I talk to myself out loud. Blame it on dear old Dad… he’s the ultimate talk-to-himself-out-loud worker. First he instructs himself on what to do, and then he tells himself what he’s doing. Occasionally, he even summarizing how it went.
We all know the older we get, the more we will probably end up being like our parents. Sometimes you don’t have to wait too long.
I repeat driving directions to myself when I am going to a new place, I verbally work out a new skill as I am doing it, and most of all, I do out loud checklists when I am leaving the house.
One morning, probably 8 months ago, I was up early getting ready for work. Cohen had gotten breakfast, then bathed, then dressed… and he was standing before me with his jacket ands shoes on as I ran through my list of morning to dos.
“Okay, bud. I think we are ready to go,” I started, “now I just need to make sure we’ve got everything…” Cohen looked at me with those great big, blue eyes and then began to scan the room with me. “Alrighty… I’ve got my lunch, my laptop, a pen, your diaper bag with diapers, wipes, oh! sippy cup-“ I stopped temporarily, finding and filling the cup with juice and then I handed it to Co. He wasn’t talking too much at this point and he put his free hand out in a questioning gesture, “keys, Mommy?”
As a parent, there are times, perhaps LOTS of times, when we are given the opportunity to laugh at ourselves. I got a good chuckle that morning, thinking about how often in Co’s short little life he must’ve seen me scrambling and tearing the house apart in search of my keys. And, well, since I am usually talking myself out loud through the process of finding them, he was sure to catch on quick.
Keys… I need to super glue them to my hand… or you know, maybe I could try something less invasive like, getting a key hanger for my place? All I know is I need to do something…. let’s flip a coin. *grin*
Apparently, like talking to ones self out loud, this is also a generational curse… cause Mom… Mom can never find her keys, credit cards, purse,
sanity… you name it.
I am out of town this week on business. Having never left Cohen for more than one night, the thought of being away for 5 days/5 nights was just more than I could bear. Thank God for Mom. She agreed to take a little personal vacay and bring Cohen down for 4 days/nights so I could have the evenings and (early) mornings with him. Despite the fact that having a toddler in a high-end hotel could be stressful, we are all having a really great time.
However, the first day? Oh it was a Comedy of Errors.
I got out of training an hour early and anxiously awaited their arrival. Mom called to say they’d be there in about an hour so I put on my running clothes and went to the hotel workout room, which is suprisingly well equipped. I rushed around, getting showered and then I sat on the bed for another hour plus, calling Mom every 10-15 minutes to get an update. The craziness went something like this:
Mom stopped at Meijer to get Co some juice and floaties for the pool. They had these rad shopping carts that are cars and the kiddos sit in the bottom and watch cartoons on a built in screen. This made Cohen happy-happy so Grandma gave him juice in the store and pushed him around without much mind because he was being so quiet. She checked out and bent down to get him, only to find he had taken the 10oz of juice and went to town hozing down the whole inside of the said car cart. This set them back a good half hour.
I was waiting in the parking garage (when I said I was anxiously awaiting them, I wasn’t kidding) and I saw Mom’s car drive by 5th avenue, the street the hotel faces. How did I know it was her? Well, the car was the right color, and the woman inside was leaning up way too close to the steering wheel, looking a bit nervous. Bingo! I called her to say ‘I just saw you’ which annoyed her because she was nervous about driving.
I wait another 10 minutes, knowing something has gone wrong, but afraid to call because of the last exchange. She called eventually to say there is no such parking garage… refering to the one I was, you know, standing in. So I was
calm and rational irritated and started to talk faster… “Seriously, Mom..its two stinking turns..right and right…like immediate right, immediate right…there’s a red awning on your right, enter there” I got back something like, “there is no red awning and you said Elm Street, so that’s three rights“. We argued about the number of right turns and whether or not the garage was really on Elm for a few minutes while she navigated the one way streets, making several big squares around the hotel. Finally she pulled into the hotel and I made my way down there. Turns out she was right. (I promised her I’d say that). Stupid garage was on 6th, not Elm. So now just imagine me putting on my humility hat.
