Tonight was Reese's school carnival. She was ready to head over there at 10:00am this morning. It didn't start 'til 4pm.
Of course, it was complete mayhem. The school was filled with kids and their families, lines for games, face painting, etc. I was trying the best I could to keep our little family together. David was restless and kept asking when we were going to eat. Reese kept pulling me to all the games. At one point David walked out of the gym and Tate followed him but David didn't know it. So I ended up running after Tate with Drue in tow and finding him alone in the lobby yelling, "Daaaaddddy". We returned to the gym to collect Reese after her game and found her calling "Mooooommmmmmy".
Events like this are anxiety producing for me. As are most events which take me out of my comfort zone. Tate's balloon animal dinosaur popped so we went to get in line for another one. The fun loving clown creating them came back to the end of the line where we were and said cheerily, "Hi. I'm set to leave in 5 minutes." Uh oh...she was about to drop the bomb that we couldn't get our animal. "Don't worry," she assured me, "I will get to you guys...but would you mind being the last ones in line and..."
I finished her request as a stunned question, "...telling anyone who comes up behind me?!".
I just stared at her for a full 10 seconds as my jaw dropped. Me? Be the one to tell some excited 6 or 7 year old who has probably been planning what balloon animal they are going to ask for since last Tuesday that they can't get one?! Wow! The other parents in line in front of us cast sympathetic glances my way as if to say, "I'm sure glad I'm not in her shoes."
Did this clown want me to go ahead and break it to these unsuspecting elementary sweethearts that there was no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy while I was at it?
When she saw my hesitation she offered to find someone who worked there to come stand behind me and do the dirty work. Which made me feel like a pansy. But come on, these were kids we're talking about.
I went into panic mode. I alternated between looking behind me hoping no one else would get in line, to looking in front of me, desperately waiting for the promised carnival worker who never came.
Then I spotted them. Two girls about 10 years old coming toward us in slow motion. Laughing and eating their cotton candy sporting their freshly painted face designs.
I froze. I couldn't do it. It's the same feeling I get when I have to save seats for people. I HATE IT! People spot some seats that appear open, they get all the way over to them, and I have to be the one to say, "Sorry these are taken". I would rather be hung upside down by my toes.
My mom still laughs about the time I helped her with a garage sale. She went inside for just a minute and a little old man wandered over to the sink in our garage and grabbed her good garden shears...which were not for sale. He hobbled over to me and said, "How much for these?". I wasn't about to tell him they weren't for sale...so I said, "25 cents". And off he went with her new $8 garden shears after plopping a quarter in my hand.
But back to the carnival. I turned back around and didn't say anything to these girls. I had to get myself out of that situation. My plan was to just duck out of line and let them take my place. But I now have the offspring factor. I didn't want to let them down and not get their balloons. I spotted David about 15 feet away and called over to him. He started ambling my direction but I was getting more and more nervous about these girls behind me. So I hollered his name again...which he didn't like very well. But I have come to depend on him to smooth things over when I get like this.
I ran out of line and desperately explained to him my situation. Of course, he got a good laugh out of the whole thing like he usually does. He waltzed up to the dad that was in front of me, still with a smirk on his face, and explained that I had passed the torch to him...to tell any other kids that got behind him that the clown was closed for the night.
Whew. A wave of relief swept over me.
Oh...just so you don't worry about my little dears. They had already each gotten one balloon animal earlier in the evening. So I didn't feel quite so bad since this was our second time through. And they were still on hyper mode from their cotton candy and suckers, that they weren't phased at all when their crazy mom pulled them out of line.