You can’t make this stuff up. Do you guys remember when I pushed a silver VW bug out of the middle of a huge intersection with the help of a one-armed man while my kids watched from my car? That story was just too much to make up! And so is this one.
We decided tonight would be a good night to go get a tree. We were supposed to go last Saturday with my in-laws and eat a great dinner at one of our family’s favorite restaurants followed by the kids running through the tree lot talking Bubba into spending way too much money on a big beautiful Christmas tree, ending the night with ice cream at Ted Drewes. The evening was canceled when a family friend needed us (which was WAY more important than any of the other stuff we were missing!) so tonight was it.
Right after Gray woke up from his nap we loaded the kids in the car, looking adorable in super photographable outfits because of course I was thinking of the photo-op more than anything else. Which is why I forgot a coat for myself and gloves for the kids and why I put the girls in their cute coats instead of the warm ones and why Gray was just in a vest. A vest. Instead of a coat. And about halfway there I realized what an idiot I am when I noticed the outside temperature was 14 degrees. FOURTEEN.
We went on though because Gray was already whining about being thirsty and the girls, who rarely argue, were arguing over every little thing. So by the time we made it to the restaurant we’d chosen I had instituted SILENCE in the car which made our curses audible when we realized the restaurant was closed. No worries, we were on The Hill (the Italian part of St. Louis)… surely we’d find something open. Nope. We went to every place we knew of and each and every one was closed.
By the time we pulled into Bread Company’s parking lot Parker was asleep, Gray was crying for water and Bailey was scared to talk I’d yelled at her so much to JUST BE QUIET FOR ONE SECOND.
Running the 20 feet from the car to the door made us both realize there was no way the kids could survive leisurely walking the tree lot without a trip to the ER to cut off all frozen apendages. So over soup we decided we’d make a run for it. And screw the big beautiful EXPENSIVE tree! If Bubba wasn’t buying we were going Charlie Brown ALL THE WAY.
We finished dinner, drove across the street to the Ted Drewes tree lot and literally sprinted into the rows of trees. And when I turned down the fourth row I hear Chris yelling at me that I’m crazy, to keep going to the back! But Bailey found a sweet tree she liked so I paused before C caught up to us and told Bailey to KEEP MOVING, our tree was in the back! OUR tree that was lopsided and crooked and four feet tall and $30! We signaled to a guy who wrapped it for us so I could pay while I sent C and the kids ahead to the ice cream line. When I finally got to them Grayson was shivering so hard he couldn’t talk so I sent all the kids with C to get in the car while Chris and the high school worked tied the tree to the car while I got the ice cream.
When I got to the car I couldn’t feel anything. Chris was still outside working with the tree-worker so I got each kid their ice cream and within minutes we were on our way laughing about our tiny+cheap+ugly tree we scored! Christmas music was on, we were all munching on our bowls of Ted Drewes and looking at the lights. It was nice and I was thinking that someday we will look back on our tiny little savingforahouse tree and smile. I was thinking this when I mini van pulled up next to us honking which explained the big smile and wave I gave the guy who was yelling YOUR TREE FELL OFF YOUR CAR!!!
Insert record needle scratching the song to a halt as I turned slowly around in my seat only to see our lonely little tree get run over by a car.
I kid you not.
The roads were slick from the 4 inches of snow we got today so Chris slowly did a u-turn and parked the car in front of… wait for it… some kind of homeless-shelter-half-way-house-mental-hospital. He left me doing tennis head between him running through 4 lanes of traffic to get our tree and the random men sitting outside smoking staring at our car. And I swear that if I wasn’t so worried about the men to the right of me or the cold taking my pinky toe I would have gotten out of the car with my camera that hadn’t been used yet to videotape Chris running across this huge street with our tree on his shoulder. Because it was all kinds of hysterical.
And THEN rather than stay any longer in the most random location we’ve ever parked he shoved our gray-street-slush-covered tree in the car forcing Grayson to lean to his right the entire way home.
Since then we’ve convinced the kids we have to LOVE this little tree that’s been run over and we know someday they will recount this story and laugh about what idiots their parents are. The entire way home we kept watching for a semi truck we could drive under to complete the evening! HA!
I’d have done anything to have photos to share with this story. But I don’t. Really, just imagine Chris with this smashed tree on his shoulders trying not to slip while running as fast as he can across traffic in the dark on the coldest night so far and you don’t need a photo!
I can’t make this stuff up!