Errands that I had to run so that I didn't end up having to run them on Mother's Day.
(A day that I think should always be written in quotes, anyway.)
More like "Mother's Six Minutes Before You Need To Get Off Your Butt and Make Me a Snack."
We went to Target and Costco and Trader Joes.
Basically every store you don't want to have to take even ONE kid to.
First up was Target.
The girls wanted what they call a "car cart."
This is the Green Family term for any cart that can hold them all at once to keep Tessa from opening Dixie cup packages and filling them with Scope and Chloe from whining that she feels weak from all the walking and needs to be carried.
So I grabbed one and strapped them in, smiling,
forgetting that it's not necessarily easier just because they're all in one spot.
Now you actually have to MOVE them all,
which, when your kids are so heavy they won't even register on the growth chart,
takes the strength of Sampson.
I was struggling so hard to even get the cart started and push them up that blasted bump strip before the main entrance that my body was at a 45 degree angle to the cart.
I won't even get STARTED on asking what the purpose of that bump strip even IS.
In my mind, it's there to begin my inevitable Target panic attack.
At the exact moment where several blood vessels burst and sweat began to bead on my upper lip,
Kim Kardashian walked out of the store and passed me, giving me a smirk as she tip-toed in her stilettos across the strip.
So maybe it wasn't the ACTUAL Kim Kardashian, but close enough.
No doubt smiling because THAT poor woman had to push a load nearing 110 pounds BEFORE the shopping had begun, and all she had to hold was this precious little sparkly clutch, which, added to HER weight was merely HALF of that number.
I thought several Non-Christian thoughts by the time I walked through the automatic doors into the store.
Thoughts that involved accelerants and seam rippers.
But, there's no need to go into detail on THAT.
I pushed on.
"Don't touch that."
"Put that back."
"Don't poke her eyelid."
"Don't even THINK about it."
Determined to let nothing come between me and The Paper Plates.
Like the Holy Grail to a mother of multiple children.
Actual dishes are for Christmas.
Everyone knows THAT.
By the time I'd walked five feet, EACH kid had already asked for someting.
"Can we have goldfish crackers?"
"Can I get out? My legs are cramping."
"Can I pretend I'm not with you guys?"
You get to guess who said what.
We went through Target in our usual way.
One of the kids ripping something and me stuffing it in the back of a shelf and praying we weren't caught on camera,
forgetting something (Even though it was on the list) and having to go back all the way across the store,
leaving a trail of crackers we hadn't even paid for yet, but I'd ripped into to shut someone up,
me wondering if I was having a stroke, etc.
Once we left there, we were on our way to Costco, where we always saunter in without ever having to show our Costco card.
Everyone knows us there.
"Wow. You're like a celebrity here!" Alena mused.
In the same way Gary Busse and Joan Rivers are celebrities.
Because they're freaking CRAZY TRAIN WRECKS, and you just can't look away.
Everywhere we go we cause a scene.
Or at least I feel like we do.
The mere fifteen minutes spent feeding Paige some pizza and letting her try a berry smoothie in the Costco food court tonight was enough to almost have our membership revoked.
There was pizza all over the floor and cascading into my purchases, A kind man appeared presenting her left shoe (?), and there was a large gap of un-taken seating mysteriously surrounding us.
There was a brief moment where I wondered if what she was doing was actually Epilepsy,
Just passion for blended fruit.
I would not be surprised if Justin comes home telling me that they've created a "Special V.I.P. Exit just for us next time!"
We had the typical meltdown when Paige realizes that Daddy's staying at Costco and not coming with us where she screams as loud as she can and attempts to break free from the cart seat belt and leap into oncoming cart traffic, followed by the typical episode of me reading lips as I see people asking Justin,
"Is that YOUR kid making that sound?"
I left humiliated,
yet with my cart full of cheese and lunch meat, at least three items I never knew I needed, along with delectable frozen pesto Tilapia.
I try to breathe.
We made it.
We're in the home stretch.
on the way to the van,
Tessa opts to dart in a zig-zag pattern while making the face of a loon,
right in the path of an oncoming truck with an approximately 107 year old driver who - surprise, surprise- doesn't see her.
I suddenly got tunnel vision.
