The Mirror

“What should we get mom for her birthday?” Jeff asked as he drove, Hayden and I to the restaurant to celebrate Hayden’s 9th birthday.

“I don’t know?” Hayden said from the back seat.

“Well, what does mom like?” Jeff asked

I looked up in the rear facing mirror at Hayden and waited for the answer. This was going to be good.

“A new phone,” Hayden said with a smile. “Mom really likes her phone, we should get her a new one.”

Jeff snickered and Hayden beamed for making Jeff laugh but those words hit me right in the heart. They stung deep. I tried to smile and brush them off as Jeff asked Hayden what else I liked.

“Maybe some coffee or new sunglasses, mom is always wearing her sunglasses even when it’s not sunny…” Hayden rambled on. I couldn’t focus on the conversation because in my head, I was beating myself up.

I know he didn’t mean to hurt me. I know he was just being honest and it’s true. I do love my phone and it’s usually always in my hand. But I suddenly wondered, is that all he sees of me? Does he think I want to be on my phone more than with him?

My kids are excellent mirrors.

They seem to have no problem finding my flaws and reflecting them back at me. Every little ugly thing about myself, they magnify. I see it and it stings. It’s like a constant reminder that I had no idea what I am doing as a mom. They don’t do this on purpose, it’s just a fact.

I am a yeller.

I feel like I’m struggling to be heard. The noise of life is all around and to cut the chaos, I yell. It’s also my stress release. I’m like a pressure cooker ready to burst and to release that pressure so that I can focus, I yell. I yell at my kids and during some conversations my throat is raw afterwards.

“I just don’t know how to parent without yelling,” I lamented to my mom as we sat and ate lunch. “And that means I’m raising children who yell at each other, yell at me.”

She looked thoughtfully at me and then because she is my mother and still after 30 plus years of being a mother is at times insecure, she asked, “Was I a yeller? Did you get that from me?”

I didn’t mean to be her mirror and reflect her flaw but because I am her child, I did.

A smile spread across my face, “I don’t remember you yelling.”

We got quiet and both took bites of food, kind of both seemingly pondering motherhood.

She was the first to break the silence, “Say, you didn’t tell me that you made a crafty tail-mix snack for Hayden to take to school as his birthday treat.”

“Well, I didn’t think it was that big of deal,” I said as I took another bite.

“When Hayden was at my house, he went on and on about how the two of you worked together, pouring all sorts of treats into a big bowl, stirring it up and then putting it in little bags that he decorated with Halloween stickers. He was so proud that he got to make this treat with his mom and then give it to his friends,” she said. “From what he told me,  you made like 30 little bags. Wow.”

I looked at her as a single tear rolled down my cheek and I released the breath I didn’t know I was holdinhg.

“H-h-he said all that?” I asked, my voice getting caught in my throat.

“Yes,” she nodded.

I couldn’t help the second tear that rolled down my face.

“That was a bad day,” I began. “We had gymnastics that night. And homework to get done before going and then I added this project…. all I remember was yelling at them to stop stealing pieces of candy and to stop sneezing on the bowl.”

“Well, all he remembers is that you took the time to make an extra special treat and that you did it together,” my mom said.

I wiped the tears from my cheeks.

“It really wasn’t that big of deal,” I shrugged, trying to lessen the situation.

My mom reached over the table, took my hand and looked me right in the eyes, “Yes, sweetie. It was… to Hayden.”

And that’s when I realized, he didn’t remember the yelling either.



Day 2

My phone beeped to alert me to a text message. I walked over to it, entered the pass code and read,

“How’s it going? You drinking wine yet?”

It was from Jeff. I scoffed at it and typed back, “No. Things are actually going pretty well. The kids just finished crafting and are now outside play.”

I smiled to myself. Summer break wasn’t going to be so bad. My muscle memory of being home with the kids all day every day had kicked in. I remembered not to let them watch TV all day, made them play together. This was going to work.

Well, that was Day 1. Then Day 2 hit.


I realize that some of the happenings of this day were kind of my fault but not all of them.

You see, I was kicking ass and taking names in  morning. Most of the kids were dressed and all were fed, the dishes were done, the laundry was started and the husband was sexed. I even took chicken out of the freezer to put in the crock pot for dinner.

And that was all before I had my first cup of coffee. Sex in the morning will do that to a girl.

