On the Friday evening before the Saturday at BGSU the girls and I went to my mom’s house for a quick visit.
While there, my mom told me she’d decided she was going to go with me to BGSU and we’d spend the day around Bowling Green. She suggested we take Olivia with us.
I’d planned to leave Liv at home with Tom because I knew she’d be bored, especially during the concert.
But my mom made a good point when she mentioned that every time I have to go somewhere with one kid and leave the other at home, I’m so torn between the two. I always feel like I should be where I’m not. Maybe that’s a hold-over from when Liv was in the NICU and I always felt like I wasn’t where I should be. When I was with her, Alyssa, sweet little three year old Alyssa, was at home. When I was at home with Lyss, tiny little newborn Olivia was in the hospital. I was never where I was supposed to be because I was supposed to be in two places at once.
Ahem. Okay, sorry for that brief therapy session.
Anyway. It was decided that Liv would go with us and we’d find things to do and places to be while waiting between dropping Lyss off at 8:30am and her concert at 4:00pm.
And it was fine. It was fine all day long until it wasn’t fine anymore.
Let’s back up. First, we headed to Hobby Lobby and wandered around there for about an hour. Then we went to TJ Maxx and wandered there too. Pizza Hut was across the street from TJ Maxx so we decided that was convenient.
By the time our pizza was eaten (it took FOREVER for it to arrive and there were MAYBE four other tables in the entire restaurant) we decided that even though it was still two hours before the concert, we’d head back and look at the cool building on the BGSU campus that looks like a sinking ship.
After the sinking ship tour, my mom decided to sit down in the lobby of the concert hall and I let Olivia run around the ramp outside. It was a fun ramp that went in a semi-circle so she thought it was pretty neat. She ran around it many times before declaring she was tired and wanted to go sit with Gram for a while.
We sat down, she played on a wavy bench and all was well.
Then other parents started showing up. And my mom and I started talking to these other parents and Olivia was no longer the center of attention nor did she have the potential for being the center of attention and at that point, as far as she was concerned…it was on.
She started asking for snacks and moving her wavy bench closer and closer to my chair. And asking questions in the middle of conversations. To give her credit, when we’re around strangers, she doesn’t talk very loud so she wasn’t bothering anyone but me.
I finally excused myself to go out to the car and get her some snacks. She opted to stay in with my mom. When I walked back into that lobby, Olivia was laying on the floor. My mom reported that the minute I walked out the door, Liv calmly settled into a prone position on the floor. My mom had told her to get up several times but she just grinned and laid there. Sigh.
She did get up when she saw me because she knew I had food.
She ate her snacks and continued to quietly pester me. I acknowledged her often but tried not to derail conversations when she interrupted.
Finally, hall opened and we got to go sit down for the concert. We had to sit through four songs by the college ‘a cappella’ group. I put a cappella in quotes because this group had a piano playing along with their song. So yeah, not so much a cappella. But whatever.
When Lyss’s group finally took the stage, Olivia lost her mind. She realized that her sister was on stage and that mean I was paying attention to her sister and not to her. She started bouncing in her seat. She started tugging on my arm. She put her face in my armpit. She kissed my hands, over and over and over.
Now, bless her, Tessa’s mom suggested that Liv couldn’t help these behaviors. So kind of her to give my little monster the benefit of the doubt. I know better. My mom knows better.
After several hissed orders to settled down, I decided to ignore her.
My mom said that the grin on Liv’s face as she upped her antics was almost funny, if she weren’t being such a brat.
In the end, A’s part of the concert only lasted about fifteen minutes so I only had to put up with Olivia and her naughtiness for that long but in the moment, it felt like forever.
I’m not saying I won’t take her to something like that again. But I am saying that we’ll have some stern discussions before it happens. And, thankfully, each subsequent experience will happen to a slightly older, hopefully more mature Liv.