So yesterday was an interesting day. We’ll just start at the beginning and you can see what you think.
The end of the year is approaching and we as a primary presidency have been scrambling a little to get our primary program together. So on Monday night I stayed up a little bit later getting the responses from our kids compiled so we could write our script during our meeting the next day. It was a big task, and while it took a good chunk of time to get through, it actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. It still meant that I didn’t get to bed until after 1am, and since Danny hasn’t been sleeping real well lately, I knew that I’d pay for my late night the next day, but it seemed worth it.
The next morning Sam woke up at his usual 7am and came in to wake me up. Luckily he managed to wake me up without waking up Daniel so I was able to crawl out of bed and get downstairs while Daniel continued to snooze. Lately our morning routine has been that I’ll come downstairs with Sam, get him a bowl of cereal and turn on PBS kids. Then I go back to bed and get another hour or so of sleep. I fully intended to do that on this morning as well, however I started working on getting more things arranged for our presidency meeting and ended up staying awake as well.
Around 9am Daniel woke up too and we started to get everyone ready for the day. By 11:30am I was feeling really good about myself – I had laid out clothes for myself, fed everyone breakfast, dressed Sam, cleaned the kitchen, gotten our meeting agenda prepared, prepared the conducting sheet for Sunday, distributed a better format of our babysitting co-op calendar and done a review of our family budget! I was definitely feeling like I was the winner of the day!
I hopped into the shower with Daniel while I let Sam watch some PBS Kids. After showering we dressed, dried my hair and got it into curlers, all by 12:30! For me to curl my hair on a weekday is an accomplishment in and of itself, even though it doesn’t take super long finding those extra 5 minutes to throw the curlers in isn’t as easy as it might seem. We grabbed Eric and headed downstairs to have some lunch as a family.
As I started to make myself some leftover enchiladas Danny was starting to get a little fussy and (as usual) the only thing he wanted was to be nursed. So I sat on the rocking chair and ate my enchilada while Danny nursed, trying to spill as little of my lunch on him as possible. When I’d finished eating I started to print out my last few items for our presidency meeting (our rocking chair is placed where I have access to the computer). Unfortunately I had run out of paper in the printer and even after adding more the computer and printer were being finicky about actually printing my documents. Luckily Eric saved the day and got it all worked out.
Meanwhile Danny had fallen asleep so I went and laid him down in his bed. I had been planning on taking him and Sam to our neighbor who was hosting co-op babysitting that day, however, since Danny was asleep and Eric was going to be home we agreed that I would leave him home. If he awoke while I was gone Eric could take him down to our neighbor’s to join Sam. My meeting was at 1pm and as it was already a little past that time I raced out the door with Sam, dropped him at co-op and got to our presidency meeting.
Our meeting was very productive and we got a pretty good start on our program script. We wrapped up right at 3pm when I was supposed to be picking up Sam (luckily co-op and our meeting were both in our neighborhood, so I was right on schedule). When I hopped out of the car to pick up Sam I couldn’t find the co-op tickets that I’d grabbed before I left. Somehow between leaving home and our meeting they’d gotten lost. I could have driven 5 houses down, picked up some tickets, and driven back to get Sam but I decided I didn’t want to make them wait any longer for me and I’d drop tickets off later. When the door opened I was surprised to see that Daniel wasn’t there, although I was glad since that meant he was probably at home still sleeping and would be quite pleasant for the rest of the day. I gathered my Sam and we headed home.
As I opened up the door I discovered that Daniel was not, in fact, still sleeping, but downstairs playing while his dad ate some lunch. When Danny spotted us walking through the door he ran over to give a great big hug to… Sam! Danny gives the best hugs, but it’s fairly rare that they are granted to his big brother. I think Danny must have missed having Sam around for the half hour that he had been awake. It was SO sweet to see that affection between those two boys. They really are awesome brothers and I’m so glad to have them.
Sam was hungry so we fixed him a snack while I worked on some things on the computer. Daniel has gotten into a stage where he LOVES to climb and get into things. Especially if he can find the worst things to get into. So naturally, while I was working on the computer I had to periodically take him off of the table/chairs/counters, deter him from climbing up and dismantling or turning on our stove, and calmly remove from his grip the knives he had procured from our knife block. Never a dull moment with Danny around! Finally I decided that since the day had over all been a success, Danny was getting antsy, Eric wouldn’t be expecting an early dinner, and we’d been needing to do a grocery run since Thursday that I would round up the boys and head to the store.
