What on Earth Was I Thinking Taking My Kids Out Saturday

Oh mercy, y’all.  This is when I love having a blog.  I get to throw this crazy stuff out there and have some preschooler mommas community!

My darling hubby went hunting Wednesday.  He’ll be back tomorrow.  I’d decided on Thursday to lay low with the kids because I was tired and didn’t want to run around to museums or parks Saturday.

Then, oh then, I heard on the radio Friday morning about Festival of Lights.  It’s down in Galveston, not quite an hour and a half from my home, and Santa parachutes from the sky on November 16th and turns on a massive light display at Moody Gardens.  Boy that sounded fun.  I’d really been wanting to take the kids to the beach.  We’re so close and they’ve never been.  So I thought, hmmm, we can sleep in, mosey out around 11, have a late lunch by the beach, build sand castles, and then go to Festival of Lights.  I bought the $6 tickets on-line and was all set.

First things first.  I went to too fancy of a restaurant.  A great historic seafood restaurant right off the beach, but even though it has a kids menu, it also has white linen tablecloths and glass glasses preset.  Uh-oh.

We narrowly survived that.  Then we promptly trotted across the street to the beach.  Three kids never want to do the same thing.  The eldest was ready to build a sandcastle, shovel and bucket in hand.  The baby wanted to collect sea shells down by the water.  And after about 10 minutes, the little lady became terrified the beach was somehow going to gobble up her legs and wanted to get the heck off.


Then of course they need to potty.  They’d already gone three times.  Once on the road off the freeway headed down and twice each at the restaurant.

So we’re basically trying to find a corner near the seawall to go where we won’t be charged with public indecency because there are no bathrooms around.

Despite the fact that I’m the mommy that remembered buckets and shovels, I did NOT remember a change of clothes.  So when the baby was picking seashells and got caught off guard by a wave and fell into the water, I had nothing.  Zilch.  Zero.

Just a wet kid that wanted to get naked.

It’s nearly three and they’re getting tired and grumpy.  They don’t nap much now but they get plenty tired and grumpy.  So I try to get Siri to find me a Target so I can buy some dry clothes and socks before going to the thing that I bought tickets for.  Success.  We change in the car, pee in the parking lot, because these children have bladders the size of acorns, and head over to Festival of Lights.

Beware.  Mothers of preschoolers.  Though clearly all of us had the same idea because there were a zillion preschoolers there.  We arrive at four.  But you can’t see the stage because it’s not elevated.  So you’re entertaining kids for AN HOUR before Santa descends.  Annnnnnnd they need to potty again.  I’m running around trying to find a covert shrub because yet again nary a bathroom.  Here comes Santa and his elves, landing nowhere near the X that we were seated at to get the primo view, and they need to potty again.  I can’t make this up.

Then we have to wait until 6 pm to actually get Santa to switch on the lights.  What do you do for an hour when there is NO FOOD but popcorn and cotton candy (uh, I don’t think so!) and the only stuff open is the stuff you don’t have tickets for.  These people are clearly geniuses.  The little lady melts down that she hasn’t seen the Nutcracker dancers and the eldest flips when he thinks he won’t actually get to SEE Santa which is why we went in the first place.  I promise little lady we’re going to the Nutcracker in December and she’s going to meet them all (this is true, it’s just not for a month, and she was ready to leave and put on her dress and go that instant) and desperately fought to find the entrance for Santa to the stage so we could catch a glimpse.

We do.  Relief.  Lights on.  But now it’s 6:15 and there’s nowhere to eat and the kids are filthy and have to go potty AGAIN.  Once more, find a convenient remote tree, and off we go.  I leave before even entering the Festival of Lights because we’re pretty much past the survival mark and I don’t want to turn into that awful mom barking at her kids as 10,000 people wonder whether they should call CPS.  We find a Sonic not far away so they can chomp grilled cheeses en route to the house, but not before going potty in THAT parking lot (seriously y’all, what in the world?!?!), and we get on the freeway home only to have it shut down for road work.

I got a few cute photos out of the day.


And a few realistic ones.


