I’m normally pretty good at solo parenting outings but they really don’t happen often. We all very much prefer to stay home in our PJs… After you read this you’ll understand why.
My kids are experts on “packing their bags” with necessities and snacks for outings. Everly is such a pro at it that if you don’t oversee her she’ll pack up enough snacks to feed an army. This morning I packed a small handful of gluten free crackers and two oranges but Everly packed up her extra pancakes from breakfast along with a giant container of water with a puppy and her blankie… Adalyn packed up her blankies, a penguin.
The rain is pouring outside so the girls are given a kid-sized cow umbrella to share, I heft my diaper bag/ backpack on my back, I’ve got my Moby wrap tied around me, car keys in hand, I pick up Mr. Grayson, his blanket, I grab my water and an umbrella to protect me and Grayson and I shooo the girls out the door in front of me.
Of course two young girls sharing an umbrella in the pouring rain while hefting their bags move incredibly sloooooowwwwly. Grayson and I follow behind them prodding them along to the car…
Putting an infant in the car while wearing a backpack and holding an umbrella is quite a juggling act. I balanced the umbrella on the roof of the car so I’d have two hands to buckle Grayson’s carseat, of course the umbrella blew off the car and across our yard. Everly and Adalyn were still poking along with their bags and their shared umbrella but Everly noticed my unbrella and collected it.
Next I get Everly’s booster seat positioned next to Grayson’s carseat and buckled in properly. Everly puts herself in her booster seat and tightens her belt- win! Adalyn is buckled in her seat next and then we can drive off to the doctors appointment we have.
Once we arrive at the doctors office the rain is falling even harder and of course not a single parking spot is to be found. We circle the lot several times before I finally create my own parking space in the very back of the lot and begin the ordeal of unloading the kiddos from the car. Towards the tail end of the unloading process a shuttle arrives offering to give us a ride so we can stay dry. I’ve got my head in the car trying to unload Grayson while wearing the backpack and trying to hang on to the umbrella.
I tell the girls to climb on the shuttle and that we’ll catch a ride to stay dry, Everly eagerly jumps in the shuttle leaving Adalyn in the pouring rain, without an umbrella. Adalyn wont climb in the shuttle, she screams in the faces of strangers even when we reassure her.
I’ve got Grayson from the car seat and I begin to exit the car when my umbrella blows across the parking lot. Adalyn is still crying.
The poor shuttle driver is surely regretting driving over and offering us a ride by now but he doesn’t show it. Instead he climbs out of the shuttle and tries to lift Adalyn up the shuttle steps, she screams even louder and he backs away. Then he runs after my umbrella and brings it to me.
Now I’m out of the car with Grayson and his blanket in one arm and my backpack on my back. I lift screaming Adalyn with my other arm and cram her in the shuttle door in front of me and I remove the backpack and shove it in the shuttle along with my now collapsed umbrella. Now I can get myself in the shuttle and try to close the door. Three kids, three bags, on blanket and two umbrellas – check.
We are driven across the parking lot and are now at the entrance to our doctors office, we begin to unload ourselves and all our crap but Everly is frantic. She says her blankie was on the seat of the shuttle and that she hasn’t grabbed it yet. Three kids, three bags, two umbrellas- check… but one blankie is supposedly missing.
I look in the seats of the shuttle, on the floor and there is no blankie that is visible. “Everly, are you sure it isn’t in your bag” I ask. She insists it’s still in the shuttle, I walk back over to check again and another perons has boarded the shuttle. I walk around the shuttle in the pouring rain with Grayson in my arms, still not blankie that I can see.
The shuttle driver begins to pull away but seems torn because now Everly is getting teary eyed and is begging me to stop the shuttle driver from leaving, he pulls forward… Everly has almost lost it. Then the shuttle stops and the driver and climbs out and opens a side door, sure enough blankie falls out.
Everly is relieved, we thank the patient shuttle driver and head for the doctors office. Remarkably we make it inside and up the elevator incident free. As soon as we pass the restrooms both girls declare a sudden very urgent need to pee. Funny how this happens every since time we see a bathroom.
The girls are given permission to go pee on their own while I check Grayson in for his appointment, I’m sure we are terribly late after the rain/ shuttle ordeal outside. The girls return rather quickly after their solo peeing adventure and we are ushered back to an exam room.
On the way to the exam room Everly’s bag explodes behind me and all the snacks scatter up and down the hall. A nurse practitioner says she’ll help Everly with the mess and Everly takes that as an “oh I’ll clean it up for you” offer and just leaves her bag and snack explosion in the hall, joining us in the exam room. *facepalm*
Luckily, we make it through the doctors appointment incident free, we trek back out through the still pouring rain on foot, get everyone in the car, three kids, three bags, two umbrellas- check and we are headed home.
It’s so nice to be home, put my PJs on and stay home for several days straight. Like I was saying, I’m normally pretty good at solo parenting outings but once in a while I still find myself leading the crazy train, possibly making childless folks everywhere really, really glad they aren’t in my shoes.
Three kids under five years old, it’s intense but with the right sense of humor it can also be so much fun.
Now lets all have NAPTIME!