When I was a little girl, my favorite weekend of the year was the weekend my father took my brothers to Fathers and Sons outing. When they left, it was just ME and my MOM. Well, for five years, anyway. After that there was a pretty little red-headed sister to go with.
Anyway, one year in particular always stood out to me. It was by far and away the most special. Mom invited her friend Tammy over. Her friend Tammy had a daughter named Lindsay, and Lindsay and I were great friends. Mom told me that we were going to… watch “Cinderella” and eat cookie dough! I should have liked to DIE from the excitement of it all. Mom set fancy place mats on the floor in front of the TV, put cookie dough on a glass plate, and then let me relish everything girly. It. Was. Spectacular.
Yesterday, I braved the city alone. Alone plus my kids, I mean. Remember my last trip? The one where my kids ate gum from under the tables and yelled out “Doggy Doo Doo!” in the middle of a food court? Well, yesterday was MUCHmuchmuchmuch better. We had a good time, all in all. I came home and put most of my groceries away. I usually put them ALL away right when I get home, but after a day in the city with my kids -even a good day -I’m exhausted. I was so glad I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner right up until the moment I opened the back hatch of my car and it fell out, popped open like a plastic Easter egg and absolutely rolled in my gravel driveway. You can bet I brought it right in the house and rinsed the snot out of it. And then? We ate it. There’s nothing wrong with a little grit in your diet, right? My husband pulled me up next to him on the couch to show me the latest and greatest phones. I’m up for an upgrade and there’s nothing he loves better than new techie toys. It wasn’t but 10 minutes into his clicking on pictures of phones that I realized something: I didn’t care about phones. I just wanted to watch a television show and completely zone out. So I told him that -nicely, of course. He understood, helped me get the kids to bed, and then he went to bed himself after turning all of the lights off in the house. I was left alone with the comforting glow of the television.
Until my daughter came out.
“Mom, my movie is over.”
“Okay, run and go potty and then go to bed.”
Off she went.
“Mom,” she came back a few minutes later, “Can I have a drink?”
“Not at night, baby.”
“There’s grapes in the fridge.”
Off she went.
It was getting ridiculously late. I watched the clock pass 1 am -I knew I was staying up way too late, but it just felt SO good to sit and think of NOTHING and have NO ONE need me.
“Mom,” I looked up to see my daughter standing in front of me in the darkness, “I just have a sleepover for us in my room. You might come. I have blankets and a pillow for us and dolls for me and for you.”
Could YOU tell her that it was 1:15 in the morning and there’s no such thing as sleepovers for 4 year olds at 1 AM?! I couldn’t. I absolutely could not. I snagged her, had her watch the end of my TV show with me, and then I made my way into her room where a party awaited.
Blankets, pillows, and dolls as promised. The movie of choice? Cinderella.
She handed me a small bunch of grapes and directed me to a small wooden box where I could put the stems.
The dolls had been primped accordingly.
So we HAD to be dressed to match:
As Cinderella played on her television screen, she informed me that at slumber parties… you PLAY.
“We might just play and then put our toys away like Daddy says to.”
We played dolls until they all got fevers. Then we played doctors using a night eye mask (the white silky kind) as a doctor’s face mask (because it works better for that anyway). Around 2, I explained to her that while slumber parties are great fun, I still had to get up with the boy sleeping on the bed next to us.
She wasn’t having it.
But she finally gave in.
And guess what? I’ve been up for over and hour and she’s still sleeping soundly on her floor. Trenton is actually using her as a big pillow and she’s dead to the world.
The special thing about my daughter -er, ONE of the special things -is that if she takes even the slightest bit of a nap, she won’t sleep at night.
And yes, she slept in the car on the drive home from the city.
Someone please come bolster me up today. I’ve got groceries to put away, toys to go through (we were given an entire SLEW of toys from Aunt Lilly last night. TWO BINS of Polly Pockets. She couldn’t be happier!), a kitchen to clean (my son climbed on the counter yesterday and helped himself to powdered sugar, butter, and dry spaghetti noodles. Yum?).
And a few phone calls.
“And then there’s the mending and the sewing and the laundry…”