It was then that I made my first mistake.

I fixed myself some breakfast and sat down in front of the computer. I opened Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and down the rabbit hole I went.

I should have known that I was in cyber space too long when Quinn and Claire kept asking me, “Mommy, when are we going to get dressed?” But I was pinning things and retweeting people, I just needed a couple more minutes.

Well, I lost track of how many times that I told them, “in a couple minutes” because when I finally looked up, it was 45 minutes before we had to leave. And I needed to shower and shave my legs if I wanted to wear shorts and not be mistaken for a Sasquatch.

I ran into the shower and cursed myself out the entire time which led me to knick my knee with the razor. I was now in the shower dealing with a small cut that was bleeding like Rob Stark after his throat was cut during the Red Wedding.

Finally the bleeding stopped and I jumped out of the shower. I decided it’d be faster  to air dry as I gathered my clothes. I walked into my bedroom only to be greeted by Hayden. Who’s eye’s, like a good man, went right to my breasts. I screamed, he screamed, I covered and he ran away screaming, “YOU GUYS! I JUST SAW MOMMY’S BOOBS! EW!”

Oh, whatever… I’d deal with that later.

I covered myself and walked into the kitchen. We now had 20 minutes before we had to leave for swimming lessons. I gathered towels, swimsuits and other stuff.

That’s when I made my second mistake. I thought that my children could remember where they had taken off their shoes. It makes sense to me to put them in the same spot every time. To them, this is a foreign concept.

“Guys, you need to find your shoes,” I yelled.

They all began to scurry around the house like little squirrels with their tails on fire trying to find their nuts. They looked up at the ceiling. They looked at the cats. They looked at the TV. But of course, not one of them could find their shoes.

“Did you check in the sandbox, in the yard, under your bed?” I yelled to them as I tried to apply eye liner without poking my eyeball.

There was crying  and more yelling but finally everyone had shoes. Of course Jake was wearing a pair of Hayden’s 3 sizes too big flip flops pretty much guaranteeing he would trip and fall but whatever. Feet just need shoes the cover, fit doesn’t really matter.

I finished tucking all my naked bits into clothes, found my shoes, one of which was in the washing machine thank you kids, and we were off. But not before someone had to quickly go potty, one kid confused to only having one shoe and I forgot to grab my bag.

By the time we reached swimming lessons, my eye was twitching and my knuckles hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard. World War III Sibling Style had broken out and I wanted to stop the van, get out and run away.

How we made it through swimming lessons and a trip the the grocery store is kinda of blur but I do think sitting alone, sweating in the humid observation area helped but I also have yet to figure out why one of my children dropped their swim trunks in the toilet and peed on them.

When we returned home, ‘World War III Sibling Style’ turned into ‘Ultimate Sibling Cage Fighting’ complete with the throwing of crafting scissoring, glitter and screaming.

So when my phone beeped again with a text from Jeff, asking the a similar question as the day before, “How’s it going?”

You can bet your ass, I responded, ” The bottle’s been opened!! No more questions.”

So yeah, that was Day 2…. only 81 more to go. I guess maybe we all need a bit of time to adjust but all I know is, the jury is still out if we all will survive.

Coffee Shops are No Place for My Children

I really enjoy going to the coffee shop. I just like the sights, the sounds, the coffee… the whole experience just makes me happy. Whether it’s a quick in and out caffeine hit or a lingering visit including my computer, the coffee shop brings me joy.

I think that is why I wanted to share this with my children. If something makes me happy, it is only natural  that I would want to share it with the ones that I love most in the world.

coffee shop and children

We descended upon the unknowing quiet coffee shop for an afternoon snack after playing. I was exhausted and needed my afternoon caffeine hit which I would regret at 12am when I was still wide awake.

“Ok, guys,” I said, “we are going to go into this coffee shop to get some snacks and hot chocolate but there are people here reading and studying, doing quiet things so please try to be quiet.”

The children all nodded at me in agreement.

“QUIET GAME!” one of the children yelled as I opened the door announcing our presence.

“YAY!!!” the other children yelled in agreement, “QUIET GAME!”

I shook my head for when they play the quiet game, no one is ever really quiet. Well, they are quiet for a minute until someone makes the smallest noise and then someone tells them they are out but that noise maker disagrees and the quiet game turns into a screaming match that can be heard seven counties over.

