Silver lining07/24/2012 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Friends, Motherhood | 12 Comments
I started the day on only five hours of sleep.
So I should have known it would go down like this …
Scrambling to get the girls out of the house for a playdate, I realize at the last minute that I haven’t packed water or hats or sunscreen. For a 90-degree day outside. I text my pal Cary to say we’re going to be late (shocker) and start grabbing sippy cups and snacks and hats while trying to keep Sophie from emptying the contents of the kitchen cabinets. Then with one leg out the door, toddler on my hip, diaper bag on my shoulder and Lily pulling on the hem of my shorts, it dawns on me that I forgot the sunscreen. Again.
I grab the first bottle I see and go.
At the park, the stroller won’t open. Sophie is hollering from her carseat while Lily troubleshoots the problem with me. I yank on the stroller this way and that, sweat pouring down my face. Finally, the little latch clicks into place and the thing stays upright.
We head to Lily’s favorite patch of sand and I start slathering the girls with the sunblock. Within seconds, bees appear. Two or three around each girl and a handful more hovering over the sunblock bottle perched on top of the diaper bag. Lily freaks. Sophie ambles around, happily unaware that she’s being trailed by bees.
I swat. Cary swats. The bees don’t let up. So we each grab some wipes and begin scrubbing little arms and legs. The bees aren’t fazed. I’m allergic and scared, so I wrangle the girls and head to the bathroom to wash off the sunblock. Where, of course, there are no paper towels. And the faucets only run for a few seconds before shutting off.
Sophie LOVES being in the sink, grabbing at the faucet, the soap dispenser, the front of my shirt (which, at this point, is so stretched out and drenched with sweat that it’s practically hanging open). I manage to wipe the both of them down and blot them dry with toilet paper.
So now we can’t be in the sun. At the park. In July.
Time for the carousel, I announce. Which, mercifully, is indoor and air-conditioned. We clamber aboard and it cranks up, spinning much more quickly than I’d imagined it would. I become dizzy. I focus on the girls’ faces and force back a growing wave of nausea. After the ride ends, I chug some ice-cold lemonade. And start to dry heave.
Cary, as sweet as she is, manages to usher us all to a bench in the shade, where I put my head in my hands while she assures me that I have nothing to be embarrassed about. After a few of Sophie’s goldfish crackers, the nausea subsides and I can stand up without seeing spots.
We take a train ride, then part ways for lunch and naps.
I manage to lie down with Lily that afternoon but still feel sick and can’t really fall asleep. My mind spinning with all the chores waiting for me, I force myself not to get up. Just be still and listen to your child sleep. This moment is a gift, I tell myself.
Then Sophie wakes early and screeches her discontent for the next two hours.
Finally, the silver lining.
In a desperate move to kill the last 30 minutes before bedtime, I decide to take Sophie for a stroll. As I’m strapping on her shoes, Cary rings the doorbell and hands me a CD with photos that take my breath away.
Just like that, the comedy of errors comes screeching to a halt and peace settles into my heart.