The third child often gets shafted when it comes to one-on-one time with either parent, so yesterday I thought I was being a really great mom when I decided to take Tate to the park alone. I dropped Bracken and Abbie off at school, Ruby was home with Justin for her morning nap, and instead of using the time to run errands or unpack boxes I was committed to helping Tate really feel the love. Unfortunately, as all parents know, sometimes our best efforts to be "great" backfire and we are instead reminded that in the eyes of our children our best may simply not be good enough.
One of the parks near our house is located near a really fun pool, in fact most of the parks in our community are right next to the pools. I can see why the developers thought this would be a good idea, moms can take their kids to the park and the pool all in one pit stop. But what about days when mom only wants to do one or the other? How do you avoid allowing your child to see the other (and then more desirable) activity? When we got to the park and I saw Tate's face and realized what was going through his head I knew I had not thought this through. In a matter or seconds I went from being a really fun mom who takes her son to the park for some super great bonding time, to the mom who taunts and tortures her child with pool in view but no chance of a swim.
I have included photos so that you can all see what it is that I experienced with Tate. He banged on the gate for a while (you can see the pool in the top right corner of the picture above the gate) so I let him walk around inside the gate, at which point he found the closest pool lounger and began to disrobe. Luckily after convincing him that he we would indeed return another day he agreed to go back to the basketball court next to the park and play with a stray tennis ball we had found. And even more luckily some too tan, a bit leathery, and scantily clad older women who had just finished a rousing round of tennis passed by with a huge bucket of tennis balls; they stopped to ogle Tate and offered him even more of their balls.
All in all I think Tate had fun...and I learned to not be so proud of my efforts to boost my kids self esteem and reassure them of their importance to the family until our outing has proven to be a success!
Note: I used my phone to take these pictures, as I always do, and I have no idea how that one picture turned out blue and crazy...weird.