It should come as no shock that I’m allergic to last-minute deviations from Routine and Established Schedules.
That’s why both Maya and I are still so surprised that I randomly decided to take her to Las Vegas this past weekend.
I’m not sure why I did it.
Especially since my lack of planning led to ridiculously high airfare and hotel rates, which troubles the Indian in me to no end.
Also, I’m sure I don’t need to delve into my anxiety regarding airplane travel + Maya’s motion sickness.
But for once I just wanted to be the fun parent (which I admittedly am NEVER).
— I let her stay up until whenever.
— I fed her gelato knowing she’d get a stomach ache. (This after my sweet cousins took her to M&M World, the Hershey’s store, and fed her caramel popcorn.)
— I took her to the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show and then to dinner at the shocking hour of 9:30 pm.
— I even threw caution to the wind, bought myself a glass of orange juice for $7.50, and shared some with Maya (I’m very much opposed to kids drinking juice – a post for another day).
But by Sunday afternoon I was tapped out. I couldn’t answer even ONE MORE OF HER QUESTIONS.
So I did what any respectable parent would do: I handed her the iPad (which I am also very much opposed to) at the Las Vegas airport and told her that “Mama’ s going to close her eyes for a little while.”
I guess the moral of the story is that there is a place in my world for orange juice, the iPad, and a bit of spontaneity. Everything in moderation I suppose?
In about an hour I will be boarding yet another flight to Los Angeles.
This is because Maya is already in LA, and Ali is currently at a resort in Florida doing”work.”
I have mixed feelings about this journey:
– I didn’t have to pack for anyone except MYSELF. And since everything I own is black this took about 5 minutes.
– I calmly hailed a cab on the early side, and thanks to TSA Pre-Check, I had time to write this post.
– Maya is not with me and thus I am not on vomit-watch.
– Ali is not with me and thus I am not on technology-watch (his favorite thing to do is to FaceTime the second the flight crew makes an announcement that the doors are now closed).
– Maya and Ali are not with me.
So they both drive me absolutely bananas – if they didn’t this blog wouldn’t exist.
But the last few solo weeks in NYC have made me realize that when I don’t have to manage their lives I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.
How sad is that?
I’m thinking I’ll use the next 6 hours and 36 minutes to investigate the possibility of a new hobby….
Each time I leave Los Angeles I think, “There are so many pretty girls here. I should really make more of an effort.”
My trip a few weeks ago was no exception, and I returned to NYC thinking:
– I really need to buy some makeup.
– I should stop being lazy and get a professional to regularly blow dry my hair.
– Maybe I should go shopping? It wouldn’t kill me to wear a dress once in a while.
And so, all full of inspiration and motivation (plus it’s Ramadan and I have nothing BUT time), I set aside a few hours last weekend to do all of the above. Here’s what happened:
– I stepped into Sephora. I immediately felt overwhelmed. I asked an employee to direct me to the lipsticks with the fewest chemicals. She vaguely pointed to the opposite end of the store. I walked a mile through mascara feeling more overwhelmed. I tried on a few lipsticks praying that people didn’t double dip. Everything seemed garish on me. I needed an expert but couldn’t find anyone available to help. I decided to stick with my $2.99 Eos lip balm.
Conclusion: I tabled the makeup for another day.
– I decided to get my hair done. But then I realized I had nowhere important to go, and the humidity would surely ruin any attempts to tame my frizz. Did it make sense to subject my hair to such torture? Do girls get their hair done just because? Should I take the $50 and buy books instead?
Conclusion: I tabled the DryBar visit for another day. And went to Barnes & Noble.
– I went shopping. I hit Bloomingdale’s and after what seemed like hours I finally found a cute Vince shirt. It wasn’t a dress but it contained color so it seemed like an acceptable substitute. I couldn’t get myself to pay $325 for it though so I hung it back up. I found a pair of Theory pants that fit perfectly. I loved them. They were black. I decided I needed another pair of black pants like a hole in the head.
Conclusion: I tabled the clothes shopping for another day.
– I decided to look for a new bag instead. Something low-key. One that didn’t scream a logo. I found a bag fairly quickly! I wondered if I’d found the bag too soon. Was I settling? Should I look at other stores? I tried it on 50 different times. I carried it around the store as I contemplated. I nearly pulled out a pen to write a list of pros and cons.
