Christmas break can often be a mini version of summer break in that by the end of it, parents are at wit's end, kids are bored and moping, having lost any interest in the hundreds of dollars of STUFF they got under the Christmas tree. Oh and the money! They get shittons of money! And did I mention, the parents, conversely, are now BROKE. They have also probably gained 5 or 10 pounds, had no time for themselves to like, be healthy or sane, and they're ready for a vacay from vacay but can't afford it. The holidays were fun, yes but the magic of the holidays are gone and reality sets in and well, you know. Or you don't! At least that's how I'm feeling and the vibe in my house currently. And I realized all of this because I am leaving to go to yoga that I haven't been to in weeks and the guilt hangs heavy and the kids are whining for Chick Fil A breakfast biscuits and well, yoga and guilt don't mix. SO this reminded me of this Chick Fil A/ mom going a lil cray post I wrote back in the day when I had little ittle bitty kids and we went to Chick Fil A a lot.. I was a complete basket case most of the time but man, I miss those days...somehow. Here goes (written c. 2010):
I'm pretty sure the manager at Chick Fil A thinks I'm a mother on the edge. About to pull a Sylvia Plath, as I have mentioned it enough times that if I did it now, everyone would just think I'm crying wolf.
"What? He walked in and her head was literally in the oven and the kids' bedroom doors were duct-taped shut? So he laughed, decided they must be safely quarantined from harm and decided to jump on his dirtbike and ride it at top speed around the neighborhood, since he never gets to do that without the kids wanting a ride. He came back an hour later and her head was still there. So sad. I heard she was obsessed with Sylvia Plath long before she even had kids; she read The Bell Jar like five times."
As I'm sure you assume, I refer to Sylvia Plath in good fun, in jest. My life isn't that bad.
Anyway, the first time this manager identified my Plath-ness, I was taking Becks to lunch there while Izzy was at school. Just the two of us, mommy-toddler date. So cute. Right. It was just one of those days. He was totally defiant, wouldn't eat, only wanted to play on the outside playground and decided, once out there, that he was going to the car for something. We had a few minutes of arguing about it and hand gestures that I'm sure all the people inside could deduce there was an argumentative toddler. "I'm going!" he yelled, and I was all, "yeah sure you are," thinking I would just jump up if he got inside, and went back to my iphone to play my turn on words with friends. Next thing I know he'spulling open the glass door open that weighs a ton, and it's almost slamming back on him when 3 employees run to his rescue, and glare straight at me, Shitty Mom. "This is really heavy and could slam his little fingers!" "Oh I know! I'm sorry I didn't think of that! Sorry." The pleasant-faced blonde manager comes up to me and and pats me on the back in an I Pity You sortof way. "I know it's hard. I had two. But enjoy it, it doesn't last long." Thank you, words of wisdom from wise woman. She kept standing there and talking and I seriously thought she was casing me out to decide whether or not I was a candidate for S.C.A.N. I thank her and we leave. I get to the car and without thinking, back up. Straight into the Dodge Charger that I had watched, earlier, park nearly diagonally in the parking space behind me. But I couldn't go forward because of the line of 20 cars dyin for some Chik fila. I had already forgotten, that's how brain-dead I am. I bash into the Charger.
EFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!! I picture a horrid dent that Chris is going to demand we get fixed immediately and spend God knows how much because he is so obsessed with aesthetics (despite that it's a 1997 Landcruiser) and I get out, crying. To my surprise, I have no dent and the Charger only has a little scuff, and possibly a cracked side headlight.
I'm frantic about what to do, can't hit and run, so I leave Becks in the carseat, lock the car and run inside, right into Nice Lady manager. She finds the people and brings them out to see the damage. My perfectly good karma helped me out here, because the Government Agent said it was the govt's car anyway, and the other light was already cracked. I was like, "soooo, what should I do?" and wondered if I should offer her cash, which I didn't have...or to write a check? for what? bribery? We stood there long enough and she sensed my poor sweet frantic momness enough to say "Don't worry about it." I wanted to hug her but I didn't. And the Nice Lady manager was visibly relieved for me, thankful I wouldn't go home and wail on my toddler's poor little white booty or even worse, stick my head in the oven.
We see her again at a benefit for a girl from Izzy's school. She sees me with the whole family, and we seem stable and happy enough. Maybe she lost her concern.
Then a few weeks later, yesterday, I take both kids to the crowded Chick Fil A. Becks is sliding off my hip because he refuses to walk, and both of them look like rugrats with their crazy curly red unbrushed hair. She comes up to me just as Becks turns over his napkin with ketchup all over it and spills a drink. "How are you?" she asks in a seriously concerned tone. "Let me get you another one. I'll get them another fruit cup too. Are you not eating mom?" as she looks down at my wasit to see if I'm starving myself. "Anything to drink?" Umm do you have wine at Chick fil A? I mean the woman thinks I'm seriously on the brink I guess. She's so sincerely concerned for me I wonder if I should ask her if she'll take me in a couple days a week so I can have time off or maybe score me a year's worth of free nuggets and chocolate milks..?