Today was one of those days that felt like it literally went on forever. From practically the moment I woke up until, well, just now, I have been answering/rushing/on all day. It began with the always lovely getting-out-of-the-house moments. Everything can be going absolutely peachy until I come downstairs and say — “Does everyone have their shoes on?” You’d think that it was the sounding bell for a prizefight. It typically sets off a round of fighting/hitting/crying/whining that lasts at least until we’re in the car. If we’re lucky, that’s only a four-minute span. On some days, like today, it’s at least fifteen.
This morning was extra special because, just as we were leaving (and after, of course, Kelley was out the door and had already left for work), I realized that I needed to give Will his Albuterol (yes, we’re back on that for the moment) as well as the eye medicine (Pinkeye, too! Woo-hoo!). Since the eye medicine makes his eyes tear up like crazy, it is not something that he enjoys. At least today Lucy didn’t refuse to put on her shoes. (That was the Tuesday morning saga. She CAN NOT wear those sneakers with socks. They’re too hot, they’re too tight. The only way to leave the house is sliding along on her bum, saying how awful those shoes are.)
We finally get out the door and I have to go back inside twice — once to put Will’s other medicine (more Albuterol, plus his Epi pen) into his camp backpack, and then once to get my water. I turned around to lock the front door and, while doing so, did what I do just about every morning — open the side door of my van with the remote on the key fob. Except this time, Will happened to be standing directly in its path, leaning in to look at something on the side of the van.
What’s worse than having your precious little boy cry? Having your precious little boy cry because of the bump on his head from something you stupidly did. No, wait — having your precious little boy bravely try and stop crying while he tells you, “It’s o.k., Mama. See? I’m not crying any more.”
You’re not crying any more? I am so very incredibly happy to hear that. I, however, will continue bawling until we pull up to camp.
The drop-off was otherwise o.k. I was in a rush to get to work by 9 for the adjunct orientation, but then ended up hitting crazy weird traffic by WGBH. If that isn’t a sign to pull into the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot right there, then I don’t know what the hell is. And yes, I went for the two donut special this morning. Hmmm. Not a way to get back on the wagon.
I was then in the orientation from 9 a.m. straight through to 1 p.m. because of a meeting that followed. When I finally got upstairs, Jessica and I decided that we needed iced coffee. Although I certainly could have used the 20 minutes to get more stuff done, I have to say that it was exactly what I needed. The iced coffee hit the spot, but so did the 15 minute walk on this absolutely gorgeous sent-from-Heaven day. 74 degrees, sunny and breezy — that’s definitely my perfect weather day.
The next two and a half hours were actually productive. By the time I got home, I was completely ready to get Lucy to her birthday party in the Back Bay and hang out with Will for awhile. We got Lucy to Siobhan’s house just fine and then Will chose Burger King. (‘Why’ you ask? Well because he specifically did not want the Star Wars toys at McDonald’s. Burger King, however, also gives toys. So that’s where we went.)
With an hour and a half to kill, I thought that the one at Copley would work out just fine. Will was not pleased at how long it took me to find a place to park. He would keep noting spaces, but of course they were all completely on the other side of the street across three lanes of speeding traffic. No go. Finally found one on Newbury Street of all places.
Will ordered his typical — a hamburger kids meal. When we opened it up at the table, though, well… “Mama, why does this hamburger have cheese?”
I looked across the length of the BK — which seemed about 50 yards. Yes, it was probably less than that, but with this BK being among the skankier ones, there was no way I was leaving him at the table to go and tell them they gave me a cheeseburger by mistake. So, I crossed my fingers and said, “That’s the way they make hamburgers here.”
He gave me a look that clearly said, No way, Mama, am I buying that one. He does like cheese, however, and the BK toy was a SpongeBob one, so he seemed to be willing to accept that answer. Big, long, heart-felt PHEW. We ended our lovely little dinner in a chat with the disaffected youth teenage couple next to us about the joys of SpongeBob. (They did seem to wonder why this five-year-old boy was chatting them up, but once they realized that he was seriously engaging with them, they went along with it.) After saying our good-byes, we left the Copley BK.
Dessert was an ice cream sandwich from CVS for him (and a nice yummy Entemann’s thing for me, although I have decided that since my day began with two donuts, perhaps I can hold off until the next day to eat them). He is a boy of simple pleasures. He helped me do the self-checkout at CVS and very much wanted to hold the change for me. I said o.k. for the change change, but not so much for the paper stuff. It was a bit of a fight, but I prevailed.
As we turned the corner onto Clarenden, there were a couple of panhandlers. I asked him if he’d like to give them his change, and his eyes lit up. “Yes!” He ran over to them, gave them a huge smile — completely taking them by surprise, it seemed — and gave them his 58 cents. As we walked away, he said he wanted to find more people who had cups he could put money into. “Can we come back with more money again?” Well, um, not today.
After our nice little walk back to the car — can I say how nice it was to just be on Newbury and Boylston on such a nice evening, strolling along with all the other city folks? [Was it necessary for me to use ‘nice’ three times in that sentence? Why, yes. Yes it was.] — we were exactly on time to get Lucy. Not only exactly on time, but as we pulled up to Siobhan’s street, there, directly in front of me, was a parking spot. A legal parking spot in the Back Bay! (Well, legal if you’re a Back Bay resident, but still…) The only problem was it was exactly three inches bigger than the car. And on the left side of the street.
Parallel parking on the opposite side of the road than normal — not exactly my strong suit. But, after back-and-forthing (and back-and-forthing and back-and-forthing) and a certain amount of bumper parking (“Mommy — you hit that other car!” “The Lexus SUV or the Audi wagon?” Well, at least neither of them had an alarm that went off), I was in! In, I tell you!
Did I mention that the space was only three inches bigger than the car? Literally. The rear bumper was touching the license plate of the car behind me and I couldn’t actually fit my hand in between my bumper and the one in front. Even better? As I was pulling out of the spot, a guy walked by with his two friends and said, “No way she’s getting out of that spot.” Not only was I getting out of it, I actually got myself into it in the first place.
I am completely unable to pull head on into a parking spot, and yet I managed that bit of parking. Between that and having such a lovely Copley Square evening, this was one of those <beat on chest> I am a Bostonian! evenings. Wicked awesome. Hell yeah.
It is now 10:30 p.m. and everyone is in bed. Probably not asleep, in Lucy’s case at least, but in bed. Will barely coughed at all last night (thank God for Prednisone) and hopefully will have another relatively easy night. With fingers crossed (but in a different not-a-bad-mom way this time)… Good night.