In Public

Yesterday, Marissa told me how glad she is that we are able to do more things as a family lately.  I asked her what she meant, and she said, “Well, you know, now that Jadon and Jordan are acting better and getting older, we can actually take them in public to go do things.”
Ok, I’ll admit I had this fear of taking them in public, but only because I was worried that one of them would run out into traffic while the other one distracted me by wiping boogers on the car window.  Or because I was worried I’d be THAT mom with the screaming kid in Target, and I know I would totally give in and give the kid chocolate (or whatever else he was wanting) just to shut him up.  And then I’d be judged.  And found guilty of bribery and giving into the whims of 3-year-olds.  I was worried I’d end up at the cash register with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of what items might actually be in my cart—or for that matter, how they even came to be there.
I like peace.  Peace and quiet and books and naps and taking walks in silence.  And quiet.  Have I mentioned quiet?
And when we all go out together, it’s anything but peaceful and quiet.  It’s more like a traveling circus, complete with jugglers, lion tamers, and sticky cotton candy.  And we all pile into the little clown car and see how far we’ll make it before someone pees their pants.
So, I’ll admit, I have avoided any sort of public outing that did not involve a) buying ice cream and playing at the McDonald’s Playplace or b) finding a deserted park somewhere where my heathens could roll in the dirt and throw leaves without disturbing the general well-being of everyone around us.
Evidently the 8-year-old has picked up on this pattern, astute little bugger that she is.  And now the gig is up.  I take them one time—one measly time—for a day of pumpkin-patch fun, and now a whole new world has opened up to her.  A world where people actually leave their houses in groups of more than two people at a time.
And what am I to do with this newly-enlightened kid?  Dang it, now I’m going to have to take them all to the grocery store next time I go.  And before you judge me, you just try to explain to the free-cookie lady in the bakery that, yes, you do in fact have a gazillion children and you’re not just trying to scam cookies.
And then there are places like the movies (gawd, I’m breaking out in hives just thinking about that adventure) and restaurants that don’t ask if you want to super-size anything.  I’m seeing the possibilities open up before me, and I’m afraid.  Very afraid.  Public, here we come!

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