I am writing this blog post on my phone, in my parked car, having just participated in one of the most salacious, shameful activities in my mom-repetoire, so embarrassing that I feel compelled to immediately share with the world. It involves… sleeping children. And… fast food.
But before I dive in, let me just provide some context– after an exciting morning of having a cavity filled (honestly, the most restful moment of the day), I spent an hour getting the kids ready to go to the doctor. This had me a little anxious already; last time we went to the doctor’s Harper distinguished herself by shouting, “I’m not listening to you! I’m going to escape!” and running out of the room. This morning she is being especially contrary, vetoing the sweater I offer, turning down the suggested boots with disgust, really wanting Special Baby to go in the car seat instead of Ollie. (How do you argue with something like that?) Getting downstairs takes cajoling, getting across the street to where the car is parked takes threats, by the time I’m trying to get her in the car seat she’s kicking at my face (“I want to do everything all by myself on my own!”) while Ollie watches the show, and I’m yelling at her there on the avenue for all to see. “Stop kicking me!” I add as I shut the door, just in case any disapproving eavesdropper needs to know why I’m spewing venom at a sweet-faced little blonde clutching her dolly.
So. Then, the doctor’s office, where Harper repeats her trickery despite not being the one being examined at all, pushing at the doctor’s chair experimentally and whispering, “No doctor for me OR Ollie.” One shot and one screaming baby later, we are headed home. “I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up!” Harper announces as we get back in the car.
Now, we don’t drive often. This used to be because, hello, we live in New York City which is where people live when they are superior beings who walk places and frequent local shops. Now I admit, it’s mostly because finding parking in our neighborhood is an exercise in futility, so that my outings are all coordinated with alternate side parking, when the streets miraculously clear for the street sweepers, only to have every spot filled the instant it’s legal again. So driving is a little bit of a novelty for the kids, and for me, and so I am unused to this weird phenomenon of the kids both falling asleep in their car seats on our way back from anywhere.
Car naps used to disturb me because I used to care about “junk sleep” and “nap schedules.” Then I had another baby. Now I take what I can get. And when both kids are asleep at the same time, it’s like a spa vacation. In my car. So you know what I do?
I drive to McDonalds. I do. And I go through the drive-through. I do! McDonalds is so evil and disgusting! I, who used to be a vegan who lectured people on how supporting companies like McDonalds was destroying the earth and making angels cry! And… “Ah, can I get an iced coffee? And, like, a grilled chicken sandwich? Do you have something like that? A grilled chicken sandwich?”
“Um, is that grilled?” I hear how ridiculous this sounds and correct myself, “Yes, please.” (It is not. It is a big chicken finger covered in greenish ribbons imitating lettuce and something like mayonnaise.) (It is DELICIOUS.) “Is the chicken organic?” I’m kidding, I don’t ask that. But I do think it. Oh, and can I just say that the sandwich, coffee, and fruit thingy that I get all cost $5? Do people know about this? That’s amazing!
And then, there I am, parked on a tree-lined Park Slope street, my kids snoozing away in neck-kinking slumps, sipping a McDonalds iced coffee (the medium is large enough to kill a horse — what is wrong with this country?! — oh, and delicious), and you know what? It’s the second-most relaxing moment of my day. After having my cavity filled.