A Heavy Heart and Happy Hour

It’s a good thing I recently revamped my blog because I’m without a child for two weeks and a mom blogger can’t exactly write mom blogs if they’re not being a mom.

Last Wednesday I had the misfortune of driving Rinn to Wisconsin where I would leave him to spend some time with his father. It broke my heart and I spent a better of the weekend trying not to cry at the sight of small children holding hands with their mother and too frequently having minor tantrums out of sheer confusion and frustration. Think I’m joking? Just ask the bellhop at the DoubleTree who witnessed a display of superhuman strength because my trunk was full of 3 foot wooden nutcrackers and rather than get creative with space I threw my suitcase into the valet driveway like I was vying for a ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympics as a shot putter. I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo.

It was not my proudest moment and I just wanted to shout at anyone within earshot. I’M PACKING MY CAR TO LEAVE MY SMALL CHILD IN A STATE HE DOESN’T KNOW WITH A MAN HE ONLY KNOWS AS A FACE WHO SHOWS UP ON HIS IPAD SOMETIMES. I HATE EVERYTHING THAT ISN’T PUTTING HIM BACK IN MY ARMS AT THIS VERY MOMENT. ESPECIALLY YOU. ESPECIALLY MY TRUNK. AND ESPECIALLY THESE FUCKING NUTCRACKERS. Instead I decided to present the bellhop with a healthy tip as a consolation prize as soon as I could master the Tetris puzzle that was my trunk. Maybe he can buy himself a beer after work where he would undoubtedly tell everyone about the crazed woman with a trunk full of life sized nutcrackers who heaved her luggage into the air like Hulk Hogan did Andre the Giant in 1987.

I bow my head in even deeper shame at this point because when I arrived back in Arkansas I found the bellhop’s tip. In my trunk. Just chilling with the nutcrackers. So to the indiscriminate DoubleTree Milwaukee associate who attempted to help me with my bags: I’m sorry, the fact that your tip is still in my trunk just goes to show you how beside myself I was that day. I owe you one. Obviously the first few days were rough. I even spent a few moments at an open bar, Germanfest VIP event watching hilarious videos of Tui trying to fight our leaf blower so that I wouldn’t start sobbing into my sausage. If an open bar doesn’t cure my sorrows you know we’re in trouble.

Things have since improved, kind of. Perhaps I’m reaching a level of acceptance or I’ve since tricked myself into thinking things are going to be ok and took up distracting myself with projects. Any parent can vouch for me when I say this, projects take exponentially longer when you’re attempting to do them while your children are present. Basically, the projects that I thought would divert my attention away from the fact that my only child is currently three states and 674 miles away are done and I’ve even managed to eat half of a taco casserole and a bag of potato chips.

We’re on day 6 of 14 so it’s guaranteed that I’ll be crying myself to sleep tonight. A little bit indigestion and a lotta bit listening to the voices in my head battle amongst themselves. It’s fine. You failed. It’ll be okay. You really failed. You raised him to be autonomous and he can totally wipe his own butt really well 9 times out of 10 so you’ll both survive this. You really really failed and your son is coming home in a box. The world might be scary. But the worrying imagination of a mother who fears for the safety and wellbeing of her child is scarier. Much, much scarier.

Just so I don't sign off and leave you all in a state of sympathetic sadness and wondering if I should be fitted for strait jacket while Rinn is away, I'll leave you instead with a quick video of him after his first happy hour. Yes, I took my 5-year-old to happy hour and while I would like to say it was to Sonic for half-priced drinks and slushes, it wasn’t.

To keep with our road trip tradition we broke up our travels with an overnight stay in St. Louis where we went to the zoo and Rinn insisted on telling anyone that would listen that some coffee is made from elephant poop (I had to google it but it’s true, something he undoubtedly picked up from a PBS Earth documentary.) For the first time in my adult life I sweat thru my street clothes because it was hotter than a half fucked fox in a forest fire. We nearly ran thru half the park eager to get back to the hotel pool but got stuck behind a cluster of rednecks who kept confusing Asian elephants with baby elephants; an oversight that Rinn simply couldn’t ignore since he made an attempt to tell them “they’re not babies, they’re smaller.” He didn’t say “they ain’t babies, they just smaller” so I have to assume that they didn’t understand him.

By some miracle of God we made it back to the hotel pool without actually melting and Rinn was fawned over by no less than eight adult women. It’s a shame I’m not a single lesbian because my pickup game would be unparalleled. All of this excitement left us famished. The hotel had three restaurants on site: an overpriced eatery serving raw oysters and $9 toast, the hotel tavern which might have been okay but people here are weird about having babies in bars (Toto, we’re not in Wisconsin anymore) and a pizza place.

The decision wasn’t hard. Unfortunately it wasn’t until we sauntered over to said pizza place that I realized this was more of place for Tinder dates than it was for families enjoying each other’s company over a pie and happy hour was definitely under way. I have the most handsome date in here, what the hell? We got a table and Rinn got himself an orange juice on the rocks. Which let me tell you was easily the biggest rip off on our ticket at $4 which totaled only $25. Here’s a free parenting tip: hit up half-price happy hours, with or without your kids, it’s actually a steal. Just make sure they drink their OJ responsibly.

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