Once every 4 or 5 months I temporarily lose my mind and decide to go out shopping with all of the kids by myself. The experience is usually so exasperating and back-breaking that I don't attempt it again until enough time passes that I either forget how hard it is or think somehow it will be easier this time. Today I took all 4 kids to Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart. I put a lot of thought into how I'd transport them. (We have 2 double strollers and a baby-pack-thing that you strap on to carry baby hands-free.) A lot also depends on the size of shopping carts available. At Hobby Lobby the carts are so small that the best I could do was put the baby and Mikea in the stroller and let Joe and Dan walk free. We got lots of smiles, a few nice comments about my "helpers", and one or two glares. By the time we made it to the checkout, everything was falling apart. Mikea was crying for someone to hold her hand, and Dan and Joe were doing everything but standing quietly next to me, which is what I wanted. I don't like looking like I can't control my kids.
This is what we did at Wal-Mart: Pro: Everyone was contained. Con: Everyone was so close to each other that there was unending kicking, poking, and hat-grabbing. I did notice at least two other moms with 3 kids of similar ages to mine all piled into their carts. This made me feel less crazy. Until I had to take Joe to the bathroom. I had no idea how I was going to do it until I found the "Family Restroom". God bless the inventor of the Family Restroom. The entire cart fit inside and I was even able to go myself!
To top it off, the van started acting up and then one of the warning lights came on. I have no idea which one. Fuel pump? Who knows? I said a lot of prayers and thankfully we all made it home safely. Needless to say, it'll be a looong time before I go out solo again with the 500 Babies.