You know that feeling when you're driving along a highway, let's say the 405 South for argument's sake, and you're feeling just swell!
You're making great time and you're so darn proud about it that you can't resist turning to your friend or loved one in the passenger seat and saying aloud,
"Wow! Traffic sure is moving better than I expected!"
Almost before the phrase has left your lips, of course, brake lights appear in front of you, stretching as far as the eye can see. You curse yourself for angering the gods of traffic, who are now punishing you for your hubris.
Well, a few Thursday nights back, I was lying in bed with my husband David when I turned to him with a self-satisfied grin and said,
"You know, honey? I think we are really getting a hang of this parenting thing!"
(Cue Disaster Sequence)
It was July 4th weekend, in fact, and since David had the rare Friday off we both decided it would be fun to take Snoodie to the beach!
We were wrong. It was not fun to take Snoodie to the beach.
This was mostly on account of the approximately ninety-four thousand other Los Angelinos who had ALSO decided the beach sounded like fun on that holiday Friday.
In fact, our outing to the beach did not, in fact, ever actually involve the beach. Instead, it would be more accurate to describe said outing as a trip to western Venice Boulevard, where we sat for forty-five minutes in 100-degree traffic with an angry baby.
The only possible upside to be found in the entire misadventure was the distinct probability that Snoodie picked up some new vocabulary words from listening to daddy and mommy interact with their fellow drivers.
After pulling over in a Marina-Dey-Ray parking lot to feed Snood an ill-advised car-seat-based lunch, we headed home, covered in sweet potatoes and hoping for a better day tomorrow.
But a better tomorrow never came.
Instead, the next afternoon we headed over to friend's house for what else? A Barbeque! What could be more fun on the 4th of July????
As it turns out, if you happen to be us, sticking sharpened bamboo under you own fingernails might be more fun than our 4th of July BBQ experience.
Let me say up front that this was NOT because there was anything wrong with my friend's lovely barbeque. The source of the trouble was that, an hour after arriving at said barbeque, we realized that we'd forgotten the diaper bag. Which meant we'd not only forgotten the diapers, but also....the Snoodie food.
Considering that, at that point, we were forty-five minutes from home with a wet angry baby, we realized that our only option was to put our baby's needs first and head immediately for home.
Oh, no wait, I'm wrong!
That's what the sane and normal parents did in that situation. David and I, on the other hand, felt the fact that we were really hungry, combined with the fact that the food was ALMOST READY, meant that we should stall Snood until after we'd eaten.
At some point I am sure that David and I are going to learn that attempting to stall the Snood is NEVER a good idea and that, in fact, once he's reached a point where he's vocalizing his frustration, IT'S TOO LATE TO STALL AT ALL!
This is how we found ourselves, ten minutes later, running for the car holding two large plates of barbeque and a wildly shrieking Snoodle.
(shrieking Snoodle file photo)
The car ride was spent trying to prevent black beans from flying off our plates as we careened down the hills yelling, "You're OK! You're OK!" in response to screams that loosely translated to:
"Are you idiots kidding me? I needed to eat like an hour ago! When are you two morons ever going to learn that when I say I'm hungry it doesn't mean try to shove some deviled eggs from the buffet into my mouth! I mean DINNER! NOW!"
Forty-five minutes later we made it home with frazzled nerves and limped inside holding a now wimpering baby, half covered in flying Barbeque, starving and disheveled. We crammed some baby food into him and were about to settle into what remained on our plates of cold BBQ when David looked around and said,
"I don't see the diaper bag."
I ask you, now, to play along with a little game I like to call the www.shortfatdictator.com guess-a-thon!
Can you figure out the reason why David couldn't see the diaper bag?
(begin irritating game-show type music)
If you guessed,
"because we did bring it to the Barbeque and had it there all along!!"
then buy yourself a case of Turtle Wax, because you are RIGHT!!!
Following this realization, David got back in the car, drove 45-minutes back to the BBQ, retrieved the diaper bag and then drove forty-five more minutes home, while I put an angry Snood-monster in the bath and got him ready for bed.
That night, too exhausted to even limp outside to look at the fireworks, the two of us sat shell-shocked, shoveling half-crushed plates of cold barbeque into our faces and drinking to forget.
Oh, and we also added a new amendment to our marital contract. The next time I turn to David in bed to praise our parenting skills, I asked him to immediately smother me with the nearest pillow to spare me the horrors to follow.
He agreed without a moment's hesitation that it was the only plan that made sense.