When Good Plans Go Bad

Our city has a beautiful garden park that my kids love more than the playground. If I were a kid and I had the choice between a playground and a garden park, I would choose the playground every time, but when I asked Lily what she wanted to do on her birthday last week, she immediately yelled “GARDEN PARK!” And who can argue with going to a place filled with flowers on a kids’ fifth birthday? It certainly aids in the whole “Here’s a picture of you on your fifth birthday!” department.

Here’s how I thought the garden park would go: The kids would play in the sandbox. We’d go for a walk and I would take a lot of gorgeous, frameable pictures of them. Everyone would have a great time. We’d leave and go for ice cream. This was my plan. I did everything I could to stick to this plan.

Rose had other ideas.

It started out so lovely, but this trip was about to go wrong.

Right before we went to the park, I asked her to go to the potty. She “tried”, but didn’t go. Five minutes after we got to the park, she had to go. The restroom was inconveniently on the other side of the park and across a giant parking lot. We hurried over there. The door was horrendous and heavy, especially with our giant stroller, which was carrying all of our gear. I was wearing the baby. Anyway, I put on her potty seat and… nothing. Really? Fine.

We left and walked half a block away when she said she had to go. Repeat the previous paragraph. She still didn’t go. We left walked half a block and she started CRYING that she had to go.

Just as I was shooting this picture, Rose started wailing about the bathroom. She obviously does not want Lily to have pretty birthday pictures.


OMG. I know she’s newly potty trained and I should be patient and I’m TRYING, but I was pissed at this point. We only had about 45 minutes to spend at the park if we were going to make it to ice cream and we were about to waste 30 minutes of it. This was not a pleasant birthday trip. Lily started crying “I’m so tired of going to the bathroom!”

ME TOO.

Woof Woof was tired of visiting the bathroom too.


The third time she finally went, but our trip to the park was ruined. We had to leave right after that. I promised Lily we could redo her birthday garden park trip the next free day we had.

Violet drove us home. She was tired of going to the bathroom too.


Two days later we returned to the park with the same intentions: climbing, sandbox, pictures, walking. It was going to be beautiful.

Um yeah. I should have known better.

The exact same thing happened. Twice in one week. SERIOUSLY? Only this time, she kept saying she wanted to go home to go potty.

Which. No. NO.

I’m sure the park employees, who were talking in the adjoining warehouse both times we were at the park and I could HEAR them so I’m sure they could hear me, thought I was evil. I angrily said things like “NO. We are not going home. NO. I said NO. We aren’t going home. You are going potty here. We go to the potty where we are. NO. GO POTTY. This is your last trip to the bathroom while we are here so it’s now or you can hold it or you can have an accident. Those are your choices. NO. You can not sit in the stroller if you have to go potty and you haven’t peed yet! NO! Just go to the potty!” Um, yeah, the park employees could hear this from me twice in three days. They probably think I’m the worst mom ever.

It was awful. Even though I really wanted to go home, Lily still wanted her park trip. Lily was crying too saying “I just want to go to the park! I’m so tired of going to the potty!”

ME TOO.

And they were supposed to be having fun.

After the second bathroom trip, we walked around the park while Rose burst into tears randomly. She had not used the potty and I was sure she would have an accident at any minute.

It was supposed to be a cheerful fun trip, but it was 90% awful. The last 15 minutes, Rose was finally happy (Lily was happy most of the time we weren’t in the bathroom.).

Totally smug about being the "good sister" two (actually THREE, but that's another story) trips in a row.


Not only did Rose not pee at the park, she didn’t pee for THREE HOURS after we got home. So why we were traipsing back and forth to the potty and ruining our park trip, I’ll never know. I do know that if you REALLY want to have a fun special day with your three kids, one of the three will make sure it doesn’t happen. You would think the troublemaker would be the needy, fussy, hungry baby, but nine times out of ten it’s someone who can talk.

You're looking at the two most likely suspects of our next failed fun trip. They look sweet and innocent, but trust me, it will be one of them and not the baby.

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