“Shhhh….” I hissed, “No. No quiet game. Just be still.”

I herded them all over to the counter, scanning the menu to find out what choices I could offer.

“What drinks do you have that would be good for kids?” I asked the barista.

“Well, we have hot chocolate or we can make Italian sodas,” she answered.

“HOT CHOCOLATE!” the children screamed, jumping up and down.

“Shhh…” I hissed.

I could feel the glares and eye rolls on my back from other people in the shop. I needed to get food in their mouths if I wanted to keep them quiet.

“We have regular hot chocolate or a caramel mocha, white chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate…” the barista began.

I tried to stop her. That was too many choice…  And the children had heard them all.

“Mommy, I want caramel hot chocolate, no regular, no white raspberry, no… um… regular…” the chorus from the children began.

It was on now, the only thing I could do was get out a pencil and paper I write down each child’s specific choice.

Once each child had ordered, I ask the eldest to find a table so that I could pay. I sent them on their way with their choices of bagel, donut, cookie and bananas knowing that if they were eating, they wouldn’t disturb others too much.

“Your total is $34.59” the barista told me.

I coughed and stared at her in shock,  “I’m sorry… you said 34 as in dollars?”

“$34.59” she corrected.

I could hear the children once again getting restless so I just swiped my card. “These hot chocolates better be laced with sedatives for them to be that expensive,’ I mumbled under my breath.

One by one the drinks appeared and I delivered each small steaming cup to each child with the warning, “Don’t drink it yet. It’s hot and it will need to cool.”

As I turned to grab the last cup, I heard the sound of liquid hitting the floor.

“Mommy, it was hot.” was the response the child gave me who was now sitting on a chair in the middle of a hot chocolate pool.

If my hands hadn’t been carrying coffee, I would have face palmed.

“Did any get on you?” I asked as my first concern was for the child’s safety?

“No,” he said with a shake of his head. “B-b-b-but my hot chocolate is gone. I didn’t get to drink any.”

And with that he let out a wail that echoed through the shop. I could feel the level of people’s anxiety and annoyance rise. So I did the only thing I could do.

I mom’d the situation.

I scooped up the wailing child and shoved a donut hole into his mouth to muffle the wail. I picked up the empty cup from the floor, licked it clean and divided the three remaining hot chocolates equally four ways and gave the owners of those drinks my ‘if you want to see your next birthday you will be happy about sharing’ look. I took eighty million tiny square napkins and mopped up the pool of hot chocolate on the floor. Then I sat down as with my children to enjoy my coffee and the coffee shop I love so much.

My coffee…

That’s when I realized in the chaos I had not remembered my coffee, the soul reason I wanted to share my love of the coffee shop with my children.

From now on, I am just going to keep the coffee shop for me and share my love of naps with my children.

That seems a little less messy.



Perhaps a Pinterest Win?

In my bathroom, there are two drawers full of empty toilet paper rolls.

toilet paper rolls for Pinterest craft


Each time my husband changes the roll instead of me, I wanted to save it to commemorate the occasion. It’s something that happens so rarely that I celebrate each time.

No, I’m kidding. My husband doesn’t change out the toilet paper roll that often.

The reason that there are two drawers full of empty toilet paper rolls is because I saw something on Pinertest that I wanted to make. It was a this wreath made by flattening toilet paper rolls, cutting them and gluing them together is a wreath-like shape. Or something like that. I’m not really sure.

You see, I don’t craft. I tried to read the instructions but for all I understood, I was learning how to program a blender. I don’t even own a glue gun. Well, I didn’t until my mom gave me one for Christmas and now that’s become Hayden’s glue gun because he uses it more than I do. The boy likes to hot glue things.

I guess you could just call this one big Pinterest fail.

But that’s how it is with Pinterest, you win some, you loose some and in the end we all just sit around the camp fire and sing “Kumbaya” and roasting marshmallows.

Recently, I kinda had a win because of Pinterest.

Jake and Claire can be the best of friends and the worst of enemies. And they switch between the two faster than a cheetah chasing a gazelle.

I understand that siblings will fight and disagree. I know that siblings have a special way of pushing each other’s buttons. It’s just that when Jake and Claire always tend to do it at the worst possible times like during the chaos of me getting dinner ready and trying to help Hayden with homework. They get into these yelling matches where basically they have forgotten about words and just stand there screaming in each other’s faces.

