Just a Simple Trip to the Playground
I can’t possibly be the only mom who’s had simple, fun outings turn out like this… right?
So I was sick this past weekend with some kind of disgusting flu, but I had promised to take Caroline to a playground on Saturday after her nap. I always try to keep my promises to her because I’m a good mom, okay, so we still went despite my illness and this is how it went.
She didn’t wake up from her nap until about 4pm, so I finally got her out the door around 4:30 (after asking repeatedly, “Do you want a snack? Do you want a drink?” “No,” she insisted, ”no. I’m not hungry. I’m not thirsty.”). We were driving to this playground since there are no good ones within walking distance of our apartment. No sooner do we get on the highway when she yells “Mama, I’m thirsty!! I need a drink.” Of course I brought a snack, but forgot to bring a drink. I sigh inwardly and tell her that I’ll find somewhere to get her something. We get off the exit for the playground and I drive around aimlessly until we find a grocery store.
We go inside. Of course she has to bring her three purses full of toy tools and ponies and bubble wands, and drops a toy on the ground with every step she takes, but refuses to let me carry anything for her. Meanwhile, she’s wandering around and refusing to get in the shopping cart and charming the pants off everyone who walks by: “Hi! I’m Caroline! I’m three years old! I go to preschool!” Okay, Caro, just relax. Nobody here is Santa Claus. I grab a bottle of water and she informs me that we need to buy bread “to feed the duckies”. Fine. I drag her through the grocery store to find the bread, but before we get there, I hear a woman exclaim “Look! There’s Caroline!!”
I turn around and see one of the other preschool moms with her two kids in the cart waving excitedly at Caroline. My fever is climbing by the minute, my nose is running like a faucet, and I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality, but we go over to say hello. The mom notices Caroline’s excessive number of purses (one of which is a Vera Bradley which my friend bought for her, okay). “Oh!” she says. “Do you guys like purses? I’m having a purse party this weekend!” I pray that I’m hallucinating. (I’m not.) Caroline yells frantically that she loves purses. (Traitor.) The mom tells me that she’ll come over to our car with an invitation.
Let me tell you a little secret about myself. I hate purses. I do. I hate them. If I can’t fit something into the little wristlet/wallet that I carry all the time, then I simply don’t need to be carrying it. There are two types of women in this world, people: those who carry a million things in their purse and have a million pillows on their bed, and those who do not, and let me tell you, I straight-up do not have time for any of that sh*t. (My daughter is clearly slated to be one of the former, though.) Even more than purses, I hate parties hosted by someone I don’t know where I’m obligated to buy stuff. I’m poor, okay? Also, I’m running a fever of about 103 at this point, I have no idea where we are because we’ve driven so far out of the way, it’s almost dinnertime (which I’ve made no plans for), and I’ve completely forgotten the reason we left our apartment in the first place.
Needless to say, we never made it to the playground. We went back home to feed the ducks instead. But how much do you think that trip to the playground cost me, in the end?
Bottle of water and bread to feed the ducks (“Buy 2 get 1 free!” proclaimed the sign on the shelf. Oh, but only if you have a store card. Which I don’t, because I have no idea where we are and this isn’t my grocery store): $10
Gas to drive all over who knows where for an hour: $10
Purse party I’m now obligated to attend so that I’m not forever ostracized at preschool: $50 for purse, $30 for babysitter (“No kids!” she called brightly over her shoulder as she trotted back to her minivan. B*tch!)
But… watching your 3-year-old ecstatically toss bread to the ducks, after all that, albeit through a feverish haze?