Most of the time, I feel like I can handle my life. Lately, even, I wonder about having another or if seven is it for us. Life is crazy, chaos even, but it’s fun. Most of the time.
Then I have days like today. Yesterday Blaine told me he’d have to work today. He usually has Saturdays off, but he has a boat to photograph and it cannot wait. I’d made plans to go shopping at a consignment sale, so I continued with my plans… seven kids in tow. We’d been there just a few minutes when Liberty found what she’d hoped for: new black church shoes. She put them in one of the merchandise bags and we searched for more bargains. I found Ellie a pair of shoes. They went into the bag. I found a swimming suit for Ellie. I turned to put them in the bag. The bag was missing. Charlie had a bag with a few things in it too. She and Pierce had each been carrying bags with things we had planned to purchase. Both had put them down. In a sea of merchandise bags, we searched for ours among the racks. We found one… but not the other. Liberty’s church shoes and Ellie’s shoes were gone.
After much searching, we gave up and went to buy our things. Liberty went to check once more, disappointed. She found her shoes put back in the sale bins, but not Ellie’s. So glad. But oh, the drama.
When we got to the van, we found Ellie’s diaper was full and beginning to explode. The diaper bag had everything we needed except new jeans. We managed to save them. The van now had a wretched smell.
Brilliant plan number two: I had a coupon for JC Penney’ s. I need new jeans. I’ll take them to the mall. On a Saturday. In a big city. Brilliant, I tell you.
We gagged our way to the mall. Turns out, Ellie had had explosion number two. Her jeans fared less well. A good scrubbing with a wipe had them acceptable but gross, I wondered why I was doing this, and I set off to find some jeans.
I should have read all the signs, handed my coupons off to some sane mother who left her children at home, and called it a day.
Judging from the girls trying on fancies in dressing rooms, it’s coming up on prom. Busy just got busier. I waded through the people, tried on a dozen pairs of jeans with seven children lining up waiting for me, was informed in a single breath from Pierce that my belly is creepy and it is a nice home for babies, found two pairs of jeans that I liked, was informed that my coupon didn’t work for one, decided I didn’t like them enough for full price, and left to find something else to use my coupon on. Ten dollars off anything ten dollars or more is too good to pass up, after all. I found a scarf. I went to check if they had any earrings I liked more than the white scarf, and realized Charlie was missing.
Chaos, anyone? I called for her, since she’s always just around the corner. She didn’t come. I sent Eden to check by the scarves. A lady pulled me aside and asked if I was looking for a little blonde girl. I headed to get her from the direction she pointed. Charlie was mid-sentence telling an employee who she is and who I am and I was about to be paged.
Be still, my heart. I’m so thankful she knows her full name and my full name and how to spell all of it too. I’m so thankful it didn’t come to that.
I was still consoling her when Pierce stood up in the stroller and tipped it over, spilling my coke everywhere. All over my new purse, all over the white scarf I now had to buy and hope it washes out, and all over my carrier for Ellie. (My Tula. The carrier I sewed order after our our order to save up enough for. Covered in coke.)
We paid for the scarf, all of $2.12 after my coupon. It’s a good thing, since it’s currently a good percent brown. We headed out.
Ruby knocked half a dozen watches off a display table on the way out.
I’m pretty sure the people at Penney’s were glad to see us go.
For good measure, I was still putting things away in the house after we got home when Pierce found a pressurized something-or-another hand tool on the picnic table, pinched his hand in it, then howled his way to the house while it pinched him. I’m washing coke covered items, trying to regain my composure, Liberty is asking me to make her anew dress for church tomorrow,and I’m hoping the new jeans I bought are completely fabulous. I don’t have it in me to return them if they aren’t.
I was feeling really really bad for you when I lost it with Ruby knocking over the watches. It was a good laugh for me at least. Still feeling bad for the day you had. You’re a brave woman Adrienne.
Charlotte Moore says
I would say you are the bravest mother I have read about as far as shopping goes. I could just see those watches flying off the table. When you said the people at Penneys where probably glad to see you all leave I cracked up. Movie worthy day!!! Hahaha!!!
Kirsten Pankratz says
Oh, man, I feel stressed just reading about it. How do you keep your cool? I pretty much stick to Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply. Our town is small so we don’t have a mall or anything but one time I did take the kids to Belk, looking for a waffle maker (which I didn’t buy-too expensive) Talk about Not kid friendly! All the fancy displays are way too tall just waiting for some kid to knock them down and the clothing isles are too close to push a cart full of kids through. Everyone was giving me ugly looks like why did I have all these kids in this store. Good question. I left and as I did, I saw that my son was leaving a dirt track behind him from dried mud falling off his boots. I didn’t care, actually, I think I laughed-to myself-and fled. We haven’t been back! At Tractor Supply they know us and like us….and they don’t care about mud, they’re used to it!
I should stick to Walmart. It would be a lot less stressful. I had illusions that JCP would have jeans that would flatter better than Walmart. Disillusions, likely. TSC is a great store, but there isn’t one locally. As a kid, it was a fun place. I took the kids into our version of it for dog food the other day. They carried out to my van and then waited while I buckled the kids in to put it in, holding it the whole time. My kind of people. Mall patrons hold a certain disgust for large families. I even dressed the kids cute and did my hair and makeup. It didn’t help. Merely the number of my offspring makes me not nearly sophisticated enough.
Haha! I think we have the same life! Seven kids, 13 and under (but I have another due July). Public mishaps are my specialty! My Pierce is named Daniel and he is almost five. My life is an adventure, for sure.
I’m glad to hear others live past the age of three! Some days Pierce is determined to put me under, I’m convinced. So nice to ‘meet’ you!
You just do what you can and have faith that it will be enough 🙂
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Shannon Avard says
Sorry to hear of your mishaps. Don’t worry, though, I’m right there with you. I have 8 kids of my own 15 and under. The two older boys do pretty good for themselves, but still I hear ‘mom’ ALOT from the them. I don’t mind. However, the six younger children range in age from 10 to 2 and they are much more dependent on me.
Oftentimes I am scared to go with the six younger ones by myself. I do when I have no choice, but man, it’s hard! I guess we are brave ladies. It’s so nice to see another mother so involved with kids. I don’t see it much where I live, unfortunately,. By the way, I home school my children as well. This is my first year, so I’m still new at it, but we’ve a pretty good year.