This weekend was a loooooong one, but in a good way. I was just really tired by the time it was over and my day off on Monday that was supposed to be a vacation day turned into a sick day when I woke up at 5am with a sore throat and a headache and was unable to get up and much at all.
I took A. to the airport on Saturday where he flew away around midnight for the next two and half weeks. The airport, especially the International terminal, has gotten very tense. He had really big suitcases and I wanted to drop him off right in front because with his back injury it’s not a good thing to shlep heavy very far. I tried to pull up right in front and this cop was screaming at me so I rolled down my window and screamed back, “Hold up officer! I need to drop off this guy and some very, very heavy luggage, where do you suggest I do that?” Thank God he wasn’t a complete ass and he directed me into the lovely length of empty curb right in front of the terminal and then stopped traffic so I could drive across to the parking structure. I blew him kisses as I drove past because as long as I get my own way, I’m a real pleasure to deal with. Hung with A. for an hour until he had to go board his flight. Neither one of us do that whole kissy face and tears goodbye, because it’s just a couple of weeks and he’s totally coming back. Right?
Sunday morning I got up after a few hours sleep and went down to pick up Ms. Cecilia who is five for our movie date. We were supposed to go see Robots, but Cathy who’d bagged on her in the first place slipped in and took her to see it first. So I got Ice Princess. Leisa and my darling Mia, who is six, came and met us there. Mia started out sitting next to me and then when she became aware of the bag of gummy bears that Cecelia had she moved to my lap and whispered, “Does Cecelia have some candy over there?” Candy is one of Mia’s primary food groups. Cecelia being the very sweet girl that she is said, “Yes, would you like to share? Here you go.” And Mia moved over to sit in the same seat with Cecelia so as to better share the giant bag of sugar. Leisa and I quite liked the movie, we both got misty at the end, and Cecelia announced that she’s going to be a professional figure skater. And a veterinarian.
After the movie we went to McDonald’s, also part of our special day out. Mia ordered a McFlurry which Leisa and I chowed on while she was playing on the habitrail that they have set up for children on the patio. Can you say YUM! After Leisa and Mia took off for their pre-arranged ice skating date with friends Cece and I fed the birds and laughed at all the fighting that was going on over our fries. She decided that she wanted to stop by the rink and see what the whole ice skating thing was all about so we did, because I am completely indulgent with other people’s children. She was quite taken with the little girls in their outfits doing their wobbly turns and left the rink totally sure that she would be committed to ice skating so her parents should buy her some boots and blades immediately.
Next we hit the mall because the Children’s Place is having a sale and it’s my favorite store. Like I wish they made the clothes in my size. Now I had asked Cece several times if she needed to use the bathroom because I am aware that 5 year olds have small bladders, but she kept saying no. So when we got to the mall and she said she had to go potty and the one in the mall was crowded I decided we should hurry up and get to a department store where the bathrooms are cleaner anyway.
We were riding up on the escalator and all of a sudden Cece shrieks, “I’m going to pee my pants.” Her face was contorted in such a way that I knew this wasn’t a warning, we were pretty much at DefCon Five. When she started screaming, “It’s happening, it’s happening,” all I could do was tell her to keep moving, my reasoning being that if you move quickly enough there will be no puddle. Thank God the ladies room was clearly visible at the top of the escalator and Cece was able to walk while squeezing her little legs together.
Once we got in the bathroom the tears started and the self castigation. Her, not me. I got her underpants off and put her on the pot and told her to go ahead and finish and she wailed that she was bad and I told her, “Nah, it happens to everyone. It happens to me all the time.” “Really,” she sobbed, “Yeah, because I get busy and I don’t take the time to stop and go and all of a sudden I’m ready to pee my pants. So I have to run really fast and sometimes I don’t quite make it. It’s no big thing.” “But my shoes are all wet.” “Yeah, but they’re Tevas and they’re made to get wet so we’re just going to wash them in the sink and rinse your panties out and I’ll put them in my purse and we’ll tie your sweater around your waist so that little wet spot doesn’t show on your skirt.
“I want to go home.”
So I got her all cleaned up and put back together and the tears stopped and we wandered around the store trying to find our way out. I wondered aloud if we should go check out the carousel since it was right there when we walked out the door. She moseyed along because all those painted horses were very pretty after all. I asked if she wanted to go for a ride. She didn’t know. Well, how about if we go down to the Children’s Place so I can see if they have that twirly skirt I wanted to get you and you can think about it and if you want to ride we’ll go on our way back.
So we did.
And she got two pairs of sunglasses – fabulous, two very cute dresses on sale, and a fabulous blouse that I truly covet. I thought about trying on the size 12 because some of these little girls are quite chubby so you never know, but the arms were too short. We left the mall, stopping to ride that carousel and get some candy, before I took her home.
The whole day was so much fun but I was completely exhausted from the emotional roller coaster. It amazes me how resilient children are if you only distract them from whatever is bumming them out with a little shopping therapy. I let her touch absolutely everything on those carts that they have in malls now. She was particularly fascinated by the cart 'o piercings and luckily for us there was a woman standing there with piercings galore so that I could explain to her exactly what the little dumbells with rhinestones on them were for. As we were leaving the mall Cecelia was walking along saying, “Hi! How are you today?” to everyone at her level which basically covered people sitting down or riding in strollers. We passed one elderly woman who was being pushed in a wheelchair and Cecelia went right up to her with a big smile, “Hi there!” and I wish I’d had a camera to take a picture of how that woman’s face lit up. Cecelia had just made her whole day. I was so proud to be in the company of someone who was spreading the joy and making people smile.
That night I was just about to fall asleep when A. called to say “Hi,” and to let me know that he had arrived and just hearing his voice made me smile. I'm happy I know him too.