Last week I talked about saying goodbye to my stroller. It has been more heart wrenching knowing that I don’t have it than anything. Today, I booked a lunch with my dad downtown and I really feel like I had a major accomplishment as far as parenting goes. If parenting was a game, I would have unlocked a major achievement here. Leveling up and everything.
I had two choices when deciding what course of action to take today: use the wagon in the downtown shopping mall with all the business people walking around or trust my kids to walk around the mall, and hope that we don’t have any mass tantrums or have all of them get tired at once.
My line of though went something like this.
“Where should I park? If I park by the mall, then we have to walk to Dad’s office and it might be a struggle to walk back. I could park by Dad’s office and then walk to the mall where we are meeting him, but I have to get there early to get shopping done. Should I use the wagon? I don’t really want to use the wagon. They will probably be okay to walk.
We could take the train because the kids love the train. It’s free parking at the zoo and we can take the train to the mall and then walk to Dad’s office and then take the train home from a different station. Yes. That will work. It gives them motivation to leave and walk to the train. But can they walk that long? Should I take the wagon? Will they listen when we are waiting for the train or will they run and slip and fall off the train platform? No. I think they will be okay. Dad is there in between if we need to carry two kids. And I think they will be okay knowing that they get to see Papa and the train. I think I’m going to trust that they can do this. Come on kids. Don’t make me regret this. ”
And so the adventure began.
Without the wagon.
Lord help me.
Before we got to the train station I gave the kids the lowdown on how I wanted things to go. I told them that it is dangerous waiting for the train and that they had to hold hands. There was no running on the platform and they had to wait with me far away from the line. When I told them to walk fast, they had to walk fast. I told them that downtown is busy with lots of people and that they need to hold hands in the mall and crossing streets. Generally. Hold hands all the time.
When we got out, I told them to go to the train instead of visiting the animals. They did it. There was no one who was upset about not seeing the animals. We held hands at the train platform. I bought my ticket and totally left it in the machine. Oops. At least I paid? Haha. But the train ride was a success. We waited nicely. We walked quickly to the train and got in. We all shared one seat because the train was full and the kids sat on their butts while doing so. No fighting. WIN.
We got out and headed to the shopping mall. Once again, everyone held hands and behaved very well. We headed to the store we needed to go to and while we waited for my order to be completed, we ran to the bathroom. Everyone went pee and we headed back to the store. While waiting, we hit our first little hiccup as the girls wanted to see Papa and not wait for me.
Sorry sales people! At least your floor is a little cleaner from my children as they laid on the floor crying. Bonus: it wasn’t pee on your floor. Extra points there!
Once we got to Papa, Eva decided she was done. She was upset throughout most of lunch. Not sure why, but she was. The kids weren’t huge fans of what I ordered them, so I lined up to get something else at the food court. I was only a couple tables away from them, so as I waited for the food, and listening to Eva cry, I spoke loudly across the tables “You’re okay!”.
One of the men sitting at the table beside me looked up from his phone like I was a crazy person. In which I said “Sorry. Just talking to my daughter. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you you’re okay. But I can if you want!” Pretty sure he thought I was nuts. Which, I probably am. You try raising twins!
Meal number two was successful and then we headed to my Dad’s office. I’m really proud of the girls for walking as far as they did. We carried them over one plus 15 and they walked the rest, about a 7 minute walk for a normal person. A litttle longer for 2 year olds. But they ROCKED the walking through downtown!
Our last hiccup was me talking to the security person in the elevator after my lovely daughter, Eva, decided that the bell button was the one that needed to be pushed…. oops. We visited the office, and left for the train successfully without anyone getting upset. Caught the train. Remembered to grab my ticket. Got off the train (almost lost a shoe!) and then breathed a HUGE sigh of relief as we headed to the van.
It is really such a good feeling when your kids complete a challenge that you place in front of them. Our adventure was about 2 and a half hours long, and we got everything done that we wanted to do. Jack was amazing and is such a good kid. I’m so lucky he acts as such a great role model for the girls.
After I got the kids in the van, I was so proud. I felt like we had accomplished something really amazing. It was the first big trip we did with all three kids and myself without help the entire time. I’m glad I had a little help from my dad, but ultimately, this was an achievement that was completed by the kids and I. I now know that we can go on longer trips to malls or other places and not have to bring a wagon. I’m so proud of them!
Parenting Achievement Unlocked!