I sure picked the right time to leave town. No sooner had the wheels of my flight touched down at LAX when my apartment thousands of miles away turned into Lardass Hogan at the pie-eating contest. Apparently a certain someone was not, in fact, "feeling better," but was instead saving up for an all night wretch-fest, all perfectly timed so I wouldn't be there to participate.
Don't get me wrong...I would like to have been there to comfort her, make her feel better, and take some of the burden off Oodgie. Then again, it's not like I dream of staying up all night while my daughter splashes her hash all over me. Although I wasn't caked with half-digested chicken nuggets, I was up late employing the weapon of my trade to bring good fortune and fabulous wealth to my company and, by extension, myself instead.
(BTW, this was the third trip I've made to L.A. since Thanksgiving, and I still haven't seen a celebrity or eaten anywhere better than the In-N-Out Burger on the corner. Yet again, I'm shocked and dismayed that they actually expect me to work. I must speak to someone in HR immediately to have this addressed...)
So I returned this weekend to find a house full of emotionally shattered people,
sleep-deprived and maintaining a tenuous detente held together by
biology alone. To make matters worse old man winter, who had been off
gambling away his paycheck for the last couple months, finally came
back to New York demanding dinner, and certain people (I'm not naming names here) will not
wear mittens even if you glue them to her fingers. There was much
standing & wailing, exposed hands suspended in mid-air, while Mt. Wannahakabooger
continued to erupt. I could see Oodgie's eye twitching ever so slightly, signaling that she, too, was about 3 minutes away from her intestines jumping up to her throat and strangling her to spare ongoing misery. Fun for the whole family!
This was one of those weekends when one's fatherly and husbandly instincts were torn. I felt terrible for everyone. I wanted to hold Cheeky and make her crying go away, inject Oodgie with an energy & pain-relief serum, and emerge triumphant as a conquering hero. But then I'd be standing in front of a diner while a hungry/tired/unhappy Cheeky invented new noises in my ear, and I'd pour over every possible solution I could think of, when thoughts like, "If I just dropped her in the doorway of Banana Republic, they'd take care of her long enough for me to catch the Colts-Pats game, right? That sounds perfectly reasonable to me."
Now before everybody gets all, "it's going to be OK" and "bummer weekend, dude" on me, let me just note that (a) by Sunday night things had settled down enough to vaguely resemble normal (
including excluding Oodgie's fetal position on the couch), (b) I fully accept that we're going to have days like these and I can totally roll with it, and (c) the Bears suck. It's just a little sobering when it all hits at once.