A friend of mine who has two children with special needs once commented (and I like it very much!): "Most regular mothers, when they head out somewhere, just pick up their wallet, car keys, handbag, and go out the door!". Well, I can fully relate to my friend! The zoo trip earlier this week - culminated in a jumbo sized bag full of x4 changes of clothes for four children (just in case!), nappies, baby change mat, towel and baby wipes, plastic bags for dirty clothes, a formula dispenser, x3 Avent bottles full of piping hot water (cooling slowly in a mini cooler bag), lunch and snacks for the entire family (x2 ice cream containers full of sandwiches, fruit, cookies etc) sunhats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and most importantly - the CAMERA! The JUMBO bag was perched precariously on the pram's frame (tied on in the end!), topped off by my camera looped around my wrist. I left my handbag at home as we had no room for it, and besides, there was no need to bring my money as Prince Charming and I have a joint bank account - his wallet just goes in his belt bag which he wears around his waist - a man bag!! ;0)
Being an organised person, I suggested we leave the house at 11.00am to get to the zoo by 12pm, which is the time we agreed on, with the person meeting us at the destination. This means, we simply don't load the kids in the car at 11.00am; we have to be in the car loading zone by 10.45am at the very latest. Did that happen? No sirree! The youngest Princess had to pee, followed by the next Princess, and baby Cherub and Prince BOTH had "number two's" in their nappies (remembering that Prince has special needs, and he has no control over his bowel and bladder; TMI (Too Much Information here!). Queen Daisy digs into JUMBO bag and forages around for the baby wipes, an extra Pull-Up, and clean shorts for Prince. Ditto for baby Cherub! :0) :0)
By 11.00am we actually start loading kids in car; kids declare they are starving even though they just had morning tea! Can't win! Kids eat crackers in car and we have lift off! Princess 4 declares she needs to pee again and we kindly tell her to wait. She forgets she has to pee anyway, as the lure of food distracts her.
Both princesses say they are too hot. Two minutes later, both testify to being too cold. A game of "I Spy" instantly deflects any doubts about the correct temperature of what the car should be. The Princesses start to have a "tiff" in the car about ones favourite colour being blue while the other says she likes blue too. Due to x4 children's car seats, neither adult is able to sit in the backseat with the cherubs anymore. This means we have learnt the true meaning of, "Use your authority!" ie use authority in your voice, as there is no longer any option to sit in between any children. The 2012 "wish list" only has one item on it this year. MINI-VAN or PEOPLE MOVER! ie an 8 seater with more space. Ahhhhh, those very words bring music and great refreshing to my ears!
Destination reached bang on time. Greeter at the zoo dishes out compliments to us: "You got here on time - you are SO organised! How do you manage with four cherubs?!". Little does she know..... until she sees JUMBO bag - in her mind, JUMBO bag is what she would take for a whole week on holiday; not just for one afternoon outing!
A few days later and now it is Saturday, and here I am blogging, with two hours and thirty minutes to go, until we are due at a friend's house for lunch at 12pm.
Pretty soon, JUMBO bag will be back, along with another round of formula dispensers and nappy bags! Bring it on!!! :0)
One day in the distant future (I can't see that far yet in my mind's eye!), there will come a day when I will be able to simply, "Pick up my car keys, wallet and handbag, and just get in the car!", just like my friend who has the exact same wish. :0)