The Ouisers just spent a few days in the Windy City. Let's start with that. Why I thought a few days in a large city with an overly dramatic four-year-old and an eleven week old was a good idea for a mini holiday, I'll never know. It was a little crazy, but all-in-all, there were some great memories made. I'll likely use the next several days to tell the full story, but I'll start with how our trip proved that there is such a thing as good karma.
I'd like to think that I stack the karma deck in our favor on a regular basis. I let people in the grocery line go ahead of me if they've got a handful of things and I've got enough fruit to feed a small army. I let people out in traffic. I tell people when the tag is sticking out of their shirt or when their baby drops something. Little things, you know.
It was all worth it in Chicago.
Friday, we went to the Field Museum. We grabbed a taxi at our hotel, threw the stroller in the trunk, and started on our adventure. I'm not going to lie. Putting S and T into a cab on a busy street was a little frantic. Getting out of the taxi was more frantic as we didn't want S straying into oncoming traffic. While I paid the bill, M grabbed the stroller and tried to get the kids situated. Here's where karma took care of us.
I got cash for the trip...for little things like cab rides or snacks or coffee. However, for some unknown reason, I chose to pay with a card for this particular ride. Also, I almost never request a receipt because it's a waste of paper in most cases. But I asked for a receipt this time. Then, the credit card thing was acting wonky and taking forever, but I waited instead of saying, "no big deal," and moving on.
Fifteen minutes later, we were in the museum, ready to explore, and Mr. Ouiser made a pit stop. While I waited with the kids, T started fussing, so I decided to put him in the Baby Bjorn, which was packed in the basket under the stroller. Only it wasn't there anymore. Nor were M's or S's raincoats. Or my emergency bag of tylenol/bandaids/benadryl/hand sanitizer. Or diapers. Or wipes. The only thing there was my raincoat.
Please note the obviously empty stroller basket. Oops.
I very quickly realized that everything had fallen out of the stroller when it was put into the trunk of the taxi, and in our craziness, we hadn't noticed.
Hello, karma. I had a receipt with the cab company's name and the cab number we'd just ridden in. I called, and the very nice taxi driver returned our stuff to the museum within twenty minutes. Normally, I wouldn't have had the receipt with all that glorious information. And our stuff would've been long gone.
To restock the karma deck, I promptly offered to take a family photo for some people standing outside the museum who were doing the mom-and-kid then dad-and-kid photo rotation that we know all too well.
Later that night, when we were headed to dinner, we decided not to take the stroller...to just carry the baby. M took the stroller back to our room, where he found the door hadn't closed all the way, so all of our stuff was just there, waiting to be stolen. Karma knew that door was open, and she sent M the brainwave that said, "You don't want to push the stroller right now, take it back to room 1204."
On Saturday, karma saved our tails again. S had slept with her baby doll, Mary*, on Thursday evening. Things were so nuts on Friday that she never wanted to play with Mary, but when I got ready to pack things up on Saturday morning, I realized that Mary was missing. She wasn't in any of the drawers or the closet. She wasn't in a bag or a box. She was nowhere. I asked S if she'd seen her, but she answered, "No. She's probably playing hide and seek."
I called the front desk, and they transferred me to housekeeping. Mary had been carried away with the laundry, and the glorious staff of the Omni Hotel put her aside, waiting for a sad little girl to realize her doll was missing. When the concierge brought her to us, he even played along with the idea that Mary was playing hide and seek.
So, seriously. Stack the karma deck. Do it regularly.