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Independence Day, toddler style

Independence Day, toddler style

July 4, 2006

Walking up the trail, in the rain

Today we decided to go on a tradtional Fourth of July hike… in the rain. That is going to be my tagline for the summer… in the rain.

Of course it wasn’t raining when we decided to go on this hike and by the time it looked like it was going to rain we were already mentally committed to the hike. And after the summer we have had so far, we figured a little drizzle wouldn’t kill us. So we soldiered on.

We discovered half way up the trail, when the rain began coming down hard, stinging our skin and running into our eyes, that the little people in our family are not fond of the drenching rain. But they are fond of letting us, and everyone else within the tri-state area, know their displeasure.

Luckily my daughter was wearing her (entirely appropriate for hiking up a mountain) light up princess sandals. What I think is appropriate hiking footwear, and what a three year old thinks are appropriate hiking footwear, are not even close. She did point out that the shoes light up and it would help us find our way despite the overcast, dark day. And she was right!

As I carried her on my shoulders and she kicked me repeatedly in the chest, I was so thankful that I had her princess sandals to light the way. It made the fact that my hair and eyebrows were being torn from my head that much more tolerable. And for a brief moment I thought how much more effective their lighting ability would be if say, I beat her over the head with them while chasing her down the trail.

We got to the top of the trail where the waterfall was and everyone agreed that the hike to the top was worth it. Even though Rob’s idea of a leisurely hike bears a close resemblance to a forced nazi death march.

The little children tried their best to throw themselves off of the rocky bank and into the raging river. The thrill of danger and grave bodily harm always make for a really relaxing enjoyable time for me. I LOVE counting to seven over and over and over again. And the panic that happens when I count to six and can’t find the seventh child, and I begin to panic and my voice turns into a shrill scream, “Who is missing? Oh my god, WHERE IS THE BABY?!?! Where IS HE?!?! I CAN”T FIND THE BABY!!” Only to realize seconds later that I am, in fact, holding him. Yup, those are fun times.

I especialy love when it happens and there are strangers standing nearby to witness the freaking out. Because nothing says you-have-more-children-than-you-can-handle than losing one of them, but then not really losing one of them. Thereby giving the impression that you can not count and are possibly retarded. And giving the further impression that your lack of ability to count is probably why the rythmn method worked out the way it did for you.

The batteries in my camera were really low, so I kept the camera off until after we posed all the children precariously on a rock and ordered them to sit still and smile, much to the chagrin of strangers near-by.

“Why yes, they are all mine. But since I can only count up to six so I am secretly hoping that one of them will fall off and be washed away. But thanks for your concerened looks and not so subtle whispers!”

But the batteries in the camera were dead. So just picture seven cute kids sitting on the rock, like this, only in color and more well fed looking:

How it would have looked if my batteries didn't die

Posted by Chris @ 4:25 pm  

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  1. kalisah says:

    they’re like ghost children on the rock. I especially like the one hanging by his fingernails. But where are the light-up fairy shoes?

    Your life so readily resembles a sitcom that I chose to read about it online instead of watching the crap that’s on TV. Your stuff is much, much funnier.

  2. peepnroosmom says:

    I hope you had a good 4th, even through the rain. I like the one kid hanging from the rock. Very cute.

  3. Mir says:

    You have mad artistic skillz, in spite of being retarded. I mean… uhhhh… ummm… shutting up now. ;)

  4. Rebecca says:

    Light-up sandals are the best, according to my kids. I’m always “losing” a kid and finding out that I’m carrying her, too… and I only have three!

  5. Renee says:

    I have seven kids as well, and have the same count/panic/yell/relax cycle every time we go most places. If I only bring, say, 5 of the children with me somewhere, I am doing the count/panic/list names/remember thing that does make one feel quite mentally deficient. Ah, thanks for the post and the good laugh about one of the stressful parts of my life!

  6. owlhaven says:

    LOL– I am so glad to know I am not the only mom to ‘lose’ a child who is actually safely in her arms!

    Mary, mom to many

  7. Melissa says:

    Ok, so I’ve only “lost” my keys when they were in my hands, I can’t imagine the fun of “loosing” a child. With strangers watching!

  8. Jeff says:

    beautiful pictures.

  9. Jean says:

    Great picture. What a great place to hike to, even in the rain… with seven muddy kids…and princess sandals kicking you in the face.


  10. Pastormac's Ann says:

    I love your posts. You always make me laugh! I’ve got 5 kids (working on adopting 2 more from Ethiopia.) I’m usually holding the hand of the kid that I can’t find. ;-)

  11. Jennifer says:

    Ha ha! Happy Independence Day!

  12. jm says:

    How did I survive for 2 weeks without internet access and your blog in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest?

    Oh. Right. Alcohol.

  13. Kbeans says:

    Ok, I’m laughing myself to pieces because I’m remembering a phone conversation with my sister when she suddenly screamed, “what’s in your mouth, what are you eating???!!” and then had to say, “oh,it’s the sandwich I just gave him.” Ah, yes, lets all just have one more, what do you say? I only have 3, but spend my beach time counting to either 6 or 9 depending on whether step grand children are there, or dfriends, or whatever…..count, count, count……….

  14. Kim in MI says:

    ha! I did NOT see the picture at the end coming!
    I also count-and-lose the child I’m holding. I have 6 now, but have lost the held one since around 4.

  15. onetallmomma says:

    I only have four, but have also “lost” a child only to find said child in the sling or my arms. My family thinks I’m wacko anyway and who cares what strangers think.

    Thanks for the early morning laugh.

