I got on the first freeway I came to (wrong instinct), and drove about 10 minutes, hoping that since it was "east" and the other freeway I was supposed to get on was "east," things would work out. I began to have doubts and called my husband, hoping he'd reassure me. Wrong. I'm the mercy-giving, laid-back optimist in the family (as you can see by my map-following philosophy), and he's well, Type A. I'd say AA to give more emphasis, but that sounds more like a training bra :)
So, following my new marching orders, I got off at the first exit I came to in order to turn around. Turns out I didn't need to go east, but north...hmm.. Only I couldn't find the freeway entrance, or even a fast-food restaurant for the promised lunch. Daughter #2 suddenly announced she had to "peep." My mommy eyes spotted a big gas station promising hot dogs, a restroom, and hopefully, someone who knew where the freeway was. So we pulled up, and I gathered up all the perkiness I could muster. "Guess what, girls? We're going to have a picnic in the back of the van for lunch!! And you each get to pick out a treasure in this big store." At this point, hopes of finding my house, much less the mall, had pretty much vanished, but I thought I'd make the most of it. "Yippee!!!" It is so easy to get pre-schoolers excited if you use your happy voice.
She ate the plastic straw stem. Really, not kidding.
We began hunting for treasures - they were really drawn to those mini-balloons you put in bouquets, and the one Hannah picked said, "Get Well Soon." I hoped to. Once we found those, Hannah confessed that she was about to peep all over herself. So we put down our treasures and raced to the bathroom. Out of order. Of course! That totally fit my day. We walked outside with promises of returning for the balloons to figure out an alternate course of action. Nothing without crossing a busy street, and I wasn't about to buckle them all in again. We grabbed wipes from my never-ending car supply and headed around the corner of the building, by the shrubs. Positioning her over the dirt did not help. I immediately saw the puddle creep down the concrete towards my sitting one-year old, and my purse. I moved those out of the way, and Hannah cried, "Mom! I'm peeping all over my shoes!" Trying to console her, I replied, "It's okay, Hannah, you peeped all over my shoes too. Just finish." As if weedling on someone else's shoes should make her feel better. (At least hers weren't canvas like mine!)
We er...wrapped things up outside and came back in to some evil glares, but I didn't care. It wasn't my fault their bathroom was broken. We purchased our treasures and some snacks (not for me, as my diet lunch was melting in the van) and headed out to our "picnic." Unfortunately, I had forgotten that the hatch of our van wasn't working, so we had to eat with it closed, and today it was over 90 degrees. I also forgot a blanket to eat on, but I needed to vacuum out the car anyway. We finally finished lunch and I called my husband. He laughed and sighed at the same time. "You really stress me out!' he said. I shot back, "I stress YOU out? You should try being me!!" He said he could only dream...well, maybe he said, "I can't imagine!" But I think that's what he meant :)
We hopped back on the road and we were doing great. 2 right freeway turns in a row, I'm on a roll. And I'm back in familiar territory. Then my oldest daughter announced she "had to go and couldn't wait." I didn't even consider getting all three of them out of the car again, so, like a good mom, I told her we were "almost there." (she can't tell time yet) The cries persisted, so we pulled over onto a dirt road and assumed the position between bushes and the open car door. I think I'm an expert now. "Mom, I peed all over myself." Maybe not.
"Bad, or just a little?" I was desperate.
"I'm soaking wet."
"Ok, I think I have extra clothes in the car, just take your bottoms off." We got in the car and ultimately found a pair of pants belonging to my 12-month old. They looked like biker shorts on Linsey, but they worked. "Cool! Can I wear these when we get home?" "No. Yes...talk to me later." This was no time for small talk. An hour later, we made it home. Everyone was hot and tired, so I let the girls play in their little pool as I unloaded the heap o' trash and treasures we'd accumulated. Then I washed my shoes :) Happy Friday!!