We were all lazing around the house this morning when my mom called and asked if we wanted to meet at my sister's house so the kids could meet my sister's new dog that my mom is caring for while my sister is on vacation. The kids have been DYING to meet Frank the dog for weeks, so it was easy to convince them to get in the car so we could leave. Except for James, who ran to the other side of the yard and sat down, refusing to get in the car.
Five minutes later I had hog-tied him into his carseat and we and my permanently borked shoulder muscles were ready to go. No one had eaten in the last five minutes so we ran through the Schlotzky's drive through on the way. I wouldn't let anyone have their sandwich until we got to my sister's house.
It was a LONG five-minute car ride for all of us.
We got there first and with no way to get inside, I told the kids they could eat a picnic on the driveway. It took us ten minutes for everyone to get out of the car. Charley had to go over the third row seat and out the hatch. Then Wes, who had already climbed into the middle row to get out through the door, had to do the same, which meant climbing BACK into the third row before climbing out the back. James I just unbuckled and pulled out of his carseat.
Once everyone was out of the car we had a lengthy discussion about whose completely full cup of lemonade was whose. Mine was red! Mine was green! Mine was red too! Dear Schlotzky's: I will pay double if you will give us three cups that are the same color.
Then James had to go potty. I instructed him to go around the side of the house where no one could see him and go there. I was distracted for a moment with Mary and when I turned around he was standing in full view of the street, pants around his ankles, peeing perilously close to the neighbor's air conditioning unit.
Finally, what felt like an hour after we'd arrived, all three kids were settled on my sister's porch chairs eating their lunch. It was fifty degrees outside so Mary and I stayed in the car. I had just started to relax and eat my own lunch when all three of them appeared next to the car, lunches in hand, as if by magic.
"I'm COLD, I want to eat in the car!"
Wes opened the back door and wriggled between Mary's seat and the pile of crap on the floor. Charley tried to crawl in after him but Wes kept accidentally kicking his head so he climbed over the console and into the passenger seat, which meant I had to find new places for all of the super important crap that I usually keep there.
James stood next to the open driver's side door and ate with his lunch balanced on the two inch piece of plastic adjacent to the seat. I had to hold it with my foot.
I took one bite of my lunch before the two kids inside the car began complaining about being cold and asking me to close the back door. "James," I said, "close that door, please."
He tried to close it for several minutes before Wes helpfully climbed back out of the car through the hole under Mary's seat (hold my drink for a minute, please, Mom!). Standing on the driveway, he closed the door. Then stood there thinking...thinking...thinking...
"I'm cold. I need to get in the car," he finally said, realizing his mistake, then opened the door and climbed in without closing it. I was still holding his drink. And holding James's lunch with my foot.
So I extricated myself from all of that, carried James, his lunch and drink, and Wes's drink around the car, opened the opposite door, put James in his carseat, and closed both doors.
Then I settled myself back into MY seat and opened my lunch again.
Thirty seconds after that my mom arrived.
I explained that we would be in when we were done with our lunch.
Epilogue: Frank the dog is cute, James broke a lamp, Mary pooped then screamed through the rest of the visit, and everyone is now watching TV. Spring "Break".