First of all, many thanks for the great tips. They could not have come at a better time and I know others enjoyed reading your words of wisdom for ideas for their family.
NO ONE napped yesterday afternoon. After almost an hour of room time (not starting until almost 3pm) I gave up and decided when the sitter arrived we would all go run a few errands.
I desperately needed to go to Sears to get the battery replaced in my Yukon. The mall has a terrific indoor play area, so I thought we'd get a change of scenery and wear them out. Of course, the 10 minute drive put both boys to sleep at 4:45pm!
I had to get the battery replaced because it has been dying a slow death for over a week. I have been petrified it was going to finally die completely one rainy afternoon when I had a carful of groceries and hungry, tired children. So, as we pulled into the repair bay and the mechanic informed me it was going to be about 45 minutes, there was no choice but to wake everyone up and try to get them excited about the indoor playground.
The plan was for the children to enjoy playing under the watchful eye of the sitter while I stepped into the Gap quickly to grab a pair of leggings. Of course, K needed to go potty as soon as I had stepped into the Gap. I had no sooner started tapping my toes to the overhead music as I exhaled pent up stress when I heard little boy voices. "We don't need to go potty. We want to come wiff you."
This is a quick errand. How painful can this be? There are only two of them. Unfortunately, the leggings were right next to a huge rack of belts. The boys immediately started running through the belts shouting, "Look! It's like a car wash!" As belts fell all around them and I attempted to get the scene back under control, I realized I am now that woman that I once looked at and thought pridefully, "that will never happen when I have children.'" I knelt down on their level, held their hands and tried with my firmest, most serious Mommy voice (in hushed tones of course) to caution the boys that they could not run or squeal or otherwise ransack the store. As soon as I released their hands they were off...back into the belt rack! It didn't help that the teenager working in the store thought it was hilarious.
As I called them back out of the rack, P gleefully reached both arms up and latched on to the sweater I was holding. Before I knew what had happened, he had lifted up his feet and was swinging with his whole body from this unpurchased sweater, shouting "Woo Hoo!" Three year old boys are Wild Indians.
I decided my attempt to 'quickly purchase leggings' was not worth this and aborted my mission. We walked quickly out of the store, with their little hands touching EVERYTHING along the way like moths to a flame. A mannequin and a glass topped display were almost casualties.
As we entered the main hall I told them they needed to sit in Time Out until they could calm down. The closest spot to sit happened to be massage chairs. As I stepped back and surveyed the scene I couldn't help but giggle at my tiny boys sitting in those large, black fake leather massage chairs...pouting.
They were released to play. The sitter returned with K. Order was restored. The battery was repaired. I even managed to sneak back into the Gap ALONE and get the leggings.
We had our couples small group, then I had a Pastor Search Committee meeting and a 9pm trip to the grocery store. When I returned home and sat down to read your comments they gave me hope for this afternoon...and a giggle as I imagined freshly bathed children running laps around the house as classical music played.
I will try to have realistic expectations of my 3 year olds. I will look for the humor and embrace this chapter of life. I think that, in and of itself, will go a long way toward a happier mood in our family.