But. Never. Again.  Let this be a warning for any of you sunnily optimistic moms thinking a day outing sounds like fun.  With three preschoolers.  Think again moms.  Think again.


(We’re all safely home, clean, they’re sleeping, and we’ve learned a valuable lesson, so I guess all’s well that ends well….)


  1. ROFL!!! All the potty trips…in sane!!!

  2. LOVE this. Thank you for sharing. I cannot count the number of parking lots, side of the road encounters, and diaper/clothes changes in the back of my SUV that we’ve encountered. Refreshing to know that my children are not the only one’s going potty between the two doors of my SUV flung open for some spot of modesty! (including the parking lot of Sonic. :0)

    • I feel so much better Suzy. By the time I was on the third one peeing in the parking lot at Sonic, the food guy came out and walked around the car to find me and I said, “sorry, I have a kid that needed to pee” and he died laughing. Was still laughing when we got in the car and paid for the food – at least we brightened someone’s day with the insanity :)

  3. Thanks for sharing…I completely get it. I’m a little worried now, we are doing Zoo Lights tomorrow night. Mine are still young enough we put pull-up on for outings like this, just-in-case. But with 3, the bathroom breaks alone are exhausting.

    • Oh goodness Anna! Yes, we did zoo lights last year. (We were disappointed because SO much of the zoo was shut off and the kids were so obsessed w/seeing animals that weren’t available to the public at night). How I miss pull ups!!!!!

  4. Kristin smith says:

    Oh just love this warning!! ;)

  5. Oh, NO!!! Oh, all the pottying would kill me! Where are those darned too small, doors that don’t really shut, Hyatt bathrooms when you need them? You are such a good mom ;)

  6. I took all three camping at the beach for three days solo while my hubby was out of town. They were 3,3 and 1 at the time. Let’s just say I don’t think a single kid toilet in a tent holds enough… And that I caught both girls with swimsuits around the ankles in a tide pool. And good old Sedryn had to be hauled away from the beach upside down howling on my hip because he was hungry and wanted to stay by the ocean forever. I didn’t know you could get sand burned by a flailing toddler…

    But would I do it again: yep. I just wouldn’t haul as much stuff to the beach when thee is a quarter mile walk….

    Glad to laugh and so glad they slept well. That always makes it worth it!

    • Oh Melissa – wow SO MUCH braver than me! I can’t imagine camping. Overnight. Aggghh. You rock. And I don’t know if I’d do it over again :)

  7. Girl. You are awesomely brave. (And SO cool…what a fun thing to do with your kiddos!) I often admire you for the simple fact that I am exhausted at the end of the day after chasing ONE three year old. Aaaahhh…I know you will smile at the memories someday soon. :) (((hugs)))

    • Mel – brave? Hmm, no. Insane? Hmmm, yep. Yes, I’m exhausted too. But I also go a little stir crazy at the thought of being at the house for two days straight w/o some different scenery :) And then it all falls apart, oh well!

  8. My oldest has a bladder like no other, I think she pees only 3 times a day ( and she is a healthy water drinker). But, no fail, i take her somewhere and she has to poop. It takes her like 20 min for that job. I threaten her before we leave and she insists she is fine, nope. Hiking in the middle of no where, anywhere. The youngest fears doing number 2 anywhere else but home and i love her for that!! You are brave to take all 3.

  9. This was fantastic. We do a lot of peeing on the side of the road, too. High five.

  10. Oh girl. You qualify for sainthood. I have a hard time taking everyone to Publix but clearly you have a higher pain threshold. Sheesh. I love that you attempted this and I love that you are honest about it – you show both pictures. You don’t just show the pretty-pretty of motherhood.

    ANd you totally need to link this up to Crystal’s story behind the story link up (Tuesday? Not sure?) this week.

    • Hmmm, I am PRETTY sure I do not qualify for sainthood. I’m coming to Florida to experience the Publix (sans triplets). And I am checking out Crystal’s link up!

  11. Hilarious! You are brave!


  12. Oh Gindi! I needed that! I just got so many laughs out of that one post!!!


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