Whew! What a roller coaster of a day. I woke up sassier than all get out. No one in the kitchen knew quite what to make of the normally mumbling mama who had a witty retort for everything they said. With an entrance like that I thought maybe I ought to go back to bed. So I did.
When I got Carrie up at ... uh... 9, yeah, she was still laying in her bed. No books. No toys. Just laying there like she'd just woken up. And boy was she ever grumpy. I got fussed at for just smiling at her so you can imagine the scene I created by suggesting that she must put on her underwear before her pants!
Breakfast seemed to fix us both, though, and soon we were deep in the baby room sorting through the boxes and boxes of children's books. It was a most happy morning together. Carrie discovered some dolls to love on and I got a lot of work done. In fact we created a whole shelf of books we're going to call the 'bedtime book corner'. It has some of my favorite kid books along with poetry, Bible books, and chapter books for reading aloud.
The rain really picked up as the day went on. Brenna and Daniel have choir on Wednesday nights and we need to eat early in order to make it on time. We only left three minutes late tonight, but it took us nearly twice as long to get there. We were nearly twenty minutes late. Rain and traffic plus dark equals stressful!
When we finally pulled in to the church parking lot, I gave out jobs. Daniel, hold the umbrella. Brenna, unbuckle Carrie and get her out. Meanwhile, I would get the stroller. Unfortunately I soon discovered that the stroller was buried under boxes in the trunk. It took another five minutes to dislodge it, followed by one of those walk-runs to the door. When I looked at the time I wondered why we had bothered to come in at all.
Carrie and I walked the hallways twice, which was all it took to eat up the few minutes the kids were in choir. While waiting for them to finish, a friend stopped to talk and apparently that was the permission Carrie was looking for. She started out slow, pulling her legs up in the stroller. Then she was standing. Next was the snowboarding move followed by the escape. Once free, she didn't try to run away. No, instead she started a game of stroller shove, where I would hold the stroller firmly, while continuing to talk to my friend, and she would push it hard from the side to see how far it would go. And perhaps how many people she could take out in the busy hallway. Of course my attempt to stop her only led to a flat-on-the-back-I'm-not-going-anywhere-with-you-lady tantrum.
So we got in line to pick up the big kids and all went well until I dared to suggest she put on her coat. Not willing to fight that battle, I shrugged my shoulders and warned her that it was cold outside. She didn't care and only barely let me put her back in the stroller. Once outside, we hightailed it up the hill in the cold rain to the van, where I discovered that the person who parked behind me just barely left enough room for me to get my trunk open. I backed up in between the cars, pulling the stroller with me and asked Brenna to get Carrie out and help her to her car seat.
Only Carrie didn't want out. And if she was getting out, she wanted to do it all by herself, which there wasn't room to do. Did I mention that it was pouring down rain? The only way for me to get to the front of the stroller was to walk all the way around the car, because we are literally wedged between them. So I coax and I coax and finally, yes, Brenna is allowed to help her out. I sigh relief and quickly fold the stroller and start pulling boxes back down to the back.
Next fight- getting in the car seat. She won't. We are all inside the van. If she'd sit in her seat and let Brenna buckle her then no one has to get any more wet. If not, then I have to get back out, stand in the rain and wrestle her down until she's safely buckled in. We ended up with option two.
Driving home in the dark, in the rain, on the interstate, in heavy traffic just added to the stress. I blasted the kids' choir CD and prayed I was between the two white lines... because really, without those reflector things who can see the lines in conditions like that anyway? As we pulled up to our final traffic light and all I could see were streams of red and green on the road, I was so thankful to have made it through all the guess work. I had no idea where the turn lane started and by then Daniel was announcing that he was pretty sure Carrie had unbuckled.
We weren't inside the house two minutes when I asked Carrie to go upstairs and she refused. So I just lifted her football style and took her up myself. And put her straight to bed. Because, my word, what on earth had gotten into that child?!
After all that Daniel, Brenna, and I shared some sherbert and Brenna made her own lunch before they headed off to bed. Such sweet big kids they were tonight. And I told them that more than once. They even took themselves up the two flights of stairs to bed.
I decided the kitchen could wait till the morning so here I am in bed with the laptop. Ending my day back on top. Pulling into the station, glad to know the ride is pretty much over and we can start again tomorrow.
But I go to bed thankful....