The weather has been unseasonably warm here as of late and since I was feeling a bit like super-mom, I decided to take all the children on a walk to the post office and the library (about a half mile round trip).
I put Keian in one of my homemade ring-slings (the blue and white toile that screamed “MAKE ME INTO A SLING” from the fabric aisles of WalMart–ironically enough, it screamed the same thing to a nice lady I met at a homeschool conference last year when we both realized we had the exact same homemade sling!) I put Lia in the baby jogger w/ my 5 yo pushing and my oldest child walked alongside me waiting his turn to push the jogger on the return trip.
Now, keep in mind that baby was 10 lbs at birth. He’s well over 13 lbs now and 13 pounds gets heavy after a while no matter how you carry it.
The toddler was being exceptionally well-mannered considering her older sister was pushing her fast, then slow, then into the side of a building.
My dear sweet 5 year old has always had a habit of looking everywhere except where she is going. She is also my lolly-gagger–the child who takes 45 minutes to get dressed and make her bed in the morning and 2 hours to clean her room because she redecorates in the process. So, with every other step I was either saying, “Megan, watch where you’re going,” or “Megan, catch up with the rest of us.”
My rather talkative 7 year old son was oblivious to it all and chattered away about how he was able to distinguish between tricycle tracks and bicycle tracks. I was forced to nod my head and interject little oohs and aahs and pretend like this was the most fascinating and informative conversation I had ever had.
Meanwhile, everyone we passed gawked at us. Maybe it was because they couldn’t believe anyone would venture out alone with 4 kids, maybe it was because I looked like a windblown crazy lady, or maybe it was because it was during school hours and we were walking away from the school.
We crossed the railroad tracks and went to the post office with no major mishaps. However, on the way back we saw that the train (that goes through town no less than 10 times a day) was blocking the only way to get to the other side of town where the library and our home lay. We were trapped on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.
We waited patiently and the train began to move, make that CREEP, down the track. It was just about to open up the way for us when it screeched to a halt and after much banging, headed the opposite direction. Just as we began to believe we would be free to cross, it stopped again.
By this point my 13 pound newborn felt like he’d gained 15 pounds so I sat down on a nearby park bench. The toddler decided she was tired of being confined to the stroller and climbed out and had to be chased around by my eldest child. As all of this was going on, my 5 year old is picking flowers from one of the city planters and comparing them to the flowers on her coat.
Finally, the train heads on down the tracks and appears to be freeing the intersection when suddenly and without warning it stops short of completely opening up the way. I debate with myself about the safety of crossing the tracks with the cross arms still down and about the safety of remaining that close to a train with 4 small children and finally decided to cross to the other side and head to the library.
Once at the library, the baby began to cry rather loudly and I told the children to hurry up and get their books so we could get out of there.
Finally, we made it home, and I laid the baby down (he went back to sleep once we started moving again) and I crashed. The older two children promptly sat down and read ALL their library books.
Do I dare try this again tomorrow???