Good Luck Keeping Track of Everyone

One of the kids on some wild ride.

Some days you hear words that are so profound, even the person speaking them doesn’t recognize the importance of what they’ve said.

This past weekend we took the crew to our grand state fair. A hot Saturday was not my first choice for dates, but Zachary couldn’t take a day off and I’d already promised the kids we could go, so despite a late start we headed off and arrived just before lunch time.

We found an awesome parking spot – it cost us $20, but we were less than a block from the fair entrance and I’m telling you, $20 is a small price to pay for being able to get to your car quickly with four kids after a long, sweltering day.

We stood in line to pay admission, the kids were excited, and the woman taking tickets smiled at us and told us we had a good looking family (can’t argue with that!). But then she said, “Good luck keeping track of everyone.”

First off, that is not a good thing to say to a mother like me, who panics over the thought of losing one of the kids in a crowd. I’m not sure if I should admit this, but I’d already had Zachary write his cell phone number on their upper arms. In permanent marker.

Secondly, now I’m more worried about Disney World, which will be more days and bigger parks and more chances for confusion.

The fair was fun, we indulged in lots of good and naughty foods, and I’m happy to report we did not lose a single child, though we did have to endure whining over it being hot, whining over not being allowed to choose souvenirs (because what says “state fair” more than a cheap Spongebob balloon on a stick?), and it was so crowded we weren’t able to get our stroller + three kids + two adults squeezed into any animal buildings.

But despite that it was a good day, and later I got to thinking about what the ticket lady said. Yes, we definitely needed some luck keeping the kids close that day at the fair, but when you have four kids, you also need some luck just keeping track of everyone on a day-to-day basis at home.

School starts soon, and in addition to all the daily tasks involved with running the household, we’ll have three different school schedules, two kids coming back with homework each night, school papers from three teachers, birthday party invitations, wellness visits to the doctor, and so on. And somehow, Zachary and I are supposed to have time to actually play with and listen to each child individually so they get the attention they deserve.

So yes, as we enter the busy season of fall and I realize Zachary and I need to come up with a plan a little more concrete than, “Wake up and get everyone out of the house on time,” so wish me luck keeping track of everyone. I think we’ll need it.



  1. I love this! We’re heading to the Fair today and I’m very excited to indulge myself in lots of naughty foods too!!!

    BTW, you may want to invest in some “leashes” for Disney. It was hard to keep track of children and I only had two!!!

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