We leave the house this morning to head to the library, needing something to occupy us on these days that are too hot to head to the pool or the backyard. The quick run-in and pick up of books goes fairly smoothly, although Livi begins to grow impatient as we wait in line to check out our books, and Sammy has made a poopy diaper. I panic a little because I'm not sure I put wipes back in the car after Ryan cleaned it out this week.
We encounter a friend and her two little ones in the parking lot and stop for a moment to say hi. I find wipes in the bottom of the stroller (thankfully!) and change Sammy's poopy diaper on the floor of the van while Livi's irritation begins to grow to a full-on tantrum. It's hot, and I'm starting to feel flustered while I clean up the mess, strap the boys in, and try my best to comfort a now-wailing Olivia.
I have promised the boys that we can eat lunch at Chick-fil-a, and that yes, we will go in instead of hitting the drive-thru so that they can play in the coveted (read: germy) play area. The whole way there, Livi's cries are escalating, and I'm wondering what in the world is wrong. I rub her legs as I lean way back in my seat, chanting a soothing shoosh, but nothing seems to be helping. I figure she's just hungry and maybe a bit tired, but will feel better when I pick her up to go into the restaurant.
By the time we arrive she is so hysterical she has begun writhing in her seat, trying to escape from the clutches of her five point harness, and her face is beet red with frustration and emotion. We head into the Chick and I grab a rolling highchair to plop her in while I order, pay, and hopefully navigate successfully to a table near the play area. She is having none of it, and is trying to climb from the high chair while reaching for me and continuing to scream hysterically. People are starting to stare. The boys are doing fairly well, but Sam seems to be deliberately antagonizing her by pulling on her legs and dancing all around us. I manage to order, pay, and get the drinks so I can park the boys at the table and run back up for the food. Oliva continues to scream. I desperately try removing her shoes, checking her all over for any spot of injure, but give up and just hold her in my lap. Finally, after we begin to eat (and after she has pushed food away- NEVER HAPPENS), she calms down on my lap and begins to regain composure. We eat and I'm starting to relax a little. The boys head into the play area and Olivia and I munch on fries and sing songs, waiting for them to come running back time and again to cram a nugget in their mouths before heading back off.
It's time to go and I tell Sam to go get his shoes. He brings Jack's. I send him back to get HIS shoes and also to tell Jack it is time to go. He comes back to report that Jack is stuck and needs help. I have to take Livi with me into the play area to see what's going on and as I call up to him, a teary voice responds that he's "at the vewy top" and is too scared to come down. Some older kids try to lead him to the slide, but he won't follow. I start trying to put Sam's shoes on, who is demanding to do it "hisself" and he proceeds to put them on the wrong feet. Meanwhile, Jackson's cries are becoming more frantic, and a father comes in to ask if I want him to go after Jack. He starts up the plastic trail, and Jack appears at the bottom of the slide in the arms of a 7 year old boy. I thank them both profusely before putting shoes on Jack, and getting the heck outta dodge. Screw the heat, I think we'll be heading to the pool next week. Or maybe at least the gym nursery.