Yesterday Tim had about six different appointments in Boston and decided to take Mary with him. She was totally jazzed to have "a date with daddy," and meet up for lunch with Uncle Brian.
I dressed Mary that morning in a cute but comfortable outfit, knowing she was going to be seeing some of Tim's former employers and other important people, and braided her hair in a "daddy proof" style (Tim has many fine talents but he'll never be a hairdresser). I reminded Tim of the basics: "You are seeing your doctor, don't give her anything sticky or messy that you can't clean up before!" and sent a gleeful preschooler out into the freezing January morning.
By about 1 p.m., Homegirl had wized up to the fact that a "date" consisting of driving around in the car and visiting various universities, schools and doctors was, in fact, a pretty dull time. She was behaving well but Tim could see the end of her rope was coming soon. So she went back home with Uncle Brian (who lives about a half an hour outside Boston, much easier than driving all the way home) until Tim was done with his remaining appointments.
The phone rang around 3:30. My brother in law.
"So, um, I have a question," he said.
"Yes?" I'm concerned, my mind jumping from possibility to possibility. Mary fell down and got seriously injured. Mary had an accident (and though I know I should, I hardly ever remember spare clothes anymore because she's been good with the bathroom for more than two years at this point). Mary managed to "love" Nana's sweet but neurotic greyhound into a nervous breakdown. Mary bit the mailman. Who the heck knows?
"Mary got Play Doh in her sleeve and I'm not sure how to get it out."
"I told Mary you were probably going to kill me," he said.
My neuroses with my kids' clothes are well known at this point, but
really, if you were trying to make one Gymboree outfit last through
three sisters, you'd be a nut, too. But really? I was just happy she was
having fun and that I wasn't getting an overtired preschooler back
after another couple of hours in the car. So, $10 shirt vs. crying child.
"You know, it should just wash out when I do the laundry," I said. "Don't worry about it."
Meanwhile, Anna and Lily were home with me and Anna especially was reveling in the one on one attention. She even took a decent nap for me, which is getting harder and harder to accomplish lately. Mary came home right around dinner time, happy but exhausted, and slept until 7 a.m. today instead of her usual cheery 5:45.
She needs to go with Daddy more often.