Square Marbles

Around our house, when we talk about bad days, we say that our marbles just won't roll. We have abbrieviated that to square marble days. Today was the quintessential square marble day for me.

It started out well enough. The kids let me sleep until 7:00 or so and ate their breakfasts without much complaint. I got on the (SLOW) internet at my in-law's and found the directions to the warehouse where I get to pick up T's big Christmas gift. When the printer was out of ink, I should have known what I was in for.

I hurriedly scribbled down the directions and herded the kids into my car. I had done some rudimentary measurements and decided that a recliner could fit into the back of my Ford Freestyle. I figured that as a worst case scenario I could scoot a carseat over and fold 1/3 of the backseat down. No problem.

The day was clear and traffic was light. We made it to the warehouse without incident. Well except that Q fell asleep. No nap for him! We went in and the gals at the counter were very nice. Even when the afore mentioned napless toddler had a tantrum on the floor then went to the water cooler and made a giant mess. Soon they had me sign a paper and we were off to the loading dock to get the chair. Wow, that was easy!

Um, except the box they wheeled out was the size of my first car. The guy was very helpful, and even took it out of the box to see if we could shoe-horn it in that way, but no dice. It was simply too big to fit into the back of a small-ish SUV.

So we had to drive all the way back home to get another larger vehicle to go retrieve the chair. And unlike Small Town, all the way home was 22 miles or so. And there was a wreck. The formerly clear highway was at a standstill. It took us over an hour to get home. Ack! With Z asking about every 30 seconds if it is time to eat yet. Imagine that episode of the Simpsons where Bart and Lisa are asking to go to the amusement park. I never felt so much empathy for Homer!

When we get back to Casa de In-law, I have to install carseats into the grandparental car, which took an age. I am not used to their baby seats, but I didn't want to take ours out of my car. When I get that done, I change Q's diaper and load the munchkins up (again).

Z requested McD's for lunch, but we had eaten there two days previously and I just wasn't up for it again. I decided to head to the food court and the play area at the mall. We were cruising the parking garage when we started smelling a terrible smell. I was thinking to myself, "Wow, there must be a sewer leak. I'll have to be sure to park far away from it."

I park and pull out the stroller and open the door to unload Q. OMFG! My beautiful little boy has turned into a pretty little poop machine*. Danger! Danger! He has dug both hands into his diaper (damn his big boy Levi's!) and has rubbed it all over his belly, up his arms, on his seat, and all over his clothes. Of course, since I had just changed him, I had forgetten to throw in the diaper bag, and there wouldn't have been a change of clothes in it in any case.

The stroller goes back into the car and we head back to home base. Upon further inspection, there was nothing for it but that Q had to be bathed. Oh, the humanity! His skin was absolutely stained with poop. Even after a very thorough washing, I kept getting whiffs of merde. Lovely. And we get to drive home today. Yay!

Back to the mall. Eat lunch. It takes some doing, but both kids eventually eat a decent meal. Or at least as decent as is available at the mall food court. Z flat out refused to go see Santa, which was a pity because there was NO line to speak of, and we headed over to the (germ infested) play area.

In a departure from the rest of the day, the play area was great. Not too crowded, but with a number of kids just the right age for Z and Q to play with. Q did manage to escape a time or two when I was talking to Z, but he didn't get far. Turns out I can run if the situation demands it! I'm sure my knees/boobs will tell me about it tommorow.

The fun ended when it was time to go, both for the children and for me. Z decided to engage in some flat out defiance and refused to come get her shoes on. Q kept jumping out of the stroller and trying to run back into the play area. I finally browbeat the two of them into the family restroom - which was awesome! Grown-up and tiny potties! - and discover that I had, erm, intestinal distress from eating too many apricots. Great.

By the time we are bound for furniture pick-up it is 4:00. Ginormousville rush-hour traffic is starting to ramp up. In spite of this, we make decent time going accross town, but let us just say I was in a hurry to get there. I was afraid to fart. The ladies at the warehouse are surprised to see me back, but I assure them I don't want to pay $80+ for delivery.

The loading dude wheels out the gigantic box and takes one look at the Expedition and shakes his head. I was all, "But I called and the guy said it would fit! Can we take it out of the box?" We did. And it fit. Barely. Whew. My kids would have learned some new words if it hadn't.

We crawl back home in stop-and-go traffic. I feel crippled because I can't see out of the rearview mirror and the giant SUV has blind spots that elephants could walk through. Yes, I was the one in the giant copper-colored car putting on my blinker a mile before my lane changes and hoping for the best as I eased over. Good times.

When we at last return to Grandma's house, I discover that Q has had another blowout. And then another. And another. His baboon butt is back and he howls with each wipe. It became clear that we were marooned in Ginormousville for one more night.

I am totally bummed. T was finally going to be home and I was looking forward to a great big hug. As it is, Z will miss school tomorrow and T will be at work when we get home. The world was just agin' me today.

The good news? Tomorrow has to be better.

*How hip am I? Slipping in a little NIN reference.

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