For some reason we always think it will be a good idea to go out into public with ALL of our children. Usually we quickly discover it really wasn't. I don't know how we forget from one time to the next but apparently our children have memory erasing capabilities that we were never warned about. The memories of screaming kids, fighting, and hundreds of potty breaks (at the worst times) tend to hide away in the background somewhere until they usually resurface very quickly as soon as we are too far away from home to turn back.
The first time we ever took our crew out together we decided to go shopping. Now at the time there were only 4 of them (Eli & Faith weren't even thought of yet and Alex was gone to his mother's) so how bad could it be? REALLY, how bad could this be? Going shopping with a 6 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old, and a 2 year old...This is gonna be GREAT!! Before we even got to Terrell (only 20 minutes or so from home) it began. "I have to potty, MOM, I really have to potty!" CJ started what we found was a never ending domino effect of potty breaks. We made our first stop, I ran CJ in real quick and get back outside to discover someone else "has to go potty." This quick stop has now taken probably 30 minutes give or take. We finally made it to our destination of Old Navy and proceeded to try to shop. If you've ever thought that it would be a fun and productive shopping trip with 4 children under the age of 7, well let me tell you, IT'S NOT! I can't tell you if we ended up with any cool purchases or great finds but what I can tell you is, it was madness. Screaming, fighting, running, and peeing are mostly what I remember from the event. Yes, peeing. Grace, 2 at the time, stood right in the middle of Old Navy and just pee'd all over the floor. So, I guess there was at least one purchase because Sarah had to buy her some clothes to put on. Of course, why would we think to put in the extra clothes for the potty training 2 year old? That would be too easy.
After the fiasco at Old Navy we of course needed to feed the munchkins, they need energy to keep us on our toes like they do. So, of course, we head to old faithful, McDonald's. What better than an indoor playground to calm the nerves? The experience at Mickey Dee's was fairly uneventful (as uneventful as these things go with 4 hyperactive children). It only got real interesting when it was time to go and we are attempting to gather these rather sly escape artists. Who knew there were so many places to hide in those oversized gerbil toys? We never looked so stupid as we did running around that playground hollering "J.C, C.J!!...C.J,J.C!!...J.C., CJ!!get your butts down here now!!" I'm sure all of the other patrons thought we were either dyslexic, very unoriginal, or just plane stupid screaming the letters J.C and C.J. back to back like that. They probably thought we didn't know our own kids name. Or, that we named them like that so we'd never really get it wrong.
By the end of the night we were ALL exhausted (Sarah and I more than the kids) and all that we could think was..."How did we get ourselves into this?"