A Capitol Time II

March 09

A Capitol Time II

I am sitting in the hotel room waiting for the glass fixer to get here.  Yes, they were supposed to do it yesterday, but called in the morning to say they wouldn’t be able to get the glass in until about 4 p.m., at which time it would be too late to send somebody out.  Umm, o.k.

Then the lady proceeds to tell me that they could still do it (yesterday) if I would bring the truck out to them.  Hmmm . . . I have four kids, my husband is in a security conference all day, I’ve already discovered that I get easily lost in the city, my Best Friend in the Whole World is schlepping her three kids into D.C. to spend the afternoon at the museums with us since I wasn’t able to make in to see her on Wednesday . . . so it would really be difficult for me to bring the truck to them.  I ask what time.

“Whenever is good for you,”  she says.

“How does that work,” I ask, “when you can’t even have the glass in until 4 p.m.?”

“Ummmm . . . well . . . ahh . . . I will call and see if I can push it so that we can have the glass in by 3.”

“No,” I say, “That does not work.”

“We can have someone out there tomorrow by 9:30 a.m.”  she says.

“Fine, but it has to be by 9:30 a.m. because we have to check out of our hotel tomorrow.”  Plus, I’ve promised to take the kids to the zoo to at least see the elephants and the pandas.  The zoo is really the main reason we came in the first place.

It is now exactly 10:02 tomorrow and the glass fixer is not here.  SURPRISE!!!!!!!  He is allegedly on his way, close by, stuck in traffic.  Whatever.  I have recently learned that it is not much farther for us to walk to the zoo than it was for us to walk everywhere else.  Maybe the kids and I will just go.  Of course, the elephants and pandas are at the farthest possible end of the zoo from where we are, so it will probably make the walk a good 3+ miles.

Do I want to do it?

Yesterday we walked the 2 miles to all the museums and such.  The first mile was o.k.  The second mile Tank Boy screamed the entire time.  Thinking he was getting too cold, I bought him some gloves and a hat (I forgot to bring gloves and he hates wearing hats — long ago he detached the detachable hood from his coat and I didn’t have it with us).  Well, his new fashion accessories made him scream even more.

Old people passed me on the sidewalk muttering, “It’s just too cold for kids.”

Bite.  Me.  It wasn’t that cold.

Midge got in on the screaming act.  So there I was, pushing my lovely new stroller around D.C. with two loud, screaming 30-some lb. children.  It was delightful.

Tank Boy finally fell asleep.  We got to the Natural History Museum right at lunch time.  We had a very expensive (which is not to say very good) lunch.  Just as we finished our friends showed up.  Finally!  Something good out of the trip besides the stroller.

The girls were all very excited to see each other again.  They were hopping and skipping through the museum.  They were devising their own buddy system and holding hands.  It was cute.  It was fun.

It lasted for about 5 minutes before Midge decided she didn’t want to be there.  She wanted to go to the play place, you see.  When I explained that there is no play place in the museum (unlike our children’s museum back home) she decided that was IT.  She wanted to leave.  She wanted to go back to the hotel (because there is soooo much to do here — not).  She was bored (or, in Midge-speak, burred). 

The crying began.  The whining commenced.  (10:13 — the glass fixer just showed up.  McH is taking care of it) She took to hiding in little nooks and crannies of the museum, saying she wasn’t going anywhere else there because she wanted to leave.  NOW.

I kept telling her she was cute and someone was sure to find her and take her home with them.  “Enjoy your new family!”

So she would follow reluctantly, whining and crying and pouting and moping the whole way.

Finally we’d seen pretty much everything there was to see.  Tank Boy had been awake for a while at this point (he woke up during lunch) and, while he wasn’t being as surly as Midge, he kept running away, trying to see the museum on his own, and laughing hysterically when I’d chase him down.  He’d scream when he was confined to the stroller.  Between him and Midge I was at the end of my rope.  Ready to just puddle into a corner and cry.  So we informed the kids it was time to go.

My older two — bless them for being so GREAT! — were a bit disappointed, but they’d pretty much had their fill of it all as well.  Tank Boy didn’t want put back in the stroller.  My friend’s kids were also a bit disappointed, but nothing major.  Then there was Midge.

She started screaming that she wanted to STAY.  She was having fun and she wanted to keep having fun and she WOULD.  NOT.  LEAVE. 

WHAT THE ?%*&#?!?!?!?!

So the screaming in-a-way-I’ve-never-heard-her-scream-before commenced.  By the time she was coated and wrestled into the stroller I was sure somebody was going to call the police.  I noticed security that hadn’t been there before.

And there was Midge, still screaming, saying, “MY. (gasp) Think. (gasp) My. (gasp) Screamed. (gasp) Too. (gasp) Much. (gasp) My. (gasp) Can’t. (gasp) Stop!!!!(gasp).

Yes, my almost-four-year-old waif of a child (who needs to use I instead of my) was screaming louder than most adults could ever hope to, and was hyperventilating to boot.  Super.  Breathe.  In through your nose, out through your mouth.  Slow, deep breaths.  Oh, yeah, you do it too Midge.  The hyperventilating stopped, but she continued crying and whining for the next two miles.

This post is getting really long; but, before I close, I have to mention that at dinner time A~ started feeling sick.  Oh, I didn’t mention I’d been feeling out of sorts all day.  I just thought I’d eaten too much dried fruit the past few days.  Enough said.

So A~ was up half the night last night moaning and puking.  A perfect not-quite-ending to a perfect day.  Wouldn’t you say.

This all sounds terribly negative and complainy, which it is, but there is always a silver lining.  Here is ours:

We now know that the fact we never even considered taking the whole family to Vietnam shows we posses guru-like wisdom.

10:37.  I wonder how long it takes to put in a new windshield?  Seriously.  I’m not being snarky here.  I just have no idea.  I’ll let you know.

Also, Laurie tagged me, so tomorrow I’ll share 10 things that make me odd. 

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

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