July 20, 2008

"When Flies Attack..."

...and other tragedies that befell the 2008 company picnic.

One would think at this point, with a three-year-old in the throes of childhood, I'd have expected nothing less than Scarlett O'Hara-type drama on what should have been a really pleasant day. But I very ignorantly plastered on my optimistic smile and shoved some sunshine up my behind and had very high hopes for our afternoon out.

I'm all geared up. I have five diapers, a package of wipes, a big-ass bottle of SPF 30 sunblock, extra outfits for both kids, the camera, extra batteries for said camera, cash (because you just never know with company picnics), Robby's sippy cup, a changing pad because county fairgrounds rarely have Koala Stations in their restrooms, and the one thing I've learned to never leave home without: a handful of Band-Aids.

My first mistake was telling Beth all about how we were going to a picnic before we were actually on our way there. My payback was having to say, "Yes, Beth, we're going to the picnic," about 100 times in a two-hour period.

We finally get to the picnic after what seemed an eternity of "Mama, are we going to the picnic for daddy's work?" and "Mama, will there be cake at the party?" and "Mama, where's daddy's picnic?" Mind you, this was not in honor of my husband or anything, it was the company's summer picnic, but I had to explain it to her in a way that a three-year-old would get that it's not a family picnic or anything but that there would a lot of unfamiliar people there. Beth's extraordinarily shy around people she doesn't know, so big crowds tend to leave her clinging to us until she gets warmed up to it.

We're not five feet away from the car and she trips walking across a manhole cover. Down goes Frasier!!! She skinned both knees. We had to stop the caravan, wipe off the wounds and put a Band-Aid on one because it was extra raw. This child HATES Band-Aids. Hates 'em. Limps not because it hurts, but because there's a Band-Aid on it. Yeah, I know.

So we haul Gimpy into the fairgrounds, pick up my husband's complimentary t-shirt at the gate and find my father-in-law (who works for the same company at a different branch) and his wife. YaYa (my father-in-law's wife but not Hubby's mom) started to greet Robby when he burst into tears. He does this to everyone he doesn't see on a daily basis but I always have to explain it when it happens. Poor guy just doesn't take well to new faces!

We start to think the drama's over and sit down at a picnic table. I leave the kids with Hubby and go grab food for myself and the kids. I come back, he goes for his food, you all know the drill. He comes back, we're munching away, Beth's crunching away on Lays Baked potato chips, Robby's dribbling watermelon juice down his front...we're having a grand old picnic time! The next thing I know, Beth's climbing up me like a monkey in a tree screaming bloody freakin' murder. I mean to tell you, there was no consoling this kid! After a minute, we figured out that flies were landing on her boo-boo and evidently, this was cause for terror. I took her for a walk to a quieter place away from all the hullabaloo and unholy flies where she seemed to stop crying but kept insisting I hold her injured limb tight to my body. Let me assure you, there's nothing finer than holding a clingy, scared-out-of-her-mind forty-pound child in the 90 degree heat whilst she covers you in tears and snot.

When I thought she'd recovered, I took her back to our table where she promptly freaked out AGAIN. This time, I had my husband take her for a walk. During their absence, she won a pair of Super Soaker guns (because that's precisely what we need in our quiet apartment community, a pair of obscenely powerful water guns that she'll ask about every day but can only play with in public parks), which she and Hubby picked up from our table and went to play with.

This was when things finally calmed down and we could enjoy ourselves. Robby was his usual jovial self, smiling and laughing and bouncing as always! Beth cheered up, had fun with the "super soapers" as she calls them, and we enjoyed a little snack later under a tree. She got to decorate a gift bag with stamps and crayons, got it filled with cheap little toys that she is still referring to as her "prizes."

We had a lot of fun once the drama came to a close! I really hope they continue to have picnics like that. This is the best one we've been to in the almost five years of his employment there. They even had an adult raffle, but we didn't win anything. Robby won a toy Bobcat which he absolutely loves! He even plays with it like you're supposed to: he pushes and pulls it back and forth and makes a little whirring sound. I didn't know eight-month-olds could do this!

The kids napped on the way home, all tuckered out, and we talked about how lucky we are and what a good time we had. I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: we may not have much and we may be perpetually broke, but we're never poor where it counts. We're live our life full of love and laughter and I couldn't ask for more!

Some pictures of the kids at the picnic:


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