We then took a walk to our local park where I showed the girls how to do cartwheels, which unlike somersaults, do not put any strain on my neck. At least not that I can tell. Although, my shoulders do feel a little stiff, so if I can't put on deodorant tomorrow, cartwheels in the park today, will be the reason why.
It was really nice having *only* two toddlers to look after. Usually when we're at the park, I'm darting around trying to save one child from falling off the play structure that is designed for 5-12 year olds ... while the second child is running up to a rabid looking dog ... and the third child is obliviously about to walk in front of the 10-year old wearing soccer cleats who is pumping higher and higher on the swing.
Today, no one ran away from me at the park. Instead, my biggest challenge was trying to keep the girls out of the dryer at home.
After lunch, Carolyn and Elizabeth took an almost three hour nap and for the first time ... ever (?) ... I took a nap with them. Rather than cleaning or doing laundry or putting the washed cover back on the carseat from yesterday (note barren looking carseat in picture below), all of which were items on my "To-Do" list ... I closed my eyes for 120 minutes and slept. It was glorious.
I'm not sure why I don't take a nap everyday ... but after today, I'm thinking that this whole napping thing is good. Real good.
When we all woke up from our naps, we did what every red-blooded girl loves to do.
We went shopping.
We headed south to the outlet mall just north of Tijuana, Mexico. I was a bit skeptical driving so close to Mexico, but I'm always up for an adventure. And really, what better adventure is there than hitting a border outlet mall at 4 PM on a Friday ... with two toddlers?
Our first stop was the Carter's outlet ... followed by Osh Gosh B'Gosh ... Stride Rite ... Baby Gap ... and The Children's Place. I now have all of the overalls, dresses, skirts, pants, turtlenecks, tights, onesies, sweatpants, sweatshirts, jackets, socks, pajamas and shoes to get us comfortably though the fall, winter and spring. Not to mention, we picked up a pleothra of new Melissa & Doug wooden toys. The kids love those - and I love them because they don't make noise and don't require a ridiculous number of size D batteries.
It feels really good to know that we have the children's clothing needs completely covered for the next 9-months. Clothing a set of 23-month old triplets for the fall, winter and spring set us back $475.00. Fortunately, I made it to Osh Gosh the last day they were offering the multiples discount. Had I waited until tomorrow to do my shopping, we would be out $645.00. Now I understand why my mother use to look at her seven children whenever we'd go clothes shopping in the fall and say "You need to get a job!" I'm also starting to see the logic in Julie Andrew's making all of the Von Trapp children's play clothes out of curtains.
If only I knew how to sew...
Lately, it's become a real struggle for me to get the kids in to their carseat or stroller. They transform in to contortionists and will do an absolute backbend to get out, all the while kicking and screaming uncontrollably.
The anticipation leading up to me having to get the kids in to the car or carriage is probably the most stress I face during any given day. I've started to wonder if people who witness our loading process ever question whether or not these are actually my children - or - if I'm trying to steal them ... hence the spaz attack. Because I typically don't make eye contact with strangers during these circumstances ... I doubt I'll ever know. But to date, the police haven't been summoned, so I suppose that's a good sign.
Today, during our outing, I decided that I would tether the girls in their harnesses and let them walk with me. I figured that them walking would probably be the lesser of two evils. If they were in their stroller - they would be grabbing whatever they could reach AND screaming to get out ... whereas if they were walking, they'd only be grabbing whatever they could. How's that for logic and forethought?
At our first shop, I made an interesting discovery.
As moronic as it may seem ... just because it's a BABY STORE, doesn't mean that it is BABY PROOFED. At first I was mortified my children were pulling every "sterile" looking newborn toy off the shelves and putting it in their mouths ... but after trying to avert their desire to touch EVERY.SINGLE.THING I came to the conclusion that the sales people at Carters need to be taught a lesson.
This is what happens when they put toys at toddler eye level.
Even though I tidied up before we left - I'm sure they especially appreciated me standing back to take pictures while my girls pulled every toy off the shelf.
The harnesses worked pretty well. Lucky for me, the majority of the time ... the girls would go in two opposite directions and would severely impair each other's ability to run away.
Although I didn't like seeing Carolyn lay face down on a public floor, the fact that she was an anchor to Elizabeth who was attempting to run out the front door with her arms over her head was a good thing. I did catch a few "looks" from people ... the kind of look that clearly says "What kind of parent would put their child on a leash?!" But it's too bad no one actually asked me that question, because I was prepared with a good response.
I didn't mention it here on my blog ... but two weeks ago, during our trip to Los Angeles, I had one of my scariest parenting moments, yet. Following our picnic, Charlie had taken Elizabeth to drop off the diaper bag in the car ... while I held William and Carolyn by their hands and walked over to see some ponies. A woman came up alongside me and without warning, bent down and scooped Carolyn up.
That's right ... an absolute stranger PICKED UP MY BABY.
Carolyn, a child who has never done too well with strangers, instantly started screaming. I was in disbelief ... and it took me a moment (count - maybe two seconds?) to gather my senses and reach over to take my child back. I don't think the woman spoke english - because she muttered something in spanish when I said "Oh, no thankyou. Neither she nor I do well with strangers."
Holding a crying Carolyn in one arm and holding William by the hand ... this woman darted around to the other side of me, and snatched William up. That's right ... immediately after I took Carolyn from her, SHE PICKED UP WILLIAM.
This time, I was somewhat more prepared and wasted no time reaching over and grabbing my child back. It's hard for me to be unfriendly, but I snapped at the woman "I'm not sure what you're on ... but it's not acceptable to grab small children away from their mothers!!"
Two minutes later, I spotted Charlie and told him what had happened. My heart was beating out of my chest as I relayed the story of an absolute stranger picking up our children. Charlie, normally a level-headed guy, freaked out more than I had. He said "Jen! What if she jumped in a car and drove away?!?" I seriously doubt that would have happened because I know I would have tackled this woman to the ground
Suffice to say, I am no longer ashamed of our safety harnesses. Even though I hold the children's hands when they are walking with me, having a strap that I can hold on to, is one added measure of security that I absolutely need with multiple toddlers.
By the time we'd finished with Osh Gosh, the girls were wiped out with their exploring and were trying to climb in to storage boxes to lay down. Seizing the opportunity, with a minimal amount of resistance, I loaded them in to their stroller, where they happily rode out the rest of their mother's shopping spree.
There were a few critical items we needed from the grocery, so our last stop of the day was Costco. We made a quick run through the aisles and because it was late ... I opted to feed the girls dinner in the food court.
Fortunately, they did eat some apples while we shopped (and I had to laugh at Carolyn trying to share her apple with Elmo) and we did have a healthy breakfast ... because I don't know that there is a whole lot of nutritional value in the crust of a cheese pizza and a bowl of vanilla
Even though I didn't tuck the girls in until 9:00 PM tonight, today was a wonderful day.
I realized that I can still do cartwheels.
I took an unplanned nap.
I went shopping with my two daughters and bought them their very first pair of rhinestone sunglasses.
We had pizza and
I showered all of my love and attention on my children - and I didn't lose my patience. Not even once. This day will be hard to top ... but tomorrow I'll try.
(Blogger is not cooperating with me, so I have no idea in what order these pictures will appear. Hopefully, they'll follow along with the story, but if not ... oh well. Too bad I'm not more technically savvy, I could probably figure this out. )