Today, with a slight panic, I remembered my parking ticket. The one I got on a Monday despite pumping the meter full of every coin I could collect from my wallet and the sticky abyss that is the cup holder.
We were totally on track, my 2 year old and I, heading back to the car with at least a few minutes to spare. Just steps outside the door of the restaurant, she declared with a degree of urgency that most adults reserve for stumbling upon structure fires, “I HAFTA PEE PEE!”. So I gambled. Head back inside and go straight to the bathroom risking a ticket or wait to make change, schlep a ticking piss bomb to the car to add more time to the meter and guarantee a very wet and upset child. With these Vegas-like odds, I chose the former and scored myself an orange envelope with a slip of paper staking claim to 15 of my hard earned dollars. According to the ticket, you have 30 days to pay the fine or it doubles. So once I snatched it off the windshield, I crammed it into the nasty cup holder where my well intentioned quarters used to be, figuring roughly four weeks should be enough time to take care of it. Turned out, I used every single one of them. Granted, my husband or I drive past the police station at least twice a day almost EVERY DAY (not to mention clipping it to the mailbox requires no driving at all) but parking tickets make me stabby and paying it feels like I’m admitting I was wrong when what I really want it to say is “I may or may not have sneezed on that check”.
The real problem is that time just goes too fast.
As I remembered the ticket I tried to think backward to the day I got it, calculating if it were even remotely possible that an ENTIRE MONTH just whiffed by.
There were nasty heaps of doo doo snow piled up in the parking lot that day. Now, there’s not a patch even in the shadiest of corners.
Josie was still anxiously awaiting the package from Gigi that contained Frozen and because it was all she could think about, she stormed the stage after music time to belt out her version of Let it Go. The one where she gets stuck like a broken record on a line or two repeating whichever one it happens to be about 15 times before she figures it out and moves on. I bought another muffin as a peace offering.
Two highly anticipated elementary school field trips came and went.
I spent 5 days solo parenting while Bobby played a string of out of town shows and I managed not to sell the children.
Nothing spectacular or noteworthy, but an entire month.
As I write this, my daughter is asleep in bed beside me clutching my arm. She fell asleep in her own like usual and cried out just a bit ago. I ignored it as she quieted right away. She did it again moments later so I tiptoed in. As she tossed and turned I lay my hand on her belly with a quiet “shhhhh”. Her body relaxed and she drifted back to sleep. I had barely returned to my bed before she screeched once more. With my patience wearing thin, I marched into the room again, a slight hiss in my voice as I asked, “WHAT do you need, Josie?”
“YOU!” she implored.
Sheepishly, I scooped her from bed and offered to bring her to mine. She nodded with her head on my shoulder and was soundly asleep before her head touched the pillow. (Full disclosure before you find any of this too precious: she has farted twice since then and both times NEARLY STARTLED THE SHIT OUT OF ME.)
How many more of those months will a simple “YOU” be the answer to what she needs? At this rate, the answer is NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.