meltdowns. I was sitting in the living room with Jackson, stacking blocks, when Gregory joined Ayla down in the basement and starting playing his drum set. Ayla had been banging away and I didn't care anymore how dirty she was getting. But as soon as the banging turned into a rhythmic beat, the mood changed. Jackson perked up, looked around and started bouncing. He stood up and almost ran to the basement door. I could almost hear him thinking, "MUSIC. MUST DANCE." We went downstairs to watch Daddy play the drums and Ayla danced with us on the dusty floor.
With all of the things we had been trying all day: begging, time out, pleading and buying of candy - all it took was a little music therapy. The mood had shifted. Everyone got their groove on and therefore everyone was happier. Go 'head, girl, go 'head get down.