All I have wanted for the past twelve weeks is one day to write and catch up on sleep. I dreamed of it, prayed for it, promised Mr. Candy sexual favors for it — at which point, SURPRISE! Mr. Candy’s calendar miraculously cleared, allowing him to take Friday off and relieve me of my Drew-watching duties. A rare opportunity to be alone, and maybe even rotate my bra. Yes! A chance for indulgence.
So, naturally, I decided to take Skye to the beach instead of daycare that day. Although she has been surprisingly welcoming of her little brother since he arrived in June, there has been a resurgence of jealousy lately, especially when I’m holding him or bathing him or expressing any kind of affection towards him. Which is why I decided to treat Miss Skye to a day of mommy-daughter fun at the beach instead of treating myself to a day of leisure and clean undergarments.
I pack the beach bags. Contents: 40% beach toys; 40% kids’ snacks; 19% kid’s beach towel, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.; and 1% leftover sand from previous, pre-kid trips when I would actually pack goodies for myself. Like magazines. Oh, how I miss the days of lounging with a magazine on the beach…! Now, tragically, I have no idea what the fall fashion trends are. Or what shade of blonde is in. Honey? Baby? Dirty? Or how to get Ashley Greene’s nude lips. Or who Ashley Greene is.
But I am a mom now, which means putting my kids’ needs first — even if it leads to wearing the wrong shade of lipstick this fall. That is just how selfless I am. In fact, I’m patting my back all morning about this mommy-and-daughter outing. What a good mom I am, I think, carving out this special time for us. Skylar is going to have such a fabulous time!
With visions of us frolicking in the sand, I load up the car, hand the iPad — with freshly uploaded videos and games — to Skye and start driving down to Manhattan Beach.
“We’re going to the beach! We’re going to see sand and agua!” I announce giddily to Skye (who will only say “agua,” not water) as I turn onto the freeway.
“Beach! Sand! Agua!” Skye repeats, equally giddy.
I’m so happy I did this, I think to myself. Then one minute later:
“Sand…park?” Skye asks.
“No. Sand — beach,” I reply.
“SAND PARK, SAND PARK, SAND PARK!”
“Yes, there is sand at the park. But we’re going to the beach.”
“Not today, honey.”
Before I can rue the fact that I could have saved myself a lot of hassle and just taken the kid to the park down the street, Skye’s new habit of repeating the last word I say blessedly deflects the conversation. She returns to watching Imagination Movers on the iPad. Then two minutes later:
“Mo’ Nina?” (Translation: “I want to watch more of Nina, the Imagination Movers’ neighbor with whom I am absolutely obsessed.”)
“I can’t rewind it right now, Skylar.”
“MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA!”
I consider asking her if she would like some cheese to go with that whine, but instead I do something even more fruitless: attempt to reason with a two-year-old.
“If I rewind it while I’m driving, I’ll crash. And we’ll both get hurt. You don’t want that, do you?”
A long pause, as Skye digests that nugget of parental logic. Holy shit, I’ve gotten through to her! I crow to myself, then:
“MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA!”
This, at the top of her lungs, accompanied by tears. Simultaneously irritated and sympathetic, with the scales tipping in favor of irritated, I wait ’til I can slow down to a more reasonable speed — like 60MPH — and reach back and rewind the damn video to the perfect spot without ever taking my eyes off the road. A talent I believe is called “Mad Mommy Skillz.” (Or really dangerous multitasking. Either/or.)
An hour (thanks, Labor Day traffic) of “MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA, MO’ NINA!” ensues — because, turns out, that two-minute musical number with Nina always comes to an end…two minutes later. This tearful chant is interrupted by the occasional cry because the sun is in her eyes or the demand I pick up the iPad she’s dropped or snack break to eat the shriveled month-old Cheerio she found in the crevice of her car seat or the short laughter-filled SCREAM just to get my attention and make sure I haven’t forgotten she’s back there. (Oh, I haven’t.) And when we are finally within a mile of the beach…?
The stinker passes out. Of course. *Sigh*
Good thing we ended up having an awesome day.
And too bad we had to drive back.