But life continues, and kids need clothes. Especially Nathan. He has decided in the last few months that he only likes polyester clothes. (He was clearly born in the wrong decade.) And not just any polyester clothes, but clothes that do not have itchy seams. So he's been rotating two outfits, while begging me to get him some of the exact same clothes, just in different colors. His perpetual athletic wear ensures that he is ready at a moment's notice for a run, a bike ride, or gymnastics.
So, yesterday evening, we ventured to Academy- land of multi-colored polyester clothing. We all piled out of the van, and I realized that Steffen (he's two) was not wearing shoes. (Before you start feeling sorry for me, thinking that our recent tragedy has caused me to lose my mind to the point where my children are running around shoeless, let me set your mind at ease. Arriving somewhere with at least one barefooted child is a common occurrence in our life.) No problem. I brought the stroller so I popped him in the stroller, put Austin in the Ergo front pack, and we were off.
Academy had LOTS of options for my polyester-loving son. Too many options. They all had to be tried on, of course, before a decision could be made. Otherwise, we might have gotten home with itchy seams. Steffen was not happy about being in the stroller. He thinks he is an adult and the indignity of being strapped in is just too much for him to bear. I decided to have him and Austin switch places. I put Steffen in the front pack. Sometimes that works, but on this occasion, it didn't. Steffen just kept insisting, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" I kept calmly asking him if he was ready to be strapped into the stroller. He finally relented, and I strapped him in securely.
Then, we headed to get Megan some tennis shoes. At this point, Steffen was apparently having the same breathing problems in the stroller. The buckle around his waist, he was quite certain, was going to suffocate him. As I helped Megan find shoes, while simultaneously keeping an eye on the other boys and telling them that they were NOT in need of new shoes, I turned around and saw that the stroller was empty.
A few feet in front of it, I saw Steffen, who was not only without shoes, but without pants. Or underwear. In the middle of the shoe aisle. At first I thought that he had stripped in protest, like a mini PETA activist, but then I looked back in the stroller. Apparently, I had buckled him so tightly that the only way he was able to get out was to actually pull himself out of the stroller and his pants at the same time.
I grabbed his pants, put them back on him, and decided that we'd worry about obedience later. Right now, it was all about getting those shoes and getting out of there! Which we did. (After we checked out and then had to trek all the way to the back of the store to stop at the bathroom.)
As I wrestled Steffen into his car seat, I looked down at Austin in the Ergo. As is generally the case, he hadn't made a peep during the entire trip. He had his head back and the rain drops were falling on his face. Every time one hit him, he giggled.
Yes, life continues.