I woke up this morning looking forward to a cold glass of Pepsi. It’s my one addiction. When I opened the fridge I realized someone else had already been into the Pepsi and there was only one flat mouthful left.
Wait–we could make a quick run to the store for Pepsi.
Then I looked around. The baby was sleeping, the girls were still in pajamas, both with dirty faces, and the car seats weren’t in the car. It wasn’t worth the hassle of getting everyone ready and fighting with the car seats for the three-minute drive to the store.
I decided that the last mouthful of Pepsi would have to do until my husband could bring more home, and I started my long to-do list for the day.
Half an hour later, attempting to find the dirty laundry, I walked into the bathroom. My recently toilet trained daughter must have just been in there. There was toilet paper on the floor and dribbles on the seat. I reached for the roll of toilet paper (to wipe off the seat) and found it empty.
Already? Didn’t I just refill it?
I noticed an entire roll in the sink, obviously used to clean up the toothpaste that had been squished there. I looked under the cupboard for a new roll, only to discover an empty bag.
Really? I thought I had rationed the toilet paper for the week.
Tonight was grocery night, but we couldn’t go all day without toilet paper.
I guess there was no choice–we had to go to the store.
I told Georgia (3) to get dressed and wash her face and hands while I headed outside to put the car seats in the car. I spent 10 minutes rearranging car seats to make all three fit into the back.
I got everyone dressed in what I thought was record time and although Georgia had her pants on backwards and still had a spot of chocolate on her chin, we were ready to go.
After getting everyone’s boots and jackets on, I got Turner (6 months) bundled into his car seat. At some point between coming in from the car and going back out, it started to snow. I spent a few minutes looking for winter hats while the girls made a mess of the already messy kitchen and Turner fussed in his seat.
Finally all bundled up, the kids piled into the car, and I discovered the way the car seats were arranged left no room for Turner’s seat to clip into the base.
At this point the girls knew we were going to the store for a treat, so as much as I wanted to say “Frigg the toilet paper” I took a deep breath instead.
Everybody got out of the car while I unlatched all of the car seats, moved them around and latched them back in.
The girls found a mud puddle in the driveway.
Everyone got back into the car, buckled up and was ready to go, now with muddy boots and hands. Finally sitting down in the driver’s seat (and cursing quietly to myself about those darn car seats and the fact that we don’t have a bigger car), I put the keys in the ignition and dug around for the Wiggles CD that’s lost somewhere in the car.
I realized I forgot my purse. I ran in and out as quickly as I could, fighting with the dog to stay inside as I left.
Now, almost 45 minutes from the time I made the decision to go to the store, we were finally on our way.
We sang The Wiggles the whole way there.
At the store I made sure I had my car keys, purse, and all three kids (carrying the baby). I gave the important “stay with me and don’t touch anything” lecture as we headed inside.
Immediately we are stopped by two older ladies who just want to say hi to the baby and of course talk about how sweet and adorable he is and how they just want to pinch his cheeks. This is when the girls ran off, looking for their treats. This is also when I noticed that Turner had a chocolate lip print next to his ear.
After running loose around the store, and making a mess out of what was once a well organized candy shelf, the girls started arguing about what to get, chocolate or cheesies. I grabbed a Pepsi for myself with the hope of enjoying it at some point today. I told the girls they could have both if they came to the check-out right now.
Then I remembered Dakota (12) would need an after-school snack and ran back to grab her cheesies as well.
The total was ridiculously high and Georgia kept trying to add more snacks to the pile.
Digging through my tiny, over-stuffed purse, a breast pad and a handful of maxi pads spilled onto the counter. The male cashier thankfully pretended not to see them and started asking questions about the kids. Finally, after having paid, thrown my small amount of change back into my purse, gathered the bag of junk and gathering up the girls, we were ready to leave.
On the way out we were greeted by steep, slippery steps. It made the walk back to the car twice as long.
I ushered everyone into the car.
I was heading home, visions of Pepsi and Doritos dancing in my head, when I remembered…
I forgot the toilet paper.
Jenessa Mullen is a mom of three, ages 3, 6 and 14. She is a trained Early Childhood Educator, a blogger and a tired mom.
Photo: Jaro Larnos