Can you believe I got Not Mommy of the Year to guest post here? I stalk her blog pretty silently – generally having no idea what to comment. I like her blog, a lot. We just don’t interact as much as two working moms with blogs could. So I was pretty shocked that she responded to my call for guest posters. Please, please, be very nice to her. I think she’s way worth it.
Sometimes I like to let others learn from my mistakes. I seethis parenting thing as a big community. Where you screw something up, I takethe opportunity to learn from it, where I can give you advice, I jump in. Evenif the advice was unsolicited.
So when I read the post for guest bloggers, I immediatelythought when I was pregnant with my second baby. How I wanted to hang ontothose moments where we were a family of three and give Chessa memories as anonly child. (Or at least pictures – since Cole came when she was 17-months old,she’ll never remember life before him.)
And I remembered the day that I’m writing about here. If you take anything away from this, takethis as my warning to not cross the Chuck E Cheese threshold late in yourpregnancy.
Can I get an Amen?
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Two weeks before Cole’s scheduled delivery, I froze. In two short weeks, I would never be a motherto one again. I would never be able totake Chessa anywhere, by herself, where all the attention was on her withoutarranging child care for another baby.
It was time to make some memories. And take some photos ofour family of three.
I had visions of chasing her around a park, going for longwalks or finding an amusement park.
The only problem was that it was late February and I live inCentral PA. It was a warm day, but therewas still two feet of snow on the ground.
My memory is a little fuzzy on which one of us suggestedChuck E Cheese, but I’m going to blame Craig. (I’m the one writing this so Ican do that.) So, when Chessa woke upfrom nap, I dressed her, called the grandparents who wanted to come with us andwe drive 25 miles to the nearest Chuck E Cheese, or, Chuck E Place Where KidsGo Insane, as I like to call it now.
We walked into the dimly lit activity center, got our handsstamped by the 14 year old security guard, and paused for a moment to take itall in.
The pulsing lights.
The loud, obnoxious music.
The smell of cheap pizza and feet.
The 6-foot mice dancing on stage.
At 38 weeks pregnant, I kneeled down to my 17-month oldfirst born and said, with as much excitement as I could muster, “check it out,Baby Girl. Do you want to pl—“
And then I was spun around by a four-year-old determined tobe next in line for Wack A Mole.
Moments later we found our way into the slightly safertoddler area.
Chessa sat in the rocking car thing and we pumped it full ofquarters. Each time when it ended, Craigor I would ask her if she wanted to play with something else.
“NO!! No! No! No! No.”
On the rocking car we stayed.
Eventually, other kids, who looked a wee bit big for thetoddler area, started circling my little girl on her rocking chair and as themom who doesn’t want to annoy other kids, I moved her to a jungle gym.
Craig walked her to the slide, we coaxed her into comingdown, and I caught her.
“WHHHEEEE!” Isn’t that fun?!
“No!” she said running back to the rocking car.
As the giant kid who was riding it looked at her, kicked andsaid “MINE!” Craig picked her up and took her to the basketball hoop.
I pumped in quarters and Craig tried to show her how fun itwas to score baskets. I chased the ballsthat bounced off the rim. As athletic as he may be, shooting baskets whileholding a squirmy toddler who is crying because she wants to ride the car iseasier said than done.
Side note to say: Do you all realize how bloody HOT it isinside Chuck E Cheese?
Finally, what seemed like hours but was really only 27minutes passed and Craig looked at me to say “I’m ready when you —”
We took a family trip to Sam’s Club, pushed Chessa in thecart, enjoyed the regulated temperature, ate some free samples and all wasright with the world.
Go check out Not Mommy of the Year. Seriously.