When the kids were babies, we didn’t get out a lot. And when we did, it was a pretty big deal for us. So for us to go to Denver to see my grandpa for a picnic, it was an Outing Extraordinaire.
The first infant car seats we had didn’t have nifty handles, so we could only carry one at a time. That made loading the car for outings a bit tricky, especially when they were still on oxygen and monitors. We really needed three people, but if we hustled, we could do it with two of us—if there were no social service cops or kidnappers about.
We lived in an apartment building with parking out back. We had to do a “fox, chicken, bag of grain across the road” kind of maneuver to get them loaded. The first one was the easiest. I could take Baby #1 outside and get the seat strapped into the car while Jason stayed in the apartment with Babies #2, 3, & 4. But then, to get #2 to the car, either I would have to leave #1 alone to go get the next one, or Jason would have to leave #3 & #4 to bring #2. If we moved really quickly, and made the kids promise not to stop breathing, we could do the next two transports quickly with our fingers crossed, then finally move #4 while we caught our breath. Once we got to Grandpa’s, it was pretty smooth, because there were about two dozen people standing in line to take a baby.
When the kids were two, we went to a picnic in a park on the northwest side of Denver to meet with extended family—second cousins, once-removed whom I’d never met, great-great aunts and uncles who just wanted to know if I was the mother of the “quintuples” or “quatriplets.” We were right in the throws of potty training. When you’re potty training four toddlers, you don’t go to a remote park with nary a Port-O-Potty, I’ll tell you that right now. You’re just asking for failure. Fortunately, we’d taken along a potty chair in the trunk of the car. Unfortunately, the only place to use it was near the back of the car in the gutter along the park. Try convincing a shy two-year old who hasn’t quite mastered the art of bladder control that it’s okay to pee outside with everyone gawking, no matter what you’ve told them in the past about peeing outside. Then try it three more times. Then try to figure out what to do with the contents of said potty.
This Memorial Day we’re staying put. Watermelon in the backyard. Veggie burgers on the grill. Watch the sun rise and the sun set from the back patio. Sounds like a peaceful day to me. And we have bathrooms with plumbing, just inside the door. Sweet!
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