Going Places

Before I had kids, I had no idea how much work it took for moms to be out and about with clean, dressed children.  So I will tell you how I get out of the house so that you appreciate the effort when you see me in society with my children.

Reid and Will have officially decided they don’t want to leave the house.  At all, ever, for any reason.  Will’s favorite phrase has become, “I don’t want to” in regards to basically anything I want him to do (other than eat ice cream bars).  Any attempt at leaving the house turns into a big battle.

But despite Reid and Will assuring me that “I don’t want to!”, I persevered in telling them we were going to the YMCA.  I instructed Stephen and Adrian to get dressed and get their shoes on while I began the arduous task of pinning down the twins and dressing them.  Potty training has added an additional task to our already large list of things required to get out the door (it now takes a full 30 minutes from the time I say ‘time to go, guys!’ to the time we pull out of the garage).

“Reid, Will!”  I say, as cheerfully as I can muster, knowing the battle ahead.  “Let’s go potty and put on our pants so we can go!”

“I don’t want to!”  They yelled, scattering in opposite directions.

I took off after Reid.  “Reid!  Reid!  Come on, sweetie!”

“Noooo!”  I heard from the depths of my closet.  Spying Reid behind my clothes, I grabbed an arm.

“Nooo!  Nooo!”  He shrieked.  “I don’t want to!”

I wrangled him into the bathroom, placing him on the potty as he cried.

Adrian appeared in the doorway, also crying.  “Stephen said my sleepover is on Saturday!”  He fretted.

Stephen appeared next to him.  “Well it is!  And Adrian pinched me!”

“I don’t want to go potty!”  Interjected Reid.

“Guys, not right now.  Go get ready to go.”  They disappeared again, poking each other as they ran down the hallway.

“Ok, Reid, let’s get your pants and socks on!”

“I don’t want to!”  He yelled.  I grabbed his arm to keep him from escaping again.  Trying to keep my cheerful demeanor, I wrestled him into his pants and pinned him down, fighting flailing feet into his socks.

“Do you want to wear your boots or your shoes?” I asked.

“I don’t like mine shoes!”  He yelled.  I got the boots.  “I don’t want my boots!”  He despaired, melting tragically to the floor.  I started wrestling his shoes on.  “Stephen?  Adrian?”  I shouted.  “How are you coming along?”

Adrian appeared at the top of the stairs, crying and pant-less.  “I can’t find my shoes!”  He shrieked, sniffling.

“Stephen!  Help Adrian find his shoes!”  I ordered.  “Will?  Will?”  He was nowhere in sight.  I decided to focus on the twin in front of me.  “Ok, let’s get your coat on.”

“I don’t like mine coat!”  He cried.  I finally wrestled him into his coat, where he stood red faced and sniffling, but thankfully dressed.

“Will!”  I yelled.  Will appeared momentarily at the bottom of the stairs.  “Come get dressed!”  I said.

“Noooo!”  He yelled, running away.  I chased him through the basement, finally catching him as he scaled the couch.  “Noooo!”  He yelled.  “I don’t want to go!  I want to go to mine own house!”  I wrestled him up the stairs to repeat the same performance, only to find Reid barefoot.

“Reid!”  I said.  “Why did you take your shoes off!?”

“I don’t like mine socks!”  He yelled, falling face down tragically on the floor.  I ignored him and pinned down the flailing Will for pants and socks.  The minute I let him go, he ripped his socks off, joining Reid’s tantrum on the floor.

Stephen and Adrian reappeared, shoes found.

“Ok,” I sighed.  “Get your jackets on and get in the car.”

Adrian immediately broke into tears.  “I don’t want my coat!”

“You don’t have to wear it,” I assured him.  “Just bring it with us in case!”

Adrian stomped to the coat rack and stomped out the door.  Stephen followed.

I decided to buckle the twins in shoeless.

I carried a kicking, screaming Will to the car and started buckling him in.  His cries of “I don’t want to!”  transformed into “I do it myself!  I do it myself!”  and as soon as I released him, he climbed out of the car seat so that he could climb back in by himself.

I buckled a sniffling but no longer crying Will into his car seat.

While I was engaging in World War III with the twins, Stephen was obliviously singing “Frosty the Snowman” off-key at the top of his lungs.  Adrian kept yelling, “Be quiet, Stephen!!!” which only encouraged Stephen to sing louder.  Finally, Adrian yelled, “Shut up Stephen!” while tackling him in the back of the van.

“Guys!  Stop wrestling and buckle up!  Please!”  I yelled.

“He hit me!”  Complained Stephen.

“He was being loud!”  Yelled Adrian.

“BOTH OF YOU BE QUIET AND BUCKLE UP OR WE CAN STAY HOME AND DO CHORES INSTEAD!!!”  I yelled, louder than anyone.  They stifled their excuses and buckled up as I went in the house to find Reid.

“Reid?  Where are you?  Come on, everyone is in the car!”  I called.

“Nooooo!”  I heard from the basement.

I ran down the stairs, located the last errant boy, and wrestled him kicking and screaming into his car seat.

Finally, we managed to back out of the driveway.  20 minutes later, we walked into the YMCA, everyone happy as can be.  And that’s why I may stay home and do yoga on YouTube for a while.

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About jennyvogan

Author of "Stephen's Mom," a blog documenting the funny, crazy life of raising four boys while keeping my day job as an ultrasound tech.
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