You may want to skip this post it will be long and it will ramble and there will be only a few pictures and they won't be too cute.
So, I have this friend named Lauren. We met over two years ago and hit it off right away. She has an adorable son, Aiden, who is 3 months younger than Jackson (and about a foot taller with beautiful eyes).
The first time I met her she got a phone call from her husband, who was working and living in Saudi Arabia at the time, telling her that their next assignment was going to be in Dubai. Yes, that is in the middle east. And Lauren was excited about it, because that is the kind of girl she is. Which is why we are friends. You can't NOT like Lauren. Sweet, fun, positive, that's how she is.
Lauren is my hero because she was a single mom for a very long time while her husband worked very far away. Well now she is back for the summer and she is staying with her parents, then flying back to Dubai with a two and half year old and a young baby. But that's not for a while yet, so bear with me.
Are you still reading?
We always had so much fun together because neither of us had to be at home for a husband in the evenings, so we could go off and play and shop and eat lunch or dinner at 4 in the afternoon. Jackson and her son were great playmates.
Eventually the sad day came when the movers showed up and packed up all their stuff and moved it across the globe. Since then Miller was born. When he was still a little butterbean we saw them during one visit. Then in April she had another beautiful child, this one a girl, named Mia.
Anyway, today we scheduled a little play date at her parents house. It was nice and lovely there at her parents house.
We had settled in, the children were playing and we were chatting, when I asked Lauren how big her Aiden's foot is. She told me and then said he is wearing size 5T clothes! Um, he is two and a half people! So I said, you should go buy all the summer clothes that are on sale in the stores now. She agreed and said she hoped to go that afternoon. To which I said, well let's go now! She said, sure. Lauren is a so fun! So she said can we all fit in the minivan? I said sure! Because I'm like that, I always assume I can make it work. We will just shift some stuff around.
So in our minds (obviously feeble because any one with two brain cells can see the obvious problems with this plan) we thought we would all just hop in the minivan and cruise over to the mall, real quick like. Get a bite of lunch, shop for some good deals and then let the kids snooze a little afterwards.
So it takes me a bit of time to take the bags of pool toys and stroller and kites assorted plastic crap out of the back, put up the 3rd row seat, remove the center of the second row seat so there is an aisle of sorts, and attempt to install her children's 2 car seats. Why not leave them in her parent's car where they were installed, perfectly well at the time? Well let's see, because that would be too easy and would make sense and wouldn't be any fun! So I get the first one in and it is loose. So Lauren gets in there to do it, and she has the same results. On to car seat #2. We spend about seven and a half minutes trying to install the infant car seat before either of us decided that maybe we should get the base. You, know the part that holds thae car seat down.
During this time it does occur to us that we might not have our thinking caps on securely, but you know, we are both really positive, so we just keep on with this stellar plan!
Eventually we get them all loaded up and strapped in and we head to the mall. One place that Lauren and I used to frequent was California Pizza Kitchen. They are yummy, and have a pretty good kids menu. So we get a great parking place, unpack all 46 kids, strollers, sippy cups, purses, diaper bags and bottles and continue our adventure. Amazingly at 12:30 California Pizza Kitchen has a wait for a table. We decided to zip on over to Nordstrom's cafe. Well for whatever reason, they are packed too, but we secure a table, order our food and let the rodeo begin. After approximately 81 seconds Lauren says, "I think we may need to go straight home after lunch."
Why would she say that? Would it be because her son hit his head on the table? Would it be because when she got ice from the waitress for his head, he insisted on holding it on her head instead of his? Would it be because we had two two year olds approaching meltdowns with no food in sight? Or would it be because Jackson was demonstrating his skills as a professional booth jumper? I don't know, but I think she kind of lost her positive energy for a minute there.
We each eat about 4 bites of our lunch. Her son eats more than Jackson has eaten in a month and Jackson eats exactly one potato chip. Then we head for the exit. She is carrying her 42 pound baby, pushing a stroller with a real baby and sees that her big baby leaked through his pull up and her shirt is wet. NICE! So we head to the bathroom, which is in the kids shoe department, that conveniently has a big salt water tank in it. So Jackson, Miller and baby Mia hang out there for a few minutes while Lauren changes Aiden's pull up.
During our tour of the children's shoe department, I see some shoes that I had really wanted to get for Jackson were on sale. We have to try them on. Lauren gets Aiden's feet measured and he has grown a whole size and a half since she got here 3 weeks ago(I am not kidding), so she buys him a couple of pairs too. But not before Jackson falls and gets hurt and Aiden attempts to make a break for the door while Lauren is paying.
After we got those boys their shoes we ran and I do mean RAN out of there to get in the car.
After we loaded all 4 children back into the car, and packed up strollers, diaper bags purses, shoes and sippy cups we high tailed it back to her parents house where we dropped them off and bid our goodbyes.
Next time we see each other we might do it a little differently. It seemed like a good idea at the time, taking out 4 children under the age of 3 right before lunch, and shortly before nap time. Now I am know better. Next time we will start at 10!
Here is Jackson supervising the installation of Aiden into his car seat--from the trunk!
This is Lauren. See how positive she is! This is after our jaunt to the mall!
This is Aiden. See how happy he is after our fun time at the mall?