Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day @ the Gardens

Let's just say that I don't feel like I deserve a good mommy rating today on Mother's Day. Why? Because I almost lost my precious Nikko at the Chicago Botanic Gardens today, that's why. Because I didn't have anything special planned for my three lovely babies today other than trying to go to the Gardens, and when we were there it was stress upon stress. Because I wanted to have some part of the day to be memorable but it ended up with me getting irritated that I couldn't enjoy the Penepacker dinner because Nikko was Velcro Man, Audrey was fussy and Ronin -- well, he actually wasn't as bad as he normally is, but he had moments of whining. Many of today's actions were very typical of a regular day: mealtimes, diaper changes and more diaper changes. I will have to wait until the kids are older to get them to do stuff for me, or make me breakable clay pots or popsicle stick figures in school, or to do the housework so I don't have to. I don't see that happening for a loooooong time. I tried so hard to have a positive attitude today, but I ended up feeling sorry for myself as I dumped a big kid load of laundry into the washer tonight.

Denis had sent me multi-colored roses on Friday for Mother's Day, which I arranged in a pale green vase. Some are blooming and some are not, but overall they are quite lovely. They don't look as nice on the table that is cluttered with pictures of a banana, cereal, crackers and vitamins. I've started trying out the picture therapy with Nikko, but it's very hard to sustain his attention. Like I said yesterday, the concept of a picture vs. the real thing is hard to overcome. But I'll keep on trying. As I go through them I have to write down any pictures I'm missing or need.

Today started out ok, but I tried to pace ourselves as we finished lunch and tried to get out the door to go to the Botanic Gardens. I felt like we left late, but everyone (except Pat/Anna/Jovy) was running late. The traffic near the Gardens was terrible and it took us an hour from our house to the gates. We inched along Lake Cook road over the expressway. When we arrived, we put the troops into the triple stroller. Overall, it worked out for us but I need to rig Nikko's front seat somehow so it doesn't keep drooping. Perhaps it wasn't meant for such a big boy, but since we have it I'll have to figure out how to make it more stable. Since we have playgroup tomorrow, I'm going to have to switch out back to the double stroller because I'll have Audrey in her car seat and I can't put that into the triple. I've got a lot to get together for tomorrow. :(
Once we got to the Gardens and ended up rendezvousing with everyone, Mom was so generous to get our family tickets to see a train exhibit. The boys loved it, I must say. Ronin was entranced with the trains and ran back and forth to be on a level with them. Nikko did the same. There were many intricate replicas of places as well, such as Hollywood, New York, and even Wrigley Field. The trains were quite spectacular. But I felt guilty that we went to it while everyone else walked along doing something else, so we left and tried to meet up with them in the Tulip Garden. Everyone was so helpful to us by keeping an eye on Nikko or Ronin when they were out of the stroller. Denis was also trying to keep up with Nikko, who was running full steam everywhere he could. Chinny was a blessing for sticking to Ronin in the Tulip Garden. Both boys wanted to get into the water somehow, of course. It was in the Fruit and Vegetable Gardens where I had a stressful time finding a place to do diaper changes. The bathrooms were way too small and there was no real privacy anywhere. The day was sunny, but the cold winds picked up when the sun went for cover. Alas, I had to change Nikko standing up outside against a building. Later, Ronin got lucky as there was a family restroom in another building. But I couldn't wait for Nikko's diaper anymore and had to take a chance. I was getting stressed out because it was getting cold for Audrey, the boys wanted to run everywhere and I just wanted to get the diaper changes out of the way, and Denis wasn't feeling up to par because of his allergies.

I was by the triple stroller fixing Audrey's bottle when I looked over at Denis and the others with Ronin. But I didn't see Nikko. I asked where he was and I got blank stares. I immediately bolted and scanned the crowds. I heard Anna shouting for Nikko too and I started to feel a wave of panic rise up. There were a LOT of people around us quite suddenly. I looked to the right and saw a flash of Nikko's blue fleece, then I took off. Anna saw him too and was running with her stroller calling after Nikko. I caught up to her and told her, "Don't run, Anna." I tapped her shoulder and I ran faster. Um, Anna is five months pregnant running with a stroller that could possibly tip and fall!! Her instincts were right on par, I applaud her. (THANK YOU, Anna, I love you for reacting today!) But her safety was important to me, too. Nikko had wandered/run 3/4 of the way down a bridge leading to the next island. When I called to him he turned, saw me, smiled and ran back toward me as if challenging me to catch him. I did, and crushed him tight. I was glad that Nikko was back into the fold. It wouldn't be until later on that I ruminated over our day and the realization that Nikko could have been taken, lost, or even worse went into the water and drowned would haunt me. Even now as I write I am holding back the sobs over what could have happened. Everyone was helpful to me in the Gardens, I thank my family for all their support, but I didn't have my eye on Nikko for a while and he wasn't assigned to one person. I can't expect anyone else to be responsible for Nikko, so I should have been more careful, especially because he has no words, can't communicate much of anything, and is still just a 2 year old.

Well, we left the Gardens eventually and headed to the Penepackers for dinner. I felt I could relax just a little bit because the boys were familiar with her house. Unfortunately, they didn't stay downstairs as much as I would have liked. Nikko suddenly turned into Velcro Man and stuck by my side. He wanted to just sit in my lap and I didn't want to just sit still. The evening got more stressful because I longed for the family conversation (and Dennis' fillet!) and I wasn't going to get it because the kids were hanging on me. Mom ate fast and came to get Audrey, which freed me up a bit to eat and give Nikko some attention. Denis helped with changing diapers and holding Audrey, too, but I was weary of the pulling and tugging and whining and crying, so by the end of dinner I started to pack us up to go home. It was very late for the kids among other things and I felt a ton of bricks on my shoulders at the end of this Mother's Day.

Tomorrow we have play group at 9:30am. I hope I will be able to get us out the door on time. I hope the kids will wake up at a reasonable time. I hope Ronin won't throw up in daycare again. As an aside, Nikko's been putting a finger in his mouth lately. I don't know why. I thought maybe he had some steak stuck in the back of his teeth, but I did notice him doing this yesterday. It just seems more pronounced today.


  1. Oh sorry hear about that scary situation...Don't feel guilty and remember that you ARE A GOOD's so hard to feel guilt all the time, and I hear you about losing your patience...I am amazed when I get through the day having not lost it or without yelling at the kids. We go for our second NAET tommorow..I'll update the blog in the afternoon! Hope you are well.

  2. Thanks, I'll try to remember that even when things get crazy. Good luck with the NAET, I'll look for the update.