“ALRIGHT!” I yelled over their screaming. “Both of you to your rooms.”

Suddenly both Jake and Claire erupt in tears because apparently, being sent to their bedrooms which I might add, house tons of toys and books is the worst possible thing that could do to them. From the way they were crying, loosing an arm couldn’t match the injustice.

“But momma,” they both whimper.

“Go!” I said again, pointing to the stairs.

“Jake, get out of my way,” Claire said as she tries to be first.

“Claire, I was here first,” Jake retaliates.

“Jake!” Claire screamed.

“Claire!” Jake yells back.

“Oh. My. Goodness…. QUIET!” I yelled. “Do you both realize you are fighting on your way to your punishment for fighting?!”

They both just look at me. I knew they didn’t understand but at the moment I didn’t care. My head was throbbing and pasta water was boiling over.

“You two need to spot fighting. Your fighting is out of control. This needs to stop and if it doesn’t…” I say, then stop because I remember something that I saw on Pinterest, “Then I am going to make your wear a ‘get along shirt‘.

“What’s that?” Jake asks while Claire stands next to him.

“It’s a big shirt that you both wear together until you can learn to get along with each other,” I say, making it sound like the most horrible shirt in the world.

They both just stand there, eyes as wide as saucers.

“Now, to your rooms, both of you. Think about what I said. Think about not fighting with each other so much and getting along. You don’t want me to get out that shirt.” I said.

I hear their doors close and set a timer for five minutes then continue with dinner. When the timer beeps, I call upstairs, “You can get out now.”

Both Jake and Claire bound downstairs.

“Claire, you can have my Bey Blade if you want,” Jake says.

“Oh that’s ok, Jake. You can have my stuffed doggie.” Claire answers back.

As I stir the pasta, I smile to myself. “Holy crap! I can’t believe that worked.”

That’s what I call a Pinterest win!

Me and the Other Triplet Mom

We had some time to kill between the movie ending and when we were suppose to meet Daddy for dinner so I took the kids to the mall play area.

There was a time when we were regulars here during the cold months of the winter. It was a place that I could take the kids and let them run off some of their seemingly endless energy. Now that is what school does.

The kids hesitated by the ‘you much be under this height to play here’ sign as if to ask, “Really, mom? Can we?”

I pushed them all in saying, “Go. Go. Go.” like a captain pushing sky divers off a plane and then added, “You might want to duck” as a couple of them almost got clocked in the head by the sign as they ran in. Perhaps they were a little tall, oh well.

I walked over to the familiar bench and then took out my phone. As I was about to get sucked into Twitter, I noticed many of the parents kind of looking concerned that I had brought in bigger kids to this play area that was manly filled with toddlers.

Not wanting to look like I wasn’t doing my parenting duty, I called my kids over to me.

“Guys, listen” I said, “There are some very little kids in here. I want you to be very careful of them and use your eyes when you are running around. If you knock over a little one, I will knock you over then sit on you.”

I didn’t really mean the last part and said it to make my kids laugh. They all nodded at me and then went on their running away. I really wasn’t too worried that my kids would not be careful. They are daycare kids and are pretty used to watching out for the little ones so I sat back down and turned by attention to my phone.

I would look up every few minutes as my phone was loading a new page to do a head count, an old habit, and make sure all was well in the play area.

It was during one of these ‘head count’ moments that I saw her.

She parked a triplet stroller by the entrance to the play area, grabbed a diaper bag busting at the seams and ushered in three small toddlers. Her kids were young, barely walking, waddling actually. She walked over to a not so crowded area and sat down on the floor. Her little toddlers ventured away from her a bit but mostly preferred to climb on their favorite jungle gym… mommy.

As she sat, I could help but stare. I knew she knew that I was staring at her. I knew she didn’t like it but I couldn’t help it. And if I had had the chance to tell her why, this is what I could have said.

I stare because I know. I am one of the very few who actually has empathy for what you are going through.

I stare because I remember. I remember dragging three toddlers to the play area with the diaper bag bursting at the seams with cups, snacks, diapers and toys for three.

I stare because I know. I know that ‘stay away from me, don’t talk to me’  vibe you are sending out to others around you. It’s that you are mean and hate people, it’s just so hard to make small talk and watch three toddlers at once.

I stare because I remember. I remember needing to get out of the house so badly that the work and stress of doing so didn’t matter.

