Charlie's at a class all day today.
Because I can't stand the thought of being cooped up in the house and time always moves a little bit faster when you have things to do, I decided to keep myself busy this morning.
First, I took the kids for a walk around the block. With two in the double stroller and the third child walking free - with Molly the dog - we did a loop around the block. As suspected, once we were about midway from the house ... I was in such dire need of a restroom ... I thought for sure I would spring a leak.
Trying to get the kids to pick up the pace and move forward 5 feet every 5 minutes, as opposed to 5 feet every 20 minutes, I tried to put my mind elsewhere. I focused on the birds chirping, the trees blowing in the breeze and wondered if maybe I shouldn't plan a trip to Costco, as soon as we returned home.
After a grueling 40 minutes, and trying to minimize small talk with friendly neighbors who slowed down to let me know that I've "popped", we finally arrived home.
With two kids in the stroller - and one free - I decided to load them directly in to the car, before running in to the bathroom - because I know all too well that once all three are in the house, it will take an hour to get them back outside. And because my window of opportunity was closing fast before naptime, I had to prioritize.
Even if I'm in agonizing pain.
Carolyn was the free child.
William and Elizabeth were in the stroller.
Carolyn was perfectly content playing with Molly, so I decided to load Elizabeth in to the car, first. I lifted her out of the stroller and hefted her in to the far backrow of our van and was just about to buckle her in to the carseat, when out the side window of the van - I see William, in the stroller, flying down our moderately steep driveway and in to the street, screaming "Wheee!!!!"
Even though I had engaged the handbrake and had the stroller turned at an angle, he had leaned forward and launched himself off the car.
THANKFULLY, no one was driving down our street at the moment, because by the time I was able to dislodge my huge body from the far back row of the van and run after him - he had bumped in to the sidewalk in front of our neighbor's house, across the street.
When I returned to the car, Elizabeth was in the driver seat, crazily pushing every button that she could get her hands on.
I strapped a wriggling William in to the far backseat, a screaming Elizabeth in to one of the captain's chairs and returned to the garage to get Carolyn.
Although she had been playing with Molly, she became distracted by the new 44-pound bag of Iams dogfood that was sitting on a shelf. There was a miniscule tear in the bottom of the bag - that she decided needed to be a little bit bigger.
In those two and a half minutes it took me to get William and Elizabeth secure in their carseats, Carolyn caused the unauthorized release of approximately 10 pounds of dry kibble, all over the garage floor, with more coming - because the bottom of the bag was ripped open.
While Molly was desperately trying to eat as much of the food as she could, before mean old fat lady stopped her, I grabbed Carolyn and secured her in her carseat.
I then set about cleaning up the dog food - because if I didn't - Molly would have eaten every single kernel that was on the floor and/or came out of the bag. All 44-pounds of it.
I made my way in to the house, joyfully planted myself on the pot, and then ... contemplated taking a nap. The house was quiet. The kids were safely contained in the car. There was a cool breeze blowing. We live in a safe neighborhood.
Remembering that we were almost out of milk, I grabbed my purse and headed to the car.
I drove to Costco, after turning off my hazards, blinkers, windshield wipers, heated seat, and stereo (that Elizabeth had cranked to maximum) ... and found a parking space despite the million other people that decided to go shopping, today, too.
I loaded the kids in to the shopping cart and with a list in hand, did my best to steer 85-pounds worth of children and a weeks worth of food around the store. Halfway through my list, I was again struck by the urge to use the restroom.
There was no way that I would leave the kids in the cart while I ran in to the bathroom and there was no way I could steer the cart in to the bathroom, so once again, I tried to put my mind elsewhere. While trying to focus on anything other than the overwhelming desire to abandon my cart and run to the restroom ... I was stopped no less than 10 times, by friendly people who wanted to know if it was possible, our children were triplets.
I was stopped no less than another 10 times, by friendly people who wanted to know how much older our boy was than our girls.
I was stopped at least another 10 times by friendly people who wanted to tell me that I most definitely had my hands full - and when they pointed to my stomach - wanted to know if there was "one, two, or three in there?"
I was stopped once by a woman who asked me where I had found the monster size pack of shredded cheese.
I in turn, stopped a sales rep once and asked where I could find a monster size pack of Depends.
After a grueling fifty-five minutes in Costco, I headed to the check out. I was informed by the clerk that because William was sitting in the cart, with food strategically placed around him, it would be best if I could remove him so that they could load the groceries without running the risk of hitting him.
I may as well have been told that I needed to keep track of a wild cat on a beagle farm.
William was removed from the cart and immediately takes off running away, directly to the food court, while screaming "SHAKE!! SHAKE!! SHAKE!!!"
I abandoned the girls in the cart, ran after William, and lugged him back to the checkout line with me. With one hand over his mouth to muffle the squawks of "SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!", I swiped my debit card, entered my pin, collected my receipt and manuevered my way over to the food court.
I stood in a long line.
While I waited, with a hand on William's overalls so he couldn't run away again, I watched people dash in to the nearby restroom and come out looking refreshed and happy.
After several minutes, we placed our order.
One fruit smoothie. TO GO.
When I took the smoothie from William to share with his sisters, he stood back and with his head down low, would run full force in to my bladder, while screaming "WILLIAM SHAKE!! WILLIAM SHAKE!!!"
I passed the smoothie around to the children to share and made a futile attempt at holding the straw intact so that they wouldn't crush it. My effort failed. Instead, they would suck so hard their heads would tremble and their faces would turn red. After several minutes of frustration, I removed the top, only to have Elizabeth grab the cup from me and spill the majority of it all over her and her sister.
And her brother, who was standing beneath the two of them, in front of the cart.
On our way out the door, and with my children drenched in fruit smoothie, I bumped in to my girlfriend. She has a little girl who turns four, next week. While her mother and I chatted briefly and I tried not to obviously prance about like a racehorse, the little girl interrupted and sweetly inquired, "How come you're having another baby?"
I squatted down and looking her square in the eye responded, "Because God has a really funny sense of humor."