When I think back to myself before children I think of shopping and movies and lunch with friends. Shopping was usually a focal point to any day out with another girl. We would slowly walk through every isle of every store we came to picking out little treasures of awesome to buy. This would go on for hours. There would be stories and laughing and stopping for coffee. Stopping as in stopping with sitting and sipping involved.
Fast forward to life with one baby. Man I thought life was tough. I would plan my whole day around going to the store so as not to mess with Natalie's nap or a feeding. I mean, heaven forbid my perfect angel have to nap in the car or even worse...miss one all together! **Gasp** I would pack the nine bazillion things that I thought I would need in the two hours I would be gone. Diapers, wipes, creams, bibs, clothes, food, bottle, dresser, bedroom set...you know, the norm.
We would shop and I would talk to her like she gave a crap what I had to say. I would rush through the store and get everything I needed and if I was lucky I would hit up a Star. bucks on the way home and try to slurp it down in between the massive amount of work it was taking care of her. Did you hear the sarcasm there? It was intended. Go back and listen again if you missed it.
I would get home just in time to feed her again and get her down for her very important nap. Ahhhh, "I am the perfect mom!" I would tell myself. What a douche I was. sigh
Fast forward again to the present. I now have three children in tow. One of whom goes through random spurts throughout the day where her sole purpose is to only do what she feels like doing along with little to no impulse control, one dramatic four year old (who thankfully is a dream when we are in public...it's like she knows I would literally duct tape her to the cart) and a 9 month old....who needs to eat and have naps and stuff.
Now shopping looks like this:
"Ok, before we go in just remember to be safe. Stay with me."
I take 10 minutes getting the stroller or carseat out, unbuckling the girls, getting Alyssa situated next to Bennett while I coax Natalie out of the car because she dawdles just a tad. Sarcasm...get used to it. I then get her situated
We walk into the grocery store looking like the trains in India covered in people. Natalie on one side, Alyssa on the other and Bennett riding. Got the visual?
Yep, we really do look like that.
Then we proceed to start shopping. *I do have to add here that I am super impressed with Natalie this summer and staying with us in public. Hardly any running off and if she does, one time out takes care of it for the rest of the trip. Completely amazing and a 180 from last year. Thank you kindergarten!*
"Natalie do not poke your finger through the meat package. Alyssa stay here or Natalie will bolt after you. Hi Bennett! Natalie please don't put things in the cart without checking with me. (I have found the most random crap in my cart at checkout) Here Alyssa go find x,y,z in this isle for me. Natalie you go find x." I hurry and get the other things I need from that isle and we carry on to the next one. They don't ever ride in a fun kid cart since I hate pushing those things. Whuck is up with putting the part that turns in the center? May as well just put a sign on me that says "Hi my name is Lori and I will be knocking over every display in the store today"...for real. Plus I think it's important and honestly, just expected, that a 4 and 6 year old should be able to walk like humans for an hour while we shop.
This continues until we finish. At some point Bennett will fall asleep and reawaken thus ruining the chance at a super long nap for the morning. He will also sleep in the car on the way home...it's kinda the same as a real nap right? Welcome to being the third kid. Get used to it. Mommy is busy. ;) We checkout where Natalie will try and run everything across the scanner for the grocer like they just can't be trusted to handle it. Sometimes they think it's cute and she gets to "help". With others I have to find her a different job like getting things out of the cart instead. Hey, whatever works! Then it's "Everybody back on the cart!" and we run, yes I did say run, it's quite a sight, back to the van. Bennett goes in as the girls climb in and buckle in... kinda. I put all the groceries in the car and finish buckling them in. We are off! I usually feel like I have earned a coffee at this point so I drive through and get one, drinking as we arrive home. Kids out of car, unlock house door, get Bennett settled somewhere, unpack car, put groceries away then usually make lunch, feed B and get him down for a real nap (finally) and we move on with our day. "Plan my whole day around a nap?" ...uh yea, that was about two babies ago. That is something that new moms do because you can and think it's needed. In reality, you are just stupid. HAHA! B is a great sleeper both for naps and at night. He is not suffering due to living this way. He is actually much more laid back and able to go with flow....duh. I wish I had believed this when I only had Natalie. Oh the things I could have accomplished in a day!
Seriously. This is my normal. This is shopping now. It looks identical to this if I go to the mall so I just used grocery shopping as an example. What happened to relaxing? The difference is instead of feeling relaxed now I just feel like I have accomplished a mission equal to going to the moon. Do you think they stop for a Star.bucks on the way back from the moon? No? Well then, I am definitely more accomplished. :)