I convinced Cade to take the girls swimming but he insisted I should go too. I whimpered about the naked mob in the dressing room and the lady who knew karate. He just laughed at my suffering and said we'd have fun watching the kids swim. Too bad it didn't work out like he'd expected.
When Cade pulled into the parking lot I asked, "Can you drop us off? We're late. You can bring the babies in and I'll meet you by the pool."
Concern sprinted across his face. "Bring . . . the babies in? Both of them?"
I turned away and smiled. "Yes, both of them." He cracked me up. That guy manages entire construction sites, operates any kind of equipment, yet still has butter-fingers when it comes to packing kids from a car.
"Ummm. Okay. I guess I can do that."
That was sweet of him, considering I never get a break and wanted one so badly! He just didn't understand that sometimes homemakers can lose their minds if they don't get time to themselves. I wanted a Mommy time out, needed one, but felt like it would never happen even if I won the lottery!
After he dropped us off, the girls were ready and swimming quicker than a gypsy-trick. "The Patter" was no where to be seen. I felt glad she couldn't tell me to stop running or how much she likes "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Then I felt bad after a second. Maybe she'd patted her last pat. I could see the whole thing, how she'd sat too close to someone in the mafia. Maybe she'd turned to a life of crime where people slap each other, just for fun. I thought about that for awhile, how she'd look so innocent, hitting people for a living. I giggled under my breath, until looking at the clock and realizing it had been quite awhile and Cade hadn't surfaced from the men's dressing room. I worried, threw all my concern into the moment. I knew firsthand how horrible the women's dressing room was--my lip trembled in terror--I couldn't imagine what the men's would be like.
In high school I was a janitor for my dad's construction company. I still have nightmares about that bathroom. The guys hooked a "fart maker" to the door. Every time you went inside, a different fart-sound would trumpet for all to hear. It was really embarrassing if someone who didn't know about the fart-maker, stood outside. You'd have to yell, "it wasn't me," from the bathroom, but hardly any of the visitors believed. A mirror hung on the opposite wall. The words on it read, "Conserve water, bathe together." The bathroom did have an air freshener which puffed every few hours, but all the cinnamon scent in the world couldn't save that bathroom from the stench.
I thought about Cade and my babies braving the men's dressing room, and decided the swimming place wouldn't invest in a cinnamon freshener. That's when I stood and walked toward the men's dressing room door.
I paced there for a minute, wanted to fling the door open and scream, "Cade, are you okay?" But I remembered the time I accidentally walked into the men's bathroom at the airport--it wasn't pleasant. I'd seen a stream--a yellow stream of doom.
But what do you do when you think your husband and babies are suffering janitorial neglect? I stepped closer, closed my eyes. When babies are in danger, mothers will do crazy things! Then just before I could make the biggest mistake of my life, I heard the door open, and Cade stood in front of me. I was so happy to see him and the kids--ALIVE! I couldn't smell any cinnamon and thought it was amazing they'd made it through!
"You're okay. You're all okay," I said, forgetting how angry I'd been before.
He snorted. "That wasn't easy."
"Being in the men's dressing room? Are naked ladies there too?"
He laughed. "No, it wasn't easy getting these kids inside." We have a double stroller, yet Cade held "The Zombie Elf" (our two-year-old) in his arms while trying to navigate the boat of a stroller.
"Did you get the towels?" I asked.
"They weren't in the van. I think you left them at home. If you take the kids, I'll go back and get them," he said.
"Not in a million years." I grabbed the keys and before he could object, I vanished from the building. Maybe I'd wiped one too many butts, or blown too many noses. Maybe my anger at "The Patter" and fear of naked old women, drove me to do crazy things. Maybe I was having another twenty-ager crisis:
Twenty-ager Crisis Story
Whatever it was, I flew from that building and a grin played across my face.
I felt like skipping to the car, like I could do anything. Hell, I could even have a soda and no one would beg me for a sip!
It was the best break ever. I sang while I drove. No one fought about who whacked who. No one cried, or said they needed to go potty. It wasn't until I grabbed the towels and started driving back, that I started missing my kids. My baby wasn't gooing. The "Zombie Elf" wasn't trying to throw his shoes at me, and my girls weren't there to sing. I sat in the van, with nothing except a couple towels and my loneliness. I completely hit rock bottom when I started singing a song by Celine Deon! I sang it loud and clear. I sang, "All By Myself!"
It was a good thing I took a break though. I felt like Lucy when she came back from the wardrobe; I wanted to tell my girls about my adventures, but they were clueless to my disappearance. I hugged them tightly and gave each of my babies a kiss. Cade sighed when I got there, "I'm so glad you're back. I can see why you'd want a break."
So, all in all it was a great day. Cade grew some appreciation, the babies got time with their daddy and I didn't die in the men's dressing room. What did I learn?--life is good as long as you forget the towels!