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A mobile side show

A mobile side show. That’s how I most frequently describe our family outings nowadays.

I have never been more embarrassed, more out-of-control, more amused than I have been during some of our most recent adventures.

There’s been talking to strangers, puking, crying/whining, peeing, escapees, laughter, loud talking and more puking.

Typically, when we go “out” on an errand, Matt will go in, and I will be referee of the car. Since we aren’t that cruel, we leave the windows down.

I don’t really talk to strangers that are walking by. I’m not a snot; I just don’t. My kids do. ANYBODY that walks within a one-mile radius of the Suburban is a victim (much to my horror).

They will say “hi” over and over again until the stranger will submit and come over to the window. Then, they will tell them random things (this is the most embarrassing part).

Since my children don’t know these people, their way to make conversation is to say things like: “You’ve got a big nose. Look at his nose, Mom.” Or other personal questions like: “Who are you? What are you doing?” and on and on.

Most of the time, the strangers (thankfully) acknowledge them and then leave, but sometimes they stay and stay and stay and I want to die die die.

Rylan (my trusty carsick child) got a little sickly on the way to Monett. Our plan didn’t change: rush to Burger King and then scarf the grease and ketchup in the ball field parking lot before rushing to the game.

We ignored his moans and cries (I know, we are mean) besides giving him my stashed gallon Ziploc (which I keep for this EXACT situation).

The parking lot was full as we wedged our giant wagonful of fun into a space with people on both sides in their cars also eating dinner. Matt rolled down the windows just as Rylan gave way to the sickness.

Our neighbors paused from their meal to watch in horror. But it didn’t seem to faze my family. As soon as the engine was off, kids in the way back began hollering for ranch for their fries and others wanted their nuggets.

I kept passing back food and drinks while Rylan “finished.” I know the unfortunate couple next to us watched the entire show. Yep, mobile side show.

But, we survived. Rylan eventually ate, and then the show moved to the ball field, where Masen conveniently (to him) relieved himself in the outfield behind first base. Great.

Not even a week later, five of the six of us had dentist appointments in Aurora. And I had not replenished my Ziploc stash. And Rylan started to show the signs that he really needed one.

I looked at Matt helplessly.

“You’ve got to empty your purse.”

“NO! Really?” I begged.

“It’s either your purse or the car.”

So, I reluctantly emptied my bag (a more appropriate description of my giant “purse”) and held it as the devoted mother that I am while my 5-year-old blew that morning’s two glasses of milk and donuts into it. Lovely.

Felt like we were making a drug drop or something as we did a drive-by ditching the purse into a trash can at an Aurora gas station.

The dentist’s office was very accommodating and gave Rylan time to re-brush his teeth and gave me a trash bag for my belongings.

Just another day.

As the children grow and are more obligated, our family side show is bound to change. Bound to travel more. The only thing I have come to expect is to expect the unexpected. That’s the only constant.

Oh, and to expect to be embarrassed. Again and again.

Categories: Life on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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