Family Practice: Mothers Day mayhemWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve learned to temper my Mothers Day expectations over the years. I started out motherhood with what I thought was a brilliant tradition for a woman with very young children: I went out without them. After the classic breakfast in bed, a friend and I would take off for lunch and shopping, completely sans kids. I was hesitant to do such a thing at first, but after realizing that I was with my children literally 24 hours a day for weeks on end, proclaiming Mother’s Day as a day off sounded like a reasonable idea.
The child-free Mothers Day tradition only lasted so long, as my oldest soon realized what Mother’ Day was supposed to entail. Between having to then share my children with school and the guilt setting in of not spending it with my kids, we moved into Mother’s Day: Phase II. Mother’s Day: Phase II was not exactly a blissful day at home either.
My kids want to be extra good on Mother’ Day; they really do (at least I think they do). My husband also strives to make Mothers Day go spectacularly well for obvious reasons, namely to avoid that infamous folktale known loosely as “The Mothers Day Freak Out.” No one wants to be on the receiving end of mom freaking out, especially on the day that she’s supposed to do anything but. Still, life happens and planning anything with children involved is not a perfect science.
All I wanted to do this year was go to IKEA. Actually, I didn’t really want to go to Ikea. It was simply the best choice under the circumstances (the circumstances being two Mother’s Day travel soccer games 50 miles from home but at least near an IKEA).
I enjoyed my Starbucks Frappuccino breakfast in bed and, especially, the kids’ handmade gifts from school. I could have stopped right there and called Mother’s Day 2013 a success, which is probably what I should have done. Instead, my husband and I devised an unrealistic plan that included seeing both of our own moms, shopping and lunching at IKEA and attending two soccer games. What could stop us?
In the spirit of it being a take-it-easy holiday, I make an attempt to not rush around on Mothers Day. I’m not sure why since it’s akin to dawdling along at 30 miles an hour enjoying the highway scenery while hoards of traffic pile up behind you, eventually creating one giant heap of trouble. Our heap of trouble began as we got a late start and realized that lunch needed to happen in the car ASAP instead of 50 miles away at IKEA. I decided to forgo the fast food on my special day and went for something a little nicer.
I guess all of the moms were opting for nicer takeout, as the place was hopping. When I finally received my order and my takeout taxi picked me back up after a Taco Bell stop, I learned there was a non-melted cheese quesadilla incident we had to address after yet another stop at Subway. We eventually hit the road with everyone seemingly satisfied but with our Ikea time quickly fading away
We made it a good deal of the trek before whimpering and an incessant nose clearing sound took over the mood of the car. My 7-year-old figured that blowing her nostrils as forcefully as possible was the way to unstuff her stuffy nose. My husband threw out some ludicrous claim that she was going to hurt her nose doing that, which was almost immediately followed by a blood-curdling scream and actual blood careening out of her nose.
It was OK. We were almost to IKEA and IKEA can fix everything. Mere minutes from IKEA, the nose bleeder informed us that she was also having a bathroom emergency. Despite trying to convince her that she could make it, we spotted the IKEA sign on the right and instead had to turn left into White Castle. After hands were washed and the bloody nose was cleaned up, I was left with 15-20 minutes of Ikea time.
While my husband made once last ditch effort to save Mothers Day by suggesting that 15 minutes was plenty of time to search IKEA for a trundle bed, I realized that we might as well swing by the Pentagon so I could grab dessert in the cafeteria or perhaps search for that lost needle in a haystack. Alas, IKEA was not to be.
Moral of the Mothers Day Story: Drink your Starbucks, bask in your homemade gifts and just be content that, no matter what else transpires, they love you. They really love you.
Shannon Szyperski and her husband, Michael, are raising three children in Sylvania. Email her at email@example.com.