Out and about with the monkeys

It has finally gotten easier. Yesterday, with the kids, we managed a series of outings which included: the gym for mommy to workout, buying new school shoes for both kids (OK, it was Payless), going to the grocery store, coming home for nap, going back out for Anna to get a haircut, going back to the grocery store because I forgot the milk and the library. The only one that was a major flop was the library. Two-year olds should not go to the library. Anna spent the whole time at the computer trying “check the email.” Apparently mommy spends far too much time on the computer, but I digress.

If you had told me two years ago that I’d be able to manage this many outings with both kids, I would have laughed in your face and then sat down to cry because I was only ever able to manage one outing a day and usually that didn’t go well.

In addition to this little triumph yesterday, it was validation for me after running across this email I had sent out almost 2 years ago after just moving to Sweden. Enjoy!

    From October 2005 (Alex 19 months and Anna 3 months)
    "We had run out of veggies and wine.....two staples of the Kerr household that must always be stocked. I decided to make a mid-week run to the big grocery store. I had my list all ready and everyone's feedings timed. However, I was out of the cookies I use to bribe Alex to sit quietly in the cart through the store. This could prove to be a problem.

    We arrive at the store. I park far away as my husband has instructed me to do so as not to ding the new Volvo wagon. (I love you, honey.) There are usually various corrals for the carts throughout the parking lot. The MO usually goes....get a cart (paying my 5 SEK deposit since they are apparently afraid people will run off with the carts), load up Alex in the cart, load up Anna in the Bjorn and hurry before people get fussy. Today, I went to the nearest place to get a cart and there were no carts. Annoyed, I tried the next one, also out. Apparently someone invested their lifesavings and DID run off with every cart in the parking lot. Frustrated, I got Alex out of the car and made him wait next to me while I loaded up Anna in the Bjorn. Alex started to walk with me through the parking lot. He won't hold my hand so I have to guide him kind of. He wanted to stop at each car and try to open the door. I finally had to grab his hand as cars were coming, but his favorite thing to do is make you hold him by his hand so he's hanging. Nice mom, huh?

    Once we get to the carts, he screams about going into the seat. (Mind you, I’m lifting him in with Anna still in the Bjorn killing my arms/chest.) I had seen other toddlers riding in the cart part and thought since my list was short, I'd let him do that. He enjoyed it for about 10 minutes. We zipped through the store as quickly as possible, all the while telling Alex to sit down. As each item was placed in the cart, he tried to open it.....peppers, rice, chicken, diapers (oh, wait, he threw those out of the cart). Then Anna started to scream. Usually her MO when we get to the checkout, but she decided to start early this time. Then we pick up Alex's cookies and I tried to hide them from him, but he spotted them and I had to listen to "cookie cookie" through the whole store. Luckily, we were almost done. We get to the cashier and though it is 10:30 a.m. there is ONE cashier open. So we wait. I hear cookie cookie and Anna crying. As I load up the groceries onto the belt, he cries each time I take one away from him. Rice....boo hoo hoo.....chicken....boo hoo hoo. Then Anna luckily passes out. We make it to the car, finally. I load up the groceries and take him out of the cart. We needed to stop and get wine which is sold next door. So we bring back the cart and I get my 5 SEK back. We walk to the liquor store to get their cart....wait, there's no place for Alex to sit in that cart. So we have to walk back and get another grocery cart to take in with us. This time he's screaming about sitting in the chair. Now he has his cookies so he's OK for a bit. We zip through the store. Then Alex needs his water and he's screaming at the top of his lungs for water. (Something not done by Swedish children) We went to the car, where I promptly forgot to locate the water, but woke up Anna while putting her back in the car. She screamed, Alex made faces at her and I was sweating. Returned the cart, loaded up the wine (which I now felt I needed some of) and drove home. All the while Anna screaming at the top of her lungs and Alex asking for water which I couldn’t locate. We pulled into the drive and she continued to scream, he got out of the car and fell and cried. Everyone crying....including almost mommy. So I plopped Alex in his high chair to watch his Baby Einstein DVD and fed Anna, totally forgetting that I left all the car doors open when we made our quick entry into the house. Man, I'm beat. It's only 1 p.m.!!!!!!"

The funny thing, upon reading this now, is that this stuff stills happens. I have just learned to ignore some of it and plan a bit more. What would I have done differently now? Taken the double stroller and an extra bag to fill with groceries. Gotten the cookies first to bribe and prayed for the best. Live and learn, huh?

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