This isn't really about Chana's first day of school. That went well. She had one class today, which eases her in nicely. She is attending Chumash and Torah Sheba'al Peh. Today was Chumash and she was happy when I picked her up.
The trouble for me is the back and forth. By nature, I don't like to leave the house. I prefer to stay at home in my pajamas all day. Loading up 3 little boys and getting somewhere on time does not show me in my best Mama Sunshine light. When I noticed this about myself, I became more careful about overscheduling. Like a cranky toddler, when I get overscheduled I get tense and prone to tantrums.
This year, with all the back and forthing, is a big of a logistical nightmare. For example, the day that Chana's 2 classes are unfortunately not back to back and are 3rd and 6th period, is also the day that Jack has begged to be allowed to go to science class 45 minutes away. And the times Chana needs to be picked up from class are I will already be gone. Ari is kindly stepping into the gap with a lot of driving help. I get a slight tension headache whenever I look at the weekly schedule.
Today, since it was only one class, I decided we would go to Trader Joe's during that time. The boys were excited and even remembered to put their shoes on.
It reminded me why going on trips or generally going out in public with them is still so difficult for me. Mostly it is Elazar. When I only have him, it is manageable, but him and 4yo who behaves his age, and 5yo who is well behaved but bickers with his brothers, I just don't have the amount of hands I need. Try to go out and actually accomplish anything and things get even more complicated.
Aharon sat in the child part of the cart. And Jack sat crouched down in the back of the cart. Elazar was already being wild and touching things on the shelves and mitchering his brothers, climbing under the cart and poking their behinds to make them yell, etc. I left the cart and went to get cheese, and Elazar pushed the cart away, not noticing if he was walking into people and ignoring my verbal admonishments not to push the cart and to stop. I had to follow him, put my hand on his shoulder, turn him, look him in the eye, and tell him to stop and that if he did it again, he would not get raspberries. All this is normal with him. I was in no rush and we chose some food for tomorrow's trip to science class and looked at the freeze dried fruit and loaded up the cart and got on line. Despite Elazar's hyperactivity, he was behaving mostly appropriately for the store. I kind of knew the line was going to be challenging for him. Last time we were there, I actually had to restrain him the entire time on line. But I wasn't thinking about it. We got on line, and I was just taking a breath and feeling okay that we got through the store, and Elazar was hanging on the cart and tipped the whole thing over.
It kind of felt like it was happening in slow motion. I saw him wiggling the cart out of the corner of my eye. One of the boys dropped some change out of his pocket, and he wanted it and I was looking for it to get it. Then people started screaming. Then I realized the cart was tipping, then Jack and Aharon started yelling, then I ran to stop the cart from tipping, and I reached for it, but I couldn't stop it tipping, and everything fell over, and I was able to slow down the cart from smashing down and sort of ease it down but it tipped fully over on the side. Elazar sprang away from it, it landed on my wrist, a lot of things fell out, the boys were on their sides yelling.
Four or five people sprang forward to help. I was trying to lift the cart (I had been trying to lift it the whole time but had been unable to do it one-handed; I was only able to slow it down and once it was on my wrist I really didn't have the strength to lift it) and suddenly I was easily able to lift it because all these people were helping me. I pulled Jack to a stand and pulled Aharon out and settled them and told them it was okay and put Elazar in time out and by the time I looked at the groceries all the people had put everything back in the cart for me. (Luckily, nothing spilled and none of the glass jars broke or anything.) An employee came and picked up all the change (that had distracted me to begin with) and handed it back to me. Everyone was very kind and helpful and concerned and caring. Part of it is that people are nice and part of it is that Trader Joe's creates a really wonderful atmosphere.
I thanked everyone profusely for their help. I overheard someone ask, "Why didn't I hear a crash?" and someone answered, "Because the mom caught the cart."
I can't say that I expected one of my kids to knock over a shopping cart, but I also can't say that I was surprised that it happened.