If there was ever anything that would make you believe in the idea of karma (other than watching My Name is Earl), it is the career that is Motherhood. Absolutely every time I find myself smirking about another mom's odd obsessions/embarassing kids/screwups, it comes back to bite me in the ass.
So I have the bright idea to take my friend JenC & her 2 kids with us to Costco today (my idea of a big spring break adventure, woo hoo!). Great idea on paper. In practice it meant 5 kids in various states of pre-lunch hysteria, 2 moms who are trying to ignore them, shop the cheese selection, but prevent large-scale pilfering of the tasting stations , and - hey ho, you've got a Travelling Circus.
Annika has decided she isn't the easy-going sleep anywhere baby anymore (hey, I'm 3 months, I got RIGHTS!). She pipes up noisily about halfway through the store, and increases in volume as we get toward the checkout. Lars gets tired/hungry/seriously unpleasant as we hit the cashier, Cecilie & BFF Ellie have some small tiff about who should help unload the cart, and Annika is hollering. We head for the pizza/hot dogs, hoping to buy some peace & quiet. Another good friend, Sam's mom, is also there having lunch w/ her 2, and she v. sweetly offers to take Annika whilst we sort the kids out with food. Sweet Baby gets l-o-u-d-e-r.
Sam's 2 yr old sister votes that Annika needs to be fed. I'm not sure, but figure its worth a try. Thing is, I have to head for the bathroom or my car b/c Annika can't deal with the noise of a warehouse lunchroom (go figure). So she & I head for the handicapped stall in the restroom, and mercifully she settles in & calms down. And poops. Get her changed, head back out, stop to let an old lady coo over her and as the lady zooms in for a better look, Annika POOPS again, in a loud and very messy way. So, back into the bathroom, change the diaper, change the clothes, change the socks (yes, she got the socks!), and try one more time to get back to lunch.
My very kind girlfriends have managed to get my kids to eat a little lunch, and by the time I get back they are running around the tables, and Lars is fighting Jonah to the death for Jonah's trains. Annika finally manages to fuss herself to sleep while I eat 6 bites of pizza, and we decide to head out. After a little lost-receipt drama (you need one to get OUT of Costco), I get the kids to the car, stop to talk to Jen about whether to head to Trader Joes, and in the interim Cecilie manages to fall out of the shopping basket backwards, landing on the car's bumper instead of the pavement. Don't ask...
No real high points in Trader Joe's, other than my older 2 deciding they want to pee, so again Jen helps out & watches Annika while we troop into yet another public restroom and fully utilise their facilities. By the time we get out, Jen's managed to get Annika back to sleep, but its 1.30 and the bigger kids are No Nap Wild. They are literally running laps around the bakery section, and even the good natured Trader Joes are exasperated. We check out of Store #2 with minimum of drama, get our free kids balloons, and pile the kids into the car seats. All suggestions of play dates are vetoed immediately, because I don't want to visit my children's unique version of sociopathy on any other family.
In short, today was my very own three hour Walk of Shame.