Friday Night. 7:00 p.m. Well, probably 7:05 p.m. as my clock is usually set strategically so that I feel like I'm on time when in reality I'm usually running late.
There I was. It was cold, windy. And while others were home cooking dinner, I was standing at the car wash vacuum with three kids getting ready to clean out the minivan I swore they’d never eat or bring trash in.
Yeah for a van "no one is eating in" there are certainly a lot of french fries in here.
I normally do not spend my Friday nights at the car wash, but I was at that moment where if I had to look at the crap in my van one more day I was going to turn myself into the Hoarders reality show.
The kids of course were watching a DVD in the warm van while I stood outside trying to force the vacuum to take what I thought were quarters but ended up being Chuck E Cheese tokens. Well two of the three were watching the movie as my daughter had climbed into the front seat…half because she always feels somewhat like a rebel when she sits up there, half because she wanted to warm her butt with my seat warmer. And as is typical of my daughter she just had to call out to me in the cold… “Mom my butt is so warm!!”
Okay so I’ll give her that one…it does feel nice.
Vacuum starts. I was trying to maneuver the vacuum cord while my 2 year old was kicking it off of him thinking it was a snake. The vacuum tackled the mess... sucking up gobs of Lucky Charms, dirt, M & Ms, Oops got a pony tail holder, crumbs, Crap! Hope that was a penny and not a dime. Sticking the vacuum way under the seat hoping it would get all the gross stuff my kids manage to get under the seats. I’m not brave enough to look under there, but the vacuum has no choice.
Suddenly there was a sound, half whoosh, half rattling. I glanced down just in time to see a white square go into the vacuum hose. Wait…that was a DS game! I looked up fast, hoping my 5 year old- video game addict didn't notice that I just managed to suck up his favorite (and to mention $45) video game.
Safe. No one saw it, even though my daughter loudly declared “Mom, I think you sucked up another quarter again”.
Eye roll. Well, she rolls her eyes at me, so it’s only fair.
I finished….well almost finished, as I never have mastered the art of timing that vacuum right. I am always left with a small area of crumbs, an area that is way too small to justify spending another dollar to get another round. Wait, who am I fooling... I only had the Chuck E Cheese tokens left anyway.
I wrapped the vacuum hose around the car wash vacuum, well tried to (another thing I have yet to master). I climbed into the front seat. I kept checking the rear view mirror. I was feeling guilty… oh God please don’t let it be the Mario game he just got. Could it maybe have been the Toy Story game no one wants to play?
Why was a DS game under the front seat?
“Here H” Chimed J. “Your Toy Story game was here between the seats”.
Perfect timing J, as usual.
Eye roll again.
Guilt. The feeling of knowing I did something wrong. Wait a minute, am I actually feeling bad about sucking up a DS game in a car wash vacuum? Fake laugh. I mean come on, H needs to keep better track of his stuff, I didn’t mean to do it. Why am I feeling guilty and the sudden need to confess my “crime”.
I must be spending way too much time with J, the girl notorious for telling you she did something wrong before she even did it.
Of course, as is my luck, this crime had to occur on the week I was already feeling guilty about H. H is my middle child. He has an incredibly busy older sister and needy younger brother. He’s often lost in the shuffle. He used to be a notorious Mama’s Boy and never left my side. Now, Dad is much cooler than Mom. And Mom also a day earlier was late to our lunch date because I had to file a brief and so his planned lunch of Red Robin literally turned into a McDonald Happy Meal in the front seat of my van that we had to inhale in the 3 minutes we had until Kindergarten Round Up.
Poor H. Mommy sucks this week, buddy....literally.
I felt the need to tell someone my crime…share the load. Make me feel better. Certainly not H, and God forbid if I confess to J she’ll just turn me in. I could text my friend…no she’ll just type LOL and that’s the last thing I want to hear right now! Okay, I’ll text Todd…he’s legally obligated to deal with my overreactions to simple situations anyway.
“Uh oh….sucked up H’s DS game in vacuum. I suck.”.
(Yes again literally...apparently I'm a master of ill timed puns).
Watching the … dots that means he’s typing. And of course since I’m texting my husband I should have been prepared for the next message…
“Just get it out of there”
Thank you Mr. Obvious. I would love to but no one but me is at the car wash at 7:00 p.m. on a cold and windy April night.
“It wasn’t Mario was it?”
Crap. Salt in the wound. Mario is basically a saint in my son’s world. He loves his Mario games.
I knew I should have texted Megan. She would just have just said LOL and probably told me to go buy a new one before he noticed.
“Mom, are we seriously going to sit here all day?” – chimed J from the back seat quite annoyed that I made her crawl back to her unheated back seat.
Eye roll..yet again, another thing I'm a master at.
I shifted in gear. Okay, tomorrow is Saturday, I could just replace it and he wouldn't notice. But wait a minute…I have absolutely no clue what game it was.
Pull into the garage.
I’ve got to tell him…wait seriously overreacting again, it’s a DS game…and come on he has ruined plenty of my stuff right? Was he not the one that jammed all playing cards into the DVD player? Oh crap, that was L.
“Mom” I turned to see the blue eyes of H who had climbed up to the front to apparently snap me out of my overly dramatic inner monologue.
I can’t believe I am getting this worked up over a DS game.
“I sucked up your DS game”.
There I said it. I said the words fast as if I was admitting to a crime under interrogation.
Okay, this isn’t J so the chance of big time waterworks or guilt trips is less. Maybe he’ll just ask for a new one.
“Was it Mario?”
Crap. Does everyone have to ask me about that Italian Plumber?
“I don’t know, but it was white, and so I think so.”
Wait for it…wait for it…after all to a 5 year old boy a DS is pretty much the most important thing in the world. And to my 5 year old who is forced to sit and wait on his Diva sister for hours on end…it’s a lifeline.
Snapped out of inner monologue again.
“Can I have chicken nuggets for dinner?”
What? Okay, so I just had a dramatic 15 minute guilt trip over sucking up a DS game and the only thing he cares about is chicken nuggets?
After I became a Mom I find it hard to confess my mistakes. Pre-kids I’d be the first to say “Yep, I screwed up”…yes my daughter got that trait from yours truly. But somehow as a Mom even minor screw ups feel like epic failures. I think I’m just too worried about being a “good parent”, whatever that even means.
But we all have our Mommy Confessions…our screw ups as parents that taste so bitter leaving our tongues. But I need to remember that what you think is a major screw up is usually forgotten by the kids in 2 minutes or in the case of my daughter after she turns you in to her teacher, her friends, and probably strangers on the street.
So go ahead fellow Moms (as Moms are the only ones still reading this way too long blog about sucking up a DS game...the Dads gave up by now I'm sure)....confess your Mommy mistakes. We all screw up, we all do stupid things, we all…well some…okay just I, suck up DS games in car wash vacuums. Just admit you’re human, confess, and hope to God your kid has a craving for chicken nuggets when you do.