Like every other mom I know, I try to have quality time with my kids on a regular basis. In theory, this sounds awesome. Pinterest-worthy crafting, quaint day trips, and picnic lunches up the wazoo. The reality can be far different. Please, if you’re considering any of the following mommy-and-me activities, proceed with caution—and a gnawing feeling of dread, if you’re smart.
1. Museum time. Boy, this sounds great! Educational and fun at the same time, right? Beware though. While the first hour may be great, and by “hour,” I mean 14 minutes, the children swiftly realize that snacks are not allowed in the museum. And that there is a gift shop. And a café. So basically, we are talking about spending a million bucks to feed your kids and buy them each a bookmark with a painting on it—which they will promptly lose, probably inside an ancient Grecian urn. DON’T TOUCH THAT UNLESS YOU WANT MOMMY TO GET ARRESTED!!
2. Kite flying. What could go wrong? Hmm, let’s see. Too much wind, too little wind, the baby gets strangled, knots in the string, not everyone can hold the string at the same time, and Mommy has to run, preferably while smiling so that the other people in the park don’t realize what a horrific mistake this activity was. Next stop wine o’clock.
3. Princess manicures. Here’s a good way to burn $50 if you don’t have a lighter handy. Take your preschool daughter to a manicure, which you obsessively document on Instagram, because it’s so super cute. Until she won’t sit still, has to pee when your own nails are wet (hey, you were trying to get a little me-time in there too), needs a snack, and then ruins her nails on the way out of the salon by wiping them onto your jeans. Why did you want a girl again?
4. Baseball games. Here’s an idea: Take three kids that have never sat down for more than 15 minutes straight without a screen in front of them and make them sit for four hours in the heat watching a game that they can’t see. There will be frequent eruptions of screaming and cheering that leave your kid with sensory issues traumatized for the next six months. Sign me up, because I’m a masochist, apparently.
5. Any meal in a restaurant. Subjecting other diners to the experience of your children at a table is considered cruel and unusual punishment. Plus ,all they will eat is the French fries. Because once the 1st grader learned to read the words “French fries,” she now knows that they come with every kids’ meal, and she has conveyed this information to the younger two. Damn literacy.
6. Bedtime. Isn’t this supposed to be the nightly ritual that cements your bond with your children? Reading a special book, while you stop to answer 45,000 questions about it, and then they refuse to go potty before bed, even though then they will wake up at night to pee. Or you know, things like who needs a tissue, where is your bear, and OH MY GOD IT’S NINE O’CLOCK WE STARTED THIS AT 7:30 P.M. GET INTO BED BEFORE MOMMY LOSES HER MIND!
Note: If you’re interested in options that actually lead to beautiful mother-child bonding, never fear, I have a fail-safe one. It is a highly educational activity called, “Watching YouTube Videos On Mommy’s Phone Together Until Your Child Falls Asleep, Thus Eliminating The Need For A Fight About Bedtime.” Totally Pinterest-worthy.