What Could Go Wrong?
So in Monday’s post, I mentioned that my family and I are leaving for vacation later this week. What I didn’t mention is that my great friend Margaret and her family just happen to be going to the same area of Florida as we are to visit her parents. Not just that but her oldest daughter Kelsey and Charlie are super close in age and took a ton of toddler classes together (until Margaret and Paul punked out and moved to the burbs that is…..), so they love playing together.
Anywho, since we both had upcoming family sun vacations, and all the kids needed new shoes we decided to meet at Oakbrook, get everyone’s feet sized (well, everyone but Charlie, he was at school) and then grab lunch. It was Tilly and I, and Margaret’s brood, 3 and 1/2 year old Kelsey, 1 year old Connor and 3 month old Delaney. What could go wrong?
We meet in the parking garage just after ten and head into the store. We arrive to the shoe department ten minutes after the store opens and we are handed our numbers (so everyone gets waited on in order), numbers 13 and 14. Seriously? In ten minutes, 12 people with kids showed up to get their feet sized? Crap.
I think there’s a little Studio 54 logic working here, keep people standing outside in a big line and more people will want in. Except in a department store, they are banking on you walking around falling in love with much more than you intended to buy and spending three times more than you planned to spend.
An hour later, we leave with our mission accomplished. Everyone who needed shoes, got shoes. All it took was 2 episodes of Dora, two bags of pretzels, some raisins and a lollipop. Not bad. Now on to lunch, where the real fun begins.
We get everyone seated. One kid in a chair, one in a stroller, and two in high chairs. Margaret takes 3 month old Delaney out of her stroller and feeds her a bottle. Halfway through, Margaret comments, “Wow, honey, you were hungry! You are racing through this!” Delaney finishes the bottle, Margaret burps her and puts her back in the stroller.
Less then thirty-seconds later sweet Delaney projectile vomits all over herself and the stroller. She is completely soaked. “Oh God!” Margaret cries, “All of her extra clothes are in the car! Before the food comes would you mind if I ran to the baby store and grabbed her a onesie? It’s right at the top of the escalator.” As she is hurriedly digging through her diaper bag for her wallet.
I don’t even think she was all the way out of the room when Kelsey turns to me and says “Miss Sandee? I need to go potty!” Crap. Literally. Well, not literally, I don’t know if she needed to do that. But I am currently in charge of 4 kids under the age of 4. Moving a mountain seemed far more doable than getting her to the potty at that moment. “Oh sweetie, I’m sorry, but Miss Sandee is watching you, and Connor and Delaney and Tilly all at the same time. I can’t leave the babies alone at the table, to take you to the potty. Can you hold it until your mommy gets back, please?”
Cue the food.
Plates need to be split, food needs to be cut into tiny pieces, oh and did I mention this humongous Knights of the Round Table monstrosity that, in order to reach anything it is necessary to stand up and walk from place setting to place setting. When we were seated, Margaret and I were laughing that we had to shout in order to hear each other because we were so far apart.
Margaret rushes back in, in a flustered flurry of apologizes. I assure her that everyone was fine. She sits down and attempts to eat at least one of her fish tacos while it is still hot. Poor mommy gets about thirty seconds before Kelsey is out of her seat walking over to her mommy to tell her she needs to go potty, at the same time Delaney starts wailing because she has finally lost patience with being soaking wet.
Up again, on the way to the ladies room with her girls. Potty finally for Kelsey and a costume change for Delaney. All of the up and down caused both Margaret and I too miss the budding crush between Tilly and Connor developing.
I was sitting at the table feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to help my friend, and then I realized, that I’m still watching her son, so I’m helping. Connor and Tilly had been so quiet and well behaved through everything, that I felt like I hadn’t been doing anything. Then I noticed it. Between bites, Tilly and Connor were smiling at each other, playing peek-a-boo, giggling at each other and then acting shy. Oh boy.
Finally back. Dry, happy, sleeping Delaney and happy, comfortable Kelsey. Everyone returns to their seats, and Margaret finishes her now freezing cold meal. As she finishes I point out the romance developing at the table. We laugh and make comments about being in-laws twice over (did I mention that Kelsey and Charlie are also enamored?), then finish up our lunch.
On my way home, I think how exhausted I am. Then I think, I didn’t do anything. I sat there, while poor Margaret ran all over the place. As busy as I am with my little monsters, I’ve already forgotten what it’s like with a newborn. Plus, a one year old and a three year old. Oy vay! I thought I needed a vacation!Out and about, Things I love by Sandee Harned