Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Idyllic Summer Day

You know those blogs...where the kids all cooperate when the mama suggests a picnic. Where the mom never seems to lose her cool. Where the screen door never slams into the already-screaming child's forehead. There always seems to be a knitting project on the go in these magical mothers' homes, not to mention time to whip up some wholesome, made-from-scratch jam/bread/cake/muffin/souffle from locally grown ingredients.

I had my fun with trying to be that blogger. See last summer's posts, where every day appeared to be a carnival of bread baking, raspberry picking, and beach fun.

Another year of mothering and blogging has granted me new wisdom.

Yesterday was the first official day of summer. My kids trickled out the door as they are wont to do, without shoes, sunscreen, and hats, and missing various articles of clothing. I decided it would be fun to go on a little adventure.

I went back into the house to collect sunscreen, juice, snacks, shoes, hats, clothing, and a blanket. That only took me about 10 minutes. By that time, Violet and Margot had come back into the house, because where I go, they go. Violet then had a tantrum because she didn't like the dress I grabbed out of the laundry basket. She fought and struggled, I persisted (because I was too lazy to run upstairs to find something she liked) until she tried to run out the door. When I caught her arm, the screen door sprang shut. On her forehead (cue shrill cries of indignation).

The mama is still smiling at this point. Even though Violet then had a fit about the fact that I'd grabbed HER sleeping bag as a picnic blanket. I cajoled, a la Maria Von Trapp, about what fun it would be to enjoy our snack in the great outdoors.

My plan to walk up the road to the field of horses dwindled to a tromp through the grass into one of our small pastures. I tramped down long grass, spread the blanket out, and laid out our snacks, all the while listening to you-know-who shrieking about the burrs and the picky grass and the hot sun that were all conspiring to ruin her life. "This is fun!", I chirped, trying my darndest to convince her.

Then ensued the picnic.

Applesauce plopped off spoons onto dresses. Juice spilled all over the sleeping bag. Jude closed his eyes in resignation. I closed mine in an attempt to go to my happy place. It didn't work.

So, we gathered it all up and headed back up to the civilized, mown grass of the lawn. Margot wasn't wearing a diaper, and started behaving as if she wanted to pee. She squatted, and strained...but, nothing.

So, being a country dweller, I hiked up my skirt, widened my stance, and said, "Look! Pssss! See mommy! I'm peeing in the grass!" I failed to mention to her that I also peed on my skirt. And my shoes.

We ate strawberries and read stories, and hopped in and out of the wading pool. That is the story the pictures tell. But don't fool yourself.

I'm not one of those mothers. This was not one of those picnics.

And this, apparently, is not one of those blogs.


  1. Oh, I have had picnics like that! Boy-oh-boy have I had picnics just like that! Thanks for sharing the joys of one of THOSE picnics! Have a WONDERFUL summer!

  2. Some days this seems like EVERY day to me...some days I opt to not go anywhere past my front yard - or even to go out at all.

    I stopped reading some blogs because I felt worse after reading them, comparing my imperfections as a parent, always feeling like I wasn't measuring up, wondering why I couldn't be everything to my children that other mom's seemed to be (and earn money with thier blog!)...Goodness forbid I didn't do a craft with my children that day! Some days, I just don't want to deal with cleaning ANOTHER mess.

    I treasure your honesty and bless you for sharing so much. I know that you are 'real' and I also see how much you deeply love your family. I find it amazing to see how much you seem to have grown and changed through what you share on your blogs, the changes you are making and that you make every day to better yourself and your family. I am sure that is just a small part of it...(It also brings me back to your blog when I have turned away from so many others.)

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL summer too. Take care of you....


  3. Oh, I sooo had one of those days today! We went walking to the creek and played in the water and that was all great and dandy. But once we got home everyone was melting down and I had this killer headache and the older girls were fighting and bickering and pinching and mama was yelling and by the end of the day they got veggie dogs for supper and I was so glad to see this day close.
    I have a really hard time believing anyone's life is exactly what they're blogging. i mean, sure, we need to focus on the positive and share inspiration and encouragment but *we all* have those days, wks, months. Heck, it all feels like a blur at the moment. Such is life with kids. Beautiful, a blast but is it ever *really* idyllic?

  4. I pee on myself every time I squat for a nature pee. No matter how wide I spread....I'm glad you aren't one of those blogs. Mine isn't either. Hugs to you!


  5. Your blog reads so well-loved and the darlings behave like the kids I know; it feels so right to me.

  6. You know, you may not be one of "those mothers" but you are an amazing mother for spending the afternoon full of all these adventures with your children. In your last photo, I focused on "The Grumpy Bird" tehehe, I really enjoyed your day...pee on skirt and all.

  7. Oh.My.God.
    This is too good. I think my favourite part was you hiking your skirt up to pee on the grass and yourself. You may be my new favourite person ;)
    Thanks for letting me know I am not doing it wrong, this is just how it is.

  8. LOVE this post.
    You rock, sister.

  9. "Those" blogs do not represent real lives. Real lives are those in which we accidentally pee on our skirt (been there sister!), kids get grumpy, wholesome muffins get burned on the bottom, mom gets cranky and it's not perfect. Long live real lives, and long live busy mamas who write blogs about what really happens.

  10. hmm, you sound pretty normal to me.

    great post.

  11. Still smiling after reading your post...I've spent the past week and a half trying to muster up the courage to take my boys strawberry picking. In my head, it could be this wonderful, pastoral memory, but I know reality is going to be more unruly.

  12. I think that the beauty of blogging or journalling is just that...there is beauty in all of's okay to present only the perfect moments because that is the part you want to remember and it's okay to present the not-so-perfect ones because those are part of the journey too.

  13. I agree, Sheepish; blogging has helped me mine out the gems in my day...I think I resist the unconscious pressure I put on myself when I compare myself to others, and have heard other mothers express that at times my life seems so perfect and idyllic...and that they can't compare to me. I like the idea of presenting a balance of the ideal and the not-so-ideal...both are equally REAL and valuable.

  14. I don't know what it is about women - well just me anyway - but I find it so DARN COMFORTING to know that I am not alone. Thanks again for letting us know we're only human. I sometimes fear the neighbours 500m away can hear the curses that come out of me when I"m trying to get my kids out the door. I hope in some universe somewhere I am forgiven. Perhaps writing it all down is that forgiveness that we all need to get on with the day.

  15. Oh, FFW, I've had the same thought many times...that my neighbours must think I'm part-pirate, or that all the screaming and crying that goes on must be a result of how often I beat my poor children. I too hope to be forgiven for the noise, and given the benefit of the doubt that the screaming is just the natural noise of a household of little ones...heehee!

  16. just keep it real! You get to a certain age where the truth just is way more refreshing then a scripted version of reality.
    When I was younger I had the energy to pretend that my life was a Canadian version of June Cleaver's but it didn't do me or any other women any favours for the charade


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