My husband called me yesterday and invited me on a fun filled vacation this weekend. It came complete with phrases like, “We can go anywhere you want” and “whatever you want to do.” I feel certain there’s a correlation between this generous offer and the fact that he’s out of town yet again. I’ve actually grown kinda mellow to all the traveling. Not, "Gee this is awesome I wish he’d go away more often" mellow. More of, "I don’t really feel like stabbing my eyes out 24 hours a day because at least there’s bedtime to look forward to."
My least favorite thing about my husband being out of town isn’t even the “him out of town" part. I’d just like to get out and do things a little more often. When he’s gone I tend to spend my entire day either at home or at work with brief periods in my car in between. On the weekends, our big outing is usually the grocery store. And sometimes McDonald’s. Because M&M McFlurries are good motivational tools to keep everyone on track in the grocery store. Yesterday I tried to use them as a “let’s sit in the cart and eat one while Momma looks for blinds at Home Depot” tool. Let me tell you, no. Just no. Melting. Dripping. Sticky. No, no and more no.
I try really hard to leave the house with the kids more. I do. But sometimes things I enjoy without my kids end up being a lot less fun when they’re there. Like going to Target. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice trip to the Tar-jay? There’s always some new piece of crap you don’t need and they have it in like seven different colors with every single one more cute than the next. And don’t get me started on the little T-shirts for kids. Someone in my household gets a new T-shirt every time I go there. Yesterday it was pink with cherries. Upon purchasing it, I felt certain I could live to see another day now that I owned such cuteness.
Having said that, along the way to the checkout I wanted to kill someone. First, my 4 year old likes to find things she cannot live without. Yesterday it was a $30 Disney princess trashcan. Then there was some talking baby doll followed by a pink hula hoop. Thankfully she had already decided she wanted gummy bears. Faced with choosing between a hula hoop and gummy bears (which ironically cost roughly the same thanks to cheap labor in China), the hula hoop was second banana. Although she thinks we’re getting the hula hoop next time. Right. Except she won’t be there next time. Because how am I supposed to get my shop on when I’ve Sophie’s Choice going on everytime the kid spots something new. Seriously. The hula hoop and the gummy bears was an existential crisis for her. Yummy versus fun. What to do.
And her brother is busy running around the aisles. Literally running. Next time you wonder whose kid that is circling the rug aisles, don’t worry about where his mother is. She’s in the next aisle over. She can hear that kid charging right down the aisle the whole time. And there’s a fair amount of squealing going on. He's not lost. She knows right where he is. But she needs a new rug by her washing machine. Because the other one keeps sliding every time the dogs go out the door. And one of the dogs is claustrophobic and sliding rugs make him skittish. Because he’s a baby but don't tell her husband because he thinks the dog hung the moon.
I also noticed that my husband’s been traveling enough that while picking out the same aforementioned rug and it popped into my head to wonder which one he would like I immediately squelched the thought and decided that “She who is home with the kids gets to pick the rug.” Although I picked one I happen to know he’d like. So whatever. It’s brown. But it’s lovely. And soft. And if I can’t leave the house with the kids as much as I want, at least I can like the rug in front of my washing machine.
I don’t know that we’ll be going on that vacation either. I mean it’s the thought that counts so I’m sort of happy just getting offered a vacation. Because I'm stupidly low maintenance like that. But suitcases don’t pack themselves. For that matter, the suitcases don’t do the laundry when you get back either. I’m thinking sleeping late while he does all the laundry would be vacation enough for me. But who knows.