  16. cheeriobutt says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s retarded! It’s us retards that have more than two kids ya know! Yup, I was checking constantly last night too, and we were in a backyard! Oh and the kid pictures were so funny! I take it that’s your daughter hanging off the side! Ha!

  17. JustLinda says:

    Whew, makes me glad I stopped at FIVE. Still, I do the “where is the baby, where is the baby” thing all the time. And what’s more sad is since 2 of mine are grown and out of the house, most of my counting is only up to three (let’s see, one, two, three and we’ll just assume those older two are in a bar somewhere throwing back beers). All present and accounted for.

    I can’t have them stand on the edge of anything because the anxiety is too much. I just know one of them will plunge over the edge, I just KNOW it. It’s like I’m the girl from That’s So Raven and I’ve SEEN it in my mind’s eye. They are not allowed ever to stand on the edge of anything. Ever. Because their mother is a freak.

  18. Annalise says:

    Gorgeous scenery!

    Don’t feel bad about losing the kid you’re holding - I’ve done that panicked oh-my-God where is s/he thing, only to look down and see them nursing :-)

  19. Contrary says:

    Wait until you’re counting and 3 of the 5 (for us) are in their teens and not just a little insulted that yo think you have to keep track of them like toddlers. You will learn to count silently.

  20. InterstellarLass says:

    Hell, I can’t even count to two! One of them is usually standing behind me, trying to stifle giggles that would give their location away.

    I like walking in the rain.

  21. jody says:

    LOL!! You are much more lernd than me. I can only count to 4.

    Rob and Bill would have great fun together…Rob could lead one of his Nazi Death Marches, and Bill could take him on a “Cycle Through Colorado, Picking the Highest Mountain Passes and Narrowest Single Tracks” bike tours from hell.

    I do not participate in the Perfec Post thingie, but if I did, this would be it. Love it!

  22. Mary says:

    The picture is a riot! And that constant counting to seven? Well, I only have two, but anytime I’m at the beach or park, anything like that, and there are more than my two kids along. There I am counting like mad. Me and my friends have decided we need to have t-shirts made for such outings. They will have the words: 1 of 7, 2 of 7, 3 of 7, etc. on them!

  23. Meg says:

    bwahahaha!!!! They all look just like you, too!

  24. But Momma says:

    Hilarious Pic! Don’t you love how the “fun” things end up being sort of torture and work? It rained on our parade too. :)

  25. Heather says:

    Aww, I had to laugh out loud at your description of screaming for the baby with the crowd of onlookers!HAHA! I have been there and done that, but what a huge relief to discover I HAD the baby and really didnt lose him. Love the pics, what a gorgeous place!

  26. Pieces says:

    Laugh out loud funny. I am ashamed to say that I did count how many kids were drawn into the last pic.

    I laughed again through the comments. I especially love kbeans’ sandwich comment.

    I’m sure if I had more kids I would laugh more, right?

  27. Quiverfull says:

    I have been reading your blog faithfully for the last few months. I love it! We just had our 5th baby two weeks ago. Independence Day was our first major outing amongst a crowd. I have never counted to 5 so many times in my life. I thought I was going nuts. Then I came home and read your blog. It made me laugh, thank you! I also thank you for making me feel like a normal mom of lots of kids! :-)

  28. Kathleen says:

    This so funny yet so close to home. We left one of our children, the youngest in church one Christmas. We were at my inlaws with 19 grandkids running around. I saw a toeheaded kid run by several times so assumed he was mine. An hour later the pastor called and wanted to know if we were missing anyone. I told him no, thinking he was being very strange. He told me to go count my kids. I called my husband and ask if all our kids were there. Yes he said but we decided to look anyway, just in case. Fifteen minutes later our Pastor dropped off Joey. These things happen, even to the wisest of parents. Sigh. ;)

  29. groovy mommy says:

    Hahaha…beautiful scenery though…

  30. Kris says:

    I just laughed so, so hard, over and over. I hope that eases the pain for you, just a little.

  31. Susan says:

    You always make me laugh! Just when I think I’ve lost the will to live, your posts and the comments that follow allow me to keep my sanity and my sense of humor about parenting. Thank you thank you thank you!

    Oh, and I did that “WHAT is in your mouth!?!” thing last week. Yep.

  32. suzanne says:

    i love it. as i type, my just turned 3 yr old and 14 mo old are fighting loudly to sit in my lap. and my 4 yr old is sulking/yelling about the morning “treat” i took back because he and the aforementioned 2 were fighting over the treat jar and knocked everyone off the chair. i’m so glad i found your blog. ps - it all helps that we, as well, live in a house built roughly a hundred years ago.

  33. Danielle says:

    I hate the light-up shoes. My almost five year old has a pair and the one shoe hasn’t lite up for over two months. He’s still trying to convince us that he needs a new pair because of this. The sad part is that he needs a new pair because there is a hole in one and I don’t want to buy another light up pair. Any advice on buying shoes without the children with? I though about just chopping off the foot to take with but that seemed a little extreme.

  34. sarah says:

    great pictures!

    I only have ONE and I still check my rearview mirror for the carseat every time I leave a parking lot even though i KNOW I just put him in it!! Neurotic much??

  35. Amy says:

    You are a very funny lady! I’ve been lurking for some time now and I find myself frequently telling your funny tales to my friends of MC (multiple children). I laughed out loud today. I can so relate to the counting and recounting kids. And the baby on the hip, been there done that. Thank you for reassuring me that I too have slipped into the c-r-a-z-y world of mothering many, and I am not the only one out here.

  36. Jo says:

    I just found your blog through a friend - wow, you are funny. I look forward to reading more on your adventures! 7 kiddos -w oohoo!

  37. link says: