So today, for my 200th post (what on earth?! I always knew I could talk since high school spanish class…but still!), I thought I’d give you a little story. Actually I have a few from way back when I couldn’t do anything but keep up with my two in diapers – much less write blog posts.
See, I feel that now with my no-longer-toddler 4 year old, and my very capable and helpful 6 year old, I’m coming out of the most difficult stage of my life and entering a new, much easier, and super fun one. (Yesterday, I was given my very own cardboard box play house – complete with a flag – and a “monster table” made out of newspaper, styrofoam cups and bulletin board paper. I used to be surprised with things in diapers.)
And while I cherished every moment I could then, I’m certainly not going to miss any cherish-able moments now from lamenting over the growth of my sweet girls.
After saying all that….I just have to share this story. It’s from my pre-blogging days – but, in honor of all the moms I know in the throes of that “most difficult stage of toddler-with-a-baby” life – I have to share these. (And for once, I thought it would be kind to my readers who are ever so faithful and kind to me, to let them laugh – and not cry. Just this once, mind you.)
So here you have it. A 3 part series of stories from a day in our lives. When I certainly did *not* have a clean house 24/7 or blog or make hundreds of cupcakes or read the news or really sit down.
It was a day of running normal (ahem) errands (with a 20 month old and a new 4 year old.)
My girls love running errands. All kinds of them. Especially when it involves something exciting like free cookies at Publix or a stop at the park. Today, was one of those exciting days, beginning with the bank…where I (of course!) used the drive-through to make a deposit. I had to drive straight through without stopping, however, because I (so foolishly!) had picked the lane closest to the building.
Most people wouldn’t think a thing of this, except my Chloe.
If you’re in that lane, the little plastic can-thingy doesn’t get to fly up into space.
It just goes in a movey-out-thingy and back into the wall.
So, we drove right through, much to the teller’s confusion; we turned around and came back through – just this time in the ‘right’ lane. From there, all things went smoothly (aka, the checks went into space, and the rocket came shooting back down from the lollipop planet with two (“How does it do that, Mommy?”) dum-dums for the girls.
On to the next errand. That’s OK – this is a quick one!
The quick (ahem) errand.
Thankfully the post office wasn’t too busy this time in the morning. I had a small package to send off to a friend in Georgia, so we walked in the front door. (I’ll leave out the part about getting the girls out of the car – that took about 7 minutes by itself – and it’s more boring than the first drive-through lane at the bank.) Because it took so long to get out of the car, I decided to leave the stroller in the car. How much trouble could the two of them cause in a tiny little post office, anyway, right? I can watch them. All I’m doing is mailing a tiny little package!
As soon as we walk in the doors, we are greeted by a rack of cards – wow – these surely are convenient seeing as I would have loved to send a card with my package. I pick up a Snoopy one, and a small priority box. Chloe picks up three priority boxes. Kami picks up 7 greeting cards.
From different slots.
Have you ever tried putting back greeting cards that you didn’t pull out? It takes a lot of concentration to get them put away correctly. So much so, you can’t really watch the two girls who *were* right beside you in the Post Office….
At this point I was getting a little anxious about what they actually could do in the Post Office without being buckled into the stroller. So, we walked to a tiny corner and I had the girls sit on the floor while I addressed the box and stood in line.
First, the Spider
Yes, I know. When was the floor cleaned the last time? I have no idea, but the girls would sit on it, be sweet and quiet and wouldn’t move until I was finished boxing up my package and sending it off.
Chloe started (very dramatically!) crying about my making her sit on a spider. I told her “Chloe. There’s no spider. That’s your imagination. Just sit down and let Mommy work on this box for Ms. Laura, ok?” Chloe said, “But Mommy there IS a spider!”
There was a spider. A big one. A big dead grandaddy long-legs spider dangling from a web on the wall right where I had told her to sit.
*Sigh. Thankfully, God’s brought me a long way in listening to my children and giving them the benefit of the doubt and respecting their words and wishes…..but I was still a very new parent at this point…..definitely a learning moment for me to remember!*
“My bad, Chloe. Come sit on this side of Kami.” Then I gave her my phone so she could be distracted from the big dead grandaddy long-legs that she was sure was pretending to be dead so he could come eat her when she least expected it. At this point, we’ve been in the Post Office for 7 minutes. And it took us 7 minutes to get inside. (That’s 14 total, btw.)
Second, the iPhone
Let me just say that iPhones are awesome. The girls proceeded to ‘make’ a secret cave out of the table I was writing on. They were hiding under it (from spiders, no doubt) with my phone, watching an episode of Dora the Explorer. Finally, I can have a few seconds to address this box and get it sent off!
Then I hear Chloe talking on the phone.
“Hey Daddy! How are you? I’m fine and I’m 4 years old!
Are you at work, Daddy? That’s good.
Well, I’m at the store with Mommy.
Kami is my baby brother. (yeah, she’s still confused on that one!)
Well, I gotta go. I’ll cya soon! Byebye!”
I think, “aww! That’s so sweet! Chris must have called and she answered. I bet that made his day. I’ll call him back in the car.”
Meanwhile, Kami has stood up, hit her head on the roof of the “cave” and is screaming loudly. So, I’m holding her in one arm, while assembling and addressing this box with the other, and seriously wondering why no one has begun a drive through at Post Offices.
After calming Kami down, I can finally finish addressing this box and get it sent off. We’ve now been inside the Post Office for 15 minutes. That’s 22 minutes total. To mail one small box. And we’re not even back in the car yet!
Third, the Phone Call
We thank the Post Office workers for their patience with me and my poor Kami (who, after bumping her head on the roof of the cave, also fell down and bumped her head on the tile floor while I was checking out and had started crying again.)
We head out the doors. (At this point, the Post Office workers are seriously wondering why they haven’t begun a drive through at their Post office.) The girls stop to look at the numbers on all the PO Boxes, and Chloe asks to push the buttons on the Automated Postal Machine.
We head out the door. Hold hands on the “black”. Get to the car. Put Kami in. Buckle Kami. Put Chloe in. Buckle Chloe. I get in. I glance at my phone to see if Daddy called Chloe, or if Chloe called Daddy.
She called Pastor Miller. (Head pastor of our church of 700.)
And it’s been 31 minutes since we got out of the car.