Today I realized something. It is not always the going out by myself with four kids that is difficult, it is coming home.
Without adult back-up, merely exiting the van goes something like this. I grab as much as I can carry and dump it on the dining table. I open the first passenger door and children flood out while I nag them to “please carry at least one thing in for crying out loud!”
Then I get the baby. Nine times out of ten, she’s fussy and cries at the door until I’ve brought everything else in. Then I try to contain the post-outing clutter. Somehow we all manage to create a massive trail of stuff when we come in. It’s why I usually decide to stay home.
Today’s adventure started with an email from my friend and gardening expert Julie. She goes above and beyond to help me with my first garden.
This morning she emailed that if I went to Menards TODAY, I could get an extra 15% anything I could fit in a brown paper bag.
We were already committed to driving 30 minutes SE from us to a home school co-op function. Going to Menards from there would be 25 miles North of there, through Wichita and all those stop lights.
Excited about the prospect of stocking up on seeds, etc. I knew we had to do it, but as the day wore on realized I’d be nuts to attempt it.
Going anywhere with these kids feels like a Herculean effort!
But after co-op, the children were in pleasant spirits so I made the decision. “Kids, we are going to Menards!”
35 minutes later, we pulled in and managed to do our necessary shopping plus some and head home.
It was that point things began to crumble. The urge to pee hit me hard. Kids began to bicker, baby began to fuss.
30 minutes later and 3 total hours of being out, we pulled in. I made a mad dash for the potty. It’s amazing how fast I can run in fashion boots!
It was 5pm on the dot.
That was followed by unloading the van and bringing stuff into the house where I had to wade through coats and hats my kids just threw on the kitchen floor as they marched in.
I got everything in and preheated the oven to make a pizza for the kids.
My 3 year old refused to use any toilets while we were out and soiled her undies while I was lighting the wood burning stove to warm our chilly home.
While she was on the potty, the one year old did a big number two in her diaper. The big kids started yelling at me how smelly it was. Aw, thanks….
Miraculously, I got the fire going in record time and was up changing the diaper and getting both little girls in the bath.
Pizza went in the oven.
My 9 year old came to my rescue and briefly watched the girls in the bath while I ran around like a crazy person hanging up coats, putting purchases away, doing some dishes, clearing the table, and finally changing into more comfortable shoes.
15 minutes later the girls were out of the bath and everyone was eating and thanking me for pizza.
I forgot during the rush about a fun and spontaneous purchase from Menard’s clearance section. Leather, wool lined mittens. A pair for my husband and pair for my Dad! I got them for less than $5 each!
At some point I glanced in a mirror at myself and laughed out loud as the first thought that came to my mind was Christopher Walken. Had I really gone out looking this? HA. Yes.
The children finished and I did dishes while my own stomach began growling quite fiercely with hunger. But my mission was clear: finish dishes, empty the dishwasher, get a movie on, put them to bed.
It was 6pm. One hour of fast and furious post-outing activity and I felt like I’d run a race at top speed.
The children did not starve to death. The van was emptied, baths were given, dinner was served, and TV time had.
My garden will be packed with more varieties of squash than I care to mention, thanks to the bag sale at Menards.
Children are now sleeping. Need I ask for more?
It’s all in a day’s work.