What a day!
While I’m amazed we made it all the way through without many large scenes, I’m not sure I’m ready to do it again any time soon.
Here’s what we did.
– After breakfast, we cleaned up the house and loaded the van. The kids and I left just about 11 and went to the local farmers market, where we bought a bunch of fresh veggies. The kids are developing relationships with the growers (it’s just starting out, only about 5 vendors and we try to hit each one to support the effort in the hopes it will expand next season). They jump out of the car and run right over to the stands and converse with them all. Many of them farm organically. I also let each of the kids pay for something to practice making change, etc. It’s always fun for everyone.
– The next stop was dropping off a trunk load of stuff for the parish rummage sale. One load down, probably another one or two to go!
– We were really hot at this point from being in the sun in a parking lot for a while, and Oholibus doesn’t cool off very well, so we went to the library to cool off and nurse the baby. The little kids did puzzles while the bigger ones chose books, as many as they could carry in their own bags. They also used their own library cards to check out. Then it was back on the road again.
– On the way to the highway we made a quick stop back at the house to unload the veggies.
– We headed up to the fabric store so we could get enough additional fabric to make a second matching dress for Estella. I made five matching dresses but then realized that I’d need a different size for Estella in the spring, when the others will be the same size, but she will not fit into 0-3 months. Thankfully they did have the same fabric still in stock. We also got a couple little sewing repair kits for the girls, as they have begun hand sewing and I’ve made them little pin cushion caddies to keep their needles in. I just wanted to add a tiny pair of scissors to their set.
– Next stop, the plant nursery to buy some young vegetable plants for our fall garden. But we were all starving as it was now after 1pm, so I sat in the parking lot and made peanut butter sandwiches with bread and peanut butter I’d brought (they were supposed to have jelly, but I accidentally brought the farmers market jelly into the house and forgot it). We stood outside the nursery eating our sandwiches and an apple, with two little girls in the cart and the rest just standing around. Once we’d finished, we entered the store. The kids love the plant nursery. It has quite a calming atmosphere, and they love to see the decorative garden objects especially the fountains. They had a little too much fun picking out veggies to buy. Somehow, I ended up with ten (10) broccoli plants!! I’d planned on four! We also got mesclun mix lettuce, romaine, purple and green cabbage (someone sneaked in a little extra green cabbage, too!). We got seeds to plant beets, pumpkin, and radishes… the guy said it wasn’t too late to start those from seed.
-We then needed to rush to the next farmer to get the milk and eggs we buy. The dropoff point has a great playground so the kids wanted to play for a little while. While they did that, I sat with Estella and nursed and had a conversation with a woman who homeschooled her four kids and seemed amazed that I had six kids and no wrinkles. (That was kind of a non sequitur for me.)
– I’d planned to stop at the bank to reimburse my wallet for the cash we spent on farm fresh groceries, but loading up the car after the playground, I discovered that Christina had had a little accident (of the more unpleasant sort) in her underwear. I had not thought to bring any kind of towels, wipes or anything I could have taken care of it with. I stood there pondering for a full 5 minutes trying to think of what to do. In the end, it had not gone through her outer clothes, so I opted to just put her in her seat and go straight home and get her in the bath tub.
– We got home, unloaded the car, got the Bean in the bath tub, and I nursed the longsuffering baby and set her down for a nap. At this point it was almost 5 pm and I had no thoughts on dinner. Dave wasn’t going to be home to eat, and the only things I had ready were soup (which it’s not really worth it to serve to the kids if there isn’t another parent there for moral support) and they refused to have eggs and bacon (“That’s for BREAKFAST, mom, not dinner.”). The thought of not cooking at all was starting to appeal to me and I went through my mental rolodex searching for a friend who might be up for our descent at the last moment, but everyone I thought of was unavailable or I didn’t want to impose. So I played on the husband’s guilt for not being home for bedtime *again* and got permission to give the kids their yearly dose of high fructose corn syrup. [gasp!]
– In the meantime, I got the plants (but not the seeds) settled into the garden and watered. I told the kids if they would get the house sparkling clean, we could go to Chik Fil A and play in their little kid play place. They were beyond excited and quite motivated to comply. Then, we all piled back into Oholibus and hit the road yet again. First a quick stop at the thrift store to check for rocking chairs for Uncle Ben (nope, just a nursery-type glider) and then on to the home of the Chikin Sandwich Board-Wielding Cows. Things went well, the kids ate all their food and only knocked down one skinny vase full of real flowers and water. Then we all washed up and they went into the play place. Things were fine until a second family of equally boisterous kids entered as well and then I knew it was time to pack up and leave.
– On the way home I had to stop at the grocery store because I didn’t have all the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner, either. So we all went in, Miriam pushing a cart with one child and I pushing one with two. We did our small shop and proceeded to go home. It was almost 9 when we finally got here. I’m hoping the kids will fall asleep any minute. If I weren’t typing I might be asleep myself.
But all in all, I’m amazed at how doable errands have been with six! I thought my life would be over (you know, starting from scratch again) once I had another newborn, and I’d have to wait another 2 years before I could have the freedom and mobility that I’d had while pregnant this time, but today showed me that it’s actually possible. Of course, it’s one of those best case scenarios… throw one fussy or tired child into the mix and it’s a totally different outcome! However, I’m quite encouraged.
I leave you with a photo of the produce we snagged on our first errand of the day: