My mom used to tell me that I'm one of those people who can hear a hundred people tell me that something is a bad idea, but I'd rather find out for myself. She calls it being a learn-it-the-hard-way kind of person, I like to call it being a non-procrastinating optimistic.
Today, I was bossy. And it did not go well.
Yesterday I promised my son that we would go to the aquarium for Easter. He was so excited, and that made me excited too. I looked forward to going. Unfortunately, things didn't fall into place the way I thought they would yesterday, and we had to go to the beach instead. I was disappointed. My son thought the beach was the aquarium, and we could have gone on with our lives with no further incident (or expense). But I wasn't quite satisfied with that. I still wanted to go to the aquarium.
So when we got home from the beach I made a point of promising him again (which served to remind him about it) that we were still going to go to the aquarium. That was yesterday. This morning we woke up and got a late start again. But I wasn't about to wait another day to go. I poked at my husband to remind him, "Get ready, we're leaving."
He wasn't so sure though. He presented a list of reasons (some of them pretty good ones) about why it would be better to wait until tomorrow. We could prepare ahead of time, charge the video camera to full, get double work done today so that there was none to do tomorrow.
I frowned at my husband, "I promised Bubby we would take him today."
"I know," my husband responded, "but tomorrow would be better. Just wait and I promise we'll go then."
"But I promised him," I argued back (forgetting of course those marriage vows I took to obey him), "so we need to go today. I won't let you argue your way out of it!" To put the finishing touch to my bossiness, I leaned around the corner and looked at my son, who was idly watching Dora the Explorer on TV, completely oblivious to our conversation. "You wanted to go to the aquarium and see the dolphins today, didn't you Bubby?"
My son of course perked up immediately and got excited all over again, and because my husband didn't want to disappoint our son, we got ready and headed out to the aquarium. Now if some of you are thinking right now that it was horrible of me to use my child to manipulate my husband, I completely agree with you. I'm pretty ashamed that I did that to be honest, and I got my punishment for it later on.
After we got to the Miami Seaquarium, everything seemed to be perfect. We'd eaten lunch ahead of time to save money, our little guy was excited (he hugged the first dolphin statue he saw), little Sissy was happy in her stroller, we had all the stuff we needed to get through the day (so we thought), and the sun was shining. It was.
The first place we stopped was in the large underground viewing area for the dolphins. My son was so excited, so happy, so in awe of those creatures he loves and admires. The look on his face was priceless. In that moment I gloated at my husband, "See? Aren't you glad we came? He loves it. I would have paid a million bucks just to see that." As it turns out, I only had to pay 88 dollars for that. And that was all I got for that 88 bucks too. Sometime during the fifteen minutes that we were in the building, puffy grey clouds blew overhead. By the time I'd finished checking the map and determining what shows we would see, it had started to sprinkle. I shrugged my shoulders. This is Florida and lots of times the rain doesn't stay for very long. I told my husband it was probably just a sun-shower. He looked less optimistic.
We headed up to the top of the dolphin area for our first show of the day. We got up there twenty minutes early so we could get a good view, and by the time the show was ready to start the weather had gone from sprinkles to near-thunderstorm to a steady drizzle. I wasn't thrilled and my husband was annoyed. But it got worse. After standing there for twenty minutes, we were informed that the dolphin show was canceled due to weather. My husband sighed loudly to let me know that I had wasted our money.
I tried to be cheerful, "Well I'm sure there are other indoor viewing areas, we'll just hop from place to place and stay dry."
I was wrong.
We stopped to look at the manatees, and spent some time viewing the sea lions, but that was about all we could see without getting absolutely drenched. Before long it was pouring, and I mean pouring rain down. We ran to the car, soaked to the bone by the time we got there. The baby was screaming, little guy was upset that we didn't stay to look at the dolphins longer, I felt stupid for wasting our money, and my husband gave me a lecture about how I never listen to him, complete with him showing me a weather forecast for tomorrow on his phone: Sunny.
"Well," I mumbled at him, "neither of us thought to check the weather. I can't be responsible for when God decides it should rain." I was so embarrassed.
We made it home, feet wet, clothes cold and clingy, and I got the job of unpacking everything and changing myself and the kids into dry clothes. And later tonight I'll get the lovely task of doing extra laundry.
Next time, I think I'll try to be a little less insistent, a little more meek, and maybe I won't get bit in the rump!