I stare because I know. I know the questions that strangers ask you; Are the all yours? Are the natural? Are they triplet’s? Did you have sex three times in one night to get them? Trust me, I’ve heard all.

I stare because I remember. I remember those three toddlers climbing all over you and you just wishing they would play and leave you alone for a minute. Just one minute of someone not touching you.

I stare because I know. I know the panic when they all three decided to go in three different directions.

I stare because I remember. I remember it all and for that I am in awe. Awe, that I survived and you will too. I know people say having triplets makes you are ‘super mom’ but I know you don’t feel that way… neither do I. All moms are super moms whether you have three at once, three one at a time, a bunch of kids or just one.

As my kids came to me and lined up to get their shoes on all talking to me at once like they do,  my gaze caught hers and I watched her look to my kids. I watched her soften when she realized that I too was a triplet mom.

I smiled at her, hoping to convey that is possible, they do grow and it does get a little easier.

She smiled back and I walked out of the play area feeling all warm and fuzzy. I had spread a little mommy support to a fellow triplet mom.

It was then I heard a crash and a splash. I looked over and saw my son standing in a very large pool of water because my other children had knocked over a water station in a fight about who got to get a cup of water first.

The fellow triplet mom watched, I could feel her eyes, along with others,  on me and I did the only thing I could do because kids, triplets or not, will be kids.

I sighed,  I rolled my eyes, hook my head and said, “Any one got a towel?”

The Broken TV Woes

Today, I cried over our TV getting broken. Not just cried but full on sobs with big crocodile tears and snot, lots of snot.

Go ahead, laugh because as I type those words and think about my reaction to the TV being broken, I’m shake my head.

I know it’s just a TV but there is a little more to it than that. Let me tell you the story.

I was laying on the couch half watching, half sleeping when Hayden appeared before me, “Mom, I kinda sorta put a crack in the TV.”

I opened my eyes wide and looked at him.

“Yeah, um, yeah there is a small crack in the TV but it’s really small that you can barely notice it,” he said.

I shot up, looked at Jeff and we both headed to the stairs as Hayden called behind us, “But I am telling you now. I came up and told you right away instead of hiding it, that is good right?!”

When we got downstairs the TV was blank. Jeff and I both looked at the screen and surrounding areas of the TV. All appeared fine. I released the breath I was holding and figured that maybe there was just some small scratch that could barely been seen.

“Well, you have to turn the the TV on to see it,” Hayden confessed.

“Yeah..yeah, then there is a circle rainbow on the screen,” Claire stammered.


Jeff and I both looked at each other and we were both thinking the same thing. Our flat screen TV was now an almost $600 paper weight. Totally fucked, never to work again.

Never in my life have I not been able to find the words as to what to say but in that moment as Hayden looked to me and then to Jeff and the TV showed us a brilliant circle rainbow, I was speechless.

I felt the tears begin to sting my eyes and I almost laughed at myself. Was I seriously going to cry over a TV? Suddenly, it was all too much and I had to be out of there.

I heard Jeff send Hayden to his room and I took the steps two at a time to mine. I threw myself on my bed and I couldn’t help the sobs that over took my body.

“Oh my God!” I said, “It’s just a freaking TV!”

But it’s more than that. That TV was a Christmas present that we gave our family two years ago. We saved for months to be able to get a good quality TV that would last. That TV is where we spend time together as a family having carpet picnics and watching movies. That TV saves my sanity so that I can make dinner while they play the Wii. That TV is where Jeff and I watch Downton Abby.

Jeff and I worked hard for the money to be able to buy that TV, to give something nice to our kids and in an instant, in the moment of one stupid decision it was destroyed. Could we get a new one? Yeah, we can but that is not the point.

I like the fact that Jeff and I have a life style where we can ‘spoil’ our kids. We can buy them things just because. I didn’t necessarily grow up that way and neither did Jeff. But maybe that has taught our kids that things come easy. It appears that we forgot to teach them to value the things that we have and by work hard is how you get those things.

I had a whole other set of tears for Hayden. Even though, I was so angry at him I couldn’t look at him, half of me knew that he was down in his room crying his eyes out too. He was beating himself up. He was angry at himself. He was hurting. I wanted to hold him, hug him and tell him everything would be alright.  Being a mother can be so conflicting sometimes.

