I have heard the sentiment before. Sometimes with understanding and camaraderie. Other times it is with a cynical tone. Either way, the fact remains that I now have more children than I can hold on to myself.
I will admit, I am a little intimidated by the idea of raising 3 children - at the same time. Not just the emotional and social stuff, but even the logistics of it. You can't fit 3 carseats across the backseat of a typical car. We won't all fit on the 3-seat side of the airplane anymore, we could take up a whole row now (if we wanted to pay for the little one's ticket.) Everything just takes a little extra time.
Well, I have begun my journey into the land of 3 kids. It has been a peaceful first month. With lots of help from Justin, and my MIL, I haven't had to take all 3 kids on an outing by myself yet. That is, until yesterday. We are headed on a trip, and I needed to get a bunch of stuff. The idea of 2 hours wandering around Super Walmart, chasing after my 2-year-old had me sweating. Thankfully, there is a really nice Target nearby that just added fresh produce (and I needed some fruit.) So I packed us all up - said a prayer - and headed out.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a space open next to the cart corral (thank you God.) and in that corral was one of those mega-carts that has 2 seats attached for the older kids. I thought this would be perfect for my first outing. All 3 kids contained sounded like a good idea. (All you seasoned moms can laugh at my naivety - I give you permission.)
I needed to exchange an item, so we started at the Customer Service Desk. She informed me that I needed to go and get the other size I needed, and come back. So I start pushing that monster of a cart around the infant section, looking for what I needed. As I am bumping into everything, Naomi is already begging to get out and walk. Annalia is repeatedly telling me she needs to go to the bathroom. And Xander wakes up - unhappy to be in his carseat - and probably just a little hungry. Great.
Thank God for the Family Restroom. One big room where we can all regroup. (not to mention no one can hear me as I reprimand Naomi for sticking her hand in the toilet water.) It is here that I decide the mega-cart is not for me. I am going to just going to suck it up and teach Naomi how to stay next to me. (insert lots of prayers here.) I put Xander in the sling, get him latched on and covered up (nothing stresses me out more than listening to my crying baby while I try to shop.) and we head back out into Target.
I am happy to say, that this story has a happy ending. With my nursing baby in the sling, I marveled at my oldest take care of her little sister. Although Naomi started in the cart, she soon wanted to be walking with Annalia. You need to know, that this has NEVER worked out before. But this time, she stayed in the same isle as me, and always returned when I called her. She did remove quite a few items from the lower shelves, but always put them back when I told her to. I was shocked - completely amazed. Naomi, who is usually one to test every boundary, over and over again, behaved beautifully under the example of her older sister.
As we left the store, I almost teared up when I saw Annalia take Naomi's hand to walk her across the parking lot. It made me think that I even though I have more kids that I can hang on to myself, I do have enough hands. They just may not all be my own.