Meltdowns of Olympic Proportions

So, our trip downtown on Wednesday afternoon wasn’t our first Olympics adventure. Why did I start with that one? Uh…. Well … you see … I wanted to start off with happy-fun stuff, a totally perfect day.

Buoyed by the excitement of the opening ceremonies the night before, the first Saturday Cameron and I headed downtown in the rain to see what there was to see. Kate had a birthday party to go to, so she and Leif were headed there, and would meet up with us later.

I really don’t know what got into me. From the moment Cameron and I were alone, I was in a snarly mood. He wouldn’t listen. He wouldn’t do as I asked him to do. He wouldn’t stand still. He wouldn’t look AT me. Basically, he was an excited four year old in need of a nap. And I was a tired mother in need of one too. But we got out of the mall where we’d stopped, and onto the sky train … where my head added a bit of throbbing to the crabby mix.

Normally I love events that draw crowds. That’s half the excitement of the fireworks in the summer for me! But on Saturday I was all ochlophobic suddenly. I knew I wanted to be there, but I also very much just wanted to go home. Still, I was determined. We. Were. Going. To. Have. Fun.

The afternoon was filled with grumbles and crabbiness from me, and whining and fussing from Cameron – but was punctuated by moments of fun. Cameron dancing in the street showing off his new mittens. We said hello (actually, bonjour) to a cluster of athletes from France, and one of them gave Cameron an Olympics pin with France written across the top.  We posed on a snowboard and pretended to be doing the half-pipe. He loved, loved, loved the zipline across Robson Square, and was just about dying to go on it. Now, I know that he would’ve chickened out, so I was glad when the guy manning the 4 hour lineup said no, kids must be six to go on it. I’d rather Cameron remembered disappointment with that one, rather than fear. We watched a street performer juggling with a chainsaw, and Cameron up on my shoulders announced loudly, “My mommy can do that!” Yes, I’m learning how to juggle. But not chainsaws.

Thanks to the wonder of cell phones, Leif and Kate managed to find us in the mass of people at Robson Square.  Leif had Tylenol, which took away the headache, but they’ve yet to come up with an anti-crabbiness med.

We watched some gymnasts performing, then around to the north side of the Art Gallery. Right by the Olympic countown clock (which was now broken on one side, and counting up on the other) was a bright red 4-man bobsled on white ‘ice’. The lineup for pictures was short! So we waited our turn and piled in.

Things were good for a little while. The kids played around the clock for a bit, then around the fountain. Then they wanted pictures up with the lions at the gallery. Fine, right? Except that it’s a long fall. And Cameron would NOT stand still. He seemed incapable of it. He wriggled and squirmed, and despite my repeatedly demanding that he stop moving his feet he kept edging along, and the ledge he was standing on got narrower … and narrower …. Until I hauled him down and yelled at him at the top of my lungs. In a very public, obvious, voice-carrying location. About how he hadn’t listened to me all day long (not entirely true), how I asked him thirty times to stand still (not quite true), and how I had HAD IT WITH HIM (entirely true).  Plus empty threats about taking him home instead of a sleep over at Kate’s house.  Yeah right. I wanted that sleep over more than he did!

Not my proudest parenting moment.

This was followed by another similarly spectacular mama-meltdown as we waited in line to see the wood carving.

Can I just mention here how awesome Leif is? He shrugged off my poor behaviour with a smile and a reassuring kiss. After letting the kids play and letting me calm down a little at Chapters, we had a lovely walk back to the skytrain by Granville Street, filled with art and lanterns, drumming and dancing. The evening turned magical, and I lost most of my crabby mood.


3 responses to “Meltdowns of Olympic Proportions

  1. Hmm. Now that I look at the picture I can see why he wouldn’t stand still. He was trying to get in front of the lion. *sigh*. I’ll get him back there soon and let him do that, but make him TELL me that’s what he wants to do.

  2. Heard them talking about the clock on the radio, I think it was working correctly. One side is counting up from the start of the Olympics and the other side is counting down to the start of the paralympics

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