Of course I totally opted for "Cow Appreciation Day" at Chick-fil-a today. A reason to have Chick-fil-a, plus entertainment for my children in the summer is a no brainer. I love the summer and fun days with the kids, but my social butterfly 5 yr old needs almost constant socialization and interaction. Which this introvert is totally incapable of giving. So, it sounded like a perfect, simple summer fun outing. And we were going with friends...even better.
All I needed to do was put together a couple of cow costumes for the boys - and if I had time - one for myself. My oldest would be happy and excited to dress up and "participate" in the fun and games. I would have the reward of free food and a happy child.
It's just a freaking cow costume.
That's it. Create a cow costume. They even provide starter kits...if I had paid attention and had Brad print them out ahead of time since our printer hasn't had ink...for like 5 years.
But I didn't do that...so I had to get crafty. I'm not crafty. Crafts stress me out. I have no patience for things like that. Especially when I have three children yelling at me for one reason or another. My perfectionism kicks into overdrive, and things just don't go well.
I had the materials all at home. I "self-talked" my way through the whole prep process. Keep it simple. Don't need to go overboard. Doesn't have to be perfect. My 5 yr old will be happy with anything. That sort of thing.
Then I read the rules. This girl likes to follow the rules perfectly. But I wasn't sure what they meant by full cow costume (free meal) and "just a few spots" (free entree). Of course, I wanted the free meal. That would make it worth it...and, yes, my child's fun and joy would as well. So, I started getting concerned if what I had planned would suffice for the free meal.
Meanwhile, I had good husband also encouraging me to keep it simple...he knows me. He said things like, "it doesn't have to be perfect". "It's no big deal".
Then I explain my plans for the noses. They would be black, I would paint them on, etc. Brad, then, informs me that cow noses are pink not black. Right. Who said it didn't have to be perfect?
Then I cut the ears out, and put them on the hat that the boys would be wearing. Brad says, "um, it looks like Dalmatian ears. Cows don't have ears like that."
The whole time, My 5yr old is talking incessantly about what his nose will look like, what the costume will look like, and every detail of what will happen the next day. Of course, he is also trying to help by cutting out circles. In which I just walk away to keep myself from telling him how to do it better or...at least...not the way he is currently doing it.
Little princess is bouncing between crying and whining constantly, because it is nearing her fussy time of night.
Our middle guy....well, he is doing what he does. Finding anything and everything to get into...then begging me to just hold him.
I would pause to go nurse princess, and then come back. Clean the bathtub out for their baths. Come back and cut another spot out. Start the bath water. Go staple a spot. Get our middle guy in the bathtub. Go work on it a little more.
Brad has tried for over an hour just to clean up the dishes from dinner. Between helping me and the kids, he can't get anything done either.
I can't find the white shirts I was positive the kids had. I can't decide if tape was really going to work, because the spots would fall off as soon as they touched the shirts. Brad suggests to use a stapler. Which I did on one shirt, because I didn't care if it was ruined. It took way longer than necessary. I had to grab the stapler and scissors multiple times from tiny hands before they injured themselves.
I finally had to stop going online for examples, because I wanted to make it as perfect as the best ones I had seen. And I didn't have the time, energy, or resources to do it. All the while, Brad is shaking his head at me...because he knows me. Go big or go home. Can't do it halfway.
I finally settled into simple...I had to...before someone got hurt.
Why did I agree to do this?
My precious oldest child, at some point, became convinced it was "Kiss a Cow" day. So, he tells Brad this morning that he is going to have an "experience" today. It's National Kiss a Cow day. And he is going to kiss that cow. What? I tried to tell him it wasn't "kiss a cow day". And all I could think was - please don't try to kiss the cow.
He wasn't convinced until we were there, and standing in line. And he says, oh okay. Yeah, I don't think anyone's kissing the cow.
Right...that's what I tried to tell you - many times.
I could go on...
Needless to say, I was yelling at everyone by the end of the night. And I collapsed on the sofa after we finally got them all in bed around 9:45pm. And all I could think was, "If the kids don't get free meals, I will climb over the counter and kill someone".
I know some of you are thinking, "what is her problem"? That should have been so simple. I know, right? Doesn't matter the craft project...big or small. I can do some things well. Crafts? We have this love/hate relationship. I am a creative person, so I want to love it. Yet I hate it every time.
Much of it comes down to my lack of patience and need for perfection. I'm sure there is a lesson from all of that, and from this project. But I am too exhausted to care.
All I know is that we ended up with two free meals (I had nothing left to create something for me). And I had two incredibly cute and happy cows. They had a blast. Which, of course, was well worth the craziness. Love those boys, and what my love for them (well, and maybe a little, my love for Chick-fil-a :)) pushes me to do. It's a crazy world, man. But it's a wonderful crazy.