September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Trip of temporary insanity

By Jacqui Davison- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

As we walked into the Alliant Energy Center on a very rainy Friday morning, we were greeted with smiles from men and women alike. A few told us we were brave, a couple said we were crazy, some smiled and said we were making memories for our kids. While all these things were truthful statements, perhaps the most honest comments were ones they thought, but were much too polite to say. We were absolutely insane and must not have had our heads screwed on straight.
Picture this World Dairy Expo entourage: Me carrying Henry (six weeks) in the baby snuggly (a front pouch) clutching Dane's (4) hand. Ira (6) holding Oliver's (3) hand. And Stacy pushing Finley (three months) in the stroller. To put it mildly, we were a sight.
Let me back up a bit to tell the whole story. We left the farm at about 9 a.m., plugging the boys into a Celtic Woman DVD in the van. (Side note: My boys have been subject to all kinds of music; they really like the drums and like to watch the blond girl that looks like Lynzie play her violin. They are indeed little boys.) We only had to stop once for two very hungry little boys to be fed, then they made it happily the rest of the way to Madison.
We pulled into the parking lot and Oliver was immediately excited and jabbering up a storm. Henry had his fill of the carseat and was screaming. We corralled the troops and headed in. Stacy and I were still optimistic about the day - no major meltdowns - yet. Our little group of farmers made it down one aisle before we found our first cool bag to carry around. I had Oliver, Dane, and Ira on a mission to find the neatest pen or pencil. Dane was really the only one who took the bait to focus on that, and most definitely won. I won't need a new pen for a while, if he shares with me. Ira only had one thing on his brain - spending the $20 he has earned by helping Stacy and Steph feed calves. Oliver did pretty well; he was fascinated by the stress cow that you squeeze the fake manure out of and absolutely terrified of the gorilla advertising a new mastitis treatment. Finley is so easygoing, he was delighted by being pushed around in the stroller with all the noise and lights and big boys talking to him. Henry did a pretty good job of napping the better part of the morning.
Two aisles later we adopted an extra set of hands in Brooks Mitchell, which was a lifesaver, because with that many energetic boys they sometimes have different ideas of what to look at. After Dane complained about being hungry for what felt like the hundredth time, Stacy suggested we go make good on our free grilled cheese and milkshake lunches to calm our crew. Did I mention that it was raining outside most all day? Out we headed to stand in line for what seemed like forever to our hungry boys. We were lucky enough to be standing by a woman with a giant umbrella who was kind enough to share with Stacy and Finley. With our warm, delicious grilled cheeses and our smooth chocolate milkshakes in hand, we headed to the cattle barn to find our friend Laura and a dry place to sit and feed the posse. Lynzie arrived and, with renewed energy, our group headed back out to find the choppers. We didn't worry about losing Oliver and Dane anymore, they were stuck to Lynzie like glue.
Back in the Exhibition Hall for a change of clothes for Henry due to a minor diaper explosion, we suddenly realized that we were running out of hours in the day and actually had some booths we wanted to visit. Off we went again up and down the aisles. After leaving Stacy with some sales reps, Lynzie and I took the boys to go get some fudge (for us, not really them) and cheese, breeze through the Bonnie Mohr booth and buy some treasures. Then we looked at the clock. Knowing we were definitely late for chores, we debated whether or not we had time for the boys to buy their very wanted toys. I started to explain to Ira that we could just order things online, but after a quick chat with Stacy, we decided that we would be farther ahead with the inevitable crabbiness on the way home if we just spent the ten minutes in the sauna-like tent now.
The smiling group that walked into Expo earlier that day looked quite bedraggled now. Ira, Dane, and Oliver were tired, though ecstatic about their new toys, Finley was tired and hungry, and Henry wasn't sure if he wanted to be awake or asleep. Stacy was tired and nervous about not being home on time to feed calves, and I was just tired. With babies fed and buckled in, big boys with their new toys in hand, we left Expo and headed for home. We made it almost to Sauk City before Henry completely ran out of patience. Finley and Oliver were sleeping soundly, Dane and Ira were trading toy implements back and forth, and I had to pull a very sweaty, red-faced Henry out of his seat to calm him down before we could keep going. By the time we hit Reedsburg we had stopped three times to attempt to calm Henry or Finley. We also called for chore help; Steph started feeding calves and Peter milked the cows.
Needless to say, a drive that should have taken us an hour and a half, took us almost three hours. Oliver was the only child who took a nap, and the rest of us couldn't have been happier to be home. While it was great spending the day together, both as sisters and as moms with boys so close in age, Stacy and I have vowed not to take them on any more road trips for a long time. Ira will probably never volunteer to sit in the back by Henry again for the headache it caused him. We will go back to World Dairy Expo, and no doubt this trip created lasting memories, and we didn't lose anyone - but we will never again be crazy enough to think we can do this with two little boys under six months old who are not very big fans of car rides.[[In-content Ad]]


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