I embraced the moment yesterday - ever trying to be more present - and decided that when Quinn said, with his upturned baby blues, looking hopeful, "I'm going to come with you!" on what I had planned on being my very own, very quiet, very alone alone time, I agreed, and we hopped in the minivan. He didn't even mind riding in the smelly seat.
We had to pick up GamGams birthday present, and since there was a car repair place next door, we stopped in there, too, to see if there were any hoods being looked under: my three year old boy's dream adventure. The woman working in the office was exactly who I would have pictured if we had walked into the same car repair shop in Jersey City in 1982: long ringlets of brown hair bleached blonde, a clinging (and when I say clinging, I mean Clinging, capital C) black knit dress with beige stripes down the sleeves, a la Z Cavaricci menswear circa 1990, thick beige panty hose, crackly pink lipstick, and saying "Awwww..." in two syllables at how cute Quinn was. I guarantee that this woman was from New Jersey. They just don't grow 'em the same out here.
Anyway. Then we went to Starbucks, where Quinn was a little dream. We talked about Pirate Adventure camp, about how he loves me, how I can't have any of his brie, but can have the broken cracker that fell on the floor, that he wants some of my coffee. I couldn't help but be really angry at this other mother in there, though. She had her 5-7 year old (hard to tell) with her, and she was trying to have an adult conversation with her male companion, clearly not her partner, and clearly didn't have any kids of his own. The mom kept whisper yelling at her kid, "Sit! I told you to sit! Sit on your bottom in that chair or I will take away TV tonight!" Then she would babble on to the guy, ignoring her kid, who oh so clearly just needed attention - or a book, or a sticker sheet, or a cracker. Or something. That went on the whole time we were there. I wanted to tell the woman to focus on her kid. Or leave her kid at home to play. Who brings their five year old to Starbucks with a friend they want to impress, and expect it to go any other way? At least when my kids lose it at the grocery store, I expect it.
Then today, at the park there was this woman with her two kids, 5 3/4 and 3. The three year old was having a meltdown about something, wanting a stomp rocket from the car. I was there with just Henry. Just Henry! We were on a walk, stopped for a coffee, stopped for a play in the park. No rushing, no one needed to rush to a potty, needed a snack, wanted what the other kid had, didn't want to walk anymore. One kid. Ha! Anyway. So the mom and I are standing there, seriously about 4 feet from each other, and we are the only ones at the park, and her kid is screaming on the slide, between us, and she never made eye contact with me or acknowledged me in any way. I talked to the other one about her school and being 5 3/4. The mom is yelling at the three year old to stop acting so babyish, and that it was her responsibility to bring the rocket with her from the car if she wanted it. She never made eye contact with me. She grunted a little when I said something like, "I had a day like that yesterday..." I'm sure she was thinking, what does this woman know about having two kids?
I tried to remember that I wasn't in her shoes, and that maybe she just got some really bad news - her mom was just diagnosed with a terminal illness, her husband was having an affair, lost his job. But really I think she was just kind of a bitty.
Ellie pulled a bubble bath, toilet paper, dental floss trifecta tonight, all while climbing up a tall, upside down laundry basket "just yike a yadder!" so she could sit at level with the bathroom sink. Boy, bubble bath makes a lot of bubbles in a sink. And wow, there is a LOT of dental floss on a full dental floss spool. Could have been worse. She could have come down from her bathroom extravaganza and gotten poop on the dining room chair while we had friends over for dinner. Or something.
Vernaccia. I had forgotten about Vernaccia. I went down after nursing Henry to sleep, and Chris had dumped the last swig of wine out of the bottle, the swig I had been anticipating the whole time I was getting the kids to bed. He was just trying to clean up. So he went to the store and bought a bottle of Vernaccia from San Gimignano. San Gimi Gimi. I knew I married this man for a reason.
I hope the woman in Starbucks let her kid watch a cartoon last night, and I hope the woman at the park today has a better day tomorrow. I hope, for my sake, that someone else has wiped the poop off the chair.