So today was really no different than any other day. I was awoken by Caroline, first at 4am because of a monsters in her room, then again about 7am demanding to go downstairs to have cereal. As I make my way downstairs, I dim every light that Caroline turned out .. my eyes take some time to adjust ... as does my mind! I make my way through by the mere smell of the coffee Scott brewed by 5am. Morning that Caroline is not in preschool are usually a blur - the girls run around play & watch a little tv while I try to tackle work that piles at my desk.
Today I decided to get out with the girls and head to the library for storytime. The girls just love books and the novelty of going to get more at the library, in addition my friend Amy planned to go also (she has girls same age as ours!) - so it could be fun.. right? So, story time? Well.. that is a hit or miss! Today... total miss. The girls would not sit still and constantly made noise - granted this is "ok" since it is toddler story time, but it really doesn't sit too well with me! We made it half way through and I gave in and headed to the books so the girls could prance around picking out books (what they kept asking for). The next 30 minutes wasn't so bad - it was moderately peaceful .. until we got home. Thereafter Sophie had a meltdown since we were late for lunch, and in turn her nap time.
Nap time was rushed as I decided I did not have enough excitement in my day. The girl's both need shoes for the winter ... so off to Discover Mills we go - meeting Amy with her 2 girls (Gracie and Lindsey). Stride Rite store here we come. All of us quickly become consumed with the sale rack of Crocs ... even Sophie & Lindsey are having innocent fun playing with the shoes. Hey.. this isn't so bad! After 5 minutes of trying on shoes and finding the right size, the older girls, Caroline & Gracie quickly become bored and decide to run the aisles of Stride Rite and go find shoes for themselves. I was happy I could hear her in the (fairly small) store - while she was surely making a mess, it would be easier to clean it up later than to keep her at my side now.
I had Sophie on a "leash", so I really only had Caroline to contend with ... but lately she is the work of 2! In public it is the worst/most difficult .. the demands, threats and pleads for her to stay put and behave are ignored. The store/mall... world.. are at her disposal to take!! After 15 minutes of a disorderly process of finding shoes ... it was time for plan B. I wasn't quite sure how challenged Amy was since I was so consumed in my own misery (LOL)!
Plan B: Amy agrees to the bright idea of taking ALL the girls on the Polar Bear train ride just outside Stride Rite in the mall - this would give me at least 5 minutes to finish shopping in peace. I help get the girls loaded on the train.. this is surely going to be grand for us all - after all the girls were thrilled to be going to the mall just to ride the train! Everyone gets loaded up and I run back into the store to finish shopping. Awww.. peace. I can even think!
About 2 minutes pass and I recognize a scream/cry. It's Sophie. I walk back to the front of the store and I'm welcomed by Caroline running ... screaming.. crying... and Sophie on her tail. There is Amy shaking her head... nearly laughing, and I know that laugh, it often times masks a scream in our own head! Plan B failed. Caroline & Gracie fought inside one car over who could ring the bell. Sophie was simply distressed over the fact she couldn't see me. Oh joy! I (along with Amy I think!) started laughing .. the joys of being a mother of toddlers!! I quickly realized how much this moment was better sharing it with a friend/fellow mom :)
After calming the girls down and quickly attempting to finish the shoe shopping for the girls, Amy quickly came up with Plan C : she would take her girls AND Caroline across the hall to the Disney store. I warned her .. but she went on. God Bless her. I quickly finished up and started to check out. Unexpectedly I hear Caroline calling me "MOM LOOK" ... I turn my head to see Caroline running across the mall with a dress on a hanger (surely something with a Princess on it!). 20' behind her I see Amy running and yelling Caroline's name ...nearly laughing from the hysteria she surely feels! I run to Caroline to push her back to the Disney store ... where Amy left her own 2 girls in effort to save Caroline from the shoplifting police! The moment was really priceless. I cannot stop laughing at the visual I still have in my head...
A few minutes later I meet Amy and the girls back in the Disney store. This is my first time in the store with a toddler .. whom now LOVES everything and anything that is princess/mermaid! This. is. a. dangerous. place. to. be. I almost got sucked into buying something for Caroline's birthday or early stock up of Christmas gifts, but quickly realized that there would be no way in H. E. double hockey stick, that I had the time, patience or brownie points with my friend Amy to handle the girls through another checkout line. Surely I can escape one day soon w/o the girls and shop without losing my mind.
I hadn't lost my mind COMPLETELY, so we made one last stop at the Gymboree Outlet. It was quick and painless ... only because they are smart - they have a tv playing a video with chairs for the girls to sit and chill out. They chilled out without bribes. Whew, one store adventure went smooth.
So we got out with 4-6 tantrums (most of which were from my girls), but no bumps or bruises. Nearly every time I go out with them the roller coaster of a ride is similar - I can't decide should I subject myself to more torture, with hopes the girls learn how they should act .... or am I a smart Mom who chooses to stay home most of the time?
Today I must say I got the best laugh leaving when Gracie demanded to go potty but mommie convinced her to stand and pee in the parking lot by their van!! OMG... that was funny. Amy - are you laughing with me? :) I hope so ... the stress of all this silly stuff sure has lightened up since we have become friends - well, that is until Caroline throws a fit insisting Gracie MUST come home with us! xo Really, Amy said it best today - "I know why I like hanging out together - it makes me realize my life IS NORMAL!" Amen. We are not alone after all :)
All in all .. it was just a typical day, except there were more witnesses. Thank God we are not likely to ever see them again.