Five kids. All under the age of 10.
Some people look as though they're watching a clown car when we pull up, and can't figure out at what point we'll stop piling out of the van. On a recent trip to the zoo, the woman at the counter just shook her head when the kids swarmed around her. "You've got a big family."
Before I had kids and knew better, I used to joke about wanting twins. Now I have them. The two youngest are both 3 and only six months apart, and surprisingly enough they are often the easiest two to deal with. Six, Eight and Ten are way more dramatic.
Five kids isn't as wild as you might think. Meal times are usually a breeze and bedtimes go smoothly almost always. Traveling, though, in one vehicle is when things get a little more dicey. Especially when Six, Eight and Ten are sitting together and they start the whole "He was staring at me...he keeps kicking the seat...he put his elbow on me" game. And so it goes--times five.
I know you must be whimpering a little bit for me, right?
And then there are the times when we take the Herd someplace different, which is the point of the post. Last week we took them to the circus and for most of the show, they were great. They couldn't sit still to save their lives and were up and down more than the Bellagio water fountain in Las Vegas, but all were well behaved and had fun.
Except for the last 20-30 mins. By then they were all tired of sitting there and a couple started asking when it was time to go. By this time the circus was running later than we planned and Master Chef had to go pitch for his ball team.
Leaving me, one person, with the five munchkins. Are the whimpers getting louder?
So we get through the last of the circus with "When are we going home?" repeated only about twenty-two times, and then I wait for most of the crowd to clear out ahead of us, much to the munchkins dismay.
Then we head out.
Things are going fine. No real crowds and they're all in good spirits. And then we hit the lobby area. I immediately wrangle the twins, which Babygirl does not like at all. She wants to walk ahead with her brothers and doesn't care who in the place hears her complain about it. Loudly.
The six of us make it outside with me only losing sight of one of them for a few seconds. No big deal. And the best news, I can see the van.
Of course this is when things go awry.
Even though I'm holding his hand, one of the twins goes down and scrapes his knee. Babygirl, hearing him start to cry, turns up her own volume. So now I'm crossing the street and into the parking lot with two crying/screaming three-year-olds. Add to that some unwritten rule that boys should race each other to the car at every possible opportunity, and I'm then consoling one munchkins, fighting to keep a grip on Babygirl and alternately calling the other three boys by name in my fiercest listen-to-me-or-I'm-feeding-you-to-the-wolves voice.
Just as aside, I've been repeatedly told by Eight that we don't have wolves around here.
By some miracle, I've get them all strapped into the van without losing my mind completely, and for once they don't start that, "He's bugging me," vehicle torture. I think they were too tuckered out to pick on each other. Good news for me.
So what about you guys? Have you taken your munchkins somewhere and things got a little crazy? Are you as big a fan of car trips with 5 kids as I am? :)