I've become, perhaps, a bit overconfident recently, believing that we were HANDLING the Old Testament scale of our family. We were handling the s*** out it. I mean, just yesterday, we managed three separate kid activities, two that happened simulataneously, and still managed to clean out the garage, give the children multiple hours of good old fashioned outdoor unstructured playtime, and still have dinner together at a sit down restaurant that we all enjoyed, EVEN THE PEOPLE SITTING IN ADJACENT BOOOTHS. BOOM.
But just like when Icarus flew too close to the sun and got burned to a crisp, we flamed out in SPECTACULAR fashion today.
Today began with us dropping Charley and Wes off in front of the church because I thought if I heard one more song altered to include the words "fart", "poop", or "butt" that my head was going to shoot right off my body and explode like a Roman Candle. They scampered off to Sunday School and I parked the car without having an anyeurism. Win win.
We (foolishly, possibly, but it was so, so good as always) hung out for an hour or so after church talking to our friends while the kids ran around the courtyard outside. This meant that we had to cram a trip to Lowes and a weekly grocery store trip in along with lunch and Mary's nap to about an hour-long period between when we got home and when we had to leave again. Ryan slapped together some lunch while I managed the grocery store. I only had thirty-five minutes and I would have made it too except they moved the fish sticks to a different part of the store and I lost about ten minutes trying to figure it out based on some bad directions from the sample lady. I have a thing with Being On Time, so this was possibly much more stressful for me than the situation warranted.
When I got home we had exactly five minutes to gather all the children into their various cars, wrap two birthday gifts, load up all the Cub Scout stuff into Ryan's car, unpack the groceries, put the cold stuff away, and wake Mary up and unceremoniously stuff her into her car seat. She was quite screamy but I thought lunch and some fun party playtime would help. I was wrong.
Mary whimpered all the way to the party, which was at an adorable local playplace. James and Wes quickly settled in, raiding the juiceboxes (important later) and climbing up the pretend tree house in the corner. Mary ate her lunch (pasta and sauce) with her hands because I didn't have a fork, then screamed with real tears in her eyes when I attempted to put her down next to an inviting basket of multicolored balls. She screamed all the way to the car where I took her to change her diaper, thinking maybe that would make her happy. I asked her what she needed and she sniffled "Papa". Awesome.
It was shortly after we got back inside that James had his first emergent potty visit. Kid just can't hold his Capri Suns like the older kids. He made it that time, and the time after that, when we had to run in from the playground, and the time after that when we all came in from the playground for pizza. But he didn't make it the time after that when I became momentarily distracted by talking to a friend and assumed that after four visits he could find the conveniently located child-friendly bathroom himself. I left Mary sitting on a stage eating Goldfish off the floor with vague instructions to my friend to give her more Goldfish if she got fussy and ran out to the car to look for an extra pair of pants for James. The only pair I could find was a pair of sweatpants in size EIGHT. BUT THEY HAD A DRAWSTRING, SCORE! I took the pants back inside, checked Mary's Goldfish supply, and led James back to the bathroom to change where HE WENT TO THE BATHROOM FOR THE SIXTH TIME IN SEVENTY FIVE MINUTES.
In the next thirty minutes he had two near poo accidents that I averted only by dropping everything and RUNNING him back there when I noticed him frozen on the kiddie dance floor with a thousand yard stare, hanging onto his bottom. We honestly would have gone home early if not for the promise of delicious delicious sheet cake. I heart birthday cake.
Meanwhile, Mary was busy making sure I developed scoliosis by refusing to let me put her down continuously for nearly an hour and a half. She finally consented to sit on the stage with her Goldfish long enough for me to take James to the bathroom, check on Wes, who was having a lively pool noodle battle with an old preschool friend, and have a brief conversation. I was starting to relax when Mary suddenly stood up and FREAKING WALKED. She walked over to a table where another little girl was reading a book. I thought she was going to pick out a book and sit down to look at it but instead the baby who has never willingly taken more than five consecutive steps in her life PICKED UP A PLASTIC HAIR, HELD IT OVER HER HEAD, AND ATTEMPTED TO WALK BACK ACROSS THE ROOM TOWARD ME. This was FREAKING AMAZING and I held my breath waiting to see what would happen. She made it an astonishing TEN STEPS before, in slow motion, she keeled over backward and hit hear head on the (carpeted) floor. The chair hit her square on the cheekbone and left a nice mark. I had to run her to the back of the playplace lest the hysterical screaming drown out the Happy Birthday song. A piece of cake helped her calm down. Just like Mommy already.
I was delighted to make it home with no further incidents. Looking forward to relaxing and eating the dinner Ryan was working on I walked into the living room to find Charley reading on the couch. He slowly lowered the book and said "I lost a tooth." I was right in the middle of getting all excited for him when Ryan poked his head around the corner and looked at me with the Look of Consternation. "Is this...bad?" I asked nervously. He nodded.
Apparently, while Ryan was cooking, Charley and the two kids next door were playing in the (completely dry) retention "pond" near our house. They are not supposed to go near this huge concrete storm drain on one side of the pond, because if you go near it you might do something stupid like, ATTEMPT TO CLIMB A CONCRETE WALL, SLIP, BASH YOUR MOUTH, AND KNOCK OUT ONE OF YOUR TEETH. FREAKING HELL. The way he fell meant that our neighbor, who happened to be outside, had to climb over something and help him get out because he was stuck? was going crazy? (details are hazy because I heard everything from two people with XY chromosomes). Ryan came on the scene moments later to find Charley looking absolutely mortified. Ryan thinks LOSING A TOOTH will teach him the consequences of not following our rules, but I am considering never allowing him to leave the house again. MISSING TEETH have a way of causing me to lose my perspective and sense of reason in these matters. Thank goodness it was a BABY TOOTH.
We were going to go hiking tomorrow but now we are going to the dentist. And the liquor store. And then I'm going to put on a movie. Or six.