Fortunately I don't let little technicalities get in the way of my dreams. I mean, it's not like I'm going to take the last handicapped spot in a parking lot or anything. I'm not a jerk. I just think back to my grad school stats class and use everything I learned about the laws of probability. Like - there are fifteen open handicapped spots outside the Wal-Mart... there are probably not fifteen handicapped people who are going to show up in the next 45 minutes.
And my grad school continues to pay for itself one day at a time.
Another provision is that I get a helper. Every Sunday night my niece (my sister's husband's brother's daughter... my niece) hops a train to baby town and for three days when we're not frolicking through fields of daisies hand in hand with the girls I'm able to do things like go to doctor's appointments, the grocery store, the gym, take whirlwind tours of every pre-school within a 5-mile radius and even sneak in the occasional shower. Also she makes sure everyone gets fed.
These three days are what I like to call The Good Days.
Then Wednesday night comes and she leaves.
And the next two days are what I like to call The Bad Days.
For 48 hours we wear the same pajamas and look out the window, trying to remember what it's like to breathe fresh air. That's in between The Bad Meal Times, when I'm trying to cook, then cut, a hot dog while breast feeding a baby (true story). I've actually gotten pretty proficient with getting Lila into and out of her high chair one handed. This is because I've learned the hard way that a baby will all but take your nipple with her if she's accidentally bumped off.
But last Friday, in the words of Popeye, "I've taken all I can stands and I can't stands no more!" I was getting out. Ellie needed some new snow boots and we were all going to leave the house. Everyone. Together.
First, let me begin by outlining the logistics behind getting everyone in the car:
1. Ellie goes in first and crawls all the way to the back. I crawl in behind her in and buckle her in.
2. I go back inside the house and get Lila, squeeze in between trash cans and van and buckle her in.
3. I go back inside and get Hadley, who by the way detests being in the car seat. Probably because I take her out as little as possible and 97% of her car seat experiences have ended with a vaccine of some sort.
4. Meanwhile, Lila poops. Take her inside to change her as other children scream in terror because they believe I'm leaving them alone in the van forever
5. Put Lila back in
6. Take wagon out of back of mini van and put double stroller in
7. Adjust hernia and get in the driver's seat
8. Hadley poops
9. In keeping with the curse of the third child, ignore Hadley's dirty diaper and put car in reverse
I backed out of the driveway to find what I thought was rain was actually freezing rain. Again, a technicality that I was not going to let get in the way of my dreams.
We were getting the finest snow boots Old Navy had to offer.
Hadley's screams had now manifested into a shard of glass stabbing at my ovaries which really makes for a pleasant driving experience. I was actually sort of wishing someone would cut me off so I would have a reason to leap out of my car, throw their door open and stab them repeatedly in the face with a screwdriver.
That didn't happen, which now that I'm calmer realize was probably a good thing.
We finally arrived at Old Navy and the freezing rain was now driving freezing rain and pelting me in the face as I punched the shit out of the double stroller because it was caught on something in the back of the van. I finally wriggled it free, got Lila out of the van, then got Screams Her Balls Off out of the van, then crawled to the back and got Ellie out.
By now everyone was soaking wet.
Nothing makes you feel like a more awesome Mom than walking around a store with three dripping wet kids and a baby who sounds like you're sticking a lit cigarette in her eye. The store is every mom's public showcase, and Hadley was totally blowing my scores with the invisible baby judges. So I decided to do the mature thing - ignore it and browse.
What baby? Nope, I don't hear anything except the sounds of the best Mom ever just leisurely pushing her kids around the store looking for some snow boots. What noise? Oh, that's just our pet hyena. Sometimes we like to get her out of the house and give her some fresh air.
Say, no reason for asking, but do you know anything about human trafficking? Like, what if someone wanted to get into it? No? Okay, can you just point me in the direction of your snow boots then?
Of course Old Navy doesn't carry snow boots.
The next stop on our first and last errand run ever was the drive through liquor store.