OK. It's 9 a.m., and I have to go to the store -- we desperately need bread and milk.
I manage to get myself showered and dressed while my 2-year-old twin daughters turn my bedroom upside down and try to get as many toys into my 9-month-old daughter's crib as possible. There is a lot of laughter going on, so I suck it up and refrain from yelling. Then I get the twins dressed, their teeth brushed, their hair brushed, and their shoes on, all while running from room to room after them. (Why is it that a 2 year old doesn't stay in the same place for more than one second?) Then it's the baby's turn -- more dressing and a couple of teeth, but thankfully no hair and no shoes!
As I herd the twins into the van, baby carseat over my arm, diaper bag (bigger than your average aircraft carry-on) on my back, I hear the neighbor's lawn guy yell, "Wow, are those all yours? My, you have your hands full!!" I nod, smile, and get into the van. It's 10:30 a.m.
For once, as I get out of my van at the store, I spot one of those multiple-kid "car" carts just standing there. It's enough to bring tears to my eyes. I glance around and make a run for it, and it's mine -- wooohooo! Of course after getting the twins out of their carseats, getting them into the cart in the correct spots ("I want that side!" "My strap is broken!"), and settling the baby into the sling on my front, four people have walked by and said, "My, you have your hands full!" Now, it's 11 a.m. (and the store is only five minutes from my house).
The trip through the store is good. The twins are happy as soon as they get their cookies, and my baby just loves all the action. I happily shop away and smile and nod to the lady at the bakery, the lady at the deli, the guy in the produce section, the shelf packer, and a few other shoppers as they all say -- yup, you got it -- "My, you have your hands full!"
As I get ready to swipe my card at the checkout, the cashier starts asking me the ages of my children, whether the twins are identical, if I plan any more. I contemplate telling her about my 6-year-old, who is at school, but refrain. Then I hold my breath. Will she say it? The last bag is loaded and I take my receipt. I wish her a good day and walk away. Of course, before I make it to the door, I hear those famous words just one more time.