Today was a big milestone for myself and the kids. We ventured out to the mall in our first public outing since Jane’s arrival. We’ve been to a couple of playdates at people’s houses, but this was our first trip to a public place (using the double stroller for the first time), journeying to a land where the kids outnumber the moms 2 to 1.
First, the good news. I survived. And more importantly, I returned home with the same number of kids I left with.
We met up with Kristen and her two boys and hit Old Navy. I was determined to avoid the dilemma I found myself in last fall when the 60 degree weather hit, and Jack had nothing to wear other than shorts and rompers. Hence, the pre-emptive trip to the mall for pants and long-sleeved little boy shirts. I made it out of the house on time, got the Phil & Teds set up with the doubles seat and got both kids into the stroller without a struggle and rolled everyone into Old Navy for some shopping. Then, somewhere between the Item of the Week (boatneck T’s for $12) and the 40% off Baby Sale, both kids decided to have a simultaneous meltdown. Jane was unhappy because I stopped the stroller to look at some striped cardigans (how dare I) and Jack was unhappy because Jane was unhappy. Determined to complete my mall mission, I grabbed some pants, a few pair of fall PJ’s and two long sleeved T’s and headed for the checkout. I even managed to throw a Jack Snack in the back of the stroller to quiet half of my brood before making my way out of Old Navy.
Then, after a quick stop at the Redskins Store, Kristen and I rolled the kid quartet to the play area to let the boys run around. Of course, Jack got overwhelmed by the chaos, as he sometimes does, and decided he didn’t want to play. He was pretty miserable and only wanted to run out of the play area and through the mall. Thankfully, Jane slept through the entire thing. After running into a few more friends (all moms of 2-year olds and infants) we headed to the food court for lunch. Jack did really well and ate some Chick-Fil-A and even let Mommy get some lunch and chat with her friends. Jane continued to sleep. Yay!
At one point, Kristen left the table to take Roy to the restroom to change his diaper. As she walked away, carrying 40 lbs of kid (baby Jack in the Bjorn on her front and Roy on her hip) and armed with her diaper changing supplies in her “free” hand, I just started to laugh. All of the tension and apprehension I felt about how I would manage both of my kids in public just melted away as I realized that I was not the only mom struggling with how to keep up with two little ones. It’s going to be hard sometimes, but what makes it easier is having people to share, “OMG-guess-what-my-kid-did-to-me-today” stories with.
I did learn one valuable lesson today, despite my attempts to plan every aspect of our outing. I neglected to throw the sling in the car in case of a Jane-meltdown. Luckily, I didn’t need it, but it sure would have made the trip easier at times to be wearing her rather than having her in the car carrier.
Next time… If there is a next time.
Today’s Show Tune: Into the Woods: I Know Things Now