Thursday, July 17, 2008

How A Good Day Ended BADLY

*Some of you may have noticed I have a HUGE penny on my key chain. This is not only because I love Abraham Lincoln (which I do, my favorite biography of him is here), but to prevent stories like the one I am about to tell from happening. It is for the same reason I have a huge clip on the key ring and you often will see me with my keys clipped to my belt loop.*

With my sister and her family visiting, Peter working the night shift (with meetings during the day) and the boys at cub scout day camp (30 minutes away), this has been a busy week. Yesterday was especially so. Here is how it went:
  • I got the boys to my friend's house (she drives them up to camp in the morning). Since I only had time to do half my shopping yesterday, I stopped at BJ's on the way home. Matthew and Joseph were with me because I felt too guilty to leave all my kids with my sister that early in the morning.
  • I got home, put away all the groceries (the day before I had only bothered to put away the fridge and freezer stuff), and tried to clean up for a while.
  • My friend came over to play and after eating a quick lunch and gabbing for a while we made it outside. We spent enough time out on the sand bar that I burned in all the places my old swimsuit covered and my new one does not! I always enjoy having company over, it makes the beach even more enjoyable and my kids like having swimmates.
  • I had to HURRY to pick up the boys from camp (there are my two, two other brothers, and one other boy). Luckily Peter woke up in time to come with me and we had a whole 1 1/2 hours to catch up on our lives. The boys had been dying to have their friends stay late, so today was the day chosen to let them play an extra hour before their families came to pick them up. That meant more time for me out on the beach.
  • We realized (a little late), that due to Peter's schedule, the only time we could take my sister out to eat was if we went that night. The boys' friends were gone at 6:00 and we were able to leave by 6:30. This involved lots of yelling, threats of leaving children behind, and dressing Matthew over his sandy body. Still, we made it out and were sitting at Chilli's to eat by 7:10.
  • Dinner is always "fun" out. Peter had to get his salad to go (had to leave by 7:45 for work). That left us three adults to 8 children, still a better ratio than normal!! Matthew only dumped 3/4 of his food on the floor and since they had us in a corner, it wasn't too big a deal.
  • We left the restaurant around 8:30 and, as you could expect, I was pretty tired and ready to get home and send the kids to bed. This is when the whole great, fun, exhausting day crashed down like a house of cards . . .

Getting into the car, I reached for my keys. Not in their normal spot. So I checked the diaper bag pockets. Still no keys. Jean pockets? No luck. My brother in law Jared went back into the restaurant. Still no keys. Now, we were in a hurry to get into the restaurant so Peter could eat before he went to work. While driving I had attempted to make a car full of sweaty, sandy, oceany kids presentable. I remembered washing off Matthew with a wetwipe before taking him out of the car and my hands had to be empty to do this. You all know what this means!! ARGGG! Now I have 6 tired slap-happy children rambunctiously tearing through the parking lot and one tired mom trying hard not to slap them. Luckily, my sister's family can't possibly fit in my car and so we had some transportation. I drew them a map to the hospital, called and had Peter paged at work and watched my sister drive away. If you know New London, you know there was a 50% chance they got from Chili's to the hospital without getting lost.

Now, AC Moore is in the same shopping complex as Chili's, howbeit all the way across the huge parking lot. I know they close at 9, and it was now 8:45, but I thought there might be a chance I could get there in time to buy something. If only I could keep the kids occupied enough to save some portion of my sanity (plus, they ALL decided they were going to wet their pants if I didn't find a bathroom soon). So across the complex we trudged, carrying Matthew with my sunburned arms because the stroller was IN the car. Got there at 8:50 (much to the chagrin of the employees). A stop at the bathrooms and a coloring book and box of crayons later, we left the store and trudged back to Chili's parking lot. As we walked up, in pulled Tami and Jared. Now I expected them to take 30 minutes and only 15 had transpired, so I was sure they had gotten lost. No, they must have bent time and space and returned with Peter's spare key. And, when I finally opened the door, next to Matthew's car seat sat my keys.

Here is my "regular" spot, where my keys should have been. I have attached a key ring directly to the diaper bag to keep them findable:

*And on an unrelated note, when I unpacked my books, my favorite Abe Lincoln biography (A Team of Rivals) was missing. If I loaned it out to someone and forgot, please let me know!*


  1. First of all, thank you for the comment that you enjoyed the visit part because I did quick calculating when I read your header and realized I might have been to blame for your hectic day. AND your burn. Very relieved to hear I was the good part.

    I can absolutely relate to the rambunctious kids part. We were at Lowe's tonight and mid-discussion I told P we had to leave immediately. The boys were building steam and ready to climb the walls.

    I would like to have seen the looks on the ACMoore employees faces as your crowd entered at 8:50. Huge kudos to Tami and Jared. I've never met someone who didn't get lost in New London.

  2. Wow. What a day. Lucky that Tami and Jared were there! By the way, I'm pretty sure that I have Team of Rivals. I'll check my bookshelf for sure and let you know.

  3. I'm glad you have such a cool sister to help you out all the time.

  4. I have locked my keys in the car a couple of times. Only once with a baby inside though.

    And...once we were heading into a kmart a few minutes before closing and as we walked up to the door the employee ran to the door, closed them and jumped to lock the door.

  5. Wow, that sounds crazy! Just think if only you had stayed home to play Mario Kart with us none of that would have happened. Oh well. And, by the way, I'm glad to know I am in the loop, I didn't even know Tami and Jared were there! Hope you guys have a little more fun the rest of the time than you did that night.

  6. Wow aren't you glad that Tami and Jared were there. You would have been stuck there without any where to turn. That would have been a nightmare. We use to have a spare key in a magnetic box under the car. It can in handy on those occasions.

  7. Charlotte, I love your blog! Will you please send me the address because I found your blog by reading responses to Channing's blog. My email is This story is hilarious. And it makes me feel good to know that I'm not the only one that threatens to leave somebody home. Although the fact that I only have two and you have six and I'm already making that threat is another story. I'm glad it all worked out and I miss you and your family. I hope to hear from you soon.
    Brookeh Call

  8. If only my life were this interesting!