The Meltdown

"The five day outlook is calling for intense sunshine followed by the end of the world." -Fast Tony in Ice Age, the Meltdown

Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother - you're not sure what you've got but you're pretty sure you're not going to like it. --Jeff Foxworthy

Diapers. Such a wonderful invention yet I can't seem to escape a single baby-hood without at least one diaper "incident"....or is it one a week?! At any rate, people have asked how things are going with five children and I have to admit, I still don't truly know since we have had grandparents here to help for the majority of the last four weeks. I can tell you though, having a newborn is always an adventure, whether it is your first or twelfth.

For example, last week I took Lily and Solomon to Costco. For the sake of famous last words: it really did seem like a good idea at the time. We had just finished up at a party at Pump it Up and then dropped Madeline off at a birthday party and had two hours to kill before retrieving her. So I figured it would be a great time to take the car to Costco to get the tires rotated and do a little shopping. Of course, I had forgotten that whole thing about newborns needing to eat every two hours, or whenever it is least convenient, whichever comes first.

So after dropping the car off at the tire center, the two kids and I went strolling leisurely through the store: Lily sitting in the front of the cart tasting all the samples with me and Solomon snoozing in his car seat inside the cart. It was a blissful, quiet minute. Then, Lily decided she wanted to walk and Solomon began to stir. It soon became very apparent that the baby was no longer content in the car seat so we pulled over at the fire exit doors to check things out. Sure enough, Solomon had a diaper *issue*.

To make a long story short, Solomon felt it was a perfectly good time to try out his new set of lungs (which are apparently from the same manufacturer as that of a bull horn) while I quickly discovered not only did he have a full on diaper blow out but the only diaper I had on me was Liam's size 5. I quickly reframed my initial discouragement into thankfulness that at least I had a diaper on me (three cheers for progress) and proceeded to make it work, amusing myself with the thought that on Solomon the size 5 basically fit like a disposable onesie.

Now, for those of you without kids or much baby experience, you might be thinking, "Great, problem solved, end of story." But of course, you'd be very wrong. Move over Israel because Solomon, now King of the Jungle, was not done roaring just yet. He was awake and had a fresh full-body diaper and for his last trick, he was now ravenous. I grabbed the cart, reassured Lily we'd come back for the rest of the samples in a few minutes and made my way slowly toward the front of the store, with Solomon screaming over my shoulder. There was no shortage of pity-looks from strangers in Costco that day. As luck would have it, when we neared the Pharmacy two older women were standing there chatting and immediately started to ooh and aah over the baby. Not wanting to be rude, I stopped to let them see him mid-scream and explained he was ready to eat, like it or not. They laughed and I think began telling stories of their own children when they were that age but I managed to excuse myself; after all, by this point, Solomon was in hysterics, Lily was telling me she needed to go potty and my body was metamorphosing into its Bessie the Milking-Cow persona (not too unlike the Hulk, but leakier). Fortunately, that little "chatting" break had allowed me to spot a nice little nook in the pharmacy: the consultation/immunization/blood pressure room, complete with chairs and door for privacy. I quickly asked one of the pharmacists if I might use the room for a few minutes and leaving my basket, car seat and all, outside, the kids and I scurried inside. (I figured the dirty diaper sitting near the handle of our cart would be great protection for our stuff.)

I started feeding Solomon and within moments, my phone rang. It was the tire center explaining they couldn't rotate the tires because my tires were on their last tread (that makes two of us). Meanwhile, Lily was picking her nose in the corner when she started shouting about me needing to kill a spider crawling toward her. I pointed her to a box of tissues on the desk and explained we were not going to kill the spider, which she had already half-squished I think, as it wasn't going to bother us.

Once the baby was satisfied, we regrouped, went back for the rest of the tasting samples, finished shopping, checked out and went to talk to the tire guys. As the manager was being summoned, my knee-jerk reaction was to leave the diaper in their trash can but wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt, I resisted the urge. Sure enough, my fairly-new-and-still-under-warranty tires were already worn and they couldn't legally do the job. I'd have to leave this one for Kurt as it was time to get Madeline. Now, where was that receipt necessary to exit Costco? I searched frantically until finding it stuffed in my purse (I have no idea when I did that) and then, forgetting the tire center guy still had my keys, I began looking for those as well, which of course, were in my car outside where they had driven it up to the front door for me.

So, to answer the question: how is life with 5 kids? Pretty much the same as life with one, assuming that the one is a five headed beast that speaks in 4 different languages all at once, poops all the time and whose life mission is to keep its mom in a perpetual state of sleep deprivation so even the simplest of tasks becomes an obstacle to overcome. Yeah, it's kind of like that....not exactly the end of the world but it is some "intense" sunshine for sure.

And these are the best of times....

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