Spring: Denver Botanic Gardens & "Stop"
On Wednesday we found ourselves up and at 'em early, dressed and somewhere to go, but not really sure of where...then we got a message from our friends inviting us to the park or the Botanic Gardens! Of course Remy cheered at the idea of the gardens and meeting up with her pal. We grabbed our sunscreen and sunnies, finished our smoothies (I am trying to do more of these), and we were on our way!
It was such a GORGEOUS spring day here in Denver. PERFECT for a stroll around the Botanic Gardens. Apparently, as a perfect day to stroll the dollies in strollers too! Our friend wanted to bring her shopping cart with her so they brought a spare in case one of my girls wanted to join in, and sure enough Arlo was the one to take the handles! She would not let this thing go as soon as she got her hands on it after I let her loose out of her own stroller. She cried and almost threw tantrums. We had to do the old switcher with a tiny pack of M&M's, again a friend's stash... What we do without her?! No toys, no treats... who are we?! Ha!
Remy was excited as all get out and ran laps around us, literally. Several times I had to call out for her to come back to us. There was even a small dance party under the gazebo after I slathered on the sunscreen. The tiny trio really got into some Swift and Perry..,
When we were off again, Remy;s hat fell off and her friend put it in the stroller- thanks E! Then I was crouching down with Remy and then didn't see the hat. My friend watched the girls and I retraced our steps only to turn up empty handed. Meanwhile, Remy stuck her hand in a cactus, this was in mere minutes of turning away... this girl. My head hurts from trying to keep her safe all day. Hence the realization that all this time, Arlo had the hat on her head the entire time! She was sitting in the stroller under the sun shade, cool as a cucumber and here we were getting prickles out of Remy's palm when I turned to look at Arlo and she was leaning forward to see what all the commotion was about. With the hat on. She is SOOOO FUNNY!
We managed to sit through a decent, albeit EXPENSIVE lunch. (Momma didn't have the groceries for a lunch, gulp.) So we indulged. I thought the girls did a fairly good job of sitting and eating, to the best of their abilities. The turkey sandwich was pretty good, the fries were very good, and I would skip the quesadilla.
After potty breaks we were off for more strolling, but at this point the girls were getting extremely tired and I was grabbing cues from Remy. Her indecisiveness, moodiness, wishy-washy behavior...an onset of defiance. This si when I start to lose my cool and want to flee. I feel like Cinderella about to turn into a pumpkin. Rushed goodbyes, racing to the car, singing and doing games to coax them into their carseats... it's exhausting.
But we had a GREAT time whilst it lasted! Thank you N & E!
So about that weird headline I gave this post. I told my friend later, that I felt like I was a little too harsh on Remy. Remy was having a gay time, running around, screaming, laughing...and here I was in retrospect, thinking about all the times I quieted her down, told her to stop, slow down, get back over here...What a joy kill! Am I totally squashing and inhibiting her playfulness and right of youth?! Or am I guarding myself against scrutiny from public? I know when I wash;t a mother, I was THAT person, finger pointing and saying, "Why don't they discipline that child?" "Do they think that is acceptable?" "I didn't come to the Botanic Gardens to hear kids screaming." I hear these voices in my head and I act outwardly to the public in THEIR defense instead of defending my girl's freedom, innocence and utter joy of play. Hmm... Are we embarrassed? Should we care so much what other people MIGHT say or DO and restrict our children's natural tendencies and behaviors, or should we let them loose. I always think about a blurb once I heard floating around about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's parenting style and how they let the kids do whatever the heck they wanted, even drawing on walls.. whatever they were compelled to do, they let them. Whether or not it is true, it struck chord with me. While I don't believe I could let myself let them color on the walls, although Arlo is a know colorer-on-things-not-paper kindda girl, could I challenge myself to at least stop saying, "STOP," so much? That's my new personal challenge.
I totally sucked and failed at that MOST of today. But we DID do "Twisty Ties," (see on my Instagram the twirling of the porch swings), and had fun doing our errands (they were both absolute angels at TWO stores) and I built a slide out of the couch cushions for them after dinner... soooo...that's a little balance right? Maybe if I just check in with myself daily, like I did just now, and recount the "stops," versus "yes, lets!"
Anyway... here are a few photos from the Botanic Gardens the other day. There was some construction happening so it was actually rather noisy in the middle, it seems they are ALWAYS working on something, but I was surprised to see so much color and a lot blooming already!