May went up to Nana and Baba’s house for a week so I could help out at the restaurant during Comic-Con. I tell you what…San Diego during Comic-Con is probably one of the most interesting places on earth. Needless to say, I missed my baby. All day every day my parents had to send me photo texts so that I wouldn’t go completely into withdrawal mode and fall victim to sadness and loneliness. I found myself envious of my own parents when they sent me photos of May splashing around in the pool or eating snacks or playing in the yard in her overalls. But it was also nice to get a few windows of free time. I actually made it to yoga two times! I went shopping! I went to a movie! I went to a concert! I went out to lunch and winetasting with a girlfriend! I slept in a couple of times! Yeah! It was like a little vacation, even though I worked every day but one.
But when the time came to go pick up my little stinker, I couldn’t wait. Ronny and I met May, Nana and Baba up at Macy’s in Victoria Gardens. We walked into the store and saw my dad first. He did a little head gesture to show me which way to look for Maysen, who quietly sat in her stroller as my mom pushed her around the store. She rounded the corner and looked up to see her daddy and mommy. It took a few seconds for her to register who we were and why we suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but then her face lit up and she screamed at the top of her lungs and reached for us. For the next half hour we chased our screaming, giggling toddler around Macy’s. I’m sure the employees and fellow shoppers loved it. But when your little girl is that excited to see you, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It absolutely engorges your heart with love.
We went out to lunch, an adventure in itself, and then loaded up the car and headed south for a two-hour drive. Well, it was supposed to be two hours, but, well, traffic on the 15 sucks. And Maysen was great for the first half hour or so. We practiced her words.
Mommy. Daddy. Baby. Duck. Cookie. Happy. Hi. Mama. Cat. Baba. Nana. Duck and Cookie are new ones that we discovered.
Then she started to get antsy. Whiny. Cry-ey. So Ronny and I took turns singing Wheels on the Bus. The Rhino Song. If You’re Happy and You Know It. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The Phonics Song, which just about got us into an argument because of the words Daddy chose to substitute in. I’m trying to tell him that May is learning her language so it’s not funny to say, “A is for Asshole. A-A-Asshole and B is for Balls. B-B-Balls.” But this is his sense of humor. He honestly thinks this is hilarious. We were able to avoid an argument and find a compromise when it finally came down to “F is for Go beep yourself. F-F-Go beep yourself.” Ugh. How am I supposed to be able to raise this little girl to be a fine, upstanding citizen when I have to face this kind of challenge on a daily basis?
After a while, even Ronny’s songs wouldn’t do the trick. She cried and whined the rest of the way home. At one point I thought maybe we should pull over to make sure she’s ok, but she was really just using her complaining cry, not her pain cry. So we assumed that she just didn’t feel like riding in the car. We gave her a little container of Froot Loops for her to munch on, which kept her quiet for a while. Then some raisins. Then some crackers. But she threw her milk and toys away over and over again.
When we finally made it home, Ronny pulled her out of her car seat and wrapped his arms around her thighs, giving her a little forearm shelf to sit on. That’s when I figured out what had been bothering her. Yep, we had our first blowout in MONTHS. I don’t even remember when she had her last blowout, but now she was sitting on Daddy’s arm, so you can probably guess what that means. I carried her upstairs, holding her by the armpits in front of me at arms length, and I carried her straight to the bathtub. Ronny and I actually couldn’t come to an agreement about who would have the pleasure of scraping the Froot Loop studded poopcake out of the car seat. Of course, I won the argument, but then his idea of cleaning the seat was to dump soap and and a bucket of water on it and just leave it to clean intself. We threw the seat cover into the washing machine after he — completely against my will — dumped the Poop Loop Surprise down the garbage disposal. I nearly barfed in my own kitchen.
But this morning, I found myself in a whole new adventure in motherhood as I leaned over the kitchen sink, literally scraping crap out of the car seat buckles with my fingernails because the sponge couldn’t get into all of the little cracks, sipping on my coffee and allowing the screaming baby to tug my elastic-waisted jammy pants down to my ankles because she wanted to be picked up and I was ignoring her. Sometimes it’s tough to prioritize.
Okie dokie…naptime’s over. I hear my little monster calling for me.