9.26.2012

The Not So Perfect Ending: Outings with Kids

Sometimes I wonder why we even bother to leave the house.
Well, I know the answer to that because if we didn’t leave the house, then we would go stir crazy and wish that we had left the house amid all the chaos.
So, we leave the house, of course!
And then our journey begins. It always starts off so promising.
This time, we only went a few miles from home to historic Yates Mill Park for Heritage Day.


Beautiful Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh, NC
The weather was beautiful. We could not have asked for a more perfect day to be outside in September.
The kids danced to live music by the Sandbox band. We met a delightful woodcarver and even learned how to make soap.
We were having good, quality family time. You know the kind of family time that could be seen on a Norman Rockwell postcard.
But then, the horrible truth comes out — the times that make you realize the reality of parenting. And it’s no Norman Rockwell postcard.


Apparently, our daughter is a “face-painter.”
Our son avoided stuff like that like the plague, but my daughter became obsessed. Having her face painted is all she could talk about.
But, there was a line. A long line.
We did a few other things and came back to the station, but the line was still there, and one of the artists was on a lunch break. The first time we went by the station, there were two. Now there was just one artist working hard to put fairies, butterflies or whatever on a child’s face.
By this time, we were hot, sweaty, and hungry.
We can be crazy parents, but we weren’t that crazy to wait in the line for our daughter to have paint put on her face only to discover she doesn’t like it and wants it off immediately. That has happened with a tattoo.
The 2-year-old pouting began. She sulked. She refused to walk. She fell down. She ran back to the face-painting stand, but we didn’t budge with our decision. We were too hungry to wait.



Finally, we get back to the parking lot, and we make another parental decision that really turns this story ugly.
We decide to go home for a late lunch instead of getting food from the food trucks.
My 6-year-old son, apparently, didn’t like our decision and wanted to invoke veto power.
Crying, screaming, and yelling was all we heard for our short car ride home. Our beautiful autumn outing had a not-so-perfect ending. One child was sad, and the other was sent to his room for lack of parental respect.
Whose idea was it to leave the house?
Yeah, it was mine.
But, I would like to add that the time we spent there was really great. I’m sure by next week when we go on another outing, I’ll forget how our stories usually end. We have short-term memory loss and hop right back in the car for our next family adventure.


Yates Mill served Wake County as a water-powered mill for more than 200 years.
Read more about its' history.

Anyone want to tag along?

Want To Go: 
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC 




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