You know those moms you follow on Instagram that are all, “took all the kids to art class, then a play date, then we went shopping, and now we’re eating out for dinner!” Yeah, that’s not me. I’m over here just happy we made it into a different room to play in with this first trimester kicking my butt. (And who am I kidding, even when I wasn’t pregnant I limited us to one major activity a day).
But today was my dad’s birthday, and I was feeling adventurous. I decided to get everyone dressed (that takes an hour and a half when you include potty breaks, diaper changes, shoes, brushing and doing hair, packing the diaper bag, and buckling everyone in). Lord, this is going to be so much easier when they can dress themselves and buckle themselves in! Ruth can dress herself, but the difficulty is getting her to knuckle down and do it when there is something else she would rather be doing. Three year olds are easily distracted. Anyway, I wanted to take the girls to surprise my dad at his office and wish him a happy birthday. Getting two toddlers dressed and ready is like herding cats.
I parked in the office parking garage and decided upon the baby in the stroller, two toddlers walking plan of action. I stressed to the older girls that if they left mama’s side in the parking lot, a car will hit them and give them BIG OWIES. Rosie was completely unfazed by this proclamation, Ruth was so terrified she almost refused to leave the car at all. Mommy fail.
We successfully navigated through the parking lot into the office lobby. Ruth hit the elevator button and the elevator opened. I pushed the stroller into the elevator and Ruth got in as well. Rose started wandering elsewhere. I had a panicked moment where I was holding the elevator door open with my foot and frantically begging Rose to get in the elevator. People were getting into the elevator and glaring at me. Completely useless, I tell you. I felt like telling one of them to grab my child and toss her in the elevator, but she finally ambled in, to my enormous relief. I pushed the button for my dad’s floor, and one of the ladies in the elevator remarked, “three children?! That must be expensive!” Cool, we haven’t been in public for more than five minutes and someone is already making a ridiculous remark. Unwilling to discuss our finances with this complete stranger, I assured her that we are really good at reusing stuff. She told me she only has one who is 22, and she is still having to pay for her. Apparently she is so bitter about this, she is willing to complain about her own child to complete strangers. Trying to be charitable to this daughter who was not among those present and thus unable to defend herself, I remarked that the economy is unfavorable to the young seeking employment these days. She shook her head at me and left the elevator.
When I herded everyone out of the elevator, Ruthie said she thought Grandaddy’s office was beautiful. Rosie, as always, echoed her sentiments. We went into the office and the girls squealed, “happy birthday, Grandaddy!”
My husband works for my dad, so he was able to take us out to lunch. We went to a bakery where the girls decided they wanted cookies for lunch. They settled for pancakes instead. The older girls sat in regular chairs like little ladies and ate their pancakes while Wren drank her bottle from her stroller. We had one meltdown when I had the audacity to cut up Ruthie’s pancakes and mess up her perfect whipped cream mound. Scott picked her up and took her outside immediately. Two minutes later, he strolled back in with Ruthie perfectly calm. She sat back in her chair and ate her pancakes without complaint, only pausing to tell Rosie that people were trying to eat their lunch and didn’t want to hear her scream (which she wasn’t). After lunch, an elderly couple came up to us to tell us that our girls were precious. Then the woman said to Scott, “I have to ask you, what did you tell your daughter when you took her outside?” “I told her people were trying to eat and didn’t want to hear her scream,” he said simply. They asked us if the older ones were twins, and Scott proudly said their ages and that we were expecting number four. They smiled at us and told us we were very busy but very blessed. We agreed. Not everyone says rude things!
We also (wait for it) played outside today! Will wonders never cease? And the older girls were so happy to be outside (in the frigid weather), they actually played nicely together with no fighting! They both stood up on top of the hill crying for help until the other one “rescued” them, and then went running and giggling down the hill together. Rosie also spent some time talking to her “chicken.” She was loathe to leave her chicken when it got too dark to play outside.