Dinner was a disaster. First of all, we didn't even want to be there. After 7 days of vacation that included things like nachos and Bloody Marys al fresco, pizza on a deck in Woodland, co-op picnic food on a rock, tacos and empanadas on a patio in Minneapolis, I had huge plans to season some root veggies with miso and begin Operation Clean Living. Then the power went out on our half of the town, no stove, and here we were back in a restaurant -- this time inside.
"I'm just going to get porridge," I sighed dramatically, so tired of other people's food.
One of us, not naming names, had to poop. And when Anonymous has to poop, he/she fights it with the strength of a thousand sphincters. Rather than pooping, like all animals everywhere always, Anonymous succumbs to poop cramps. He/she emits spontaneous screams. Then he/she insists on going to the bathroom. Once Anonymous crosses the threshold of the bathroom, he/she no longer has to go. Until he/she is about four steps away from the bathroom when he/she banshee yelps again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
So dinner was a nuisance meal, taken simply so no one's stomach caved in and started eating itself. And the Poop Screams were just ... what. Is it weird to say dessert?
Finally we just had to GTFO. Chuck paid while I took Chacha to the car. When we got there, she refused to get into her carseat because her baby, 0 pounds and 0 ounces of bouncing baby air, was sitting in her car seat. She buckled him (her?) in. So I removed the pretend baby from the carseat and fake-set her on the seat. Chacha made a grab for air baby and tried to buckle her back into the seat and I, once again, removed her. This time I seemingly zipped her into my sweatshirt.
Chacha made a grab for her and there we were in a tug-o-war for air. She was laughing through tears, I was making a maniacal cackle that I'd never heard before.
This is how Chuck found us.
"Your mom's not Stay at Home Mom material," he said to Chach, sliding into the front seat.
I'm making vacation sound more intense than it was. It was mostly on Chach-time, no muss no fuss, so it was pretty fun, slow-paced and relaxing. We took her to the Minnesota Zoo, where she rode a camel. (It went like this: "Do you want to ride a cam-" "YES.")We hit up the YMCA's Kid's Club. We visited a baby. We wandered like tourists through Canal Park.
At one point we were driving to Target and the song "Hello" came on the radio.
"What's Adele's last name?" she asked.
"Good Q," I said.
"Probably Adele Smith," she decided.
She turned her new alarm clock and new nightstand lamp into living, breathing creatures.
"And this is Lamp," she said, patting the shade with both hands. Then, without pausing, in a different voice, she said "Don't hit me."
"I'm sure it was an accident," she pretended the alarm clock said, in yet another different voice.
The beauty of returning to work, though, was knowing that for 8 straight hours -- at least -- I'd only have myself to wipe.
On my first day back I rammed my car into a pickup truck while trying to parallel park. While trying to remember the etiquette on note-or-no-note where there is no damage to the other vehicle, I failed to noticed that I'd completely scraped and dented my own car. So, goodbye series of luxury items for myself, hello Arrowhead Auto Body.
Also: I took Chach to McDonald's for a Kiddie Cone -- a long story involving her own actual feces landing in a toilet -- and they didn't charge me for it. When they explained at the Pay Window that it was free, I was sheepish. When I got to the pickup window, I was downright apologizing. Like "I'm sorry, sir, that you had to go out of your way to make a tiny 2-inch cone for my daughter so that she will become addicted to your gross product and always, constantly insist that we eat at your food forever and then she'll addict her own kids." And that was silly.
Also, also: I finished the cone and it was amazing.