Conclusion: I bought the bag.
I’m hoping my new bag will help camouflage the circles under my eyes, the melasma that seems to get worse each day (the dermatologist said I can thank Maya for this lovely gift), my hair (I have no words in this humidity), and my all-black, all-the-time ensembles.
I’m headed to L.A. again in a few days so maybe more inspiration is in store?
I know I’m not the only mother who has a child that is prone to motion sickness.
I know that most mothers don’t fear vomit as much as I do.
I know that 10 years is long enough to become accustomed to being barfed on.
I know that children feed off their parent’s energy and Maya probably wouldn’t feel obligated to throw up all over me constantly if I could just be less stressed about the whole thing (funny how she’s NEVER thrown up on Ali).
I know all of this and yet I was on pins and needles during our flight to LA last week, as well as during the remaining hour it took to battle the freeway home.
You don’t even want to know my mental state during our 3+ hours traipsing up and down the 405 freeway the following Monday.
Ultimately my 3 days in LA went relatively smoothly and I left the traffic-ridden city without incident.
But the question still remains: When will vomit and I be at peace with one another?
I vividly recall standing in my parent’s garage, approximately 15 years ago, screaming the following at Ali, via telephone:
“You CANNOT invite any more people to the wedding. We already have 410 guests. If you invite one more person, they’ll have to take your seat, because the seating chart is DONE.”
(If you are wondering, I was in the garage because our house was full of wedding guests and I couldn’t find another quiet space to scream at Ali.)
Fast forward to today, our 15th wedding anniversary.
We went out to lunch to celebrate. (My food was fantastic but Ali sent his steak back twice and then finally sent it back for good.)
We didn’t get each other any gifts. (No jewelry or light bulbs, for which I am grateful.)
I cooked dinner. (I figured we might as well have a bad meal at home instead of paying for one like we did at lunch.)
So the day was fairly uneventful. But the good news is that I didn’t scream at Ali today.
Although it’s only 7:12 pm so there’s still time to remedy that…
According to a recent statement by my husband, “If you want help all you have to do is ask for it.”
So last night, I asked.
Me: “Can you please put the dishes into the dishwasher? I have a splitting headache.”
And off to the kitchen he went.
I was amazed….was it as easy as that?
Did I just need to ask him to help out more?
I mean, were the last 15 years of my life unnecessarily difficult because I’ve been wanting my husband to take initiative, instead of simply spelling it all out for him?
Of course I had my doubts. And so after Ali was done I went into the kitchen to inspect.
All of the food was still out (of course) and there were naan crumbs everywhere (of course), but for the most part the dishes appeared to have been dealt with. Even the pots and pans!
I was impressed. Truly.
Until I realized that all of the pots and pans were in the dishwasher, which not only screams laziness, but which is a direct violation of Calphalon’s somewhat complicated and useless lifetime warranty.
So I suppose that next time I want help I need to be sure to say:
“Can you please put all of the dishes in the sink into the dishwasher, minus the pots and pans which need to be hand washed? And then cover and put the food into the fridge. And wipe down the counters with the eco-friendly cleaner in the beige spray bottle that is directly under the kitchen sink. You can use the white dishtowel with the flowers printed on it. It too is under the sink. And then shake out the dishtowel crumbs in the trash can and put everything back in the cabinet.”
It hardly seems worth it.
Which I suppose is his point?
I try so very hard to begin the day on a calm note.
I wake up at 5:15 am so that I can do yoga, 15 minutes of Headspace, email catchup, and maybe even fit in a batch of muffins if all the stars are aligned.
This schedule is no problem during the dark days of winter when I literally have to haul Maya out of bed.
(Side Note: I don’t need to haul Ali out of bed because he flies west during the winter months).
- turn on the electric kettle (Ali)
- ask what they should eat for breakfast (Maya)
- ask what they should wear (Ali and Maya)
- ask Siri, at the top of their lungs: “What is the temperature in NYC today?” (Maya)
Why why why?
So I realize that Ali and Maya live here too, and they have every right to get up and move about and ask Siri all of their annoying weather related questions in whichever tone they feel is appropriate for a conversation with the iPad.
But if I can’t even get 45 minutes of quiet at the crack of dawn, so that I can begin the day calmly, where exactly does that leave me?
Not calm. That’s for sure.