Had to run a “quick” errand yesterday to exchange (of all things) a broken bucket that belongs to the girls. Since the store is next to another shop we frequent – and it is never worth going out for just one thing – I was planning to pick up a few items we would eventually need from there too. The preparation for a small trip with three kids would astound you… I will spare you the essays I could write on timing the trips (not too close to naps or no one will nap later!), making sure everyone goes to the bathroom before we leave (no shopping carts allowed in store bathrooms means 1 kids loose and a baby on my hip while I help ‘the emergency’) and the impact of weather (heat means extra water for kids; rain means a towel to wipe down the one fancy cart shaped like a car because the kids will find it, and it will be parked below the rain gutter). But I promised no essays, so I’ll just focus on the packing. Yesterday, for our “quick” errand I packed
– a diaper bag (with wipes, diapers and a spare outfit)
– receipt (for the item to be exchanged)
– snack for E (only wants peanut butter granola bar)
– snack for S (only wants chocolate chip granola bar)
– separate snack for T (too little to eat granola bar)
– pacifier for T (so he can throw it on the store’s dirty floor, then scream at it)
– drinks (blazing hot today)
– shopping cart insert (for the store with carts . . . to keep T from licking the handle and contracting the plague)
– stroller (for the store without carts)
– reusable shopping bags (hey…we’re trying!)
– a coupon (trying in this area too!)
– the three children (preferably all dressed and with shoes)
– and the CD of princess songs (which everyone begged to have in the house last night, and then again in the car today)
Thank goodness we were making the trip in the morning, as my other option was en route to E’s afternoon swim lessons, where we would also have towels, sunscreen, swim suits, swim diapers, cover-ups, hats, duck floatie (for S), shark floatie (for E, after her lesson), one mermaid toy, one Barbie toy, one tennis ball, more drinks, more snacks, the swim lesson waiver, and (heaven help me) an inflatable mini-coupe.
So after 45 minutes of prepping, packing and loading – and 10 minutes of driving – I was just settling into our trip when I realized I had forgotten something.
Anyone notice what’s missing from the list?
The original reason for the trip.
On the upside, you don’t grow up 50 yards from the Tennessee River without learning when to cut bait. So we did a U-turn, headed home and spent the morning playing ball and barbies.
We had a fantastic time.
So if you visit our house for a playdate, and you find your child playing with a turquoise bucket covered in duck tape, please just pretend you don’t notice. It turned out to be quicker and easier to just convince my children it looks better that way!