There are few times when Linda hits the brick wall. She may more often than she allows us to see, but it is for that reason we think she’s superwoman. (If only she would wear those tights more often.) Some evenings ago, when it was only 5:30, she asked if she could leave the dinner table and go to bed. There was no question of her need, so she dismissed herself and went to the bedroom. I particularly wanted her to sleep due to her apparent need and as well the allowance I would feel at a later date if I wanted to do the same.
I really don’t mind playing with the kids at home, but when you are attempting to keep 4 kids quiet so that your lovely wife might rest; a road trip is more appropriate. Molly and Spencer had requested that we rent a movie from the “movie store,” so off we went. While a trip to Blockbuster would take some time, especially with 4 kids, I thought we might be able to prolong our trip by walking around Walmart (or “Warmit” as Spencer often calls it). We all quietly put on shoes and socks and headed out to the garage. Spencer has begun buckling himself up, or at least says that he is; so I proceeded to buckle in the twins. Once I passed out “Sours” to all who were interested, our trip without Mom began.
While I realize that driving while constantly looking in your rear view mirror is a safety hazard, I could not help myself but be enamored by the interaction between Molly and Spencer. The discussion, if not debate, was over the words of “Peter, James, & John in the sailboat.” While it is common for Molly, as well as Spencer, to make up verses for well known songs, Spencer was nearly indignant towards Molly’s continual defilement of the verse that “MRS BAKER TAUGHT ME!” It was clear that Molly knew more of the story than Spencer, and this was seen as she made up new verses that spoke of Peter walking and sinking on the river. The conflict was in no way resolved but was overshadowed by our arrival at “Warmit.”
My children are not yet capable of comprehending a visit to any store without the sole purpose being that of buying them toys. Rarely do we actually buy them toys, that’s what family and friends are for; but as we go through the physical and mental gymnastics required to extricate 4 children from 4 car seats in a minivan, the only question I can remember is “Can we get a toy?” “No, we won’t be getting any toys today; we are just going to walk around.” ” Oh, so can I get a toy?” “Spencer, what do you want to get?”
It is often interesting to establish seating assignments in the two carts Linda and I would push as we stroll through a store, but being the only parent present made this decision even a bit more complicated. I knew that I could only push one cart, and it was clear that Ryan and Dakota would have to sit in that cart. Therefore, Molly and Spencer would have to either walk or hang off the front or side of the cart. They both chose the later. Molly was facing forward as she stood on the bottom rack of the cart and held onto the cart itself. Spencer did the same on the right side. Ryan and Dakota stood next to each other at the front of the cart as well facing forward. All I could think as we “strolled” through the store was what people must think when they see a group like that. “4 kids! Don’t they know how to stop that?” It was not a rare occasion for me to barely steer clear of some rack nearly knocking off one of the older passengers. Spencer, on numerous occassions, would throw his head back and yell, “Dad! Look at me.” All I was focusing on was the nice crisp metal corner of the near by rack that was only inches away from his head. One trip around the store, well over 15 request for toys, 3 near fatalities, and 1 very wet diaper and we had successfully browsed through “Warmit.”
The brief trip to blockbuster was nearly as exciting, but we’ll save that for another day . . .
The rest of the trip was a blur. 4 kids buckled in, 1 stop for a “red drink” and some pop at Speedway while leaving 4 kids in a locked van, 3 broken straws, 5 passes of the red drink, one at each light, and one severe headache later; we pulled into our home.
Linda was up – and I wanted to go to bed.