It was a crazy day. And by crazy, I mean exhausting, frustrating, annoying, but ultimately fruitful.
10:30 am: Announce intentions to leave, instruct children to gather jackets and shoes. Ignore all questions about our plans.
10:45 am: Leave house and then decide that this would be a great time for an oil change. Leave car with the tune-up shop and walk to nearby library. Allow children to check out approximately 300 videos and 1 book. Learn that #2 child has a large library fine, and begrudgingly check out his items on your own card.
11:15 am: Return to lube shop, wait with arms full of library
books videos to be told that you will be charged an extra $12 for the ONE extra quart of oil your car holds. And that your car is leaking oil from every possible place.
11:30 am: Leave lube shop, head to Great Salt Lake. (A friend had some cute family photos here and I was feeling ambitious. I did photo shoots with Brooklyn and Ryan, but needed to do one for Quinn.) Discover that SaltAir is closed for the season. Try to take some pics near the beach, and get irritated with the vast amount of sunlight shining in the subject’s face. Yell at children incessantly to “Come on!!” and “Stop that!!”
12:30 pm: Leave the lake, while explaining the the kids that the beach they saw was not, in fact, the salt flats, and no racing had taken place there. Point out the freeway and tell them that Salt Lake is this way, and Nevada is that way. Spend a fair amount of time in construction traffic, even though you took steps to avoid this by choosing large and less-traveled roads.
12:55 pm: Arrive at In-N-Out Burger, amidst suggestions that we eat lunch at Five Guys. Or Olive Garden. Spend too much money and too much time in the drivethrough. Send one burger back, and wait in the parking lot for the re-fire.
1:10 pm: Drive across the street to the hospital. Eat burger in the parking lot. Explain to the kids that NO, there is not a garbage in the car right now, and NO, you are not allowed to put food garbage in a car garbage can anyway. Again.
1:15 pm: Head inside the hospital for blood test for offspring #3. Leave #’s 1 & 2 in the waiting room with the x-box. Tell them three times where you will be, and then hope they heard you. Listen to #3 complain about the pain of getting blood drawn. Get irritated as she makes the largest deal possible over choosing something from the prize box. (She settled on a green stuffed animal. Like she needs another stuffed animal.)
1:30 pm: Realize that there is still more than an hour until the orthodontist appointments, and refuse to drive any farther than necessary, due to insanely high gas prices and insanely low gas mileage. Decide to pull into nearest gas station and give the car a much needed vacuuming. Instruct children to remove all garbage from the car, and remove the floor mats. Insert $1 and start your 4 precious minutes of vacuum time. Listen to children fight over the newly acquired stuffed animal. Decide to deal with it after the 4 minutes are up. When back seat is dirtier than expected, realize this is going to cost you another dollar to complete. Spend another few minutes removing the vast amounts of garbage the children missed, as the children run around like banshees and continue to fight. Pray no one is watching them. Spend another 4 minutes vacuuming, and then
scream at instruct the kids to get in the car.
1:50 pm: Realize there is still lots of time, and head to the nearby lake at Daybreak for more pictures.
2:00 pm: Arrive at lake, and immediately start yelling at offspring #1 and #3 to get the heck out of the way, because these pictures are of #2. Move from edge of pond to the bridge, which looks far more interesting for photos. Yell at kids, “Stop throwing rocks into the grass!” and “Stop throwing rocks in the lake!” and “Stop throwing rocks, for the love of all that is holy!!” Enjoy a few precious moments of picture taking. Head back to the car, while watching boys fight with each other, and watching daughter fall in love with the two rat dogs of a nearby fisherman. As boys fight with each other while climbing a hill, notice that they are now covered in brown grass. Instruct them NOT to enter the freshly vacuumed car while covered in grass, and have them brush each other off.
2:25 pm: Realize that the vacuuming lasted about 30 minutes, because now the car is full of grass. Heave a sigh of quiet desperation. Drive toward orthodontists office, narrowly escaping a car accident in the stupid European round-about.
2:34 pm: Arrive at orthodontists office on time. For once. Send kids to the brushing station, and listen to them complain about the overwhelmingly minty toothpaste. (As if there is such a thing.) Impart wisdom which they will not appreciate, “Put on your big kid pants and deal with it.” Enjoy the amazing view from the ortho office while kids distract themselves with handheld video games. Beautiful, quiet moments are wasted on the young.
2:50 pm: Leave orthodontist’s office, listen to the kids plan what they will do when they get home. Debate whether to tell them that our day is not over yet. Decide against it. Drive to Walmart.
3:00 pm: Enter Walmart. Look through the $5 movie bin absent-mindedly while boys drool over the “Magic, the Gathering” card decks. Purchase a few items, then stop by the bank branch inside the store and make a deposit. (You won’t realize until the following day that you have forgotten all about the entire reason for going to Walmart in the first place. That store is like a perfect lesson in distraction.)
3:30 pm: Leave Walmart and head to car. Get a little irritated about son’s loud and obnoxious demeanor. Then realize that he has not been in the front seat all day (a huge as heck deal for him) and decide he is a great kid after all, and you better give him a break.
3:40 pm: Finally arrive back home, and breathe a sigh of relief. Feel some satisfaction at the idea of your children excitedly playing a geeky card game with each other. Feel even more satisfaction when a friend calls, and your son turns him down. “Maybe tomorrow would be a better day.” Wish you could go through the photos immediately, but opt for responsibility instead. Piano lessons begin in 20 minutes, and you need to freshen up.