Monday, July 8, 2013

Purse of sh*t, expanded version, or, our "vacation" was a "success"

Our vacation was a success! If by "vacation" you mean, average amounts of mishap and mayhem, carried out in planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, hotel lobbies, and other highly public venues, but in the company of favorite friends and family in an aesthetically pleasing locale... And by "success" you mean, we all made it back alive.

Let me just break it down for you.

Tuesday, 7:30am. Take old lady Blue to the groomer so she'll be fresh and clean and pure as a buttercup for the pet sitter. Keep in mind Blue barks like a Banshee in the car, and it is difficult if not impossible to decipher whether she is happy, thirsty, saw a cat, is contemplating suicide, or really has to pee. As we are pulling into the parking lot I notice that she is suddenly very quiet. I look over and see that she is taking a shit. In my purse. IN. MY. PURSE. She then proceeds to sniff it, step in it, and track it all over the car. I don't know if this was the result of unavoidable intestinal distress, or done in protest because she knew we were going on vacation without her. I stop and somehow manage to get her out of the car without actually touching her. Pull out jumbo pack of Costco wipes that THANK YOU LORD I had in the glove box. Clean her up as best I could. Ninety-seven wipes later, carry her into the groomer. Hand her over with the warning, "Sorry, but her face and her feet and ... actually all of her are sort of covered with fresh crap. I tried to clean it off with baby wipes but was only somewhat successful." Groomer is laudably unfazed, but the other patron, a woman clad head to toe in Lululemon, perfectly coiffed at 7:30 a.m., with two bowed and bedazzled dogs in tow for their "weekly bath," poorly conceals her disgust. Whatever. I'm out. Dispose of my "purse of shit." Should be on my way to work, but stop off for non-negotiable express car wash and detail. Tip extra for biohazard/contact with foreign fecal matter.  

Tuesday, 7:00pm. As we are making our way through airport security, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed son looks up innocently at my tan, bearded, Iranian-American husband and says, "Are you my Daddy?" Thankfully, the TSA agents all laughed, and/or were indifferent to the kidnapping of small Aryan children by a suspicious-looking bearded Middle Easterners. [And yes, my husband really is my son's father. Don't ask (brown haired, brown-eyed) me. Ask Mendel.]

Tuesday, 8:00pm. Flight from San Diego to Sacramento. Children are more or less angels. Plane is almost empty and we get two whole rows to ourselves. However. On the "pain scale" I would rate my most recent experiences as follows: First, child birth with ineffective/late-onset epidurals. Close second, a blocked and subsequently ruptured eardrum on airplane descent, while accompanied by two boisterous toddlers. Distant but not insubstantial third place, being repeatedly pinched by sharp daggery little one-year-old pincer fingers on the flying-squirrel-fat on the back of my arms.

Wednesday, 10am. Sacramento is HOT AS BALLS.* My pops and I (insanely) attempt a trip to the park with the kiddos. There was a cursory perusal of the park, an abbreviated swing session where they swayed to and fro with all the enjoyment of coma patients, and some lackluster digging in the flaming hot sand. I am convinced that this the birthplace of the ubiquitous "hot lava" playground game because the skin might literally melt of your feet if they touched the sand. Jack does uncover a little action figure/doll and wants to "resh-cue" her. Grandpa says, "Oh look, it's Wonder Woman! But where's her cape? And her pants?" Remarkably, her gold heels were intact. Actually, if I know my Disney characters, I'd say it's Bikini Belle, and it appears that she and The Beast had a rough night. J whisks her away in his toy garbage truck. Apparently, he may have a touch of the wounded bird complex, much like his father.

10:13am, park trip over. Babies spend the rest of the day in a state of heat-induced catatonia, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Thursday through Sunday - exhausting but extremely enjoyable Fourth of July vacation at the lake with some of our favorite friends. The kids were pretty freaking great, considering they were sleep-deprived, hopped up on ice cream and goofballs, and ingested half their body weight in sand, pool- and lake water. Please GOD let Lake Tahoe be cold enough to ward off the brain-eating amoeba.

Sunday morning. Drive from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento, things start to get a little hairy.

