I just got back from a trip to the post office. I had a DVD that I wanted to mail. It was just going to be a quick trip.
Step 1. Drive to post office.
Try to answer the following questions –
Mommy, how do they make juice boxes? (They make them in a factory where machines help make the boxes.)
Yeah, but how do they get the juice in there? (Hmmm…stumped.)
Listen to son’s explanation of how he thinks it works and tell him that’s a good hypothesis. (They put the straw in the little hole and put the juice in through that and then they put a tiny cover on the hole and put the straw back on the side of the box.) Try to explain what a hypothesis is, even though you were only using that word because you know he’s heard about it on Dinosaur Train.
Step 2. Pick out an envelope for the DVD.
Be unable to find the size that you want, that doesn’t require any tape and that isn’t green with white polka-dots. In the meantime, look at your daughter and realize that she has her pants around her ankles. Laugh, because it’s a little funny and pull her pants up. Now son thinks it’s funny too and wants to pull his pants down, daughter pulls hers down again. Don’t laugh anymore. Tell them very sternly not to pull their pants down. Lose the note you were going to send with the package. Realize that you left it in one of the boxes you were “trying on” and that another man just took that box. Recover the note from the man. Finally find the right size package.
Step 3. Write the address on the envelope.
Dig through your purse, past the wipes, the diaper, the packages of crackers, the chapstick, the wallet and some gum. Find a loose piece of gum that has come out of the package and pop it in your mouth. Continue looking through the purse that honestly, isn’t usually this junky. Look around the post office for a pen. Surely there must be a pen at the post office. Go out to the other area of the post office and thankfully see a pen. Determine that there is no tip to the pen. Look around again. Wonder if you should just ask a person for a pen. Realize that the car is only a few steps away and there is a pen in there. Worry about just leaving the envelope on the table that you haven’t paid for yet. Drag two kids back to the car. Search through the car for a pen – glove box, upper console, lower console, dashboard. Wonder if you really don’t have a pen in the car. Pull everything out of the glove box and throw it on the seat. Find pen at bottom! Go back inside where the envelope is just as you left it. Write address.
Step 4. Stand in line and wait to mail the package.
Comment that there was no line until it took you took 15 minutes to find and address an envelope. Tell Casey to get up off the floor. Tell Casey to put her shoes back on. Physically make Casey put her shoes back on. Tell Casey not to hit Jack. Tell Casey not to hit Jack. Stand between Jack and Casey. Tell Casey not to put her hands on the floor. Watch Jack and Casey think they’re being clever by crouching down low as an alternative to sitting on the floor. Tell Casey to watch where she’s going as she wanders in front of people. Finally get to counter and mail package. Depart post office. Remind yourself that no trip to a post office is ever a quick little trip.
Step 5. Wonder if you should get more sleep so that you’re not such a manic mommy lately.
Recall yesterday’s trip to the zoo…where you left your wallet outside in the stroller, only realizing this as you get to the counter after waiting in line for 10 minutes for food and also where you completely ran over a small child with your stroller while trying to watch your children walk through the butterfly garden.