For over two hours yesterday I was Lillian's 'new' mother. We are out front having car races in our cul-de-sac. I get a running start and push the kids in their cozy coupe and push buggy as hard as I can. They zoom across the cul-de-sac and then slam into the curb. Lillian says, "What kind of mudder are you?" Okay, so maybe they should be wearing helmets. But they love it...really. At this point she tells me to pretend I don't know her and then adopt her. She calls me 'Miss Lisa' for the rest of the night. Grady and Dempsey are her 'new' brothers and we wait for her 'new' father to arrive home from work. She asks if we have regular beds or bunk beds, and who is currently sleeping on the top bunk. She pretends to talk on the phone to her gramps and grandmom. She tells them, "I think I saw cookies here but I haven't looked all over the place yet." She says her 'new' house has a dog, and she's allergic to dogs. She used to have a cat apparently. She tells me she came from Buffalo...on her bike. Hopefully the Buffalo, big, fat, super jerk did not follow her.
Today I take the boys, and my newly adopted daughter, to the car wash. Not something I normally spend money on but we have a gift card. Dempsey and I pick up Lil and Grady from school, drop off some kid gear at the consignment shop, get coffee for me, donuts for bribery, and drive to the carwash. I pull in and wait for someone to come tell me what to do. No one comes. A kind lady drives up beside me and explains the process. I drive forward into the carwash lane and tell the girl which wash I want. I choose the Freedom wash. Hee hee...just for old times sake. She hands me a ticket. There is $29 left on the gift card, and the Freedom wash just happens to be $29.95. What luck! Freedom...here I come! They add on an extra $5 for a minivan, of course. What the hell, I'll pay $5 for freedom. It's worth it. Minivans rule. Excuse me Miss...I just have a few things to unload. I lug out the double jogging stroller, three children, a cup of coffee that has not nearly enough sugar (I was trying to be good today), a box of munchkins, a backpack, and two jackets. No one actually rides in the stroller of course. Dempsey screams when I try to buckle him in, Lillian wants to walk, and all Grady cares about is holding the box of munchkins. We manuever across the lot, dodge a couple of SUV's and head toward the store to pay. I'm pushing the empty stroller, holding Dempsey on my hip, my backpack slung across my shoulder. Lillian runs out in front, despite my protests, and Grady saunters along with the giant box of donuts. Grady relinquishes the donut box and he and Lillian literally do summersaults through the carwash's landscaping. We get everyone and everything up onto the sidewalk and I realize I have no idea where I put the ticket I'm supposed to use to pay. I track down the girl to get a new ticket. We go in and we're third in line. I'm begging the kids not to touch the greeting cards with their sugar coated hands, but really, maybe it's the car washs' fault. Who has the equivalent of a full sized card store at the car wash. Grady heads right for the ice cream cooler. I tell him no, you have a donut in your hand, you may not have ice cream. So he goes over to the trash can and throws out his donut. Really? You're still not getting that ice cream mister smarty pants. Lord help your 'new' mother. It's our turn to pay. I hand over the gift card and have some cash for the remainder. Except...it's the wrong gift card...it's for a different car wash. My total is $34.95. Um...can you just drive it through some mud and we'll just pretend this never happened? I don't have time to think about it because Dempsey has wrangled himself out of my arms and is headed for the same glass case that Grady is pounding the crap out of because there are candy bars on the other side. I do not heart this car wash. And aren't I supposed to tip? I have no idea how much to tip at the car wash. Restaurants, nail salons, hair salons...that I know...well knew...back in 2007. I want to ask someone for advice but for some reason everyone appears to be running in the opposite direction. I end up handing over $4 before we climb into the van and see that Dempsey could have done a better job had he just crawled around and eaten the snack remnants off the floor. Then Lillian leaps in leaving two huge globs of black soot, that I can only suspect is car oil, in her wake. I really don't even know how to react at this point. Do I laugh? Cry? Scream? Call my mommy? Call the psychiatrist and beg for medication? Head straight for the beer store? Drop to the ground and convulse and hope the ambulance takes me to a nice, quiet hospital room? Whatever, lets just get out of here. I'm up for adoption by the way. Free to a good home. And I'm not allergic to dogs.