It took a little while to get everyone ready, find shoes etc. We made it out to the car and I realized that I needed to grab a few more things out of the house, including Sam’s baby doll – Tinkey -so we could avoid a meltdown. So we got out the door probably around 4:30, still not too bad considering I was doing this with a preschooler and a toddler. I plugged in my phone so that I could listen to my book during the drive. We hadn’t even left the neighborhood when I realized that Sam was way too quiet, and he hadn’t yet had his nap for the day. Crap, even the short drive to the store, if Sam was that tired he’d be fast asleep before we reached the store. So I insisted that he sing songs with me as we drove down the mountain. He protested that if we sang loud songs then “we were going to wake him up”… but that was kind of the point. There’s no way I could let him take a nap after 4pm if I wanted any chance of him going to sleep that night.
We made it to Smith’s without Sam falling asleep and I knew once he got out and walking around he’d be ok. So we got into the store and found that they were unfortunately out of the shopping carts with the attached kiddie cars in the front. Sad, but not a big deal. I grabbed a regular cart and Sam got a child sized cart. I put Danny in my cart and Sam put Tinkey in his and we headed inside. As we got inside Danny was getting squirmy so I went to buckle him in and discovered that the male end of the buckle was missing. So I pretended that I was buckling Danny in by sticking the fabric part of the belt into the other end of the buckle, knowing it wouldn’t hold him, but that it might give me a few minutes of him being tricked into thinking he was stuck in the shopping cart before he’d insist on being carried. Our shopping was fairly uneventful, Sam occasionally wandered into the aisles and got in other people’s way or rammed his cart into me or tried to put Starbursts into his cart, and Danny got tired of being in the cart and convinced me to take him out a few times to “help” me push the cart from my arms (note: this is in fact of negative helping value as it means I have to grapple with a toddler and push with one arm, in case you weren’t sure) and kept having to be re-seated in the cart as his climbing instincts told him that he MUST stand in the cart despite mom’s opinions to the contrary.
Finally we had gotten everything on our list and made it to the checkout. As we loaded up the belt Danny wanted to be taken out of the cart but I insisted that he stay in the cart until we made it to the end. I was nearly finished unloading my cart when I had a sinking realization – the other thing that I was supposed to grab from the house when I went in to get Tinkey, was my wallet. I quickly rifled through my purse and realized that I had in fact made it all the way to the checkout line without my wallet. I finished loading the groceries onto the belt and went to the front. Danny was trying to get out again but I quickly re-seated him as I turned to the cashier to ask if they could put the groceries on hold while I ran out to my car to get my wallet. As I was starting to tell her this I see Danny in the corner of my eye stand up in the cart and look over just in time to see that him lunge out of the cart and go head over heels right onto the hard floor. He lands right in the middle of his forehead with a loud SMACK. Horrified, I quickly pick him up and snuggle him to my chest while trying to assess the damage. His nose is bleeding and he has a huge bump already forming in the middle of his forehead. The cashier works quickly to procure some paper towels, sends her bagger off to get some ice, and her supervisor closes off the lane so we aren’t rushed while taking care of the situation. Another checker comes over to help reassure me and tells me, in a very kind way, that I should I have had him buckled in – which I assure her I would have except that the buckle was broken. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less my own fault, I could have gone back and searched for a cart that had a fixed buckle, but it didn’t seem like it was worth the effort at the time. I feel awful, and hate the feeling that every person in that part of the store is now watching and judging me with my screaming, bleeding son who I should have done more to keep safe.
When I’ve finished assessing Daniel and have decided that – while he’s still crying and bleeding – he’s going to be just fine. The bump is nasty looking and his nose is still bleeding, but just normal bloody nose. It doesn’t help that he’s been congested so all the blood is mixed with copious amounts of snot. The blood is all over and he doesn’t want to let me touch him to clean it up, and is instead wiping it on my arm and chest when I can’t catch him to wipe it off first.
I finally finish telling the cashier about my wallet situation. She makes arrangements with her supervisor to have the groceries put on hold while I run out to the car to search for my wallet. I’m fairly certain that I’ve left my wallet in my diaper bag from the day before, so I haul out my two boys – one still bleeding and crying, the other off in la-la land – out to our car to search. As I go through the car I realize that I’ve taken my diaper bag into the house and it’s not in our car. This never happens. I am the world’s worst person at taking the diaper bag back into the house. Many times I’ll put it in the car for church on Sunday and the next Sunday when we’re getting ready for church – it’s still in the car. So for me to have taken it in after a single outing is totally unheard of. Unfortunately, this means that my wallet is sitting at home next to our rocking chair. Shoot. So I call Eric and have him text me the information for one of our credit cards on the off chance that they might be able to type in the information on their computer.