And it was because of that, the only thing I could do was cry essentially over a broken TV.

After sometime, Jeff and I gathered Hayden and we talked. We tried to explain him how much money that TV costs and how we wouldn’t just be able to buy a new one tomorrow. We explained what that TV being broken meant, no more video games or family movie nights. We told Hayden he was in our debt and we came up with a system of extra jobs that he could do to help pay for a new one.

Things seem settled for now and who knows, maybe a month of less TV will be good for us all.

Oh but I bet you are wondering exactly how our flat screen TV came to be a very, very expensive paper weight.

Hayden and the triplets were watching a movie and Micky Mouse came on. Apparently, Hayden does not like Micky Mouse and thought it would be a good idea to throw a Nintendo Game Cube controller at him and therefore at the TV.

Yup, Hayden threw a controller at our flat screen TV because he doesn’t like Micky Mouse. He said this has something to do with him watching too much Micky Mouse Clubhouse as a baby.


Remind me to warn Micky of Hayden’s dislike for him if we ever go to Disney Land and maybe even buy Mickey a shield.

No Gum Until You Are 16!

I hate chewing gum.

Ok, fine. I’m a bit of a hypocrite when I say that because I do chew gum myself but only at work and it’s only to get rid of my coffee breath before I see my patients. There is nothing worse then not feeling good and having a nurse with coffee stink breath in your face.

I guess what I really hate about chewing gum is little kids having gum.  I feel like gum has no place in the mouths of children.

I didn’t always feel this way.

No, I used to allow my kids to have gum once in a while. They would chew it for a while and then swallow it and that was that. But then one day Quinn decided to take a piece of gum he was chewing on and when he didn’t want it anymore, set it on our brand new couch and then I proceeded to sit on it while wearing my favorite (and only) pair of designer jeans.

I was able to save the couch but my jeans… not so much.

So that was when I made the rule that in this house, children are not allowed to have gum until they are 15.

Well when you take something away from someone that they really really like, they only want it more. And that would be Quinn. That little dude has a big hard on for gum. He is always trying to sneak a piece or ask me, “Mommy, will I be 15 tomorrow?”

The way he looks at me with his big eyes almost makes me want to cave but then I remember my couch, my jeans and the annoying chewing gum chewers make and I hold firm.

Yup, just call me the meanest mom in the world.

The kids and I took a quick trip to Target to pick up 2 things we needed and leave with 20 things we didn’t. As I scanned and paid for our items, the kids ran to a near by drinking fountain for a drink. I gathered the bags and called all the kids to follow me.

Just as we were about to walk outside the door, I realized Quinn was chewing something and I didn’t remember giving anyone anything to eat.

“Quinn,” I said, “What’s in your mouth?”

Quinn stops dead in his tracks and just looks at me.

“Quinn, what is in your mouth?” I repeated.

Again, Quinn says nothing and just stares at me. I know something is up. I can read it all over his face. I figured that he was just pulling a ‘Hayden’ and found a random piece of something on the floor and popped it in his mouth to chew on because that is apparently what you do with random things on the floor.

“Quinn! What is in your mouth?!” I asked for the third time this time in my ‘very stern I am so serious you better tell me’ mom tone.

Quinn instantly begins to wail and as he does a small piece of white gum falls out from his mouth and lands at my feet.

Hayden quickly steps up to tell me what happened, that kid loves to throw his younger siblings under the bus, “Mom, he found that piece of gum at the drinking fountain and put it in his mouth to chew.”

I look at Quinn wailing and then at the chewed, ‘already been chewed’ by something else and Quinn, gum at my feet and instantly started dry heaving.

“Quinn did you put a chewed piece of gum in your mouth and start chewing on it?” I ask.

Quinn nods.

I dry heave again.

“Quinn someone else chewed that piece. That had been in someone else’s mouth,” I lectured, “We don’t do that. That’s disgusting!”

Quinn wailed louder. People around us were now watching and I knew we had to leave. I bent over picked up the piece of gum because I didn’t feel like I could just leave it there, that would be gross, and put it in the near by trash can.

I got my hand sanitizer out of my purse and scrubbed my hands, contemplated putting some in Quinn’s mouth but gave him some for his hands instead because I had to do something and we walked out of the store.

Once we reached the van, I spoke… “Quinn, when we get home you are going to brush your teeth twice and no gum until you are 16!”