For the past few weeks I have been wanting to take the kids apple picking. There are a few local farms to pick apples, though all are at least 40 minutes away. I wanted to go as a family but we were in the thick of or recovering from the stomach virus for the past two Saturdays. (The pumpkin patch was a spontaneous trip and is only 15 minutes from our house.)
I checked the Mooresville hourly weather forecast last night. They were calling for scattered showers, beginning around noon. I knew the skies would be overcast, but that actually takes better pictures without any shadows. I dressed the trio in cute clothes. Jackson wore his rainboots. We were in the van at 9:30, ready to arrive at the farm just after they opened at 10.
With only ten minutes left in our drive, huge rain drops cascaded onto the windshield. By the time I arrived at the farm it was pouring. I shut off the engine and tried to devise a plan with Jackson.
Me: Jackson, I don't think we would have fun in the rain. What should we do now?
Jack: Hmmm. Go somewhere else!
Me: Where would you like to go?
Jack: I think we should go somewhere with a roof.
Oh, he makes me laugh. I had no clue what there was to do in the bustling metropolis of Mooresville so I just drove towards the interstate. Of all places, we ended up spending an hour inside a Big Lots. We were meandering up and down the aisles when Jackson exclaimed, "Santa!"
I don't know why they already have Christmas displays, but we happily admired the lights and trees.
I finally bought some items to send a care package to my secret sister. I let Jackson pick one item out. He picked a random bag that had Batman on it. It contained cotton candy, but he didn't know that. Knowing that Jackson has never eaten cotton candy before, but he loves all sweet things, I bought it for him as a fun surprise. Even when he opened it he still didn't know what it was. He just laughed and asked, "Do I eat it?"
I totally planned to wait out the rain, but it was still raining when we left Big Lots. I felt bad that the babies were confined to their car seats and wagon all morning. By this point it was near lunch time and I had expected to be home already. I knew we were going to have to stop somewhere. While I try to avoid fast food, I felt confident that we could find somewhere that had an indoor play place. I googled McDonald's locations with a play place; then my phone navigated us there.
I guess I should not have assumed the play place would be indoors.,,
By this point the babies were also confined to high chairs. At least they got to stretch during their diaper change. The kids were happy eating their chicken nuggets and apples.
When we walked into the McDonald's, an older man got up and held the door for me. He looked us up and down and said, "Ma'am, what are you thinking bringing all these yougins here?" I didn't know if he was referring to the fact that it was raining, or it was a fast food place, or they were so young. I just blurted out, "We had to get out of the car!"
Fifteen minutes later, the same man approached us after throwing his trash away. He said, "You're like watching a well-oiled machine at work. I've never seen four youngins sitting down eating so well behaved." He continued on about what a great family we were and I thanked him. Of course, I kept thinking, Three of them don't even talk or walk yet and the other one is stuffing his face with a cheeseburger!
We managed to spend three hours in Mooresville and it never once stopped raining! I could have been disappointed, but after spending all of last week stuck at home with sick kids, I was rejoicing just to have something to do. Jackson could have complained, but he was truly happy looking at Santa and eating cotton candy and a cheeseburger. The babies could have fussed since they missed their nap, but they were perfectly content as well. By 1 pm, I abandoned my hope of picking apples.
Rather than going home, I drove straight to the rec center so the kids could burn off some energy. Each of the triplets stood up by themselves. Amelia claimed the riding toy as her own and didn't stop navigating the gym for nearly an hour. Maddie used the huge exercise ball as a walking toy. James played with several play sets. Jackson befriended some of his peers and played a game of hockey.