Ray – may I call you Ray – right now you’re sitting on the top of the slide of salvation in that playland in the sky, wondering about the origin of that brown gelatinous substance and whether or not you’ll need some sort of shot after you’ve accidentally touched it. I regret that I never fully appreciated all you did for parent kind while you were still alive because I would have personally driven to your McMansion and offered you a fry.
I’m sure back when you had this great idea for a little hamburger shop called McDonald’s you had no idea that someday, somewhere, a 16-weeks-pregnant Mom driving cross-country with a 25-month-old, a 9-month-old and her defeated, catatonic husband would find beautiful refuge in your glorious playlands strategically located off Highway 55.
They have offered us a place of rest, where I can change endless poopy diapers, throw away countless poopy onesies, wipe away never ending poopy streaks off legs (did I mention that Nick accidentally fed the little one a container of prunes the night before we left?) and offer my kids a place to run free from the confines of the car seat… all while enjoying a McFlurry. And a Big Mac. And a Quarter Pounder. And my daughter’s leftover cheeseburger Happy Meal.
Hey stop looking at me that way… I’m 16 weeks pregnant, DAMN IT!
It’s our first family vacation. I use the word vacation lightly. As a stay at home Mom, it’s a vacation where I’ve brought along my co-workers, my boss, and a stack of client files that I have to work on each day, primarily during meals and at bed time.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining about being at a beautiful beach or about staying at home with my kids every day. I’m just saying this is the first vacation where I have to dance like a monkey to get someone to eat her grilled cheese while my grouper gets colder by the second.
It’s also the first vacation where I’m sober enough to remember checking into the hotel. Nick and I usually crack open our first Corona as the plane is taking off and by the time the hotel shuttle picks us up we’ve long since moved on to a little game we call shirtless tequila shots.
Pulling into this hotel on Saturday Nick was testing out his McDonald’s Playland iPhone app and I was singing along with the Dora CD that has now been burned into my brain in a continuous, mind numbing, 4-day loop.
The awesome part about this vacation is that we are staying in a condo with Nick’s family who double as great babysitters. So it’s been a giant party for me to go out and watch Nick and his siblings drink to their hearts’ content and then taxi them all home.
And, once we convinced Ellie that sand is not made of venomous snake teeth, she actually likes the beach. She likes the beach for a whole 5 minutes before she wants to go back inside and watch Baby Einstein.
Life is good.