Friday, April 6, 2018

Three are Now Four

We took the girls for a day trip to Foxwoods, which has become one of their favorite places to visit. It's just over an hour away, it's full of fun places to see and things to do and spots to eat. They love to go to Sugar, they love the arcade, they love walking through the outlets.

Fun note: they always present their desire to go with trying to sell us on the outlets. It's like they know that it's asking a lot to drive an hour for an arcade and a restaurant built on excessively large amounts of candy. So they ask for the outlets.

But really, my sister and I love taking the girls out together. We love that we can take the three girls out, that they're close enough in age to enjoy similar things, and that they really love being together. An hour drive isn't excessive for three girls having a great day together.

Of course, now I have a new baby niece, and the three have become four.

All the girls adore baby Emma, whether she's a baby sister or a baby cousin. They peek in on her while she's sleeping in the Ergo, and they basically crawl under poor Janine's nursing cover while she's eating. Madison loves being the oldest who gets to do all the holding in group pictures, and they always love that she's along for the ride. Emma's generally a pretty happy baby so they have adapted to growing from three girls to four.

But they don't always love the tears. And the worst part of a crying baby is when you can't do anything about it. And where can't you do anything about it?

The car.

So on an incredibly cold and rainy day, during the last few days of Janine's maternity leave, we piled into her minivan and made the trip. The three older girls are all pretty great in the car. We set them up with coloring books and tablets and little snacks and drinks, and in a minivan, they each get their own space. They might occasionally ask how much longer we have in the car, but mostly, they let us chat and catch up.

On this drive, we started out great. For the first forty five minutes, everyone was happy. Emma was awake, but playing with her hands and feet and babbling to herself, completely content.

As we got off the highway and started the final stretch of windy back roads that appear to be leading you into oblivion but then leads you to the massive building that houses pretty much anything you can imagine, all three girls were starting to get bored. Actually, all four girls were starting to get bored. But instead of whining and obsessively asking how much longer like the older three were doing, Emma decided she'd had enough, she was feeling snacky, and it was time to arrive.

Unlike the other three, she couldn't be placated by the promise of lunch and the ability to stretch her legs in twenty minutes. She was done NOW, and she couldn't understand why she was making her needs and wants so clearly known and no one was doing anything.

Twenty minutes is LONG when an infant is escalating her cries every few seconds. Not only that, but Janine and I, as experienced moms, know that sometimes you just need to grit your teeth and get there. The girls wanted the crying to stop, they knew Janine could fix it, and they wanted her to take care of it.

So now, we have a stressed out driver (because crying), a frustrated passenger (because the older three couldn't accept the fact that nothing could be done until we arrived), three older girls who could think of nothing but how loud the car was, and a seriously pissed off three month old.

It was a rough twenty minutes. On the plus side, we've never decided on a parking spot so quickly. Is it in the garage? Is it the first one we've come to? Check.

Once Emma was in and fed, and changed, and snuggled in the Ergo, she was happy as could be, and even though the place was packed full, we managed to hit all of the girls' favorite spots.

Four girls. I think we can handle it.

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