Monday, March 19, 2007


After three months of confinement we are slowly getting out with Teensy. Prior to Teensy's surprise arrival we were a busy go, go, go, go family. We went everywhere and didn't slow down for much. When Teensy came along we had to put the brakes on our gypsy ways and settle down. Now that the threats which kept us home (RSV virus specifically) aren't as much of a threat we can begin to journey out.
This weekend we went to Target, furniture stores, and to a couple of eating places, and church. Getting ready to go takes a truck load of effort. Usually Kendra takes care of getting all of Teensy's duke ready to roll. This entales packing the monitor she is still using for Apnea, getting her stroller out, car seat out, packing the diaper bag, securing the antibacterial wipes, and hand gel, aspirator, burp clothes, blankets, and Teensy. I take care of the boys. When we say the word, "go" Chubbers is at the laundry room door saying bye to every thing. He's into blowing kisses, loudly. He places that chubby hand on this mouth and says, "MMMMMMMAHHH" over and over. He is ready to roll. I'm trying to learn not to open the garage door right as I walk outside because Chubbers makes a mad dash for the freedom of the out of doors. He's off like lightening ready to discover and play outside. I usually run around hunkered down attempting to catch him and buckle him in the seat. This is every time we go anywhere. Titus usually has time to hop on his big wheel and drive around two or three times before we are all ready to go. Once we are loaded and ready to pull out there is this sigh of relief.
When we arrive it's time to undo what was just done. Stroller out and hooked up. Sterilize the shopping cart to prevent any contamination. Shopping carts are totally disgusting. Chubbers is into licking everything he comes in contact with. We are told it is because he's teething and he's searching out a thing to relieve the pain. We just think it's gross, him licking all over everything. Target and the furniture stores aren't really that bad, most are contained and we just keep moving. I have noticed that people who are in sales are more ready to assist you when you are with your entourage. Their thought must be, "There is no way in the world I would drag all of that crap out to just look around. They must be really serious." What they don't' know is, "yes, oh yes, we did go to all of this trouble to just get out." We are that desperate to roam our small world.
Restaurants are a different story. Three children out number two adults handily. It's just amazing how NOT worth eating out is when there are three children to deal with. We've tried it four times, two with help, two without, all four were just exhausting. Every item on the restaurant table is a hazard for a child. Everything that the restaurant hostess gives you is unacceptable to children, they would rather see how long a salt shaker can be held upside down before the salt is completely emptied of its' contents. Or what the bottom of the sugar holder looks like and how far all of the packets will scatter when turned upside down. Then there is the ketchup bottle and nice napkin wrapped present at each place setting. Each present has a weapon of mass destruction--knife! For boys straws, chop sticks, toothpicks, anything straight is an immediate weapon, and anything with an actual edge is a double blessing. One of the first things we do when we sit down is scamper to remove all of the hazards.
When I rule the world there will be special sections in all restaurants for parents with children. A special place where you food, any food, is delivered in 10 minutes from the time of order. What the restaurant industry doesn't know is that for every minute we wait for our food, that is equal to one hour of clean up after we leave. It looks like a Gallagher concert after we leave, food everywhere. Eating out with children is very expensive, too. Not only are you paying record prices for children's food and drink, but you have to double the tab and apply that as tip. It's not just double the tax, round up and move on down the road, my rule of thumb, but you are required to give a small pension for pain and suffering. We love the waitress who is away from her own children working, that kind of sympathy is universal and you don't get better service than that.
I do get a kick out of people who want to interact and deal with children. "What's your name?" "You have a lot of energy." "Oh look, a baby, how old? Oh how sweet." "Oh my, three children did you plan that or was it just an accident?" "Look at those lashes, and those eyes, what is he?" That last comment is specifically directed to Chubbers. He is an absolutely gorgeous mulatto. Very curly dark brown hair, brown almost black eyes, and creamy light brown skin. He's beautiful and has lashes that curl up and touch his eyebrows--for real. Just beautiful. Our kids usually just look at them like, "I'm sorry you are a very strange stranger and we don't' talk to strangers so please get out of the way and move on about your business." Titus has begun dealing with people in an effort to cut to the chase. "I'm four, the big broder, this is Levi he's one and that's my baby sister, Emma--she spits out through her nose and throws up." We are hoping that last description of changes somewhat. If we let Titus deal with people they usually say, "Oh, how nice...awkward grin slowly move on about your business."
I really have a pet peeve with people who assume they are welcome in your life. I don't' really need them to comment on the contents of my cart, or the number of children I have, or the way in which our boys like to sing--loudly as they shop. I don't care if your grandson who lives in Florida that you only see at Christmas is into the dinosaur that my son happens to like. Just because I shop at the same store or may be stuck in the same check out line does not mean that we'll be swapping recipes and sending cards. I'm totally ok with the, "your kids are really cute." or the smiles fired my way, but the intrusive, I know you must care what I have to say attitudes really get all over me.
One of the most fun times Kendra and I had in recent years was once at Wal-Mart. We were shopping and had discovered that there was a beach towel in our cart. It was obviously plucked from the shelves by Chubbers or Titus and thrown in the cart. We didn't want to retrace our steps and put it back, but noticed a cart that looked like the carts clerks use to put things back that shoppers didn't want. So we dropped the towel in the cart. Turns out it was the cart of another shopper. The dialogue that sprang from that towel was hilarious. "Did you put that towel in here?" "No, I didn't." "Where did it come from?" "I don't' know you must have put it in there, if you want a towel just get it." "I don't and didn't put it in there." "Well, it just didn't hop in the basket by itself." "I DIDN'T PUT THE TOWEL IN THE CART!" "Ok, we need a new one anyway, just get it." "It is nice." It was hard to stalk those people through the store and not draw attention to ourselves. We laughed and laughed that day, and still do. If you are ever bored at Wal-Mart try it, you won't be sorry.
I'm not sure it will get any easier, at least I'm telling myself that to keep my expectations as zero. That way if there is ever an time when it is better I'll be pleasantly surprised. That it could get worse is a constantly looming threat for me. It can, it will, I just hope it isn't today.


Donna said...

Well, it won't get worse today, but there will come a day when Teensy becomes capable of movement and then all hell will break loose.
I'm glad I picked this story as my dive in spot for catching up. Thoroughly entertaining!