when I was 21 I thought I knew what tired was. I laugh at my 21 yr old self.

Today I earned a serious Mommy Merit Badge. We had our second Broker’s Open House this morning from 10-12. When you factor in the realtor arrival time and her request to stay for an extra 30 minutes, the two hour open house suddenly became three and I pushed it to three and a half because of a certain little boy’s appetite. Not only did I have to vacate the house quickly with the children, but the house also had to be spotless, bright, and warm (because we live like Eskimos). So how to entertain the three year old while keeping the newborn safe from germs and his belly full?

We hit BigY for weekend provisions. We made a quick stop at Target for so help me god the last package of Pull Ups. I had a brainstorm and we headed to the mall where I knew there was a family lounge in the food court. All three of us snuggled up in one of the nursing cubbies on a comfy chair to ensure Connor’s thirst was quenched. The two ladies shared a Vitamin Water and watched Betty Boop cartoons. The smaller of the two did not want to ever leave the Family Lounge. The baby only had half a meal so I knew better than to venture too far from that blissful oasis in crazy mom of twodom. We went in search of stretchies for Connor. Like this one.

By the time we were within sight of the lounge for round two, Connor was already screaming to be fed again. We raced along at such a fast pace that the older child began to join in his chorus. I pasted on a smile as passerby turned to stare, other moms with strollers allowed us to go ahead of them up the ramps. The elderly turned down their hearing aids. More cartoons. More Vitamin Water. More tears when it was time to leave. I got her to the car with promises of McDonald’s French fries. Someone was chided into eating most of her lunch by a happy meal toy. By the time we all made it back into the car to head home, HOME, I was ready to collapse behind the wheel.

It feels like I’ve had three days in one judging by the level of absolute exhaustion I have been hit with. This morning I took a video of Caroline whining and showed it to her and instead of being horrified, she requested to watch it again and again, “Watch Caroline cry?” While I changed Connor’s diaper in the Lounge, Caroline pulled paper towel after paper towel from the dispenser and my requests went from “just one more,” to “that’s enough,” to “do not take one more paper towel, do you understand me?” Requests for her to turn on her listening earrings were cast aside with a sassy “NO!” She held onto the stroller everywhere we went, even when she wanted to race down the ramp in a full gallop. I have no idea how she held herself back? She selected Connor’s stretchies enthusiastically and plucked pastel dresses from the racks exclaiming, “Mommy, isn’t it beautiful” delighting the other shoppers with her absolute adorableness. The sales clerk complimented her sparkly converse sneakers and she actually told her what her name was when asked. I don’t think in the history of time she has EVER told anyone what her name is. I always have to do the whole, “what’s your name? can you tell her your name is caroline?” thing.

I made it. We all survived. No one went hungry. There were many extra calories from not so good things. There is now another plastic toy to pack or to conveniently lose. There is a little group of three cuddled up all together in my bedroom watching Tinkerbell, sharing sips of the chocolate milkshake we took home from lunch, and feeling like we can take on the world – after a nap.


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