Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Happy Wanderer

Taking all four of my kids out in public is not the walk in the park I make it appear to be (even if all we are doing is going to the park).  I like to pretend like it's fun to be in charge of four very busy children alone. I get myself excited about how much fun it will be to go somewhere with them--the memories we'll create, the way they will make me so proud. But here's my secret--these outings very often end in tears, usually mine.

The other weekend, the girls needed to go to Barnes and Noble for an event. Of course the husband had showings and it was up to me, Supermom, to bring all four to the bookstore alone. The kids and I discussed the event for days. It was going to be so much fun; they'd see friends from school and they could get summer reading books.  I was positive it was going to be a blast.
Once we pull up the bookstore, I realize Spanky has fallen asleep. I gingerly try to pick him and carry him into the store but Sara wanted out of the SUV, right then and she let me know with a scream. Spanky is now awake and in a not-so-pleasant mood. Great--but we could work with it.

After getting Dino out of his car seat, and closing up the back where Miley climbed out (while holding Spanky), we journeyed across the parking lot and into Barnes and Noble without getting hit by a car--yay!

Once inside the rather crowded store, Miley sees a friend.

"Can I go see my friends," she jumps up and down. "Pleeeaaaasssseee."

Before I can answer, she's off. Dino grasps my hand and smiles. Life is good as we follow Miley to make sure all is well. Sara notices a teacher and in a very Sara type move, runs away from us and hides behind a book case (to call her shy is an understatement). Spanky then wrangles himself out of my arms and takes off for the kids section amidst a loud squeal of joy--at least he's feeling better.

Dino is still be my side but is mesmorized by books in front of him. He does not want to move.
I do the risk calculations in my head. Miley should be fine. She is with friends and hopefully at least one parent. Sara will stay by me--even if I can't see her. She doesn't stray. Dino will be livid that he will be moving from the books but Spanky, Spanky could jump in someone's car and head for the border if not found, quickly. I grab Dino ("No, no. Stay here Mommy", and start to look for the baby Spanky. 

I begin to notice books off the shelf making a trail (and this is the point in which I wish I was exagerating) and then I notice the shelves are completely devoid of any books; they are all strewn across the floor making a very long trial. I begin to follow the colorful book road and call out for Spanky. Giggles are getting louder. I go down aisle after aisle of books on the floor everywhere and I see him, Spanky, knocking off every book as he is running down the next aisle. I run up and grab him. Trying to get him to stay with me, I giggle and tickle. Then I try to pick up the books when I notice Dino is gone. And my sweet neat Dino has not left a trail. 
I call out to Sara, hiding behind another book case and demand she help find her brother. Miley is suddenly in my sight and I call out to her (and yes, all of her friends) for help. We all start our search, stepping over the piles of books that now seem to be everywhere.

He is finally found, sitting sweetly in one of the kid's chairs with a Mickey Mouse book. I pick him up and inform the crew to think about books they want because we need to leave. I turn to grab Spanky but he is gone. I find him rather quickly drinking out of a random coffee cup he has found on the floor. I say a quick prayer the cup's previous owner did not suffer from the bubonic plague, measles or the common cold.

And then the requests begin.

"Mommy, can I have this," again and again and again.

I am now in a trance wishing I could only huddle in a corner in fetal position and cry myself to sleep. I nod at the book after book after book produced.

We trudge up to the cashier, all of us, and pay for a whole heap of books. It isn't until we get home, I realize we have only purchased ONE (out of the six) summer reading books. The entire point of the trip. I guess I am off to Amazon at one in the morning--alone.

Now that summer is approaching, I know an outing with all four will be at least an every other day thing. We will be going to Whole Foods (thank goodness for their samples!), running into Target, hitting the malls and maybe even braving the park in the fab Texas heat. And ya know what? It's going to be a blast. We are going to have fun this summer no matter what. No tears allowed :)


just jamie said...

Oh, sheez. That sounds pretty tough. Multiplying my offspring by two, I can only imagine what those outings are like. Okay, I don't have to -- you just described it. Funny as it seems, I know you wouldn't trade it for all the world.

(Ever watch Jon & Kate plus 8?) Eeesh.

Purple Teacup said...

OMG. You always seem so calm. I haven't cried in awhile, but I am exhausted whenever I take the 3 of them out. I totally understand your logic and strategy.....I just keep telling myself it's a season. I would have said screw it and not gone- which is what I've said to a lot of things lately if I have to take Copper. ROTFL about the coffee cup. We have so done that.

Brian and Staci said...

Oh dear. You know, I'm really glad you posted this though...sometimes when reading other's blogs...I think to myself, "HOW do they do ALL that without screaming and crying and yelling!" I know I need to chill out sometimes, but sheesh, it is just plain hard not to want to pull your hair out...and the kid's too :) Good for you for braving it! Here's to all the Summer endeavors!

Momo Fali said...

I would never leave the house.

Elaine A. said...

Just let us know before you leave the house ok? We'll be sure to stay in. HA! Just kidding. You are going to have fun - can't wait to hear about it all! ; )

JCK said...

WOW, I am both intimidated and in awe of your post. You are INDEED a brave woman. You deserve ALL good things for Mother's Day.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I think the Hansel & Gretel trail must've been FUN!

Happy Mother's Day.

I'm so ready for the heat, too! And, you can use your B&N card online & they give free shipping.

dawn224 said...

oof. just the one kiddo falling asleep during errands does me in. good luck with amazon!

mah-meeee said...

you are so brave! i don't know if i can handle 4 kids on an outing.

however, i must say you've got great malls out there in texas!