1. Two minutes before his swimming lesson starts.
2. When we should already have left the house 15 minutes ago.
3. In the middle of an amusement park ride.
4. Every time we walk into Target.
5. Just as our doctor enters the room for a check-up after we’ve been waiting 45 minutes.
6. At the beach.
7. When a server is about to take our orders at a restaurant.
8. The moment our food arrives at a restaurant.
9. On our way out of a restaurant.
10. Anyone’s house but ours.
11. At the park.
12. While I am sitting on the only available toilet.
13. While his sister is sitting on the only available toilet.
14. Three minutes after insisting he did not have to go while we were all in the public family restroom at the mall and each of his sisters dutifully utilized the toilet and changing table, but now we’re almost to the Disney Store on the other side of the mall.
15. While waiting in the McDonald’s drive-through line.
16. When he is on his bike five blocks from the house and claims to need to go too badly to pedal himself home and starts flipping the f*ck out and I somehow have to get his f*cking bike, his twin sister who is just too tired to pedal and her f*cking bike, and his baby sister and her stroller back home. Also, it is hot out. Continue reading
We should have known better.
I don’t know why we expected our son to make it all day on an outing to Santa Monica Pier without a flip-out. With t-minus two days until our big trip to California, he had spiked a fever and started barking with croup, but we didn’t have any choice but to go with it. Bags were packed, hotels were booked, and my wife’s vacation days were locked in.
And so here we were at the Pier, fielding a high-decibel complaint from him as he refused to walk, be carried, or sit in the stroller. My wife and I took one look at each other and knew what needed to be done–get the f*ck out of there and get him a nap.
But first, we needed to calm him down so as to mobilize him.
As is customary, we looked for “Ruh-Ruh” (a toddler pronunciation of “Ruff-Ruff,” which is what our son calls his favorite toy, a stuffed Pluto). Surely, I thought, his go-to plush canine would again bring balance to The Force. But when I reached for its usual place in the diaper bag, I came up empty-handed. I dug through each pocket and checked the storage pouches on each umbrella stroller, but still no Ruff-Ruff.
“Hey,” I projected to our caravan of travelers, including my wife’s mother, stepfather, brother, sister, and grandmother. (We’d taken turns pushing the Twins’ strollers all day, so anyone could have had it.) “Where’s Pluto?”