Friday the 13th

Do you ever feel like you mistakenly looked into Pandora’s box?  That’s how I felt yesterday morning. I get news updates sent regularly via text, but yesterday I thought “I want to read the news in its entirety.” There was nothing but horrific and depressing and appalling news headlines from this country and in this world. Oh my goodness!  Do you ever wish you could unsee or unread some of the things that you come across?  I just put my hand over my mouth and quietly sat in shock and disbelief. 

Sometimes, when I am perturbed by something I learn and I can’t get it out of my head, I turn on some mindless TV show, or music and I try to focus on something else.  Right now, it’s writing this post.  🙂 Instead of sitting here with the recent news in my head, how about a fun post?  A mental break from all of these terrible news headlines sounds good.  You may even be interested in hearing all about my Friday the 13th.  Not really superstitious, but I have had many a days where things just happened coincidentally and too easily it was fitting to say “It is Friday the 13th.”

Muaaaahahaha…    

Anyway here we go.

[ Let’s preface this by saying that the series of events in this post pertain to one day in the life of a busy mom.  As a mom, I try so hard to teach our children to be independent and efficient, especially Little M.  It is an ongoing battle and I’m not sure if I will gain a victory win, but I’m determined.  Also as a mom, I tend to take on a lot of responsibilities.  I think my personality is partly to blame, but also the fact that I am a mom and I am constantly busy busy busy.  The only way to survive 4 children is to be one step ahead!  Okay, sometimes I’m falling in at a half-step… ]

So what happens when you’re upstairs brushing knots out of your hair at the last minute?  Ask Little M and she would say she missed her school bus.  I routinely feel like I waste my breath everyday when I explain to her the method to my madness—which in this case was for her to take care of all of her grooming activities before she came down the stairs.  Efficiency and timeliness is apparently not a quality that is highly sought after at the ripe young age of 10.

Anyway, of all days for this to happen, it had to be on the day that I let Big D drive the truck to work; the only vehicle that fits all of the kids.  I looked at his little sedan and thought “Yeah right.”  The only other option?  Walk her to school myself.  And by myself, I mean me, Little M, and all of her siblings.  UGH!  To use the moment as a teachable lesson, I acted like I was not going to walk her at all.  I drew her a silly map that day that resembled a one-dimensional Tetris game, and told her to get walking.  That we did not have a vehicle to drive her there.  That she should listen to what I say because I say it for a reason.  *Sigh*  She was not happy at all with the idea.  And I was very frustrated with the situation.  I wasn’t upset over the fact that I had to walk her to school.  In fact I welcome some form of physical activity every day.  Thing is, all three littler ones had to be woken up, dressed, fed, and ready in a matter of about 20 minutes.  Oh, and I only had a double stroller.  Two out of the three walkers had little legs that might not be able to keep up.  The school is at least a 2-mile hike round trip. I thought to myself, “If Little S decides she is tired of walking, we are going to have problems.”  The girls stretched their legs quite a bit, and Little L was happily taking in the change of scenery.  I was just really glad that the whole ordeal was taken like an adventure, and Little M made it to school on time.  Not part of the plan, but I’ll take it!

Friday the 13th also happened to be the date of Taylor Swift’s concert.  Later that evening, Little M and I were going to head to the concert.  I needed to get ready that afternoon.  Between taking care of the little ones and doing my hair and make-up (yes, this actually happened) I was a frazzled sweaty mess.  The sitter arrived right on time, though I was hoping for a good ten extra minutes to ensure I had everything ready.  It’s not a common thing for me to leave the Little Ones behind while I go and do something, unless I’m running to the store for an item or three.  There were things I had to think about, like what time the sitter should give them snacks, or what blanket to use for Little L.  I’m sure you mothers can relate, as I hurry around the house making mental note of things to mention to the sitter.  Thank goodness for a sitter who can take care of it all.

One thing that needed attention above everything else is my “gear” and by that, I mean my traveling pump and it’s accoutrement.  Little L is currently being breast-fed, until I get tired of doing it all by myself until I find a job or place to volunteer.  Whenever I travel further than an hour away without him, I find it necessary to bring my traveling pump and it’s parts.  That being the case for our Friday night, I was packing up my things and doing so in a hurry.  I was in such a rush I remembered halfway down the driveway that the tickets were still sitting on my desk. <Face-palm> Grabbed them and we were off!

We arrived in Raleigh and our tummies were growling.  Sadly, we were missing “pizza-and-a-movie night” with Big D and the rest of the clan.  McDonald’s it is.  The guy kid at the window had me laughing while he took our order.  That bubble of amusement and happiness deflated and fluttered out the window after we sat in a parking spot (yes we were asked to pull ahead) waiting for over 20 minutes for our order.  20 minutes!!!!  I could not believe it.  I ended up going inside, I was so mad. 

It was during that fit of fury when I realized that I had left ALL OF MY EQUIPMENT for my pump, save for the bottles and ice pack.  We are an hour and a half away from home, and 30 minutes til the concert kicked off.  Can we say stress overload?  Once we were on the road again, I realized I had no idea where the parking lot for the arena was.  My GPS app was not helping either.  We finally made it into the lot after paying $20 but at that point I was just relieved to find a spot and park.  The concert was due to start in 20 minutes, my boobs were feeling like kettle bells hanging from my chest, and I wasn’t interested in eating at that point.  I desperately needed to figure out how to relieve myself. 

I texted my husband to rant. I texted my sitter for help. 

She had been there before, obviously not in my position sitting out in a parking lot 15 minutes before a concert’s start time.  “Hand express,” she says.  I guess there is a first time for everything. 

There we were, sitting in the car outside of the arena and I was faced with the challenge of expressing by hand.  In her own little world, Little M ate her food while trying to contain her excitement for the concert.  Meanwhile, I’m desperately looking for something to cover myself from all of the die-hard Taylor Swift fans scurrying past us.  (Where is an Invisibility Cloak when you need one?)  I thought it indecent of me to be out in the open like that.  Probably would have scarred them for life.  In that moment, I was relying on Big D’s car to be housing a cover-up solution within the usual a mess I tend to find inside.  Articles of clothing and work equipment littering the floor…but that mess was nowhere to be found.  He was kind enough to clean it all out.  (Later he tells me it was all in the trunk!)  Lucky me, I found a black plastic garbage bag behind my seat.  Something is better than nothing. 

I’m sure that it looked really odd from the outside, seeing a lady covering up with a black plastic bag in the front seat of a car.  What could she be doing?  I won’t go into detail about the milk extraction process or what I dubbed as “milking.”  Just know that it did happen, it was not easy, and it took forever.  I had one small bottle with an even smaller opening to maintain as a target!  Farmers who milk their cows by hand have it easier. 

The rest of our evening went well.  I think the “bad omen” of being Friday the 13th was waning.  Little M really enjoyed herself at the concert.  Unfortunately it was a late night.  I must be getting old when I think that getting home at midnight is insane.  Maybe if I was the one who could fall asleep open-mouthed in the passenger seat, it wouldn’t have been so tiring.

Oh the things mothers go through.  When there are 4 children, breast pumps, missed school busses, special events, and Friday the 13ths… It’s no wonder why moms are so much better at multi-tasking.  We have to be. 

Superstitious or not, I hope you enjoyed reading about my Friday the 13th.    

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