Once every few months I get the urge to take all five boys to the library (I go more often than once every few months, but I don't take them). Today was that day. You might be wondering why I don't take them more than once every few months. I think the following will clear that up.
I thought I had a plan to keep them all in check. Baby in the big stroller, with the basket. Crackers for when he got bored. Two sippy cups...one filled with milk for N, one filled with juice for M. And the highlight of my plan: M's "leash". If we handed out awards here at the Academy, M would definitely win the "Boy Most Likely To Escape" award. Because of this, we bought him a nice furry little bear "backpack" that has a nice furry little "leash" attached to it. Knowing I'd have M chained to me like a prisoner gave me the confidence to execute this field trip to the library.
As we were looking through the audio books aisles, I thought M was following me but figured out he wasn't when I reached the end of his leash and pulled him over. This made him cry and proclaim (loudly) "Mommy! You pulled me over!". Now, getting 'looks' from other mothers (mothers who are there with a single toddler) because you have your child on a leash is one thing....getting 'looks' from other mothers because you have your child on a leash AND he is crying because you pulled him over with the leash is a bit more embarrassing.
I didn't let this deter me. We were on a quest for books to fill our heads with knowledge. We persevered and we finished gathering books.
I let the boys play a game on a kids computer while I sat at the table next to them and looked over the books that L and Z had picked. I put all the books that passed my inspection in our bags in the basket of the stroller and said, "All right guys. It's time to go." They all stood up without fussing or complaining that they wanted to keep playing. I must admit I felt a split second of pride in how well this visit had gone until M started running....holding onto the end of his leash.
I told L to catch him. Which caused Z and J to chase him, too. M thought this was great fun, and he was out of the children's section in the blink of an eye and running up the aisle to the checkout counters. Z and J were hot on his tail, but M is fast. (I should mention here that the exit doors to the library are not too far from the checkout counters and they've got those nifty little square blue handicapped buttons that open the door. M loves those buttons.) L (the only one I actually told to catch M) faithfully stopped at the exit to the children's area to tell me M was still running.
Mind you, I've got the full size stroller with the baby and 36 books in bags in the basket to weigh it down. But we made an attempt to chase M (trying to dodge a couple who was walking slowly and taking up the entire very wide aisle), and finally reached him by the checkout counter. By this time Z and J had tackled him and had him pinned on the ground trying to wrestle away the end of the leash that M was so faithfully holding onto. I calmly picked him up by his overall straps, placed the leash around my wrist, and started placing our books on the counter to check out like nothing had happened.
Did I mention that I think I deserve a medal?