I am practicing my "Oh,wells." I have had some just wonderful opportunities over the last 48 hours to do this...
We are outside a crowded Starbucks during our weekly walk with friends. While I am watching two of the smaller children, Jackson decides he needs to "go pee" because M. and her mommy just headed for the restroom. I tell him, "Go, hurry, before the door closes!", and he does. I look down to take two cups of chocolate milk away from an exploring one-year-old, and I hear a chorus of, "Ohhh!"s. I look up to hear my son's muffled crying coming from underneath an older woman. The poor dear had actually fallen right on top of my big three-year-old. It is possible they weigh close the same amount. No, not really. But I was more scared for her. I run over to rescue him and he is sobbing against my shoulder, scared to death, while I am scared to death that my son's hard head has possibly cracked this woman's ribs. I am trying to calm him down, checking for cuts and bruises, while at the same time trying to surreptitiously check out the woman for breaks and fractures. Both seem okay, just shaken up. The woman and I are falling over ourselves, apologizing. Then the litigation team rushes out of Starbucks to make sure no one is going to press charges on Starbucks property (no, really they were quite kind and probably just wanted to make sure we were all okay; however, two of the sweet girls talked to us about "Incident Report" paperwork). Anyway, everyone was fine, just a little humbled. As soon as K. returned from the bathroom (luckily, she missed all of the drama), I asked, "Can we please go?".
Our home away from home, the Bakersfield Racquet Club, is where we have been spending many a splendid summer afternoon. We are able to swim in the pool, then eat a lovely lunch from the diner and play for awhile as we watch our Daddy's tennis game. We love the Raquet Club because it is unpretentious as a whole, and families with very young children feel quite welcome there. We have made it through three years without much of a problem, the occasional "shush", or "clean that up", or "to the restroom for a spanking...now"- but nothing that attracts too much attention.
At the request of my son and my husband, we checked out two little tennis racquets for the children to play with. We do this a few times a month and they enjoy trying to hit balls. But we were in a corner, trying to keep a low profile. And there were no balls. So Jackson decided to whack his sister instead. I heard it. It was hard. She started wailing, then he started wailing, so I scooped her up and took her to the grotto by the entrance. I made him come with us and sit right under a tree. She had a small gash and bump above her eye, and her cheek was red, but there was no serious damage. Again. Praise the Lord. But person after person came over to check on us. Someone brought us ice. Very helpful, we really appreciate it. Then a group of ladies came because they "had seen the whole thing" and wanted to see if she was okay. Yes, thank you. Then Daddy again to make sure she was really fine. She is, we love you. Then I looked down at the recovering sweet thing on my lap to realize that she had pooped some time in the last 5 minutes and it had squished out of her diaper onto my pants. Let's go to the bathroom now, please. But then we were able to go to the pool and everything was just fine. : )