Monday, August 25, 2008

Ahhhhhggggg!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel a little bit better. Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind of day where you wake up having had about two hours sleep (I'll spare you the details about my sleepless night), and then you come downstairs to Raisin Bran crunching under your feet in the kitchen and the aftermath of an early morning, parent-free painting session? Then you decide it would be a good day to finally getting around to scraping the old nasty caulk out of the old nasty shower that has mold growing from like two tenants ago which has been sealed beneath the old nasty caulk? And you've been staring at that (insert colorful adjective here) shower so long and thinking how nasty it is and you decide that you just can't stare at it another (insert similar colorful adjective here) minute? So you hike up your maternity night gown, grab the screwdriver and start scraping away, choking on Tilex fumes and wondering if this will definitely rule out Harvard for baby #3 seeing as Tilex inhalation is probably right up there with hot tubs and ice skating when it comes to things you're not supposed to do while pregnant.

Then you realize you're out of everything that you usually eat, so you decide to make a grocery list but the children can't stand that you are using a pencil and they aren't and they want to use your pencil RIGHT NOW because it is obviously the best pencil known to man and the only pencil anyone would ever want to write with RIGHT NOW. So you hand over the pencil to one of them, the shorter one, because he seems more vulnerable and more in need. And the other one gets really upset because she too has rights in this family and knows when she is being deprived of something. So you go find pencils for all and set about writing your grocery list. Here is the list:
  • caulk
  • Tilex
  • milk
  • bread
  • cheese
  • tortillas
  • ground turkey
  • potatoes
  • pie crust
  • frozen peas
  • avocados
  • pineapple
  • apples
  • peanut butter
It's a sad little list isn't it? Somehow that list ended up costing me about $140 at the grocery store and taking about two hours to shop for. That's probably because I drove about 15 minutes out of my way to the giant grocery store with the free childcare so that I could have a precious hour to myself to waddle pregnantly down the aisles looking for good deals on caulk and peanut butter. Apparently every other mom in the universe had the same idea, because when I got to the grocery store with the free childcare, the free childcare place was totally full and had a line of moms and kids waiting to get in. I thought about waiting in line with the other moms and kids and knew that I probably had the same pained, desperate look on my face and would've fit right in in that line, but I decided to make the executive decision to go to the "cookie store" (the store where they hand out free cookies) instead of the free childcare store. I am the captain of this ship after all and I can make these kinds of decisions. Charlie was so not on board with this plan. He was stumbling around the store with the free childcare, mouth open, crying inconsolably, his new light-up tennis shoes lighting up the floor in a festive way that belied his tragic state.

A slightly crazy woman stopped me and wanted to give Charlie something from her purse. She searched for this thing (what could it have been?) for a few moments and then gave up and told me how cute the kids were, etc. I don't understand the people who want to try to have a conversation with you while one of your children is having a meltdown. Do they really think you can sit and chat in that moment? Anyway the slightly crazy lady looked down at my stomach and realized that I was pregnant and then she crosses herself, as if to say, "Dear God, please don't let that ever happen to me." I get these kinds of responses from people daily, if not multiple times a day. And not just when the kids are being "spirited." The kids could be silently reading library books in their Sunday best and someone will feel compelled to walk up to me, take one look at my belly and say, "You're going to have your hands full!" Thank you, hands-full people. Message received. Apparently no one has ever heard of having three children before in their lives, or they just think that I in particular have no business having three children because this is like the theme song of my life right now. "You're going to have your hands full."

What, like I don't already?

We ended up at the cookie store where I had to do my best negotiating to convince Emma to ride in the rocket ship cart (the two-seater cart with steering wheels), rather than letting her push her little person cart around the grocery store. The cookie store thinks they are being clever by having these little people carts for the kids, but really they are making life a lot harder for the mom people as we are always having to convince the little people that they would much rather ride in the rocket ship than push their own little cart willy nilly down the aisle, into people's ankles. Anyway, I successfully got both kids in the rocket ship cart and managed to get almost everything on my list (and then some, as you probably deduced from the $140 spent). I still do not have caulk. They apparently don't sell caulk at the cookie store. That will be tomorrow's adventure. Home Depot, here we come!

I'm sure there are some people at Home Depot just waiting to tell me that I'm going to have my hands full. What they probably don't realize is, I already know I have my hands full. And I will continue to have my hands full. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


Amanda said...

I might be achieving blog-stalker status, being the first comment on the last two blogs:) Your blog makes me laugh out loud. You really should write for newspapers or magazines or something. And the "you're going to have your hands full" comments definitely evolve into "you've got your hands full" upon the arrival of number three. Expect to continue to hear it on each and every outing accompanied by all three probably until they're in middle school maybe? I'm not sure. We haven't yet reached whatever the magic age (assuming there is one) is so I continue to be reminded of my status (hand's full) every time I go anywhere. I'm sorry your day was a little frenzied and I'm sorry the cookie store didn't have caulk, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it:)

Jennifer said...

I promise I will never, ever tell you that you will or do have your hands full! And I do think it's when they all become school-aged that people relax about how full you are. In Italy, the older generation always congratulate me when they count how many kids we have. They say, "Oh, che brava!" (which looks like "brave", but means "Marvelous!" So maybe the next time (like at Home Depot) when someoe says "you're going to have your hands full", you should just go to your happy place and imagine that they're speaking another language and what they mean is "How marvelous!!"

Love you,

ladymundie said...

Hey Elizabeth. This is Laura Mundie. I found your blog on Kelly's. Wow...what a funny story! I only have one and I feel as though I have my hands full! Did you know we are due around the same time?? How fun! Maybe we will see you soon!

Pam said...

Loved this. I've been getting the "hands full" comment a lot too lately, though I guess it's preferable to the woman who said, "November? You must be having twins if you're that big now and you're not due 'til November."

Robin said...

SO enjoyed this post. Especially since we had A DAY over here yesterday. I definitely had my hands full...ha ha. But I have a different take on that comment. I'm always just so happy someone realizes how hard I work. That's what they mean, right? :) My response is usually, "I know! Isn't it the truth! I mean seriously...I've got two kids under 3 and they are super-busy and I hardly have a second to myself all day! In fact..." making them sorry they even brought it up. :) I know, I need serious help.


mdm said...

From your last line, I know you know there will be a time when nothing crunches under your feet in the kitchen, when nobody is around to beg for your pencil, when any trip to a grocery store will seem eerily quite, when a meltdown refers to ice cream, when you won't care if the caulking is moldy or even there and when no one will say anything about the contents of your hands.

With any luck, though, they won't look at you then and say, "you sure look like you need more to do".

As for Home Depot, I suggest arming Charlie and Emma with caulking guns and instructing them to fire at will at anyone who says "hands full" or anything that sounds like it before you're through the check-out. In fact, I'd give them a cookie for every direct hit.

Mom of the Year I'm not.

Donna said...

OMG, I so understand your life :-) As a mother of 5, yes I said 5, the comment I got all the time was GOD BLESS YOUR HEART. I just smiled and said YES HE DID, DIDN'T HE. That either shut them up or ticked them off, either way I felt I had won, lol.

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE hearing all these great hands-full comments, stories and tips!! Writing about my motherhood-related anxieties always reminds me that I'm in very good company. Thanks for all the support!