Thursday we had our family pictures taken. This meant that I was running all over town the week before trying to procure toddler-size black socks (they don't exist, apparently), a red hair bow (couldn't find one) and a pair of ballet flats for me that didn't display unattractive amounts of toe cleavage. I haven't bought shoes for myself in a long time. I haven't bought clothes in a long time except for things that come from Costco, because navigating a department store with two restless toddlers in a boat-sized stroller is like trying to whack your way through a dense, dry forest with a wheelbarrow full of lit fireworks -- you know your cargo is going to explode at any second, and when it does the whole place is going to burn down and you'll be escorted out in handcuffs while a fatherly policeman says, "Sorry, Ma'am, but you should have known better than to bring toddlers in here."
Of course, this may explain why the clothes-folding employee at the front of the store glared at me when I entered, and then again when I plucked two stuffed lions off the shelf and handed them to my whining toddlers. She glared at me a third time when, after 6.2 minutes of running through the aisles pulling every red shirt I could see, Matthew started shrieking at the top of his lungs (he's one of those ear-splitting fireworks). That got not only a glare, but a snide comment about my bad mothering skills. Honestly, lady, this is Kohl's, not Barney's Fifth Avenue. Needless to say I bought the winning shirt in two different sizes so that I could try them on at home, away from Medusa and her stink eye.
Also tucked in the past week were three or four (or five) trips to Children's Place, and because it was right next door, I stepped into Pier 1 to look at the 50% off Halloween decorations. It was the most stressful experience of my whole life. I couldn't have been more twitchy if I'd had a live grenade in my pocket. First of all, my stroller didn't actually fit in the store, which meant the path to the Halloween decorations was so complex that by the time I was ready to leave (about 60 seconds after arriving because Leah had already de-shelved several items for closer inspection and I didn't want to put myself at risk for paying $98 to take home a pile of shattered glass) I couldn't get out of the store. They actually had to move a display for me so I could exit.
But it all turned out well in the end. I got some cute Halloween decorations and I managed to find coordinated outfits for the whole family. And our photo session went swimmingly, if you don't count the the part where Leah and/or Matthew cried the whole time, refused to smile or get off my lap, and regularly used my shirt as a kleenex. Or where Leah skinned her knee and bled all over her tights and Michael managed to spill an entire bottle of water in my diaper bag. Oh well, if it's lifestyle photography we were looking for, what could be more authentic than pictures of David and me that involve both toddlers hanging on my legs screaming bloody murder and Michael dancing around us like an annoying housefly? Authenticity at its best. I can't wait to see the good shots.
If there are any.