Then instinct kicked in and my arm shot out like a .bungee, grabbing her and yanking her back to me, where she gave me a painful flat tire in my already constantly painful leg, ripping my shoe off, and leaving me limping and almost crying.
Then she started shrieking.
"You're HURTING me!"
Then Paige, Whose Spiritual Gift is Sympathy Crying, started wailing, too, as if she was watching a live reel of Elmo being hanged.
Cars were pulling over thinking it was the Fire Department coming up from behind.
People were pausing from loading their 16 gallon mayo jugs into their trunks and staring.
It's just Us.
No need to call CPS.
I was merely saving her life.
No need for alarm."
*Wave. Nod. Vow to never return.*
SO HELP ME, IF YOU DON'T STOP SHRIEKING RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I AM GOING TO TAKE ALL YOUR BARBIES, AND COLOR IN ALL YOUR COLORING BOOKS, AND NEVER LET YOU WEAR THOSE PURPLE PATENT LEATHER SHOES YOU LOVE EVER EVER AGAIN - NOT EVEN ON YOUR BIRTHDAY.
So I didn't say that.
But I wanted to.
Once we reached the van, I just started shoving kids in.
I was giving The Look as I buckled.
The look passed down to me from my mother
and my mother's mother.
There I was shoving food into the back of the car on top of piles of beach parephenalia from the trip we started to take last week and never accomplished due to the stomach flu popping up mid-drive.
Precariously balancing the paper plates from Target and the three pack of lunch meat that will be eaten in two days,
all to the continuing sounds of Tessa and Paige HOWLING out into the night.
Just waiting for their wolfish fur to appear.
I saw Alena checking the clock and mournfully and pointedly looking at me as if to say,
"It's already 7:40. I was supposed to be at Gabby's 10 minutes ago."
I can't blame her.
I wouldn't want to spend the weekend with us, either, right now.
You can either have the sounds of screaming and choking on pizza cheese, or, you can have a luxury trip to the country club with a day spent in the pool.
A hundred pleads to PLEASE take your sister, or, Gabby's Esthetician mom offering you a facial.
Me nudging you at 9:00 because the dog just threw up and I need you to hold Paige back out of it while I clean it, or, sleeping in until noon and being hand fed grapes while you swing in a hammock.
Can I come, too?
I won't, like, TALK or anything....
This is when I realized I still had to go to the grocery.
At Gabby drop off time.
At little kid bed time.
I only needed a few things, thankfully, so I left all the girls in the car with Alena and ran in.
I thought I'd be in and out, until I realized I was ALONE and had some sort of strange moment where my lip did a half-smile about nothing in particular and I found myself circling the pears three times.
"Oh. I'm sorry. Am I in your way?" a lady asked.
"No. I actually don't have a clue what I'm doing." I said.
I wasn't kidding.
I got all the usual things and headed to the line.
Sad to see my 10 minutes of silence and peaceful thought coming to an end.
"And how are YOU tonight?!" the chipper check out guy asked.
He couldn't have been more than 22.
I remember 22.......
He was covered in tattoos.
No deep set bags under his eyes from nights spent hyperventilating that one of the kids MIGHT wake up and WANT SOMETHING.
Obviously, the only care in his world being if his iTunes purchase downloaded correctly.
"Are you doing anything fun tonight?!" He chimed.
"I just ran errands for three hours with four kids,"
"The most fun I'm having tonight will come at about 9:03 after they're in bed."
He laughed like I wasn't serious.
The next stop was Gabby's, where Alena got out, tried 6 times to record a video of Tessa, rolled her eyes because it wasn't working out how she wanted, and then sighed and said she'd get it tomorrow.
When she opened the trunk to get her stuff, 10 yogurts, a coconut water and all our bananas came flying out onto the driveway.
A yogurt broke open.
The white, curdly proof that we,
The FABULOUS Greens, had been there, too.
Our Calling Card, of sorts.
"DON'T LEAVE ME WITH THEM," I begged as we cleaned it all up.
She, too, laughed like I wasn't serious, and shouted that she loved me over her shoulder.
I actually believed it until she practically banged the door in with obvious desire to be ANYWHERE but where she'd been for the last three hours.
Kerri Green -
Kicking Mother's Day weekend off with a bang -
With some gagged up cheese on my iPad case, yogurt covered groceries, and a most likely permanent look of desperation.