People smiling while sharing lunch together.
Soft breeze, warm sun, laughter and the smells of fresh hot food in the air.
Now look closer at the table in the back and in the corner. You'll see 2 parents doubled over in giggles whilst their children (ALL 3) are crying around the table.
You may wonder why these people are ignoring the obvious needs of their offspring and choosing the "laugh track" over discipline, but let me tell you, it was more a survival thing than anything. You know the "laugh to keep from crying" bit?
We attempted a shopping trip to Ikea. Actually, it went so well there, we were confident lunch would be just as great! We were wrong. I'm not even sure what happened to set everyone off at once. I suppose it was something really important like asking them to stop shrieking at the birds and eat their lunch, but the crying started. Like a wave it swept over the whole table and even Malia joined in for a time.
My husband and I just looked at each other. I was considering the "let's just go eat in the van" scenario when he looked at me and with a smirk on his face said, "We chose this. No one's to blame but ourselves." And the funniness of the moment hit. So we laughed. Big, loud, belly laughs at the perfect comic timing of his comment. It was what we needed.
Of course the crying did not last long and we WERE able to enjoy our patio lunch in the city, but it got me thinking. So often I may be opening up to friends/family about a frustration with one of children, and I get a comment similar to "And NOW you have 3!" or "Thats why I would NEVER have 3". Not helpful at all, but thanks. Sometimes we moms and dads just need to talk about our irritations. It does not in any way mean we regret having the children we do, or when we did, or spacing them so close. We don't. I love the ages my kids are at regardless of the chaos at times. But we are entitled to have bad days/ bad moments every now and then.
But now for some good moments.
7 months ago