10/5/09

Day #29: Single Parent

I lost my ability to reason last week. Which is why I agreed to arrive as a family to Shelby's tap dance show and then let John take the car without us to work. "Oh sure honey, leave us stranded 3 miles from home to rely on public transportation at nap time with no lunch, no diaper and NO CAR!"
Fast forward to the part where I find myself being blown around by the wind while carrying my 25 pound toddler on my chest and pushing my oldest in the stroller...uphill. They both started crying at the bottom.
We made our way to the top and took cover in a restaurant near the bus stop. I must have looked like I stepped off the crazy train when we rolled into the quiet lobby with my hair in every direction and my children wailing like fire engines.
The restaurant door closed behind us. The wind stopped. The screaming stopped. And for one celebratory moment, I found calm. And then I exhaled loudly. And attempted to right the wrongs of my coiffe.
And just as I made eye contact with the nearby bartender and signaled "Mommy needs a Bloody Mary, STAT", I heard, "Hey, girl! What's happening!?"
It was my high school neighbor. By this, I mean, a guy I went to high school with in my hometown 15 years ago in a place that is located hours away from where I currently live with my husband and 2 daughters, and who happened to move in to a house 3 blocks away from us last year. For some, this would be a happy circumstance. For me, it's a little creepy weird. Especially since he has continued his relationship with my at-one-time-very-serious ex-boyfriend from high school. Who visits his house occasionally, three blocks away from where I now live.
Anyway, I make my way over to where he and his wife are posted up in the bar area just as the bartender slips a well garnished, giant Bloody Mary (as big as my headache) into my hand. Suddenly, the tripping up of the stroller, the fact that Shelby is dragging my cashmere scarf around the floor, that Ana has climbed onto the handlebars of the stroller to reach a very breakable object on the wall, doesn't matter anymore. I have adult conversation AND a stiff cocktail in my hand and my dilapidated brood just discovered that somewhere on the brink of meltdown land, there is an oasis called "Dorn's Restaurant".
Minutes go by and we are seated at a comfy booth with bread, crayons, and momentarily, french fries and bowls of soup. The girls are miraculously well behaved and I think my hair has returned to it's usual arrangement on top of my head by now. And just as Ana has finished the cutest, loudest rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" to the nearest onlooking tables, she announces her finale by pronouncing, "Mommy, there's a poopy in there" as clear as day.
And then my hair stood on end, my purse spilled its contents all over the restaurant floor (no diaper), Shelby resumed her screaming in the middle of the dining area, the diners' dropped their jaws, and their forks and gasped. It was a scene out of a Mommy Horror Film.
I gathered my mess of a family, spilled the soup on the floor on our way out, and couldn't locate the exit fast enough.
Come to find out, our bus had just pulled away from the stop (without us) and we were destined to remain outside the restaurant (in full view of the dining room) for the next half hour awaiting the arrival of the next bus. For all practical purposes, 30 minutes is a tolerable wait, until you consider the contributing factors: past nap time toddler, exhausted 5 year old, MORE WIND, poopy diaper. Thirty minutes can last a lifetime when you're stranded on that hell hole of an oasis called Dorn's.

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