(Above, from left: Christian, age 8, (on his lap) Autumn, 5 or 6 months old, Gwen, 3yrs 4 months, Jenna, 2yrs 3 months. Taken on the last Christmas we spent with my grandmother. )
I was going through some old files and I found this, dated Friday, June 18th, 2004. It was in with a bunch of old emails I sent my sister when she was serving in Iraq with the Marine Corps. I used to send her all kinds of stories about the kids and our daily life:
Tuesday was a really pretty day and I had to go get some groceries. I figured since it was such a nice day I would schedule our trip to the grocery store around Afterschool Adventures (story hour & crafts for 5 to 10 year olds) at the library for Christian (at the time, age 8). Gwen(just a few months shy of 3 years old) and Jenna (just a few months shy of 2 years old) haven't had much experience with the library but they love to sit and read stories at home so I figured while Christian was in story hour i'd sit with Gwen and Jenna and read (in theory this was a really nice idea.)
I got the kids ready-while putting Gwen's outfit on I noticed the top fit her but the little shorts were a bit too big-I really liked the outfit and I pinned the shorts so they wouldn't fall down.
We went to the library and Christian went straight to the story hour room and I let Gwen and Jenna out of the stroller. Holding each of their hands firmly, I walked them down the picture book aisle so we could pick out a book to read. We got to a book they liked and it was really wedged in there, so I let go of their hands for a second and squatted down to get the book. Big mistake. As soon as I let go of their hands they TOOK OFF. Before I could get my 8 and 1/2 month pregnant bulky body back up from a squatting position they were already at the end of the aisle. DID THEY GO THE SAME WAY AT THE END OF THE AISLE???? OF COURSE NOT!!!! They parted ways, running and giggling in two different directions. Jenna headed for the grown up section and Gwen went screeching through the children's section.
I figured i'd get Jenna first, as a) she is smaller and easier to catch, and b) she is very tiny and easy for someone to pick up and take off with (yeah, i'm paranoid.) I got ahold of Jenna pretty quickly and strapped her into the stroller.
With Gwen I tried a different tactic because i'm so big and pregnant that it's hard to catch her when she starts running (she can be pretty fast.) I called out softly "Bye Gwennie, i'm leaving you..." and started acting like I was walking towards the front door. I heard this screeching giggle and to my horror she ran out from between two aisles of books-totally BUTT NAKED from the waist down. I guess those shorts that had been too big were falling down as she ran and they pulled her Pull Up down with them. Rather than have them slow her down, she must have taken the time to stop and step out of them. I had to CHASE her, half naked, running and squealing with glee, as she called out "You can't catch meeeee!!" in a sing song voice, through the busy library. It was mortifying. Some people were giving us mean looks, others were laughing like mad, and the librarians (bless them!) were 'not paying attention'. I am SO glad they chose to ignore what was already a pretty darned embarrassing situation. I finally got ahold of Gwen and found her shorts and pull up in the middle of one of the aisles. Rather than parade her around the library half naked some more to get her to the bathroom, I laid her down in the aisle behind the stroller and threw her shorts/pull ups back on and then strapped her into the stroller. I swear when we picked up Christian and walked out of there I wouldn't have been surprised to hear cheers and clapping!!
I actually signed Gwennie up for preschool story hour once a week while I was there but my doc doesn't want me walking around anymore until i'm a tiny bit further along so I won't have to go through another library experience for a while. (I think I should probably be thankful...lol.)
They are normally very good in stores and restaurants and such so their behavior at the library really surprised me!