Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nothing is Ever Fast or Easy When You Have Kids

Am I wrong?

I've found that the formerly simple tasks of my childless days are now day-long marathon events requiring the utmost patience and planning. Included in this category are such tasks as showering, going to the bathroom, cooking, cleaning, eating, running errands, going to church, and even sleeping. Ok, so it's pretty much every, single thing I do in life. It all has become such a test of my sanity!

Case in point: my day yesterday. Unfortunately for me, I needed to accomplish almost every task I listed above. In addition, I had set out to find a Christmas tree. The day was doomed before it even began.
Being the genius that I am, I had gotten the kids some little donuts to eat for breakfast. It was supposed to be a special treat since we were going to be out all day. Instead, it turned my sweet children into demon spawns who were intent on destroying me with incessant fighting and whining. Bad donuts.

Sometime between waking up before dawn and feeding the kids the evil donuts, I found time to take a quick shower. When I say quick, I mean quick. I didn't even wait for the water to get warm. When you have twins, you learn to move quickly or else. While I was showering the babies threw dirty clothes over the stairs and onto the floor of the foyer while Leila and Sarah disassembled the humidifier. It was a small price to pay for the luxury of washing myself.

By some miracle, I was able to get all 7 of us dressed and out the door by 9 am. I was feeling proud of myself and decided to reward myself with a treat from Starbucks. (Thank you Anna!!!!) While in the Starbucks drivethru I realized that my cell phone was almost dead and I'd left my charger in the house. I got my latte and drove all the way back home to retrieve the charger. Still, even then I was optimistic that it was going to be a great day!

After backtracking and getting the charger I headed north. We live about an hour outside of what I consider to be civilization. I grew up in the suburbs of DC, so my expectations might be a bit inflated. But I prefer to drive an hour to my old stomping grounds to run errands where there's more than one shopping center and all of the cashiers are not related. We live in a very, very small town and sometimes I need to escape.

First stop on my list was Home Depot. I have been searching for an obscure item that nobody seems to carry and most stores don't even know about. It's called coroplast and it's like a cross between corrugated cardboard and plastic. Long story, but I'm using it to make a floor for the bottom of our guinea pig's cage. Just after we walked through the door, Joshua had to go potty. Specifically, he had to poop. And it was urgent. As I'm racing my way to the back of the store, I'm getting stopped every 3 feet by (mostly male) customers and employees that want to talk to (or just look at) the kids. We made it just in time and as I stood there waiting for Joshua to finish I realized that he is turning into a real man. Every time we go to Home Depot that boy has to poop. Isn't that some weird male fantasy? Toilets and tools?

Anyway, Home Depot didn't have the coroplast (but I did score some cheap paint from the oops rack) so I went to Office Depot. They didn't have it either and they didn't speak English well enough to understand what I wanted anyway. I left empty handed.

Feeling defeated, I headed to Target. Surely a Target in the DC area would have the silver stocking holders that were in the sales ad, right? Wrong. I should have gotten them in Florida when I saw them there. I'm just looking for 2 more stocking holders to match our mismatched collection. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.

Every year we let the kids each pick out a new ornament to hang on the tree. Since the kids had been behaving, I decided to let them pick them out while we were in Target. While they were deciding, I ran into a friend of mine who also has twins. She gave me the brilliant idea of writing each child's name and the year on the bottom of each ornament so that I can give them their ornaments when they leave home someday. I love it and I'm going to grab a Sharpie and get started tonight!

After buying our 6 little ornaments, we headed back to the van where the skies opened up and it started to pour. Great. If there's one thing I hate, it's cold rain. And cold rain when you're loading and unloading 6 small children in and out of the van all day just sucks. My mood was starting to sour and it was past lunchtime so the kids were getting antsy.

I think I've mentioned how Sarah likes to collect things, right? She'll always have a new little collection of random things each day. It's usually a weird mix, like a pipe cleaner, a doll, a headband, an eraser, and a Band-Aid. Strange, I know. Well, yesterday Leila had a collection too. She was carrying around a tiny Playmobil birdcage with a miniature bird, a tiny Care Bear, and a Strawberry Shortcake sock inside it. In our rush to get back in the van, she dropped the birdcage. I saw her pick it up and put it in the van but when I went to get in my seat it was gone. I asked her where it was but she doing that thing she does where she refuses to speak and just stares at you. Someone was waiting for my parking spot and I was getting frustrated. She wouldn't tell me where the birdcage was and I didn't see it so I left. As I backed out of the spot I heard a crunch. Yep, that would be the birdcage.

Amazingly there were no tears over the birdcage and we headed to our next stop. I guess it's good that we'd only gotten it the birdcage the day before. She wasn't too attached yet. Phew. That could have been ugly!

I sold the babies' Jumperoos and had to meet the mom who was buying one of them. It was a quick stop but we still didn't have time to grab lunch before Leila's dentist appointment. Hungry kids are not fun kids. But I didn't want to be late to the dentist so we forged on in our hunger.
Leila injured her tooth the other day after a nasty fall. She was spinning in circles like a ballerina on the wood floors in our kitchen and she fell face first. She split her lip and so there was copious amounts of blood. I cleaned her up and was relieved that she wouldn't need stitches and then I noticed the tooth. Her top front tooth (the one that was gray from her hitting it earlier this year) was bent backward at a 45 degree angle. That can't be good. (Be glad I didn't take a picture!) I remembered my grandmother telling me the story of my aunt falling and how she bent the tooth back into place. I decided that I didn't want to hurt Leila if it wasn't necessary since that tooth was already doomed anyway. I called the dentist and they told me not to touch it. No problem, it was freaking me out anyway.

The tooth ended up moving back down on its own, but not completely back into position. It's now tilted back a bit and appears shorter than the other tooth. Leila actually fell again that same night and split her lip open again in the same spot but managed to avoid the tooth that time. The dentist laughed when I told her the story and said she sees about 5 kids each week with this injury. She took an x-ray and told us to come back for our checkup which had already been scheduled for December 23rd. She is not sure if the tooth will stay in or not. It's not a big deal either way. I fell and had to have both of my top front teeth pulled when I was Leila's age. I was just toothless for a few years.

After I got everyone back out of the pouring rain and into the van, I had to sit for a minute and recover from the trauma of taking 6 children into a dentist's office by myself. A minute was not long enough. I hope I'm recovered by the time I take them all back in 3 weeks.

We grabbed a quick lunch at Chick-Fil-A and I nursed the babies in the van. It was still raining and cold and there was no hope for us to get a Christmas tree. Usually we get a free tree from Trees for Troops but this year Jason is in WA and we can't get the tree back to VA. So I'm stuck trying to get a tree myself, which is fine... but I have to take the kids with me and get it off of the roof of the van by myself once we get home. I've been putting it off because I'm just not in the holiday spirit yet I guess.

I drove 2 hours to get back home in rush hour traffic in the cold rain. By the time I individually carried each sleeping child into the house I was exhausted. I have to laugh at my post from January when I was so proud of myself just for going to the grocery store. Oh, if I had only known then...

Needless to say, I collapsed into bed last night. Today I'm feeling optimistic again and the sun is shining. C'mon kids, we're going to get ourselves a Christmas tree!

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