Yesterday I took the kids to the playground to have some run-around time and instead of running around they just picked on each other the entire time. We stayed for a little over an hour and there was literally never someone not crying. I was so frustrated that I actually stormed off to the van, hopped inside, and drove over to the next parking lot—just to shock them all into silence. It worked.
They were all very sorrowful after that.
On the way home—when I had all the kids in the van with me—I told them, "Thanks for getting out of the house with me so that we could fight somewhere else. I was getting sick of fighting at home, so this was nice." Because sometimes I'm passive aggressive like that.
And then I told Andrew that we needed to get out for a family adventure, so we decided to head downtown to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. sites. It would be a nearly-timely visit since MLK day is later this month but, I hoped, wouldn't be too crowded (yet), and it wasn't. I was worried that we wouldn't be able to find a parking spot in the lot, but we did (easily) and we enjoyed a little walking tour.
Our first stop was the visitor's center, which had some decent exhibits, I think, but I wasn't a fan of the layout at all. In the big room they had these weird circle-cubicles with pictures and information to read and a video to watch, so they were interesting, but it really killed the flow of the room. But, that's fine. Sometimes with little ones we have to move through museums like this quicker than we'd like, so we often find ourselves looking at things, taking notes of things to look up later, and then moving on before the kids get too antsy.
Andrew's knee is doing much better these days. I don't know that I ever updated on this, but it turns out that he tore his MCL, not his ACL, and this was a very good thing. The doctor said he could expect 6–8 weeks of pain and to slowly wean himself off his brace, but that MCLs usually heal pretty well without surgery or physical therapy. Andrew's knee still hurts but it's starting to feel better and he's starting to be able to do more. Still, he used the stroller like a cane of sorts today (it was quite a bit of walking for him to have to do, but better than the zoo—ha! Our library has a partnership with the zoo where we can check out an informational video about the zoo and then return it to get four free tickets, so I suggested that we do that over Christmas break (because the zoo movie was available at our branch at that moment) and Andrew enthusiastically agreed and then I was like, "Oh, but your knee..." and he was like, "Oh, so much walking at the zoo." The zoo would have killed him, I'm sure, but a couple hours downtown was fine; we'll do the zoo later on).
Here are the kids at the reflecting pool by the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King: