(a) Drink large quantities of alcohol with her friends (b) Tan her stunning 25 year old body on the beach (c) Pick up strange frat boys who will slur their words and say ridiculous, cringe-inducing things like, “Just call me milk, I’ll do your body good” and (d) Jump up on the table when “I Will Survive” comes on, strip off her bikini and sing at the top of her lungs while a crowd of gay cabana boys surround her and tell her how fabulous she is...
Oh right. That last one was me.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing today:
I’ll be pushing a humongous double stroller packed to the brim with wipes, diapers, toys, coats, hats, mittens, snacks and water bottles from playground to playground through Harlem and we still will have forgotten something seriously important, like Lucy’s pink sunglasses, which we always must have whenever there is even a tiny ray of sun peeking through the clouds. And no matter where we are, we’ll have to turn the whole Mack truck around and come back to get the pink sunglasses, lest the child have a severe meltdown on the street and embarrass her mother with her piercing screams and flailing body parts.
And all this is fine except it originally took us two hours to leave the house in the first place because there was dressing, brushing teeth and hair, two separate sessions of pony tail–making, a long lecture on nose-picking and several changes of clothing that lasted until we found just the right skirt to wear and the dress to wear OVER the skirt and the stripey socks and the appropriate matching shirt and perhaps, to do all this we had to rummage through the dryer and find stray pieces of clothes since what we want to wear always seems to be in the dryer when we need it.
And someone will remove their shoes after I’ve put them on and the one that came off will mysteriously disappear and a search will ensue for the missing one. So I’ll be on my hands and knees, looking under beds and couches for the offending shoe and then, someone will poke someone else very lightly with a finger or a baseball bat or a princess wand or a frying pan or whatever is handy and there will be accusations, rebuffs, tears, hurt feelings and like a super-therapist is at work, a resolution will be hammered out in minutes and kisses will be doled out in apology. And that’s why I am bummed we have to return home because I know we’ll get stuck there like we’re in quicksand, flailing about unflatteringly and trying to extricate ourselves…But pink sunglasses are essential, like the air we breathe and the water we drink and so who am I to question this and we head back.
By time we get home, some of us are still sniffling and recovering from our near tantrum. We’ll get in the door and someone will have to go to the bathroom, which means coats will come off and hats will be thrown aside and pants will come down and little people will get naked and distracted and start playing.
The quicksand is at our necks.
I start rummaging through things to get the pink sunglasses. It’s our only chance. The pink sun glasses are not where they are supposed to be, of course, and I have to clear out several drawers and a couple of toy bins to find them, only to discover they are broken, which is when the tears start. And this will take some time because hugging, kissing and consoling must be done just so and it is always time-consuming, but well worth it for all the obvious reasons.
And so you can understand that it’s now lunch time and even though we’ve accomplished nothing really, the quicksand is covering our ears and devouring us slowly. We’ll never get out of the house again. It’s over. Plans aborted. Hopes dashed. And I resign myself to poaching "pink fish" in butter with one hand (see how I worked food into this post?) and breastfeeding Edie with the other (and drink), while Lucy colors on the floor.
I hum a few bars of "I Will Survive".
And think, this is soooooo much better than being 25 and single on Spring Break in