With every freak show comes a warning, so here’s your warning: If you are a perfect mother with a perfect family DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
Ever have one of those days where nothing goes as planned? When what played out in your mind was this fairy tale, Parenthood -like scene of family bliss, but in reality turned out to resemble an episode of MTV’s Jersey Shore … complete frickin chaos?
I should have made a prediction of how Saturday was going to play out when I unfortunately woke up randomly at 5 am. Sneaking out of bed I tiptoed to the bathroom and then towards the hallway. When I opened the bedroom door I was welcomed with the morning self conversation of not just one but both twins. Insert song of doom here. Are you serious?? 6 am and they are already up. I’m going to be completely transparent and say I am not excited about my kids being up at 6 am especially on a Saturday. If you are a mom and enjoy 6 am mornings with your kids, you should be deemed a saint. I knew that morning I would have backup support, aka Daddy, so downstairs I went to grab some coffee, check my email, pop some cinnamon rolls in the oven and squeeze in some yoga before the whole clan came down.
We got through the morning and each child donned the Halloween/Autumn attire I had put together for our trip to Abbey Farm (AF). We would partake in my dream of a happy family fall activity filled Saturday, which of course I could later post our sickening sweet pictures of our fun on Facebook where everyone could be jealous of my “perfect” family. Insert evil laugh here.
We made the 15 minute car ride to our destination. We entered the farm on the west entrance driving past a sign that read “Welcome to Abbey Farm” … to warn me of what was to come it should have said “Welcome to the Halperin Family Freak Show.” We didn’t even make it up the walkway before the twins escaped the belts and clutches of the Radio Flyer wagon. We got our entrance bracelets and off we went. Having three children with three different personalities lead to each wanting to go in a separate direction to different attractions. I vetoed them all by taking them to the Mario Brothers photo-op, mind you the only picture taken and posted to Facebook of our “loving” family outing. After accomplishing the photo, we hit up the petting zoo. I had already learned my lesson on these the weekend before when Hailey was trampled by sheep and Travis almost had his eye poked out by a slobbering goat, so we stayed on the outside of the fence to observe others petting the animals. This is where Travis had his first display of MCS (middle child syndrome) and threw a fit because we were heading to the next attraction and away from the llama he preferred to be staring at. As the other three members of my precious family walked ahead I picked Travis up in all his screaming glory and made my way down the path. We headed to the rope maze and past the $4 pony rides.
The first three of my clan entered the maze with ease. Though my gut told me to wait with Travis until they were done, he seemed to actually be interested going in. I should have trusted my instinct because once we were in the middle of the maze he decided that it was the perfect time and place to sit down and have a tantrum number two. So there I am in the middle of a million colored ropes with a screaming toddler yelling “No” at me. I managed to climb over and under the manifestation of the colored web with my middle child in tow.
On to the next adventure. Oh look a huge slide on the side of a hill with a patch of mud at the end. Yay! Insert sigh of sarcasm here. This is where we spent the next 15 minutes tumbling down and running back up. Making good on my promise to go from mother to mom I participated in the slide of doom as well 🙂 By the end of the fun, Hailey’s orange and white fall attire with carefully chosen matching shoes and bow were now splattered with mud and her nose leaking snot. Kodak moment anyone? Travis had also wandered over to the tractor tire attraction and was picking up gravel and whipping it across the grass dangerously close to a group of other kids. I ran over to stop what would surely turn into us paying for someone else’s medical bill and then over to grab our Radio Flyer with Brax yelling behind me that I was going the wrong way.
Next stop on the freak show extravaganza? A blow up jump house/slide. I’ll leave this up to your imagination of what took place, but it was the tamest event during our Abbey Farm stay with Erik taking one for the team and taking all three kids up and down on his own. (Or maybe I felt this was the easiest stop on our AF journey because I didn’t partake). Onward we went to the giant bounce dome where it took longer to take off and put back on all three kids shoes than the amount of time we actually spent on the dome.
Deciding to sit out riding the tricycle/box car contraptions, I made my way over with Hailey and Travis to the benches around the fire pit near by. I should have known. Within 5.7 seconds of me sitting down, I looked up to see Hailey submerging her hands into the ashes inside the pit covering her arms up to her elbows in grey soot. Travis must have gotten a whiff of the apple cider donuts drifting over from the snack shack because he made a bee line for the condiment table set up outside the checkout window. (Travis’s appetite has been the topic of conversation amongst Erik and I for some time. To blatantly describe the situation, I have considered just putting a feedbag around his neck like a horse. Other moms have reassured me that his constant eating is due to his 95% percentile growth rate …. I hope so.) He was frantically grabbing at ketchup and mustard packets as he saw me coming in to take him away.
Erik and Brax met us as we made our way back to the wagon. My angle of a husband suggested I go with Braxton to spend a little one on one time to the burlap hill-side slide. Off we went, me and my little man. After a short stint of cooperative bliss we returned to the rest of our awaiting groupies.