Me: Jack, please stop being ornery.
J: What's ornery?
DM: It's French for Henry.
J: I'm gonna be Henry.
Me: I would prefer if you would just be Jack.
Meanwhile, our nanny texts to let us know she will be flaking on us on Monday. (We love her and she's great with the kids but she has medical/family emergencies on a somewhat regular basis and I think I have reached my sympathy quota for the year.) DM rifles through the backup babysitter rolodex while I drive. We exhaust all our options, to no avail. We start doing the complicated calculus of "Who is less likely to lose their job calling out of work (again) tomorrow?" DM has commitments he can't get out of so I bite the bullet, but can I please just say, for the record, how insanely frustrating this (recurring) situation is? I will never ever be taken seriously, or get ahead at work, when I have to do shit like this basically once a month, either because of the nanny or because they got sick at daycare and are thus too sick to go to daycare. Now I am an angry French lion.

Then, J's psychotic break wakes his little sister, who was heretofore napping peacefully in her car seat. Now they are both losing their shit. DM and I begin to discuss plans for double-assisted-suicide.

DM: We really have to time it out perfectly. There's no room for hesitation.
Me: I don't think I could do it. I would probably wuss out.
DM: Well that would suck because I would feel really bad because I will have murdered you.
Me: I'd feel worse for you! You'd still be alive, and a single parent!

Sunday, 1:00pm. We arrive in Sacramento and my dad buys us Jimboy's for the second time in five days. My mood is markedly improved. He then offers to drive me and one or both of the kids back to San Diego, so as to avoid searing flight-induced ear-pain, and solve Monday's childcare dilemma. At the same time, my sister says she can come over to watch the kids after her morning doctor's appointment. Thank GOODNESS for my amazing family. And Jimboy's. And wine. Thank you for wine.

Sunday 2:45pm. Arrive at airport an hour early and don't even think to be worried about time (because I momentarily forgot that everything takes 13 times longer when you are doing it with children), but as we're approaching the front of the disastrously slow security line, we hear our names over the loud speaker - "Cheesy Family: Please report to Gate B18 immediately or your seats will be given away." I bat my eyelashes and ask the super duper helpful TSA staff if they could possibly, pretty please, let the people at the gate know that we are almost there, but my request is met with mild hostility. Apparently their walkie talkies are just for show. Somehow, by the grace of God, we make it on the plane (while my husband lectures me like a 2 year old about how "stressing out doesn't solve anything and increased stress levels cause 'us' to make mistakes" such as leaving the backpack that he was in charge of carrying at security. My response: "I'm not trying to be dramatic, but if you don't stop talking, I am going to divorce you." But I digress :)) We are the last ones on the full plane and there are only 3 middle seats left. The flight attendant is attempting to bribe passengers with booze to move for the 4 assholes with 3 tickets that show up 2 minutes before the flight is scheduled to leave. If looks could kill, I would have been put out of my misery. Finally, praise Saint Sucks-to-be-You (the patron saint of traveling with children), some blessed souls finally agree to move and we get the whole last row. We receive a slight credit to our karmic debt via proximity to noxious overused airport lavatory fumes. The children are generally angelic yet again, minus one small incident wherein Colby acts out some ninjitsu nunchuck maneuvers on her brother with a metal die cast airplane. DM is his normal amazing dad self and I have, for the time being, shelved my notions of divorce. We arrive in San Diego more or less unscathed, though if there was ever any question (there wasn't), I now know for certain - DM will be getting that vasectomy. We come home to a clean house and clean sheets and my sweet, crazy, shit-for-brains fur-baby Blue. All is well with the world.

Mildly humorous side story. Our vacation buddies have been getting pretty serious about ridding their lives of chemicals and other synthetic crap. Apparently, DM took their talk of sulfates and parabens to heart because on Sunday he decided not to wear deodorant - on a day that included hours of auto- and plane travel with two children, and temperatures ranging from 85 to 107 degrees. He was sort of horrified that he had sweat stains and said, "Oh my god, I smell!" But seriously, it was like, baby B.O. Do you have any idea how terrible I would smell if I went without?! As a general rule I am a total sweat-er, but yesterday, adding stress and scorching Sac-town temps and a squirming 30 pound heater strapped to my front, I smelled like a patchouli-peddling shoeless hippie. And this is with multiple applications of the triple-petro-chemical, clinical strength, extra-paraben, 17%-likely-to-cause armpit cancer stuff! No fair!

Anyway. Got to work at 1pm today. Nothin' like hittin' the ground stumblin' after a long weekend! Lean in!

* Did you know they have a similar saying in Puerto Rico? "Calor con cojones," which I think is basically a direct translation of "hot as balls," or maybe "hot with a side of balls."

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