Aug 2, 2004

The Post Office

8/02/2004 — cori

What, might you ask, could go wrong at the Post Office? Plenty if you've got me and my three followers along. This was supposed to be a quick trip - in and out in one quick motion. Not. Before we even get out of the car I have to remind Bennett not to stand on the package that we've wrapped ever so delicatley. Then of course, I can't just walk in like any other normal person, nooo, I have to grab the stroller, make sure each child is holding on to opposite sides and proceed with caution. I then become a walking wall that nobody can penetrate. Even when I ask the boys to walk behind me, they still dare not let go of the cart. I can't even count how many times I've run over Bennett's toes with the stroller. I'm sure he thinks that is what happens to everybody when they walk.

And of course, I have two wonderful gentlemen who absolutely love to open the door for mommy, even when those doors are too heavy for them, or there are 17 people all waiting around to get in and out, or even when they push on a door that they are supposed to pull. Then comes the fun part - trying to get thru the door that my gentlemen have opened. They like to open it about 13 inches and then stand there - right in my way. They are so proud to be helping me that I try to squeeze through (stroller and all) no matter how small the opening. In the process I have knocked down my own children several times - then end up blocking the doorway even longer trying to pick them up, comfort them, apologize all while propping the door open with my pinky toe. Granted, I love these teachable moments and I don't see them as inconveniences at all - but I'm not quite sure the 9 people behind me are as interested in my children's teachable moments as I am.

Yes, all those instances mentioned above did happen on the way into the Post Office. Lucky for us there were two separate doors we needed to enter before waiting in line. So each gentleman got his own turn. We make it into the line and wait without much fanfare. Then comes our turn to make our way to the open postal clerk. My barricade and I all maneuver thru a very narrow walkway and make our way to the very last clerk. Each boy then drops off the package that I had him carry and proceeds to do something behind my back.

Unknowingly, I park the stroller right in the middle of the only opening that lets all the other customers out of this narrow walk way. My oversight. All the while my children are still holding on to the cart, but this time they are on the same side - not good. Confusion is starting to set in and everything becomes a blurr for me momentarily. Out of one eye I see my sons holding and hugging each other like they hadn't seen one another in 20 years. Since when does that happen? While the other eye sees the postal clerk who is asking me to fill out a form. Oh boy, I hope I sent my packages to the right place.

Not that the boys were bad or misbehaved, but they were distracting me and not standing as still as a statue without saying a word. I don't know, maybe I have too high of expectations. But I am trying to teach them how to act in public and talking loud and hugging alot is not what I have been teaching. Then Gavin decides to morph into a Rescue Hero and uses the blank wall we are next to as his 'command post' and starts pressing all sorts of imaginary buttons. Of course Bennett follows suit - little Mr. "Me Too". After receiving 'the glare' from me, they both resume their positions on opposite sides of the cart.

Next comes trying to get out of our narrow expanse, go around a corner, thru another set of doors (I can't remember which of my helpers opened this one) and into another area to drop our mail off in the mail slot. We had like 10 envelopes to put in the slot and of course they had to be divided up evenly between both boys. This took about 3 minutes. Not long in the scheme of things but too long to just drop letters thru a slot. Another line starts forming behind us. Thankfully, it has come time to go and we are headed towards the exit.

Bennett insists on opening the door for me but I can see other people trying to enter and are already opening the door. This frustrates Bennett who decides to fall on the ground. Nice. Gavin is still holding his side of the cart, so no one can squeeze past me on his side. Now I have two people holding open two doors. It is wide enough for all of us to fit thru in our usual format. One of the people holding open the door is some kind of Agent. He's got a gun on his belt and dark Raybans on. He looks like he's on 'official business'. That makes me panic and I start grabbing Bennett by the arm to pull him up. Then I run over his foot with the cart again. I'm afraid the FBI agent is going to 'take me in' for slowing down the federal mail or something. As we finally make our way through the doors I thank the men for holding the door open for my circus and hear laughter. I don't know if they were laughing at me or with me (hmmm, but I wasn't laughing, so it must have been at me). At least we're out and headed toward the safety of the van. Another adventure behind us.

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