Things started out well, although I was a bit sleepy since Clare was up for two hours in the middle of the night (Jay took the last half hour and finally got her to go back to sleep). I got up, showered, had breakfast, and loved on Joshua, all before Clare woke up at 7:45. I gave her about an hour of playtime and then it was time to try to get her to nap. Several tries produced only crying. Joshua was spun up because he wasn't getting any attention from me, and I was just downright frustrated. So I decided it was time to get everyone dressed and go to the grocery store. That was my first mistake.
I should have known things were going to be bad when I took a wrong turn on the way to the store--a trip I've made a million times. When I pulled into the parking lot Clare started to cry, a stark reminder that, yes, I had forgotten to feed her before we left the house. I put her in the front seat with me and fed her while Joshua waited patiently in his carseat.
It was pouring rain by the time we were ready to go in. I put Joshua in the grocery cart with a blanket over his head (which he thought was funny, thank goodness) and got Clare semi-situated in her sling. But by the time we got into the store she was exhausted and cranky and crying loudly. When we were halfway done she had finally stopped crying, but I had been so distracted up until that time that I was sure I had forgotten something--or many somethings.
We finally finished and as I stood in line and took out my credit card--oh, wait, my credit card is sitting at home on the shelf. I used the Customer Service phone to see if I could get hold of Jay in his office before he left for his 11:00 class, but of course he was already gone. So they held my basket for me until I could get my card and come back.
I had a choice--drive one mile to Jay's school and interrupt his class to get his card, or drive 10 miles each way to go home and get mine. I drove to Jay's school and just happened to see an administrator in the hall whom I know (her grandson and Joshua are in Kindermusik together). She found out where Jay's class was (I had stopped by the Engineering Department but all of the other professors were teaching, too) and gave me directions. It was in another building, but there was a covered walkway leading there so we didn't have to get wet again, although at that point we were all so soaked it didn't matter. I interrupted Jay's class to get his card. Thankfully, I knew three of the four students in the class, so I didn't feel like a total moron showing up there with two kids and a pile of hair matted to my face. I got the card and headed back to the Engineering suite to pick up Clare's carseat. I decided to feed her again, just in case, and then realized that it was only a few more minutes until Jay's class was over (There was a lot of walking involved here, compounded by the very short legs of a two-year-old who also thinks that every rug and doorjamb are strategically placed for him to "jump" off of). When Jay returned to the suite I asked if he could go with me to the store so I could run in and get the groceries while he sat in the car. He did, because he's a good person.
We dropped him off back at school and headed to Chik-Fil-A, which had been our plan from the beginning since I had my Free Chicken and Coke coupons. It was past naptime at this point, so I did what I have probably sworn I would never do...I handed Joshua's nuggets to him so that he could eat on the way home. Ahhhh!
He finished his lunch at home and napped without incident, despite the fact that his nap started over an hour late. Clare and I caught some Zzzzz's. And only now that I'm writing this am I seeing the points of grace that were so much a part of my hellish morning. A sympathetic and helpful grocery store employee, a kind and gracious university employee, and husband that doesn't mind being interrupted in the middle of the workday, his colleagues who treated my family like their own when we needed a moment to regroup, and a church friend who insisted that "It'll get better, girl" when I saw her in line during my second trip to the store.
Maybe Monday isn't so bad after all.