As we’re walking back in, Danny still whimpering and bleeding a little bit, Sam spots his old nursery leader who works in the Fred Myer inside our Smith’s. Sister Hong is one of the world’s most wonderful people and she keeps a stash of candy and fruit snacks with her so that when she sees kids she knows at the store she can give them a treat (note: this is not WHY she is such a wonderful person, just one of the many examples). So of course Sam has to stop and say hi. I recount our story to Ming-tzong and she commiserates and gives fruit snacks to both of my boys. She doesn’t know it, but she was the hero of the day – those fruit snacks were what finally helped Danny to calm down and be somewhat happy again.
We walked back to the checkstand and from there over to customer service where I was told for sure that they would need to see the actual card to be able to process the transaction – not surprising, but it had been worth a shot. So I quickly text Eric to ask him to come down with a credit card. The store manager comes over and has me fill out an accident report while we wait for Eric. They offered to get Danny a drink or something, but the fruit snacks have been enough to settle him back down. I do just want to note that the employees of the Smith’s were SO helpful, professional and kind through this whole ordeal. I’ve been impressed with their friendly service since the first time I went to this store and yesterday’s experience was no exception. Even though they could have berated me for being a terrible mother who doesn’t buckle her child in, or been frustrated with me for being the idiot that leaves their wallet at home, they were truly very kind and understanding and helpful – for which I was very grateful. It made an awful situation just a little bit easier to deal with.
After the accident reports were finished we still had to wait a few minutes for Eric to arrive. Finally our knight in shining armor arrives on his noble steed – or Eric in his helmet arrives on his scooter, the details are a little vague at this point :P As he walks in he’s looking at the checkstands for us and finally sees us at the end of the aisle at customer service. He still doesn’t know about Danny’s fall until he gets to us and I explain what happened. At this point, despite the paper towels I have to clean him off, he has blood spattered across his face and there is some on my chest and arm – we probably look like we’ve just come from a murder. Danny jumps into Eric’s arms and I think all of us are glad to see him with us again. Eric pays for our groceries and I’m gratified to find out that once we put in our membership rewards number our total drops from $205 to $130 (pasta was on sale for $0.50/bag from its usual $1.50 so I had stocked up for our food storage). A savings of $70 is a small consolation prize for what we went through, but better than nothing!
We go out to the car and get all the groceries packed up. I’m grateful Eric was there to help load up the kids and groceries since I’m a little exhausted at this point, and it’s always easier managing the whole process with two people rather than one. Finally we’re in the car and I’ve given Sam his donut that he earned for being relatively good at the store. Sam doesn’t always get a donut on our shopping trips but we’d passed by the bakery case on our way into the store and he had asked for one. I made the deal that if he was good we could maybe get one, knowing that if he didn’t see it again we’d probably escape without them. Unfortunately my poor planning had made it so we ended up back by the bakery section right at the end of the excursion and since things had gone relatively well I couldn’t really refuse him. I’m really grateful now that we had gotten the donut especially after everything else that we went through, it seems like a nice way to mediate the whole experience.
As I hop in the car I decide to listen to my book to help calm my nerves a little bit as we drive back home. When we get about two minutes out of the parking lot I remember the reason I hadn’t listened on the way down – I’m supposed to be keeping Sam awake. I look back at him but it’s already too late, Sam is totally passed out, donut in hand. We get home and I lay him on the couch in hopes of a short nap, then I put the groceries away and start pulling out food for dinner. It’s nearly 7pm at this point and Danny’s getting tired and hungry. So we stop pulling out leftovers and sit down on the rocking chair and he nurses to sleep.
After putting Daniel in his bed I get Eric to come downstairs for dinner, we wake up Sam, eat dinner and watch some TV. I’m of course a little worried about Danny after his big fall and a bit concerned that he might have a concussion, even though he’s been acting like his normal self, just tired at the end of a long day. I’m grateful when he wakes up so we can examine him a bit more in the comfort of our own home. He is just fine, his only souvenir from our adventure is a big lump on his head, but otherwise is no worse for the wear.
Finally it’s time for bedtime, I get Sam to bed, get some cleaning and work done, and finally around 11:30 I take Danny up to bed as well. I had every intention of going back to my own bed after nursing him to sleep, but the next thing I knew I woke up from a nightmare in Daniel’s bed at 4am, guess the day wore me out too!
