Running errands with children (any number of them, any gender) should be considered an Olympic sport I think. Here's what was on my agenda for today...pick up oldest son at school, go to dentist for appointments for oldest & second son, stop to grab fast food lunch, return son to school, and stop at bank before returning home. Easy enough, right? Except it's never that easy when you have multiple children to corral. Here's what my 'simple' errands looked like in reality...
Wake baby up at 11:00 to change diaper & nurse before leaving. Tell second son & third son to pick up toys & find their shoes. Second son finds his outdoor muddy shoes & puts them on. I tell second son he needs to find his clean shoes. Second son complains. Third son finds shoes but needs help putting them on. After several more reminders, a few tears, buckling the baby into his car seat, & making sure we have the dentist form we need for second son we all head out to the van running about 5 minutes behind schedule.
Get into van and realize that gas tank is empty. We must stop for gas first. Get to the school. Realize parking lot is full. Drive around a second time. Decide to do a 'no-no' and park in the loading zone. Pull out baby in car seat & bag full of stuffed animals to donate for the family fun fair. Go to other side of van to unbuckle third son. Walk quickly through the rain to the front door.
Buzz to be left in. Notice that oldest son is not waiting in office (usually they are if they need to leave during the day). Sign in and walk with 3 children to oldest son's classroom. Third son wants to be carried. I remind him that I can't carry him because I'm carrying the baby in his car seat. Third son cries & begs the remainder of the way to the classroom to be carried. Remind second son at least 3 times to walk and not run in the hallways.
Get to the classroom. The teacher is there, but the class is not. They are at Art. She calls the art teacher to have him send son to office. The rest of us walk back to the office. Third son continues crying to be held. We meet oldest son in office, sign out, run to van (through the rain), buckle everyone up again, and leave for the dentist's office...now running about 15 minutes behind.
Call ahead to dentist's office to let them know we are running late. Once we arrive, unbuckle everyone again, run through the rain again. Once inside mediate potential argument between oldest & second son about who gets to push the buttons on the elevator. Get to office, take off all coats. Nurse calls us immediately. Second son freaks out (he has some fear issues at doctor & dentist appointments).
I go with second son to his room, bring third son & baby along while another nurse takes oldest son to his room. Second son refuses to get on exam chair. I set baby carrier in one corner, position third son on another chair, and sit on the exam chair with second son. Watch 'Cars' on a ceiling television set.
Baby cries, but hope that he stops on his own because second son is not going to let me up. Ask third son to try to entertain baby. Nurse comes in and talks to baby. After everyone is done & I've paid the bill, I decide to quickly nurse the baby in the reception area before heading out with all four children again...in the rain.
Stop at Burger King. Get kids' meals in drivethrough. Pull over to park & open all kids meals & give everyone ketchup. Drive to school as children eat. Unbuckle everyone & traipse everyone inside through the rain. Drop off oldest. Bring everyone back out through the rain & buckle again.
Go through bank drivethrough. Go home. Unbuckle. Walk through the rain. Put everyone down for a nap. Whew! I think I need a nap now too. The real kicker? We have to head out again this afternoon for another set of errands. Help!