N, 2 months

One day a month, I drive about an hour to the nearest commissary, shop for all my non-perishables and whatever organic frozen goods I can find, and then I only have to buy my produce once a week. Today was that day. I should mention I have never done this trip with 4 little children in tow. 3, but not 4. So, since I require 2 grocery carts anyway–I mean I buy 20 boxes of cereal alone–I came up with this great plan for how to deal with the children. 30 minutes prior to leaving, my plan failed when my help called in sick.

But, I am a military mom, and flexibility is my middle name. So, I packed the diaper bag, prepared the bottles, and loaded all the kids. Everyone seemed to be over the colds except A, so I managed to get him to take an early nap to help him be happy for the trip. Sound good? Riiiigghht!

First, I get caught in a road construction in rush hour traffic. No problem, I packed plenty of snacks for the kids. Then, the construction sends me on a detour, right into the absolute worst part of a large city. So, by now, my blood pressure is increasing a little. Then, it happens.

I hear the horrendous “choke, gag, cough, cry” and know that I will turn my head to find vomit in the back of my van. Sure enough, M lost her breakfast. But, even in crisis like this, God provides. I immediately see a semi-safe looking gas station, pull in, and run around to tend to my screaming child. She caught most of it in her lap, which protected my freshly cleaned van upholstery. There “happened” to be 2 large bibs from a previous day sitting in front of her, so I grabbed those and started cleaning up. JR, meanwhile, is complaining of the obnoxious stench now permeating the back seat of the van. Then I remembered having given my portable wipes to JR the day before. They were sitting nearby, so I grabbed them and finished the clean up. M was pretty nasty, though. Thank God, I had had the foresight a while back to pack spare clothing in the van. So I grabbed her spare outfit and changed her, calmed her down, buckled her up, gave her a bag to hold (just in case), and off we went.

Now, any normal mother in her right mind would probably have turned around and gone home by now, but I am far too stubborn for that! I finally get back onto the freeway. About 10 minutes before arriving at the commissary, I hear the “gag, cough, choke, cry” once again. I yell at her to grab her bag! Once again, I pull into the nearest gas station, and clean her up. Wouldn’t you know that my spare outfit I had already put on her was a windbreaker, meaning, very easy to just wipe off! (Thank you God, once again).
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We finally arrived at our destination, and I am happy to report, we had a very successful grocery shopping trip, and returned home without further incident. I was reminded once again, however, that even at a time that could easily be frustrating and stressful beyond belief, God provides! I mean, there were no potty accidents or broken bones, right?! And, more importantly, I had all the supplies I needed, when I needed them.

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