So, while the day started well, I’m going to say that yesterday’s winner was not in fact myself. Luckily today and tomorrow are days that are devoid of any outside commitments or errands so I will happily stay locked up at home with my two kids just cleaning and doing at-home things :)
By the way, if you read my personal blog as well and read this post about our adventure at the swimming pool, please don’t call CPS on me. I promise most of our adventures have no accident reports and go off just fine. We go to the pool and Wal-mart and Smiths and the park all the time without any major mishaps. When they do happen I feel some catharsis by blogging about it, but I promise I’m a better blog than my blogs might make me seem!
So my family likes to joke about the “Friday Night Losers’ Club”. Basically the idea is if you don’t get to be out doing something fun on a Friday night then you must be part of the Friday Night Losers’ club for that week. It was something my parents heard about in a stake conference or something and we’ve adopted it as our thing. Most weeks we aren’t out doing exciting things, but we still enjoy that time at the end of another work week together.
On Friday night Eric had the great idea that we could break free of our bonds from the Friday Night Losers’ Club and go get some take out food and get a Redbox movie for a fun family night. (Ok, so we weren’t venturing out too far, but it sounded like a fun plan to us) Sam had gone down for his nap late, so despite it being about 5pm he was still asleep. But we decided on what we wanted to eat and a movie to rent and Eric went out to go get the food and movie. Of course just after Eric left Sam woke up wondering where dad had gone and was really upset that he didn’t get to go with Eric on an “adventure”. So I had to comfort him until Eric returned. When Eric got back home he realized that he’d forgotten to pick up the movies, oops! So we ate our dinner together and then Sam got his adventure after all to help Eric pick up the movies. Sam was SO excited when he saw that the movie we had picked out was Rio (or as he called it – Angry Birds :) ) He talked about it the whole way home and couldn’t wait to start the movie. We popped some popcorn and Sam stood in front of the TV mesmerized as soon as the movie started. We were feeling like it was a success!
About halfway through the movie Sam started to cry. After trying a few different things to appease him Sam said “it’s dark outside, I want to go to bed and be snuggled.” We were rather stunned to have our 2 year old *ask* for bedtime! We’d thought it would be a fun treat for him to stay up late and watch a movie instead! But, we went up and did the whole bedtime routine (diaper change, go potty, pajamas, brush teeth, story, scriptures, prayers, snuggle etc) and sure enough, he went right to sleep. Guess he’d rather be in the Friday Night Losers’ Club after all :P
I find it particularly interesting that after one of the most auspicious holidays for the giving of thanks, the American people turn around the very next day to feed into their selfish desires and greed.
This “special” day of the year is called Black Friday, and most recently named so by media and retailers because it is the time of year that these companies are in the financial black. However, I believe the day’s meaning has a much darker undertone…
If you do not want to read the article, the background to this story starts with thousands of shoppers gaining momentum to form a savage mob mentality. Just before the store’s “Doorbuster” 5:00 a.m. opening, the people outside actually broke through the front doors that were being guarded by a handful of employees. These same people trampled an employee to death, and what is worse, they resisted requests to leave even after they were informed that they had killed an employee.
Such blatant disregard for human life causes me to marvel at the grotesque irony of this situation. Here we are, one day after expressing gratitude for all the freedoms, liberty, and relative peace we enjoy in this country–and people are pushing and injuring an extremely pregnant woman so badly she has to go to the hospital! No one looks to notice that they are stepping on a human being so forcefully that they are causing fatal wounds. People grab and snatch and horde their new-found possessions, regarding them as of greater worth than the people around them.
In response, I ask:
- When did such material objects ever come to mean more than a human life?
- How did we become a people who, ironically enough in this day and culture, become less and less tolerant and at the same time more and more isolated?
- Why did we let this happen?
If I had family that died in this situation, not only would I be heartbroken for the meaningless loss that has come into my life, but I would question how this could have even happened. I too, like the real father was, would have been shocked and appalled that the employer made no pro-active attempts to contact me. Not nearly enough apologies. Not nearly enough responsibility.
I would implore all who read this to spend a moment in introspection, examining how they each contribute to or decimate our society. While technology and discoveries of certain truths have been a great blessing to the human race as a whole, we still suffer the same weaknesses and tendencies of ancient civilizations. I would even venture to say that we are, in some respects, worse off in the development of society. The final question that remains is what do you intend to do about this?