Now that the snot isn't flowing as frequently I decided to venture out today into THE CITY to do some holiday shopping, WITH THE GIRLS. Yeah, some might call me crazy. But I did it.
And I am still alive. And so are they. And I bought stuff.
Our first destination was Hannah Andersson. All I allowed myself to buy was their great slipper socks in multiple sizes and patterns for multiple children on our list, including our youngest. But still, it was fun to be surrounded by amazing floral dresses and the cutest cotton frocks ever to be stitched together. Note to grandma: just send Hannah dresses! (They can be to my daughters the equivalent of the Health Tex dresses my grandmother bought me on a regular basis, well into my first decade of life.)
Our second destination was Powells, which is the city of books. When Jooge was only 6 months, I decided to start buying a new holiday book for her each year. And now that she has a sister, I had two holiday stories to buy. After a difficult search and many attractive options, I found two books, (hello holiday tales by Sandra Boynton and Richard Scarry) and made it out of there with not a sniffle uttered from my mini companions.
All in all, in venturing into the city I parked twice, put change in parking meters twice, donned baby in carrier, or put someone in the stroller each time, not to mention complimenting and encouraging the behavior that my two year old was showing. Here we were in the city with lots of potential for naughty but naughty was nowhere near.
We got back home and made a quick stop to Fred Meyer to return some stockings that were cheaper at Safeway and to get groceries since we had very few in the cupboards. (Yes, I intended to MAKE stockings for all of us this year, cute ones that match, but it just didn't happen and it just won't and the ones I found are really cute.)
Jooge had to go in the cart, and she did so without protest. Avery was asleep in her carseat, and remained so when I put her in the back of the cart. They let me return what I wanted to return. I found the things I wanted to get, and decided on something for dinner. By this time angels were beginning to hum in my ears. Was it really going to be this easy??
Well, just about the time I was putting spaghetti ingredients in the cart, Avery had had enough. She began to cry and wail, and tears flowed. I still had to check out, get home, and feed her, and put the Joooge (who had had multiple snacks in the car) down to a nap. And I do this every time. I push it too far. Everything is going completely SMOOTHLY and I don't go home! I push it too far. I should have BYPASSED Fred Meyer, gone after nap time, but did I do that? NO!
Instead, I fumbled over pushing my credit card through the machine to pay, and tried to get the sacks of stuff around the baby seat in the cart, noticing that my blood pressure had begun to climb. The checker was nice but she was probably thinking, BAD MOTHER. Jooge was being really friendly telling her that she was two because usually that is what the checkers ask her. This one didn't ask because she couldn't hear herself think due to wailing baby.
In the parking lot Avery sent cries to the skies. Translated, they meant: "What's that? I'm still in my car seat vibrating through the cold air? I want to be home, next to warm boob!" I clicked her into the car and opened Jooge's side to get her in (of course she protested, "I want to do it!") and packed the car with the stuff I just bought and luckily a very kind lady helped me with my cart. I was about to help buckle Jooge in when I saw that she was still picking up raisins off the carpet in the car NOT GETTING IN HER SEAT. Finally she was buckled in and as we drove home, (the baby had stopped crying!) everything was suddenly okay for a moment. I actually heard the lyrics to the Christmas song we were listening to. I was momentarily tempted to stop by the one place I hadn't yet gone: the Blockbuster, to exchange the faulty War of the Worlds that my husband and I weren't able to watch the night before. NO. DRIVE. Hadn't I learned my lesson? So I stayed the course. We were going home! "HOME!" The Jooge shouted. She also said emphatically, "I'm soo tired."
By this time, if we were wind-up toys, our motions would have been slowing. We got home, and I got them and everything inside. I grabbed our new holiday books, a water for Jooge, Jooge's hand, and the baby, who had just gotten a new diaper after sitting in poop for TOO LONG, and read to Jooge while I fed the baby.
And suddenly, peace descended upon us. Jooge was napping (HALLELUIAH, this was a day she would sleep!) and the baby had a belly full of milk and was headed to napville too. There were groceries again, and stockings, and I'd begun to shop for Christmas presents. Best of all, I had earned a nap myself. I took out my Energizer batteries and grabbed it while I could.