Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Shining

This summer we took not one but TWO 13 hour drives in the minivan with the children. Why???  Because one 13 hour trek in the minivan wasn't quite enough, so we decided to drive 13 hours in the opposite direction a mere two weeks after our Florida trip to visit our dear friends in Michigan. Dear God. 

When we began our Florida trip, I was shiny-happy mommy. Totally prepared with snacks, boredom busting games and cleaning supplies. This time, having had the shiny knocked right out of me, I told the kids to get in the damn van and we'd get there the "old-fashioned way" by using the DVD player the entire trip. 

We strapped the kids in the car and took off with 13 hours worth of minivan fun ahead of us. About an hour and a half into the trip, we stopped to eat in Martinsville, Indiana.

Now, if you're a faithful reader of this blog, you'll remember that last year on our trip to Michigan, we also stopped in Martinsville and Justin found himself in an undershirt shopping for fireworks.

Well, this year, it was Hadley who was without proper apparel.

As we were tumbling out of the van, I noticed that Hadley didn't have her shoes on. 

I told her to go grab her shoes because she couldn't go inside the KFC without them. It is to be noted that we chose to eat at the KFC because I thought it would please Hadley - the world's pickiest, most horrible eater. This is a hands-down, not-to-be-contested fact. She eats about five foods. It drives me crazy, yet it also drove me to the KFC where I thought since she loved Grandy's, she might like something from its fast-food cousin, KFC.

Anyways, back to the shoes. She looks at me and says, "I didn't wear any shoes."

I respond, "What do you mean you didn't wear any shoes?"

Hadley says, "I didn't put any on."

I explode, "So, you mean to tell me that you got in the van, knowing that we were leaving for a full week and didn't put any shoes on your feet????"

"You didn't tell me to put on my shoes!" she exploded right back. 

This blew my mind. Literally I could feel little pops in my head. I had to walk away from the van, the children, the husband, the KFC. Justin stared after me as I walked towards an open field - then yelled, "Are you coming back? What do we do?"

At seven years old, I thought I didn't have to tell her to wear shoes to leave the house - well, shame on me. This was clearly my fault. I had packed her flip-flops but they were in the car-top carrier - nearly impossible to get to.

I walked back to the van and decided I would carry her inside and set her in a booth while we ordered. 

We got inside and Hadley decided that KFC was nothing like Grandys and she would not be trying anything they had to offer. Shiny-happy mommy now looked something from The Shining:

I was ready to lose it. I was ready to bail. Justin told me to go sit in the van - I needed a time out. Hell, I needed a drink - wish I had stashed that bottle of wine in the glove compartment. 

Yes, our vacation was going well. We were an hour and a half in, I was in time-out jonesing for a drink, Hadley was starving without shoes and Justin was chasing Jack through the KFC. Poor Cameron - pretty sure she's my favorite. 

Yet we soldiered on determined to make it. I had learned a few things since our last trip…mainly about having to pee without waking a sleeping baby. 

On our last trip, if you will recall or perhaps you've tried to forget, I peed in a diaper without success. After posting about my misfortune, a friend suggested to me that next time I just try to pee in a cup. Well, kudos friend, I'll have you know that a cup works much better than a diaper! This, I believe, is progress. Things were looking up. 

We stopped later again to eat at a McDonalds with a Playland, figuring that Hadley would be okay without shoes there.

It was after the McDonalds stop when we stopped again to stretch our legs that our shoe-less curse struck again.

Justin: Where are Jack's shoes?

Me: Didn't you grab them? You carried him out to the car.

Justin: No! I told you to get them - I said, "I'm taking Jack to the car - Abbie grab the shoes."

Me: "No - you said, I'm taking Jack to the car - Abbie I have the shoes."

Fantastic. We now had two children who were on "vacation" without shoes. 

I felt like the damn Beverly Hillbillies. Probably time to class it up a little by peeing in another cup and stashing some liquor in the glove compartment. 
Worry not - A few miles down the road, we found a red dot sale and some shoes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Party On!

Is it time for this already? Am I that old? Are they that old? Is it really time for me start caring for my crazy elderly parents? Correction - parent - singular.

Late Saturday night, I got a text from a friend with this picture.

Yep - that's my dad. Out on the town on a Saturday night. 

He's wearing goggles. In public. Not a public pool - just public. 

Well, party on Dad. Party On. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Compliment

Most of my Wal-Mart experiences have left me or my children with psychological scars, however this past trip was little different.

I drug the kids there, because I had run out of deoderant on the hottest day of the year. With threatening temperatures of 105, it wasn't the time to risk a bare armpit.

As I was nearing the checkout, I ran into a friend and stopped to chat. 

That's when a really incredible thing happened. A woman, who I did not know, (perhaps in her late 60s, early 70s), came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You look really nice." Then she walked away.

I was completely stunned. I think I muttered thank-you, but I can't be sure. It was a drive-by compliment.

I made my way through the check-out and then loaded my car while my head circulated a million question.

"Was she making fun of me?"

"Was she crazy?"

"Maybe she was senile?"

"Maybe she was blind?"

As all of these questions and doubts swirled about, I realized that perhaps I was the crazy one? Was it that hard for me to accept a compliment? No, it wasn't the compliment. It was the kindness that had me puzzled. 

Such kindness from an absolute stranger really just baffled me. It just seemed unbelievable that someone would go out of their way to make me feel good about myself. I found it remarkable - especially in Wal-Mart - a place where all decency is readily abananded. Can you imagine if everyone in Wal-Mart paid just one other person a compliment? It would be such a different place. 

So, well, kudos to the kind woman who managed to bring her humanity through the doors of Wal-Mart. 

Lady, you really got it going on. 


I later told Justin about my encounter.

ME: Some woman told me I looked nice at Wal-Mart.

JUSTIN: Did she have you confused with someone else?

ME: Nice. Don't you think it would be great if everyone in Wal-Mart paid just one other person a compliment? I think I should start a movement of sorts...

JUSTIN: HELL NO! I think that's the worst thing I've ever heard. I don't want anyone in Wal-Mart to talk to me. Ever.