Monday, June 9, 2008

Our Courthouse Adventure

Here is one I swear I will never forget, but wanted to write down and remember from this past winter.

When I was 7 months pregnant with Nathan, I took the kids to one of my favorite places: Eugsters Farm. This is a very family friendly place. It is essentially a produce and hobby animal farm that the owners open up for extra $ to families for a "in the city farm experience." We go here every year for our pumpkin and several times a year to ride the tractors, play in the big play sets, feed the goats and see the new kittens and puppies.

Well last July we went to spend the day. While I was there having a picnic with David and Caleb a man and a women stole my purse from my van. (Our air conditioning was broken during this time and I had left the windows cracked. I have auto locks so I think that is how they got to it.) In my purse were my checks, which they used all over town. Also, David’s wallet, my cell phone and diapers for Caleb. We actually came back to the van to change a poppy diaper on Caleb to find everything gone. That was a fun ride home.

Over the following 8 months I had to deal with all the ramifications to this incident. But what hurt most was how devastated David was that someone stole his wallet. To show him that we don't always know what the "bad guys" look like, I decided to take him with me to the court date. The woman, Renee, was set before the judge for sentencing. Unfortunately for us, this meant it was the dead of winter, downtown Madison with 3 kids.

I detest driving downtown. I don’t feel safe there, you can never park and there are too many 1-way streets! Now add the huge snow piles (this was the winter we had over 100 inches you know) and below freezing temperatures (oh the great state of WI - why are we here?). What a great day to see the "bad guy".

After trudging thru 4 blocks of slippery ice (carrying an infant in an infant seat) we arrived at the courthouse - late of course. I had forgotten all about the fact that they have security there and had to proceed to get all of us thru the metal detectors. Oh yes, we all had to take off our boots, jackets, infant out of seat, car keys and such. Oh yes what fun. So now we have to get into the courtroom to see Renee.

She was sentenced to 1-year jail and restitution. David felt that Justice was served and we trudged back to our van. As we round the corner there is OLD junker Cadillac (you know the type that has the rust shaking off it due to the base playing so loud) trying to parallel park behind my van with not enough room. Good thing I came when I did. Once they saw me, they decided they really did not have enough room to get in and they drive off.

I lift each of the 3 kids over the mounding snow bank and into the van. I came around the corner to the driver’s side to buckle Caleb in only to discover that on the diaper bag, that was in the van, were hanging my keys and a certain 2 year old thought it would be fun to lock the doors. You got it. Now I am on a VERY busy street, much too close to traffic, on a slippery road, all 3 kids in the van and I am locked out. Now if this isn't funny enough in itself, a man who is trying to park across the street thought this would be a good time to ask me if I had change for a dollar for his parking meter. Oh yes buddy, let me get right to that.

I gave him the look that all mothers give to people who ask something completely ridiculous. Thankfully my 1st born is a total rule follower and was able to crawl over the bench and undo the automatic locks. We drove home without any further incident. Oh wait I forgot. I gave the guy change for his dollar. Good thing I am a woman and am prepared for the unthinkable.