I came across these picnic pictures in my phone. A reminder that all those visions of what our life with our little children would be like were pretty unrealistic. Maybe they were lies my ovaries told my pre-baby brain. Or maybe they idealizations based on pictures I saw in a magazine, of fake families, doing fake things, with fake smiles. And all the poop stains and bags under the eyes photoshopped out.
ALTERNATE TITLE: That time we thought a family picnic would be nice.
SUBTITLE: It wasn’t.
Family Picnic! You know, a cute monochromatic quilt with little legs and feet softly kicking up and down while little fingers pick away at tiny geometric shaped foods.
An array of fresh cheeses and berries my husband and I eat with our hands while sipping a cool white. A family of rambunctious squirrels in the trees to entertain us. The freedom of nature inspiring us to throw our heads back and laugh into the blue skies. My husband gives me that smile that says, “I live for these days, you are an amazing woman and mom” and I get a tear in my eye cause we made these tiny little bursts of love and giggles.
Two under two, and I still think this is a possibility. I’m a slow learner. And a huge dreamer.
It was a spur-of-the-moment picnic, cause I’m trying to say ‘yes’ more and crap like that (Type Nine Problems). And because we were in the city for marriage counselling and needed to just not be trapped in the car with our hungry children.
A baby blanket and some take-out thrown onto a spot of clear ballpark. It quickly became home base for Levi to spring off doing laps around every tree and building in a 200 meter radius. Lenayah coyly crawled around trying to eat all the (gluten-filled) food, sticks, and grass she could find.
We took turns scarfing down our burgers and making baby girl cry every time we took a choking hazard out of her hands. While the other one monitored Levi’s adventures, giving a shout each time we were in sight of each other “you good?” “done that burger?” “switch?” “Levi just crapped everywhere”
It was really relaxing. Especially the part where I praised Lenayah on eating her tomatoes so well only to snap out of my daze and realize she was shovelling goose turds in her mouth. Mom fail. Health Inspector Fail.
And as most of our outings end. We became that family. Hatch open, one kid running and squealing while stripped naked to change his diaper and pants. The other kid crying as her mouth is being rinsed out with water cause she ingested her body weight in bird poop. Me and Conor covered in weird-shaped stains, pawing half-eaten food, sharing smirks and shaking our heads at ourselves.
Family picnics…..it’s why McDonald’s playplace was invented.