If you live anywhere in the United States, the cold is beginning to sink into your bones. The chill slaps your face as you open the front door. You are exhaling the cloudy cool breath as your dry and bloody knuckles scrape the frost off a windshield. Winter is coming.
I am ready. I was ready the last time our little family went out to eat. I am probably not going to leave my house for another 2 years or so. I will escape to my paying job, but other than this required excursion into adulthood, my husband and I are resigned to our fates. Yes, we will forget we said weren’t going to leave and we will try to venture out. We will soon realize it was a mistake. We will wave our white flag and surrender. When I think I want to go out, here is what I want to remember:
1. We may go to a restaurant but we won’t eat a dinner. A toddler is present, and our dinner conversations consists of these phrases “do you want snacks?” and “Let’s color” and “you need to sit down and eat.” If you haven’t said “don’t eat the crayons” at least a thousand times in one restaurant sitting, you are missing out on a fine dining experience. My new favorite pastime when I go to a restaurant is to loudly yell “KNIFE!” Because no matter where you put the bloody knife, the toddler will find it and wave it around. We will still pay for our dinner, but it will be cold and we will bum rush our waitress for a to go box. At the same time we throw our cold food into the white Styrofoam boxes, one of us will head to the car while the other one pays. It’s a divide and conquer tactic.
2. Car seats. This throne always provides a great battle. It may be all smiles at first. The smiles are trickery, they are a toddler’s best deception. Here is where a thousand armies wait to battle one lonely Mama. Not really, it’s just my strong willed little boy and he doesn’t want to leave the car wash, or Target, or the park. He will not be bound to a seat. Actually, yes he will because it’s a law. No matter what, he never wins this battle.
3. Tantrums (aka the Battle Cry.) These can be a loud high pitched call to arms. He may be calling for reinforcements, especially at Target. Toddlers love to battle at Target. The Battle Cry is infused with a lot of snot. It’s winter and he’s sick, but still it’s gross. After the battle cry usually comes the battle charge. This is where the toddler will try to get away from you. He will run screaming down aisles knocking over everything in his path. Cake mixes will fly off shelves. He will grab anything on the lower shelf level to use as a distraction. Fuck Target, we are going home you will say.
4. The Mommy Tantrum. I would like to write here how I do something really cool like summon my dragons, but I don’t. I fight the car seat battle and usually end up crying on the way home. It’s pretty lame. Last time, I had an overly dramatic moment where I said “I just wanted to buy you snacks.” He stayed at his post of not really giving a shit.
5. I can drink wine at home and be warm by a fire. And here I can avoid everything listed above and dress in the fashionable court attire of my yoga or pajama pants. I do not have to wear that wretched contraption called a bra. I never have to paint my face or curl my hair. We have a large assortment of toys. We can build castle forts under the dining room table. We can race Matchbox cars. The toddler will keep trying to saddle the cat named “Butters” and ride off into happily ever after. Oh, and I get to drink wine in my castle fort. Winter is coming.