As a mother, you have expectations. Expectations of what your child will experience, understand, love and hate growing up. As moms, we set the bar high, and have a tendency to have unrealistic expectations of our children. We tend to forget they are kids, not miniature adults. The simple things in life are what brings a smile to their face. A balloon. Chocolate ice cream cone. Kitchen dance party. Don’t get me wrong, I still take mine to the science center. I just try to accept the fact, the first thing they’ll talk about when they get in the car, is who got to press the elevator button. A taste of fantasy vs. reality from a mom’s perspective.
Trip to the Museum
Mom’s Fantasy: We are going to meander through the museum, look at the dinosaurs, and tour the butterfly exhibit.
Reality: The kids sprint through the exhibits, tell you it’s boring, but pop a squat for over twenty minutes at the T-Rex exhibit because they like the fake blood. Lunch consists of over-priced hot dogs and chips.
Trip to the Beach
Mom’s Fantasy: Take a relaxing walk down by the beach, look for shells and watch the sunset.
Reality: Your son picks up a condom, your daughter steps on a large stick and now are ridiculously hangry, so you leave before sunset.
Mom’s Fantasy: We’ll eat popcorn and enjoy watching the movie together as a family.
Reality: You are up no less than 5x taking a child to the bathroom, running for more food or drink, and continue to look for their shoes they slipped off after the previews. You apologize for their disruptive talking to everyone within a three seat radius. Your son also ruined a make-out session between two lovebirds when he yelled, ‘Kissy, kissy.’
Mom’s Fantasy: We’re going to relax, get away, catch up on sleep, swim and have fun.
Reality: Car breaks down, you sleep with a different child every night and up at o’dark thirty, get sun poisoning, and want to go home after day two.
Mom’s Fantasy: They will love math, learn how to read, and get better at sharing.
Reality: Hot lunch is the best part of their day.
School Field Trips
Mom’s Fantasy: The kids will learn so much, be exposed to the arts and music, and adore the community theater.
Reality: The bus ride was their favorite part.
Mom’s Fantasy: The kids will enjoy the pool, complimentary breakfast and have fun sleeping in a different place.
Reality: The kids are scared of ‘weird noises,’ pile in with you and keep switching beds. Because they can. You throw Twizzlers and chips at them while they watch bad TV, so you can get some sleep. You are on the road by 7:30 a.m.
Mom’s Fantasy: Flying is a new adventure! The kids will sit quietly, eat snacks, play games and even watch a movie.
Reality: Your son licks the fold-down tray; both touch every orifice in the airplane bathroom, and spill their drink. Twice. They also eat all the snacks you brought the first fifteen minutes of the flight.
Mom’s Fantasy: Family and friends will come over to celebrate, the cupcakes and decorations will all coordinate, and everyone will have fun playing games.
Reality: The cupcakes look like Elmo is drunk, your child stops opening gifts because she wants to play with the first thing she received, and all the children fight over who gets the pink balloon. Five years later, the children are still fighting over the pink balloon.
Mom’s Fantasy: My daughter will have fun, emulate her teacher and learn the basics of ballet.
Reality: She just watches herself twirl in the big mirror, admiring her skirt as it flounces.
Mom’s Fantasy: My son will love the competition, being with friends, will learn how to pass and shoot.
Reality: He’s obsessed with a big ant hill and ends up watching a puppy chase a butterfly more than the soccer ball.
Trip to Chicago
Mom’s Fantasy: Enamored by the architecture, museums, lake and food.
Reality: The hotel pool was phenomenal.
Mom’s Fantasy: The kids are going to love all the water slides and cool water features.
Reality: All they want to do is throw quarters at The Claw Machine. Yes, we truly do need another stuffed animal.
Mom’s Fantasy: They will love every minute of everything.
Reality: Okay, they really did love every minute of everything. But, they also thought the turnstiles were fun.
We try way too hard as parents. Next time, throw them in the backyard with some Super Soakers and let them eat Nutella with a spoon. Done.