We arrived and parked right next to my car, I started repacking her suitcase with the additional Meijers items and she began gathering things up as well, and Co? Well Cohen was having a hay day with the automatic locks in the front seat and pretending to drive. We get everything together, closed the car doors, and Mom said, “just let me make sure I’ve got my keys”. Well, she didn’t have them. She dumped out her purse, but the keys were not there. We moved the seats forward and then back, but the keys were not there. I looked around the car, underneath it (thank you, cell phone/flashlight), but the keys? You guessed it: not there either. We unpacked the suitcase and repacked it twice. We shook out all of the Meijers bags, but didn’t hear a single jingle. I think it was at this point, that Mom said “this is crazy! I didn’t even go anywhere!” I had to remind her that doesn’t mean the keys aren’t lost. I once had to have a key maker come to a mall, four hours away from my house, and make a key because I lost mine in the exact same circumstance. They later turned up in a used cloth diaper in the bottom of the wet bag inside the diaper bag. After fifteen minutes of looking, I realized Mom had put a bag of hers over my shoulder and that I hadn’t even noticed it. Sure enough, the keys were right on top.
After a good relieved filled laugh, we went inside and I gave mom a room key with the room number printed on the envelope..18xx. “Please tell me that doesn’t mean we are on the 18th floor?” she said and suddenly I remembered Mom has a thing about evelators…as in, she won’t use them. I tried to talk her into the 30 second ride, but she insisted on the stairs. I asked her yesterday what the fear is… she said, its that someone could hurt you in there and you’d have nowhere to go. Not what you expected, right? Me either.
So eventually we all ended up in the room.. I made space for her suitcase and separated Co’s clothes out. She put his snacks and drinks up out of reach. He sat on the bed and made phone calls until I unplugged it from the wall. “Hello? Papa? Hello? Josh? Hello?”
We got dressed and decided to stay in the hotel for dinner. Sure, the restaurants are nicer, but we figured Co could handle it. He screamed with delight (happy, but shrill) and insisted on greeting everyone who walked by loudly until they noticed him. He flirted mercilessly with our waitress who was friendlier than the rest of the staff, thank God. He took off his shoes and then his socks and attempted to put his bare tootsies on the table. He ate the crayons and then (proudly) shoved them down the straw of his drink. He chewed on his chicken nuggets and then put them back on the plate and ate his fries and then threw the rest on the floor. But mind you, he wasn’t being ornery… he thought he was being charming. He had on his flirty disposition, which made him immensely harder to correct. I would start, “Cohen…” with my eyebrows up so he’d get how serious I was and he’d promptly blow me a kiss. This is where the rubber meets the road, folks 🙂 We got him calmed down and his food (for the most part) on his plate. Then he noticed the older couple seated next to us. He said ‘hi’ over and over and over, until the lady turned around. I tried to not look at her face just in case it said ‘why would you bring a toddler to this nice restaurant!’ but as it turns out, she was in fact charmed. He blew her kisses, did all of tricks, sang to her about Jesus, and then tried to share his ‘dink’ with her…I had to draw the line there.
We went to get up and Mom smiled and she had massive amounts of lettuce in her teeth. I told her cause I am totally that friend. She giggled and start swishing water around in her mouth. It didn’t work. I tried to navigate her through it, but alas the lettuce was suctioned to her enamel. I instructed her not to smile. She, naturally, couldn’t stop.
We made it to the room without any more embarressment, but feeling a little like the Beverly Hillbillies. Since then, we’ve both lost our keys at least once, and I misplaced my room ket yesterday. I took three trips to the meeting room yesterday before I had all of my training materials. And last night?
Last night we decided to go out. We planned to take my car since my parking tab in on the room. Before we left I made sure we had one room key and I had my keys, validated parking ticket, and a clean Cohen. We got there and realized the carseat is in Mom’s car and she didn’t bring her keys. So instead of having her run up 18 flights of stairs, she and Co stayed in the car and I went up to pilfer through the room. I eventually found them.
Now we are saying things to each other like, “hey I am putting my keys in my purse. Remember that ok? Side pocket…the one with the zipper”… Somehow my out loud morning checklists seem a lot more sensible…
But the good news? No more food lodged in anyone’s teeth.
Have a fun day, friends!