Today did not start out well. At all. It was my fault, really--I decided to shake up the routine a bit by having all of my children sit at the kitchen table and do school together. This meant no one-on-one time as usual...just instruction together at three different levels. It used to work in the schoolhouses in the olden days, right? Not so much in this school house. Jacob decided he wanted to silent read a book, one that was a little over his head, so he got frustrated; Michael refused to sound out a simple word he was completely capable of sounding out; Alex was jabbering on about something when she was supposed to be doing her work; Audrey was alright until she dropped a crayon and had a small fit, and it was then that Michael decided to amuse himself by teasing her with a toy. All of this because I thought I would do some baking WHILE schooling. Two things at once. I can usually handle that. But amid all of this chaos, I couldn't remember if I'd put in 1 cup or 2. And did I already put the baking powder in?
I wanted to get the baking done because we had plans tonight for a fellow Married Single Mom to come over for dinner with her two kids. But I could already tell that if I had to spend the whole day with this wild crew (I'm talking about mine, not hers), someone would be killed or I might just run away. So...I decided to be spontaneous again! What is that--twice in the same number of weeks? I called Marianna, my MSM who was to come for dinner, to see if she wanted to head over to Helen for the afternoon. She, being spontaneous already, didn't hesitate.
We left here about 1:30 and headed north. When we got to Cleveland (Georgia, that is), the girls were very excited because they realized we were in the birth town of the Cabbage Patch Kids. We discussed stopping on the way back, but when we saw that it closed at 5:00, we discussed stopping then. I hedged a bit. This was NOT in the plan. But we stopped. Although the boys were a bit hesitant at first, even they had a good time visiting the birth place of the very expensive dolls ($170 if you adopt a unique one--are you kidding me???).
Then it was on to Helen. Our first stop, of course, was to get funnel cakes because one cannot visit Helen without getting a funnel cake. Tell that to my eldest daughter, though--she won't touch a funnel cake. After funnel cakes, we headed across the street to greet the horses who were waiting for carriage passengers. Once we found out one carriage could take all of us, we decided to give it a go. The kids were thrilled! Our horse was Samsom. Yes, Samsom, with two M's. Have you ever met someone whose name is almost familiar but not quite and you just know their parents were probably never Spelling Bee winners? And, yes, it took all of my willpower not to edit the poor horse's name on the permit posted in the carriage. Anyway, I digress...Samsom may have been a very nice horse (though smelly at some points), but he was very slow. The better to get our money's worth, I suppose. (Of course, I would trudge through life too if my name was misspelled). The kids enjoyed a fantastic, leisurely trot past all of the sights and even got to feed Samsom carrots after the ride.
Following our ride around the block, we stopped briefly at the glass blowing shop, managed to escape having to pay no damages, and then headed to the riverbank. There were a lot of people tubing down the Chattahoochee today, and we were lucky to find a perfect spot on the bank where we could get down near the water. It wasn't long before the first of the kids went from wading to dipping to splashing to getting soaking wet. (Please note that this was not part of the plan either so there were no changes of clothes).
Marianna and I were a little hesitant to call time because we knew everyone was soaking wet and dirty. As luck would have it, as we were packing up to go, I discovered a forgotten bag of Audrey's baby towels waiting for delivery to Goodwill. What a find! And how perfect for wet little bottoms and muddy feet! So now we were all set to go back home to a spaghetti dinner (the sauce had simmered in the crockpot all day).
It was a great day. The kids had so much fun. And I had fun. This spontaneity thing? It's alright. I might even get used to it!