There are times as a mom you know you might have taken on too much, but you still do it anyway. This was one of those days. Garden of the Gods, is an amazingly beautiful red rock garden, just at the footsteps of where Taryn lives. And we decided to take all 4 kids, all under the age of 5, on a walking tour. This, in itself was no big deal. Taryn had Harper strapped in her carrier, and Cooper, the 5 year-old, is a good walker, but our fatal mistake came when not anticipating the length of the walk, and the need to bring the strollers. Why didn't we bring the strollers? I will never know. The entire thing was paved, just waiting for strollers, and happy toddlers. But we didn't, and about one mile into it, both Lucy and Liam were done. Unfortunately for us, we were slightly lost and a long way from our car. Was it a mile? 5? or only a 1/2 mile? It felt like forever. Liam, fortunately was content to be held. Unfortunately that meant Taryn had a newborn strapped on her chest, and a solid 3 year old hanging off her back. Lucy, meanwhile, was in the stage where she did NOT want to be held and did NOT want to walk. She preferred to lay on the ground and whimper. So, I did what the situation called for, and picked her up, kicking and screaming, and force carried her back to the car, asking strangers along the way how to connect to the main path. It all seemed very desperate.
After monumental effort, we eventually found our car, and all being right in the world again (kids safely strapped in!) we decided to be gluttons for punishment, and head over to Manitou Springs, and get some ice cream. Sweet Cooper, when told the plan, quietly said, "more walking?" Ahh, the unfairness of being the oldest. Cooper, I feel your pain (oldest of 6). Manitou ended up being a cute little resort town, right at the base of the mountains. It was charming and winning, and had several ice cream stores to tempt us. Lucy slept through the whole thing as did Harper. It was a long, but really fun day.
And look, I documented it all! Thank you Taryn for being patient with me as I stole a few pictures, amongst the melt downs.
The anatomy of a melt-down. First, refusing to walk. 2nd refusing to be held. 3rd complete and utter despair, with an inability to function.
I learned a valuable parenting skill near this street vendor. I had one dollar, and I gave it to Liam to give to the guy (or was it Cooper?) and subsequently broke the heart of the other little guy, leading to tears and a fight. Always, ALWAYS have two dollars, or two quarters or two nickels, or two something, when you have two kids.