Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Supermom!

This many kids. One adult.
My good friend was in hospital for a couple of days for some minor surgery.
Her four kids (three girls and one boy) were staying with us.
And our (then) four kids. (Three boys and one girl)
The kids were perfectly matched.
Boy-girl, boy-girl, boy-girl and boy-girl.
And got along very well.
My house was quieter with eight (ranging in ages from 1 to 7) kids in it, than it was with just my own four.
They were all playing happily.
Then I suddenly realized that I needed to go to the store.
Sigh.
The status quo was about to change.
I buckled in what amounted to essentially four sets of twins and started off.
All went well.
We arrived and I immediately hunted up a cart.
No way I was going to try to herd this bunch without some modern conveniences.
The two babies were buckled into the baby compartment on the cart.
The two toddlers went into the basket.
The two kindergarteners hung onto the outside.
And the two seven year olds were allowed free range.
But with strict instructions to stay close.
We were off!
My errands were run in record time.
Surprisingly.
And, quite suddenly, it was snack time.
I looked into my wallet.
I should point out, here, that my husband had just graduated from post secondary and was working in his first real job.
We were poor.
Well, rich in children.
But poor in things that can actually . . . purchase things.
Moving on.
My wallet held the grand total of two dollars.
Which in itself was a miracle.
I was standing in the middle of the food court, contemplating my options.
They were . . . limited.
Finally, I approached a kiosk called, The Loaf, which specialized in sandwiches made from thick slices of 'freshly-baked-on-the-premises' bread.
"What would you charge for just a slice of fresh bread and butter?" I asked the girl behind the counter.
She scrunched up her face in thought.
Really.
Scrunched.
Then she said, "Twenty-five cents."
The magic words.
I ordered eight slices of fresh bread and butter and handed her my two dollars.
Then I passed out slices of thick, warm, fresh bread to each of my little hoard.
Who happily chowed down.
A cowboy term for tucking in.
Which is another cowboy term for . . . oh, never mind.
You get the picture.
They ate.
And enjoyed.
A couple walked past while my kids were busy . . . umm . . . enjoying.
"What a good idea for a snack!" the woman exclaimed. "I think you are the best mother I have ever seen!"
I smiled, rather self-consciously.
'Best mother' is obviously code for 'too-broke-to-buy-anything-else'.
We finished our snack and headed back to the Sears store for one last item.
My friend's eldest daughter, who had been following closely asked if she could dart over and peek at the girl's blouses.
I told her that it was fine. I would just walk slowly so she could catch up.
And continued down the aisle.
I passed one of the entrances to the store.
Two women had just come in.
They, a mother and her mother, were struggling to control a small boy of about two.
Who was red-faced and screaming.
Actually, now that I think of it, all of them were red-faced and . . .
Ahem.
Back to my story.
The grandmother looked up and noticed me walk past with my cart full to overflowing with children and said," Here the two of us can't control one child and that woman," she pointed, "has . . . five, six, seven!"
Just then, my friend's oldest daughter rejoined our group.
I smiled at the women and said, "Eight."
And walked on.
Okay, I know it wasn't strictly truthful.
But it was so much fun to say it!!!
And, just for a moment, I felt like one of those uber-organized, amazing women one sees who are always neat, tidy and . . . well . . . together.
Controlling hoards of children and still managing to look serene.
Yep. Just call me SUPERMOM.
But only for the moment.

14 comments:

  1. Oh great, now I'm totally craving fresh baked bread dripping with melting butter... gluuuuuhhhh...
    Evocative as always, Mother dear!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a cute story, but now you must post a photo of you and the 4 kids today!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We need those moments to hold and cherish...it helps on those days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I finished reading and scrolled back to the top to enjoy it again, and it was only then that I noticed the two pictures (8 kids) - too funny!

    You were definitely a supermom with that many little ones to wrangle!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Heehee! Saint for a day. Hmmm . . . we could be onto something here!

      Delete
  6. You are definitely supermum! Eight all at once on a shopping trip!
    I've done it with five, my own four and a baby I was minding for a working mum. I'd push the baby in her pram, my oldest would push our baby in his pram.
    But when I took on an extra child for another working mum, I stayed home and shopped on the weekends with only my own four. Because the older ones were in school then, so there wasn't anyone to push the extra pram.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was such a cute story. My husband once took three of our children to the store when I was home with a new baby. Just as he got to the check out stand the youngest threw out the eggs. Next he found that the other two had managed to put several items they wanted into the basket. He came home and told me I never had to take children to the store unless it was an emergency. Thus was born my moments out.
    Blessings for bringing that memory back; I loved yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that is priceless. Priceless! I can just picture it! Smart, smart man!

      Delete

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