The middle muppet asked me in January last year to join Boy Scouts in Doha. His best buddy was apart of the troop here always told him how much fun it was, so I told the middle guy that if he wanted to he could join in the fall. So we signed him up at the beginning of October and over the past few weeks he has enjoyed his first few den meetings and made some new friends.
He came home from his first meeting with a boat to build and explained that we had to build the boat and that there would be a race with all the Scouts in a few weeks. The race was called The Raingutter Regatta and the middle muppet was super pumped to participate. This past week his dad worked on hallowing out the bottom part of the boat to make go faster and the middle muppet helped me paint and put stickers on the boat. We had to get Daddy to put all the pieces together and then we were ready to race.
This Saturday morning we were all up and out the door early. The oldest muppet was starting as goalie at hockey so we had to be there with enough time to get the extra equipment on. The middle and the youngest muppet played happily while I watched the game, and after I fed the three boys McDonalds breakfast sandwiches we went to the shop to get a few groceries. We had a few hours in between the hockey and The Regatta Race so we went home to relax and get a few things organized. I sorted out where the oldest and youngest muppets would be when I took the middle guy to his big race, made lunch, folded laundry and then it was time to go.
The middle muppet proudly put on his boy scout uniform and we grabbed his boat and made our way to the school together. As we pulled in to the parking lot I commented on how many cars were there already. The middle guy grabbed my hand and we made our way to the school cafeteria where the races were going to be held. We heard voices cheering as we came down the walk way, and it sounded like the races were already underway.
I stopped at the registration table to get information about where we needed to go and what we had to do. The lady at the table asked me what group the middle guy was in, when I told her she frowned and she said that the middle muppets group had already raced. I asked her what time they had started at, she replied 12 o’clock and my heart sank. I looked at the middle muppet and back to her hoping that she had some sort of solution for me. She looked back at me with that look that we have all given people who have not read emails or instructions properly, that judging look that we as parents sometimes give… I have given other people this look before.
I pulled the middle muppet to the side and explained to him what was happening. As the information set in that he would not be racing his boat the tears starting flowing. I apologized to him and told him that this was all my fault and I hadn’t read the email correctly. He cried, stamped the ground, and slumped down on to the bench. I held his hand and continued to apologize, my heart was breaking for him and I didn’t know how to fix this.
A few minutes past and he finally calmed down, he crawled in to my lap and I held him and gave him a big squeeze. “I just wish you had read the email right Mummy, I really wanted to race my boat” he whispered. I gave him a kiss on the head and apologized again, I asked him if I could take him for ice cream to make it up to him and he nodded. I suggested that maybe we could go and watch some of the big boys race their boats and the middle guy agreed that he would enjoy that.
We stood together and watched some of the other races, the middle guy got a chance to put his boat in the water and blow it down the track. He decided he had enough and was ready for ice cream so we made our way back to the truck. “You know what Mum?” he said as he smiled up at me with his big brown eyes. “I think I am going to need 2 ice creams to make me feel better” I laughed and said “You know what buddy, today we are not going to have McDonalds ice cream, today we are going to have the good stuff!” The two of us drove to the mall and found a seat at the Cold Stone Creamery to enjoy our ice cream. We shared the flavors we had gotten with each other and talked about shark attacks and the car race that the boy scouts were going to have in a few months.
As we walked out of the mall the middle guy thanked me for the ice cream and I thanked him for being so understanding about me messing up the timing of the race. He hugged me and said, “We all make mistakes right Mum, next time both of us will be responsible for checking the time and maybe we should ask for Dads help too!”
So yesterday afternoon was a bit of a bust and I feel horrible disappointing the middle muppet like that. But in the end we both learned a good lesson, the two of us got to share some time together and the best part we got to have some really good ice cream!