Monday, February 2, 2009

Dreams Versus Reality

The Dream: Taking my kids downtown to see the Christmas lights, giant train in front of Macy’s, and horse drawn carriages will be fun.

The Reality: My kids act like bats out of hell downtown and it’s twenty one degrees outside. I don’t even think about chasing them because I can barely move under my ten layers of clothes. They leave a pile of tourists, homeless people, and the Salvation Army lady in their wake. When not apologizing profusely and picking old ladies off of the ground, I try to keep on eye on my kids so they don’t get run over by downtown, rush hour traffic. Within twenty minutes of my supposedly sweet winter wonderland fantasy, I am staring longingly into every bar I pass.

The Dream: Downtown restaurants are kid friendly.

The Reality: Several downtown restaurants claim to be kid friendly, but as soon as my motley crew enters all well-coiffed, cellphone talking heads turn and stare. I could hear a pin drop if it weren’t for my daughter’s shrieks of, “I want dessert!” as she tears past tables adorned with white tablecloths and long-stemmed wine glasses. She nearly trips several waitstaff along her way and I start to second guess my insistence on eating a decent meal. This may be a good time to break my boycott on McDonald’s.

The Dream: My children know how to behave in restaurants.

The Reality: My son waits patiently for his food to arrive, eats his ordered meal, and then reads quietly to himself. My daughter grabs all of the knives from the table and wields them frantically as she jumps up and down in her seat. When everyone at the table refuses to join her, she deems us boring and races around the restaurant looking for allies. I eventually find her behind the bar, shaking every colorful, breakable bottle she can get her hands on.

The Dream: A night out on the town with my children is fun.

The Reality: Now that they are tucked securely in their beds, a night on the town with my children was fun. And next time I plan an adventure with them, I won’t remember any of the realities, only the dreams.

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