This is a blog I started a looong time ago and never finished... it's weird to look back and see what I was doing....
Dear Total Stranger,
Yes. I saw you. I am absolutely certain you wanted me to see you. I first saw you when my kids were running around the dinosaur exhibit, shouting and laughing. I saw you again when I was dragging the crying 4 year old out of the play room while trying to catch up to the 2 year old who was in the other room. And then next, we crossed paths in what my kids call the "Bear Room". I saw you shake your head when you saw my boys sprawled on the floor. And then finally, I heard you "Tsk" in the parking lot, as my boys were not listening to me telling them to get in the car.
Here's the thing. When you saw me the first time, my boys were pretending they were dinosaurs. Will was a T-Rex and so was Jack, until he saw the parasarauphalas, which Jack correctly identified as a plant eater. So Will decided to eat Jack. And I let them play.
And then, when story time started, I wrangled them into the play room. It took some talking, but I finally got Jack to sit on my lap and listen to the story and about three minutes later, Will had to go to the bathroom. I know you don't know Will, so I'll explain. He's 2, and you probably remember, you don't turn down a 2 year old who wants to go potty. But, I had just talked the 4 year old into sitting. So now I had to tell him that he had to get up and go to the bathroom with us. Which he didn't want to. I had to drag him up and chase after Will who had headed off for the bathroom before us. He's the kid that walked right past you, without an adult, remember?
After the bathroom, we went to the "Bear Room" and before you got there, we were identifying animals and I had spent some time trying to explain that dung beetles are not the size of that big statue and that the animals in that room had all been alive at one point. Then the boys began to pretend they were polar bears and they were prowling the tundra, in search of seals to eat. And I let them play.
Finally, it was time to leave and we went out to the car, passing a large snow bank on the way. Jack immediately ran to make a snowball to throw at his brother. It wasn't so much that I didn't want him to hit Will with a snowball, more that I didn't want the snow in the car. But there isn't always snow in the parking lot in our mid-Atlantic state, so really, what's the harm in letting a kid play?
So Total Stranger, I hope that you can forgive my lack of parenting or that you at least got enough sense of superiority to get you through another day until you can 'tsk tsk" at another harried mom. And if that mom is me, don't worry, I'll give you plenty of stuff to talk about, but I'll be too busy enjoying my kids to care.