Tonight I experienced one of those evenings that deserves being written about.
My husband Coy called me at work and told me of an opportunity he had to take an intensive course in Spanish for eight weeks. If he accepted, the class would start tonight and would continue every Tuesday from 6-9 PM. I thought to myself, I can handle three hours, besides, he’s with the girls all day–every day while I’m working.
I came home to a quick dinner of leftover chili (the best kind!) and tried to make things easy for Coy to get out of the house. Our nearly three year old daughter seemed to be in a good mood. Our two month old daughter didn’t eat much but was still playful and calm.
As Coy left the house I waited for the crying to start. It’s usually how it works when one of us steals away to something non-baby related. However tonight was different. I had told Coy that I may (emphasis on “may”) try to go to the grocery store. He gave me that “are you crazy?” look and I accepted because we both know how difficult it can be in a grocery store after 5PM, that’s not even factoring in the two young children, one of which can do what she pleases including but not limited lying on the floor and screaming if she chooses.
He suggested I take someone with me, not because he doesn’t think I can handle it, but because he cares about his wife’s well being and sanity. I love him for that.
Given the hour and the demeanor of the kids I decided to go for it.
I packed a small emergency bag–two diapers, one pair of princess underwear for the toddler, wipes, an extra onsie for Mya, my wallet, car keys, and a baby sling.
I loaded up the car with baby then had a mommy-daughter conversation with Kirra that went something like this:
“Mommy would love to take you to the store but I need to ask you something special. ”
“I need you to be an extra big helper and listen to mommy when she is talking to you at the store and in the car. Can you do that?
“Look at me Kirra. Will you be a good girl if we go to the store?”
What could it hurt to ask in advance? She sounded genuine so I believed her.
We were off and Mya was crying already but I was at peace. Not sure why, maybe because I was preparing myself for an hour of craziness. But the craziness never came.
Mya’s crying tapered off rather quickly. Kirra buckled her car seat by herself without me having to ask twenty times. I hit every traffic light green or some shade of yellow making it possible to keep baby Mya sleeping until we reached the store.
I pulled into the parking lot and an exiting car pulls out of the prime parking space I’m always looking for (right in front, next to the handicap space, second closest from the door). As I pull into the space I see the “car” shopping cart that Kirra loves to ride in. It was parked in front of my jeep like I had called ahead and ordered it myself.
I turn off the Jeep. Veggie Tales turns off with it. Kirra starts asking to keep watching. I talk Kirra down from a near tantrum
by referring to the little angle boy that had just left the store with his mommy, cookie in hand from the deli.
I carry Kirra out, grab the sleeping baby in the car seat and put both in the “car” cart. I’m thinking, “I’ve got ten minutes tops.” So I gently but hurriedly rush through the store miraculously remembering everything I went in there for, including the coupon that would save me $3 on diapers.
Kirra makes it to the frozen food section before asking for a cookie which gave me plenty of time to get there before her pitch got higher or more insistent.
I made it to the check out and both children are quiet. The Publix bagger decides to put my groceries in another cart to avoid having to move kiddos and I thank her for being so thoughtful.
I complete my transaction quickly because I remembered to put my credit card in the front pocket of my bag so I wouldn’t have to dig in case we were having any meltdowns.
I made it back to the Jeep and bumped the car seat as I was putting it in it’s base. Mya started to cry but I didn’t get stressed just yet. I made it to the front. Veggie Tales started and Kirra was able to buckle up again without any bribes or begs.
Mya did cry all the way home but I figured I had been given a gift to make it that far without a peep.
After we got home. I decided not to turn on the TV but to feed Mya quietly and talk to Kirra before she headed to bed. As I was talking to her she fell asleep on my lap. I look down and Mya was passed out too. There we lay in a jumbled mess on the couch—quiet, happy, and at rest–did I mention it was only 7:30?
I guess some evenings can be nearly perfect–so much so that you wonder if something in the universe is out of alignment. It was that sort of night for me. So I thank God for favoring me for a few moments today and for the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy my children in this hectic and hyper-scheduled life. I’m not perfect but I believe miracles happen to imperfect people–which makes me quite over-qualified.
With that said, I guess it could snow in Florida tonight.