I've been waiting to have more than 3 minutes to type so I could blog about Good Friday. In retrospect the story is kind of funny, but let's just say that I hope to never go through a situation like this again! Roman heard me relaying the story to a friend and stated (very emphatically) "I am never doing that again!" In fact, I may have my children so scared that they may never get in the wagon again. Ever.
I worked Thursday night and slept a little on Friday morning. After that I gave the kids lunch and then my friend Jackie and her girls came over to paint paper mache eggs and frost Easter cookies. We had a fun time, and I was feeling rather energetic.
After they left my mind shifted to the evening ahead. We were planning to go to my parent's house for pizza and a movie after Noah got home from work. There was one slight problem: the van was in the shop and due to a miscommunication both my double stroller and all the carseats were still in the van, which was now 6 miles away. The kids don't all fit in Noah's car and we didn't have enough carseats anyway.
The van was done, however, and so we had to figure out a way to pick it up so that we would have it for the weekend. I decided that the best solution would be to put the kids in a combination of bikes and wagons and move ourselves over to my parents where the kids could stay while Noah and I went and got the van (when he arrived after work). I didn't want to wait for him, because I wanted to beat the sun going down and the imminent rain.
Confusing, isn't it?
I called my dad and told him that the kids and I were heading over. My dad mentioned that it was raining. I said it was more of a mist, and that was why I was leaving now vs later. He sounded dubious, but I assured him that all would be well.
2.7 miles. That was all I needed from my troops.
I bundled the baby up in multiple layers along with her winter hat. I told the boys to dress warmly, as temps were in the low 40s. I put a hat on and added my fuzzy jacket over my shirt. Deacon argued about attire. I told him to bring his sweatshirt and a hat. Roman wore his winter jacket, Lincoln put a hat on and was wearing long sleeves.
I put a towel in the wagon and Lincoln and Berean climbed in.
Roman was on his silly scooter, Deacon on his bike.
And off we went.
My first inkling that this was a bad, bad idea was 1/4 of a mile into the trip when Deacon came back to get his sweatshirt out of the wagon and we realized that it had been jettisoned before we had even left the garage, persumably by one of the smaller members of the party. I didn't want to go back for it, because I knew that we were already pushing our luck. In retrospect, I should have sent him back for it and then had him catch up with us...but I was concerned about him not locking the house up properly.
On we went. At 1/2 mile Roman decided he was tired of scooting (as I knew was bound to happen) and he and the scooter landed in the wagon, slightly disturbing the other inhabitants.
We made it to the 1 mile mark and turned the corner.
The direction change caused a severe drop in temperature, due to the new wind patterns. It also began to rain.
Oh, so not good.
But, it was a mile home and 1.7 to my moms. I told the kids that when we got to the next gas station I would stop and buy them candy. I told them to start thinking about what they wanted.
We went a little further and Berean started screaming. She was being jostled by her brothers and was done with this whole "wagon experience". So I put her on one hip and on we went. Suddenly Deacon was screaming. He was so cold, he couldn't bear it anymore.
I gave him my jacket.
Hauling 100 pounds of kid in a wagon through the rain is no easy task, and I was sweating anyway.
And on we went.
We needed to cross the road at a stoplight and I encouraged Roman and Lincoln to get out of the wagon at the other side and run up the hill to warm up. They did so. Well, kind of. Roman got out and ran up the hill with Deacon and his bike. Lincoln cried and fussed and wandered up the hill. I tried to get Lincoln to put the towel around himself, but he wanted to sit on it and didn't seem to understand that it would be warmer if it was around him. Finally I convinced him and he ran up the road, beach towel like a cape around his shoulders, tears streaming down his face all the while, howling like a wolf.
Berean had her head back and was in an all out scream by this point, Deacon was about to have a nervous breakdown and Roman...well, I gotta tell you, Roman was the one who kept his head. He was probably warmer than the other ones...but that doesn't usually matter with Roman. Roman is usually the one who loses it the quickest, so it was quite surprising (and pleasing) how well he handled the stress.
We walked across the bridge and watched the cars below. It distracted Roman and Deacon from their distress for a couple of minutes, although it didn't seem to impress the little ones at all.
Down the hill we went.
I wondered what all the people driving by were thinking. I was glad no one had stopped- because really, how awkward would that be, but quite frankly I was surprised. A women, holding a baby, pulling an empty wagon with 3 crying boys heads down the road in the pouring rain on a 40 degree day and no one even stops?!?!
We finally reached the back of the strip mall that is next to the gas station. We ran down through the grassy ditch (which, later, Deacon was to tell me, was awesome) and recollected ourselves in front of the liquor store, which, by the way, Roman tried to enter.
Deacon immediately calmed down when he could see the gas station and was out of the wind. He willingly gave my jacket up for Lincoln and excitedly headed for his promised candy.
I told them that I wasn't going to take them in if they were all crying, but soon realized that 2/4 not screaming was all I was going to get.
We walked into the gas station.
We bought candy. The older boys were happy and ready to return to the road. The little ones were not. We walked out the door. I knew, as soon as I walked back outside that there was no way I that we could go any further. It was just too cold, too rainy and I was just out of all of my earlier enthusiasm.
It is hard to admit. I am a person of boundless energy and an "I can do anything" kind of mentality, but I had reached my limit.
Now that I had quit walking, I was suddenly feeling how wet and cold I really was. It was miserable.
We went into the bathroom so the boys could pee.
Everyone was calm, finally.
I checked my phone. I had missed a call from Noah. I had missed a call from my mom. I got a hold of my mom. She was with Noah and they were trying to find me.
They must have driven by when we had already left the road for the short cut.
They were on the way to get the van from the shop.
They would be there to get us soon.
I hung up the phone. A young women was standing in front of me.
"are you ok?" she asked, "do you have someone to help you?"
She said that they were on their way to the baseball game and had seen us walking down the road. She said she told her husband that they just had to stop and make sure we had someone to pick us up.
I thanked her and told her that it was a long story but that my husband was on his way to rescue us from the rain.
She left and I turned to help Roman. Roman wanted to hand me his skittles so he could take his coat off. I didn't realize that the skittles bag was open, and the handoff was less than ideal.
Skittles all over the floor of the gas station.
Do you ever just want to disappear?
The boys started picking them up and eating them off the floor.
I stayed very calm, but inside I just wanted to cry.
Then Deacon said, "look, Mom, Roman is eating Berean's sucker that he dropped on the floor."
One of the young employees mentioned that there was an eating area in the back of the store, and she said we were welcome to use it. I am sure she wanted us out of the front of the store. We went back to our area and sat down. I nursed Berean, which improved her mood dramatically. The boys chatted about their favorite parts of the "adventure".
I had to nix their plans for an elaborate game of gas station hide and seek.
We ate candy and we waited.
Finally my mom picked us up. Noah was on his way back to our house to get dry clothes, and pick up the movie and the pizza.
I took them to my parents and gave them warm baths. My mom made them hot chocolate and we wrapped them in warm pajamas.
Noah brought me dry clothes.
He brought me comfy outer wear, but very impratical innerwear.
I thanked him anyway.
We watched our movie, we ate pizza.
It turned out ok.
But never again will I make the same mistake.
Well, at least not until next year.