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.