I salute you. As an errand running parent, I know how hard it truly can be. I thought it would get easier, it hasn't. Errand running with a preschooler is an epic undertaking.
First, there's getting into the car. The bigger the hurry you are in, the longer they will take to climb in and sit down. Then there is the car seat. The safer it is, the more difficult it is to clasp. All right, so you've got them in, you take a few deep breaths as you walk around the car to get in the driver's seat. You're going to need those deep breathes, because there is something about the confines of the car that puts the "why?" into overdrive. You know, the series of questioning that has you recalling that one astrophysics class you took in college. Nothing like attempting to explain quantum mechanics to a preschooler while navigating traffic.
Oh, and it gets better. If you are blessed with a Capricorn like me, then no matter how eloquent your answers are, and despite the fact that you got an A in Astrophysics 101, AND never mind that you are RIGHT, he will argue with you. "No, mom that's not how it works." Now, to be fair, sometimes it's just incessant chatter: recalling whole scenes from a movie, reminding you that you go when it turns green, or asking you to look at things behind you. Either way, sometimes it's all just too much. And to avoid getting in an accident, you have to call on the Reverend Al Green to drown out the constant stream of noise flowing from the back seat.
With any luck, you'll make it to the store in one piece. Now try to get out of there with everything on your list and none of the non-list items you will be begged for. This is especially challenging if the store you shop at has "shopper-in-training" carts. The constant tiny-cart wrangling pretty much guarantees you'll have to come back for something; actually, it's genius marketing, I'll give them that. And of course, the little ones love it, even if the backs of your legs aren't as thrilled.
Now, for all of those parents out there who do this with more than one small child: I am not worthy. And to all of those future-parents out there that just don't understand the allure of a drive through Starbucks, I say to you, "Just wait."
The bottom line is that children make just about everything harder. They are awesome, hilarious, and totally lovable. But they really are a lot of work. For me, the best way to survive, maybe even thrive, is to keep a sense of humor. My sense of humor is there when my patience has run out. It reminds me to glance in the back seat and laugh. Giggle at the insanity of it all. And chuckle at the irony that one day, in the not too distant future, I will be driving around with a clammed up teenager, and I will miss the whys and the arguing over the cycles of the moon and the enthusiastic "help" with the shopping.
Here's to parenthood: thank god it's funny, too bad it goes by so fast.