Just me. And all four kids.
It took me a solid two hours to get everyone ready to leave. Dirty diapers needed to be changed, shoes that were put on - were taken off - and put back on - on the wrong feet. Children that I got dressed were soon standing before me, naked. Henry was hungry. Elizabeth was thirsty. Carolyn had to go on the potty. William insisted on wearing one thing and then changed his mind seconds before we left. And then Henry was hungry, again.
I'm so tremendously glad that we never had to evacuate. I just can't imagine having to get out of the house in 15 minutes or less. I think I'd have better luck flapping my arms and taking flight.
When I opened the doors to the van, the action kicked up large amounts of ash, which coated our children as they were standing at the door waiting to load. I tried to pat them off, but that only smeared the mess. Everyone was crying that they were dirty. Being dirty was such a huge problem for them that they insisted on having new shirts. No problem. What's another 10 minutes when you're already 120 minutes behind schedule?
Once we arrived at the store, I unloaded them from their car seats and had everyone "touch the van" until we could walk in to the store, together. Although I would have preferred that they "touch the van" with their fingertips, they instead ran their entire bodies along the length of the vehicle, rolled around with full body contact, and soon looked like three little chimney sweeps. For whatever reason, being dirty wasn't nearly as big of an inconvenience as when I had coated them with ash, 15-minutes earlier.
Rather than riding in the cart, the kids insisted on walking, so I put them all in their safety harnesses and strapped Henry in the Bjorn. I then told them "ALL ABOARD!!" and my three sooty children jumped on the shopping cart that I pushed rapidly through the store. We were in and out of Target, with a full shopping cart, in less than 15 minutes.
I would have loved to stay longer and peruse. There were a ton of Halloween items that I could see having on our front lawn. But have you ever been
Neither have I.
If you've got any tactics to keep them quiet and not touch every.single.thing .... that doesn't involve Ambien or high quantities of candy or duct tape .... I'm all ears.
At one point, I looked down at Elizabeth and noticed she was chewing ... something. I hadn't given her anything, so became alarmed and with one hand cupped under her mouth demanded "What do you have?! Spit it out!!" She stuck out her tongue and on it was slightly-used gum, coated in ash, that she had plucked out of the shopping cart.
We came home from Target and while I unloaded the car, Carolyn ran in to use her potty chair. At the same time, Elizabeth grabbed a hold of my keys and set off the emergency call button to the van, William opened the refrigerator and pulled out a container of mustard and Henry was howling to eat.
I pried my keys away from Elizabeth, pried the mustard away from William, dumped the contents of the potty chair, fed the baby, and started to unload my Target spoils. Just then, I heard a noise coming from the bathroom. When I went to investigate, I found my son, with his hands on either side of the porcelain rim blowing bubbles in to the toilet while his sister was trying to "wash her sippy cup" in the bowl.
Drinking unfiltered apple juice makes them gag and they won't touch mashed potatoes. But they can blow bubbles and soak their cups in toilet water and chew ash covered gum from a shopping cart.
Someone, please tell me. At what age, exactly, does civility kick in?