If I ever come up with a plan like that again please slap me senseless. Really. L and her little boy C were great company but I spent so much time chasing Hollis around that I think L and I only exchanged about 20 words during the 3 1/2 hours we were at the mall. Don't feel too sorry for me. It's my own fault. You see, I refuse to use my double stroller. It's this huge Eddie Bauer monstrosity that a well meaning friend handed down to us when we found out we were expecting Little H. It must weigh 50 pounds and I don't think it even fits in my trunk. And I have an SUV. Anyway, I decided to shun the Hummer of strollers and drive my single Audi sports car around the mall. I have a Peg Perego stroller I absolutely love and it even has a toddler bar on the back. Which is great if your toddler will actually stay on the damn thing. To give credit where it's due, Hollis was actually very well behaved. So was Holden. (Of course, he was strapped into a stroller and couldn't wreak much havoc aside from randomly tossing Goldfish crackers at passers by.) But I forgot that Hollis is a toddler and he can't take 3 hours straight of nicely holding Mommy's hand. (I won't even go into the tears caused by the huge 14 year old who slammed into him twice on the playground. OK, maybe he was more like 6, but he was a big kid! Way too big for the clearly labeled toddler playground.) Every 30 seconds it was: get off the toddler bar; get on the toddler bar; push the stroller; hold Mommy's hand; run across the store; UP, MOMMY, UP! Well, we survived the ordeal and both kids passed out in the car on the way home.
I was completely exhausted after my outing and it really made me think. My husband and I have an ongoing discussion regarding whether or not we're going to try to have a third child. In the past, I've always been a quite vocal proponent while my husband is of the opinion that we should never let the children outnumber us. (Apparently the odds of a bloody coup go up exponentially after 2 kids.) But I couldn't even handle 2 small children for half a day by myself. How on earth could I possibly handle 3? I also wonder if I've just been completely spoiled all this time. My husband is truly an equal parent. If we start adding up frequent parenting miles, he's right up there with me. (Although I think I should get double miles for all of the middle of the night breastfeeding.) We usually both go out with the kids on the weekend, to the doctor, to the store, etc.... On very rare occasions, we will divide and conquer and each of us will take one child on our respective errands. If T's out of town, I'm usually a hermit. I've taken both kids to the store and on shorter outings before, but never on a half day outing.
My hellish Saturday really gave me a new appreciation for H&H's babysitter. She takes both of my kids (and both of hers!) out to errands, soccer games, and school events all the time and she never seems to break a sweat. Maybe I'm just not very good at this. Well, whatever the faults in my parenting skills, I have a new stroller in the back of my car now. It's not as large as the Hummer and not as sleek as my Audi, it's more of a mid-sized sedan - a mom car. At least now I can strap both of their butts in.