On we went to our next feat of lassoing some fake cattle. The short walk there was interrupted by a water buying break for Braxton and of course another condiment table stop for Travis. When we reached the cattle Brax ended up tripping and spilling his bottle of water that resulted in tears. Once we had our fill of roping some cement we decided that an hour and fifteen minutes of Abbey Farms was good for the Halperin gang. We corralled our own little calves toward the exit. Having other ideas the twins jetted off into opposite directions. Once captured, I fought with them to get into the wagon at which point Brax declared he needed to use the restroom. I don’t do porter potties so off Erik went, hand in hand with Brax leaving me to deal with two hot and sweaty Halperin babies covered in mud and snot.
After coming together, once again,we saw the light at the end of the tunnel … “FARM EXIT.” Off we went down the hill which lead us into the Barn Store. We were able to escape with our sanity only hitting a speed bump of donut samples that the kids swiftly grabbed and stuffed into their mouths. We are experts at loading the minivan in mere seconds so we were all strapped in and ready to go as the parking lot and attractions began to fill with rookie parents who weren’t there when the farm opened. After starting the van, Erik shifted into drive, rolled down the windows and cranked the A/C exclaiming, “DADDY SMELLS LIKE BO, LET”S GO!”
Six minutes into our ride home, Erik turns to me and says “Oh my god, Hailey is passed out.” As any parent knows a child falling asleep an hour and a half before their actual nap time with no lunch is a disaster that will come to be a domino affect the rest of the day. Two minutes later Travis took a jet plane with Mr.Sandman too. Now we were left with two disasters. When Brax discovered that his brother and sister were sleeping he yelled, “Hailey, Travis GET UP!” Thank god the twins inherited their father’s sleeping skills and heard nothing. Arriving home 5 minutes later we parked the van and carefully removed Hailey and Travis and transported them screaming up the stairs, through diaper changes and into their cribs.
Thirty minutes later I heard the twins stirring. It was time for me to escape the house. With Erik cleaning the garage out, I kidnapped Braxton for some power-errand running. Arriving back home an hour and forty-five minutes later the twins had gone back to sleep and the house was quiet. What’s that saying? The calm before the storm, yes, insert saying here.
The twins awoke just in time for me to hit my tired wall from waking up at 5 am. Erik decided it was a perfect time to head to the park to fly a kite. What is exactly going on here?? Who is this man? Knowing better than to partake in such criminal activity after the morning we had, I gave in to peer-spouse pressure and headed to the park with the freak show. Upon arriving Travis decided he did not want to go to the park and we spent the first five minutes directing him away from running towards the street. After everyone was situated Erik was now determined to fly his kite. So off he ran. As he ran the kite string caught around Travis’s midsection knocking him to the ground. This immediately caused Travis to fall into a meltdown. Which lead him straight into my arms for the next five minutes. Now with no success in flying a kite, Travis’s large frame hanging from my collar-bone, Braxton complaining about riding his bike and Hailey not wanting to get out of a swing, the cloud of tension hanging over the park was thick. It was only a matter of time before we cracked. Thankfully the Halperin parents have a good sense of humor and also don’t know when to stop when obviously the universe is blatantly telling us to. So before we decided to throw in the towel we got Erik, Hailey and Travis into the tire swing for a ride. This spark of genius ultimately ended in Erik getting a stomach-ache which was our cue to seriously put a stop to what we had started and head home.
We headed out of the park towards our home. Erik heading up the line and me as the caboose. Thinking about some serious adult time I yelled to Erik, “We are watching a seriously scary horror movie tonight.” Erik responded, “I am so annoyed at this moment I can’t even think of anything child related, so that sounds REALLY good to me.” As he ended his sentence a lady the size of Big Bird came out of nowhere smiling slyly at us. PARENTS OF THE YEAR HERE! We spent the three-minute walk home with Big Bird speed walking in front of us and during which Brax dramatically tipped his bike over twice.
By now it was 4:35 pm when we entered the house. We figured a bath and some dinner may calm the house. But why would our children decide to cooperate now after having so much fun doing the opposite all day? So the next hour consisted of a bath time filled with loud arguing amongst siblings and a dinner half eaten and half dropped on the floor.
To finish the evening with a bang we decided to settle on the couch with our brood and catch up on the latest episode of Top Chef. With laptop in hand, I settled into the one single chair in the living room leaving the couch, love seat and two toddler chairs to my children. My lovely minions decided I had not sacrificed enough that day so onto the chair they climbed pushing me out as they squeezed onto the oversized cushion creating a three-headed monster. Over to the couch I walked. As I turned to sit down on the couch I was faced with all three goober faces again. I could only turn to Erik and say “Are you serious?” What happened in the next three and a half minutes was the ultimate freak show finale. In one swift wave Hailey hit the laptop off button closing out all I had written without saving, the lid to Travis’s sippy cup popped open dumping milk all over my lap making Brax jump up connecting the top of his head with my jaw bone which caused me to cry out in pain and disbelief, “Are you guys serious? Why don’t you all climb up through my belly button into my womb because you seriously can’t get any closer than you are?” Erik started laughing hysterically which lead to our children laughing too which lead me to laugh at myself.
All one big freak show leading to one big laugh, leading to a bedtime 30 minutes earlier than usual, leading to one scary ass adult movie.
This morning as I scrolled through all the pictures of perfect families on my Facebook feed, Erik and I laughed about our freak show and an hour later while I sat in church I thanked God for my perfect freak show and the ability to laugh 🙂