I took the whole gang to Costco yesterday (and yes, I'm still standing, why do you ask?). In any event, only at Costco do people ask, "Are they all yours?" Do you know anyone who brings EXTRA children to the store? On purpose?
The proverbial terrible picture, but photo evidence nonetheless. What on Earth are they all looking at? Who knows. Certainly not me!
The experience was far more positive than I anticipated (except for one minor detail, more on that later). But when we came home it was the usual perfect storm of misery: Exhausted babies in need of a nap (but first! New diapers for all!). Of course Ellie needed a snack and was pulling on my guilt strings with a request to play Gingham Girls paper dolls ("Will you do it WITH me Mommy?"). Meanwhile, there was Leo, sitting at the kitchen table trying, unsuccessfully, to get a movie to play in the laptop, wailing for help and pounding on the table in frustration.
Did I mention I still had not unpacked the groceries from the car? And don't forget--we'd gone to Costco, so everything was Giant and Heavy and, well, Costco-sized.
I took a deep breath.
Within a few frenzied minutes, the babies were blessedly down for naps (at least, in theory, though by the sound of the "chatter" on the monitor not a lot of napping was going down). So there were two less people who needed something for the moment.
I stood at the kitchen sink, rinsing cups, feeling like I literally had not stopped all day. Even the drive to the store had been a constant barrage of questions (harmless and entertaining, but nevertheless, things were demanded. Of me).
Can we just take a break from saying Mommy? For a few minutes? I asked.
And without missing a beat, Ellie replied: "How about we call you Charlie?"
Of course, I laughed. How could I not?
"Ellie, THAT was a good one," I said.
I think that's when Grandma Jerry called to check in and Ellie answered the phone. She told Grandma that we'd just returned from Costco. "It was fine," Ellie explained. "Except when Mommy squished Harry's fingers."
Yes it's true. Just when I was about to get very confident about my parenting abilities, I mis-steered our enormous, overstuffed (with items and children) and definitely lopsided cart a leetle too close to the wall, pinching poor Harry's left pinky and ring finger between a doorway and the cart. OUCHIE.
Instant tears and hysteria from the little boy who is normally Mr. Tough Guy. When Harry wails? You just know it hurts.
Luckily, he recovered relatively quickly. As it turns out? Costco vanilla frozen yogurt aids in the healing of pinched fingers. Just so you know.