I have figured it all out, the parenting gig.
It’s basically the hardest job I have ever had (next to back-up dancer for some guy named Steve, who played for about three people in a basement bar called O’Malleys, and yes, dad, if you’re reading this I am sorry. It seemed like a good idea at the time.)
You know, the more I think about it, the whole back up dancer for an abysmally unsuccessful man with a pony tail and a dream was actually good experience for parenting, in some ways. But that’s a post for another day.
Are you ready for the key to perfect parenting? Here it is:
The rule for being the best parent ever is:
Last weekend I packed up my bags and left them. All three of my cherubs (husband included in this mix) were all alone with some pizza and a lot of football for the whole weekend, while I attended a writers’ conference in Indiana, and tried to remember the days when I wore professional clothing on a regular basis. And do you know something? IT WAS AWESOME.
Especially for the following reasons:
1. Writers are my peeps. True, we are a quirky, sometimes rather unbalanced lot, but we get each other.
2. Writers accept dark jeans as “professional clothing” so my tuckus has still not seen a nice pair of pants for, oh, some years now. Now, truthfully, my dark jeans had rhinestones all over the back pockets. I do like my rear end to sparkle. And I did have a moment of trepidation when I realized my glittery bottom did not really shout “serious writer,” but I decided I was gonna speak my TRUTH, ya’ll, with a rear that would be a shining beacon for all to see.
3. In my presentation, I got to talk about myself. Yea!
4. People actually LISTENED to me talk about myself! ADDED BONUS. SO BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS, I TELL YOU.
5. My hotel room.
Now, let me just interject here with a brief description of me walking into my hotel room:
Walking down hall with plastic key and rollie suitcase, all, “here I am, a writer, doing my writer thing, all grown up and somewhat professional in my dark jeans, just gonna freshen up in my hotel room-” (opens door, after some problems with the plastic key thingie, user error, of course)
“OH HOLY SNAP. THERE’S A KEURIG IN HERE.”
(I did some sort of weird shimmy twerking thing that would shame my entire family, but HOLY ROOM SERVICE, BATMAN, I AM ALL ALONE HERE FOR TWO DAYYYYYS.)
- Big fluffy pillows that have been slept on my a majillion other people but I don’t care because mine now? Check!
- Big bed in which I will sleep, not sharing, just me, all alone, by myself, no mouth breathing toddlers or snoring husbands or weird cats, JUST MEEEEEEE? Check!
- A marathon of Say Yes to the Dress AND Dirty Dancing, in which I can program the remote to bounce back and forth between the two, with crazed Swayze, poofy wedding dress fervor as much as I like? Say Yes to the Check!!!
Um. It is quite possible I had rather strong feelings about my hotel room.
After a good fifteen minutes of me just wandering around, fondling all the appliances like one of those stick model women on The Price is Right, I decided to, you know, actually go to the conference.
But ya’ll? For a moment there I seriously considered jumping on the bed, ordering 400$ worth of room service, and then, NEVER LEAVING THAT ROOM.
For all of you waiting in breathless anticipation: No, I am not still in that room. I did actually return home. It involved a lot of driving and grim resignation to the fact that I would again have to do my own laundry. And ohhhh no, not just MY laundry, but the laundry of three boys and sometimes, it seems, additional toddlers from all over the neighborhood. In the spectrum of life, I rate laundry just a scooch above how I feel about political ads.
But back I came, like a neurotic little boomerang, drawn always, back to these three:
Oh, and Shemp?
As much as I gripe (the lawyer interjects here with actual statistics on how often griping occurs in my posts, along with moaning, whining, general malaise, and some bad singing of 80’s music, but who needs statistics when you have important things to say?) I did actually like returning home.
THEY WERE ALL ASLEEP WHEN I GOT THERE, for starters.
Ok, ok, and seriously? I love them. I really do. I loved that hotel room with a deep and passionate ardor, yes, but it didn’t hold a candle to the life I have here. Which, if I really allow myself to think about it, pretty much looks like the life of Consuela, my housekeeping lady, who cleaned up after me the whole time back at the hotel.
Call me Consuela, I still choose home.
But I’ll be back, hotel room, next year. Wait for me, darling? We’ll have a lot of catching up to do. I know there will be a conference in there somewhere too, but honestly? You had me at hotel room.