It's been one of those days.
We had a simple photo shoot scheduled at Target for Elizabeth's 9-month portraits. We do this every month, for every child's first year, so it's really nothing new at this point. Until today, that is, when Murphy decided to come with us.
We're running a bit late. I'm scrambling to get the baby all dolled up, and searching everywhere for her other little shoe that looks like a pink satin ballet slipper. She hasn't worn them in months due to the heat, and now I'm wondering why on earth I didn't locate them sooner. Oh yeah. Because I didn't decide on her outfit until half an hour before leaving. That's ok, though; we find the shoe, put the hair up into a little fountain, grab all the plethora of coupons I always cash in. What? I can't find the coupon? Ok, we're definitely going to be late, but they'll take us anyway.
We get to Target, and I prep the kids to hang on tight to the basket, because Mommy's going to run. And I mean really run, as in, huffing and puffing by the time I reach the far back corner of the store where the studio is. (Begin William Tell Overature.) I have no pride, as you can tell.
We're regulars at this studio, and I always wonder how they refer to me behind my back. Is it "Mrs. Green who's always late", or is it "the coupon lady"? No matter, they seem to like us anyway. But there are some screaming children in the waiting area, walking on the chairs. So the manager whispers to me, "Since you're a bit late, do you mind if I take those rowdy boys first so we can get them out of here?" Sure, why not. We'll go get shoes for Emma while we wait.
Did I mention that I'm planning to meet my friend, who was my Maid of Honor in our wedding, for lunch right after this photo shoot? So she shows up in the aisle of Target, and the poor thing ended up watching my two kids and her own sweet baby while Elizabeth's getting her pictures taken. It's taking forever for the lady with the unrulies to make her selections and leave. It's now noon, and we have 4 hungry, bordering-on-cranky kids. That's ok, we'll just go grab lunch as planned and everyone will settle down.
So after the new girl takes 15 minues to ring up my bill, I rush outside so we can go meet Sarah at Chick-fil-A. I try to open the passenger door on the van. Crunch. What? Why won't the door open? Oh, lovely---whoever was parked next to us apparently hit my van as they were pulling out. Deep breath. Don't get upset. Maybe they left a note? Ha! Wishful thinking. Call the hubby. Call Sarah to let her know we haven't gotten lost in the parking lot. Call the insurance company to make the claim. Assure eldest daughter that it will all be ok, and that our much-loved van is fixable.
Flustered and hungry, we head to Chick-fil-A. Get everyone unloaded while still on the phone with insurance. Go inside and face the Friday-at-noon mobs. Try to configure two adults and four small children at the table, while assuring the lady next to us that my baby will stop screaming as soon as she gets fed. Great--I just noticed baby's shoe (you know the one I had such a hard time finding?) is missing. It must've fallen off in the parking lot madness.
Ten minutes into the meal, as I'm cutting nuggets and wondering how cold my own sandwich will be by the time I get to taste it, my son starts choking. Not just the kind where he drank too fast, but the real kind of choking, where the face turns red and everyone in the restaurant is staring at you waiting to see how you're going to save your child. I'm stuck across the table from him. I lift his arms and pat his back, and calm him down so he can try to dislodge whatever's stuck in his throat. After about 20 seconds which felt like 20 minutes, he's fine.
Breathe. Try and carry on at least a shred of conversation with Sarah, who's gone out of her way to have lunch with us, and who is handling all my chaos very graciously. Gobble down my own sandwich, which is coming in handy since I hadn't had breakfast in the morning rush. Time to go. Didn't we just get here one choke ago, and with one more tiny shoe than we have now? Drive home, and greet the husband whose allergy problems have now turned full-blown sinus infection. Sigh.
Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. I now remember what the purpose of drive-throughs is. And now for the weekend...
(*Update: We just got back from having dinner at the home of some very close friends of ours, where our son got to experience throwing up for the very first time. Good thing their house is about 80% tile. It'd be a better thing if he hadn't chosen to barf on the 20% that's carpet.)