My Mom my sister and I took the kids out to the tulip festival in Woodburn the last week of March, and while the tulips were absolutely stunning, I'm not sure if it was worth the sanity that it cost me this year. We had a great time out there last year, but this year I think I may have had just one to many kids to enjoy it. We ended up with some cute pictures but what the pictures don't show is our ride home.
After spending a couple of hours at the festival looking at the flowers and playing on the playground I decided that it was time to begin our drive home. So, I fed Hazel at the playground, took Sadie and Wyatt to the bathroom, stopped by the gift shop to buy some tulips to take home, and then loaded the kids into the car feeling tired but mostly successful. Then, literally 3 minutes down the road, Hazel starts to cry and I start the internal debate of whether or not to pull over. She didn't eat very good because it was hot and crazy at the playground so feeding her might make the ride home easier, but there was no guarantee. Then Sadie pipes in with a request to use the bathroom to which I reply in slight exasperation "I just took you, you can't have to go already." She promptly reminds me that I did take a LONG time choosing my flowers and that she drank a lot. Grr. Then I remember there's a McDonalds with a playground just before you get onto the freeway so I think alright, as much as I just want to get home, I'll pull over and fed Hazel again while the kids play. Then we will try again to make the trip home.
So we pull over and unload, I swing Hazel in the car seat to calm her, we pile into the McDonalds bathroom, all 5 of us, and then through McDonalds, which looks deceivingly empty, into the playplace where we discover it's not even close to empty. Immediately I remember that it's spring break as we walk into a room packed with kids much bigger than my own. Uggg but what am I to do? Sadie and Wyatt are already half way into the playground as I yell at them to come back out and help Cooper. I set the baby carrier next to me as I try to take Coopers shoes off, and it is immediately swarmed by sweaty kids wanting to see the baby. At this point I'm about to have a panic attack as I give fake smiles, pick up my baby, and try to escape to a quieter corner to feed her. Unfortunately, as I sit down I hear Cooper start to cry and remember that this playground was a disaster the last time I was here too as it was just to difficult for Cooper. At this point I'm realizing that this was not a good decision and that we have to go before I loose it. So here I find myself practically begging the kids, bribing them with their own sodas, to return to the car. As I'm negotiating their return I'm knowing that it's a lot to ask of them, and that they're disappointed, and that it doesn't seem fair to them. Sadie and Wyatt are good sports putting their shoes back on but Cooper is not having it. So I do what any good Mom does and with Hazel's car seat in one arm I pick him up my now screaming toddler with the other and carry him flailing and yelling back through McDonalds, all the while begging Wyatt to walk faster and Sadie to run ahead and get the door. I feel like a complete crazy person.
So now we find ourselves back in the car. Cooper is absolutely hysterical as it is now well past nap time and I've just forced him back into his car seat. Sadie and Wyatt are begging me to give him what he wants just to make him stop, not understanding that the only thing he wants is go back inside, and I am desperate to get the car back on the road. So I quickly feed Hazel to stop her from screaming and tell Sadie and Wyatt to cover their ears to drown out Coopers screams. It takes only about 2 minutes back on the road for Wyatt to fall asleep but Cooper obviously has plenty of energy left because he screams for the next 20 minutes into Salem before he finally begins to wind down.
Now comes the next decision. Cooper is about to fall asleep and we're about 20 minutes from home so now I'm thinking do I drive around to try to give him a longer nap, do I just leave him in the car when I get home and hope he sleeps, or do I try to carry him to his bed but risk waking him when we get home? What should I do? Then I remember there is a Sonic just off the freeway and it's happy hour. Yay!!! We're never out at this time of day so I ask Sadie, now the only one awake, if she'd like to get a slushy while the others sleep. She of course says yes so we exit the freeway and immediately I begin to have second thoughts as Hazel starts to stir as the car comes to its first stop and I realize that there are actually quite a lot of stop lights between me and Sonic. However, I'm feeling already committed and I've already disappointed Sadie once so I rock the car seat at the lights and we make it to Sonic, order our drinks, and as we wait for the 2 cars ahead of us to get their food Hazel starts to loose it again. Ahhh So we get our drinks I whip the car into a parking spot and pull Hazel out to feed her and and calm her down yet again. Then, no kidding, as the car seat clicks back into place with a sleeping Hazel Cooper wakes up and again begins working himself into hysterics as I try to reason with him while getting the car back on the road.
Cooper ends up crying on and off for the next 15 minutes but luckily Hazel sleeps and as we pull of the freeway 5 minutes from home I say to Sadie, "When we get home will you go upstairs and get everyone's blankets? We are going to rest on the couch until Daddy gets home. Mommy will put on Beauty and the Beast! (a movie we saw for the first time the night before)" Then to my complete shock, Cooper snaps out of his mood and says, "The Beast?!? I like the Beast!!!" and just like that my sweet Cooper is back from wherever it was he went and so we end our day on the couch, after a 3 hour drive that should have taken 1, waiting for Daddy to come home and make us dinner after his long day cuz that's just the kind of guy he is!
Wyatt, Payton, Autumn, Sadie, & Cooper
Their faces pretty much sum it up.