Tonight was bath night. Ho boy. Was it EVER bath night. The girls with their hair all askew, defying gravity, making like a sheep’s butt. Their nails were dirty from the day’s playing. They smelled like sunscreen and fresh air. Not bad, just not clean.
AH and I have been working so hard lately. We’ve been painting every room of the house; preparing for visitors and turning our house into a home. For the last couple of months, we’ve done nothing but paint. The girls have spent a lot of time with their grandparents and a shameful amount of time in front of the tv. We’ve done as best we can while trying to finish all this swiftly and on time, but it’s felt like like we’ve been ‘B’ Parenting for too long.
So this afternoon we got away from work a little early. Instead of attending to basic personal hygiene, we took a break from working and common sense and took the girls to the movies. Let me say that again to you, and really soak it in this time – We took. The girls. To. The Movies. My girls, the ones who can’t make it half way through a meal at a restaurant without screaming and getting into a food fight. My girls, who haven’t once gone 15 minutes without getting into at least one fist fight. My girls, who scream “I TOOTED”, no matter where they are, every time they pass gas. Those two. What could possibly go wrong?
What could go wrong? What could go right, is the question I asked myself on our way to the theater. I imagined all the possible scenarios.
a) The lights go down and Avery gets scared and starts screaming until I leave with her.
b) Avery gets bored and starts wandering the aisles until I leave with her.
c) Avery starts throwing popcorn kernels until I leave with her.
Basically everything ends in me having to leave with her. Eirinn would be fine; she’s been to the movies twice before, so she’s a seasoned veteran. But Avery’s never been. Avery’s only just two, for Pete’s sake, of course she’s never been.
On the way, she was so excited, saying things like “We goin’ to Disney Woild now!” and “Gon be dark! Gon be scaaaawy!” and “We go-wen a watch Woody!” They were promised popcorn for dinner and booster seats to sit on. I told them that they would be watching the movie on a big, big, BIG screen, in the dark, but it won’t be scary, and it will be loud so that everyone can hear. She was ok with all of it, not surprisingly, because girlfriend’s not afraid of anything.
Sitting in the theater, in the middle of the movie, I stepped away from myself for a moment. I was still here. I hadn’t had to leave with one or more unruly children. In fact, I hadn’t even heard from the kids. They were there, eating their popcorn, staring at the screen. We might just do this.
Near the end, Avery asked to sit on my lap and Eirinn sat on AH’s lap. Avery snuggled in to my shoulder, still entranced by the movie, not speaking, not moving. I patted her knee and she looked up at me. I kissed the top of her head and she went back to the show.
I looked over to the other two. Eirinn had done the same. Nuzzled into the crook of his elbow, holding onto his arm. It was lovely. It was surprisingly. I was so proud.
It’s back to work tomorrow. Back to painting and ‘B’ Parenting and exhaustion and stress. The girls are still in desperate need of a bath. They’ll get it tomorrow, but for today, I couldn’t be happier that my children are dirty. They’re dirty today because we chose our kids over work, just for one night. Work can wait. These girls can’t.