When they say "couples massage" they don't mean bring your baby
Ever have one of those times when you think you might go nuts?
Scarlett was wriggling out of her high chair yesterday morning, arching her back, flapping her small head against the unyielding plastic tray while her shrill screams permeated my temples and Hudson wouldn't stop talking.
"Mom, shall I go on your back?" he asked.
"Hudson, my love," I said, through gritted teeth, "Mommy's busy feeding Scarlett for a few minutes."
"Okay, mom," he said. "Shall I be the pilot and you be the plane that lands on the couch?"
"Not now sweetheart," I said.
"I don't want mango," he retorted, apropos of nothing. "I want a peanut butter sandwich. I HATE MANGO. I WANT PEANUT BUTTER."
Here love, I said, placing my still shrieking Scarlett on her playmat then spreading peanut butter between two slices of raisin bread with shaking hands.
"There's a spider in this bread," Hudson said. "I don't want it. I DON"T WANT IT."
"Ted," I said. "I can't take it anymore," and proceeded to rant for a minute or so.
Then Ted, smiling slyly (because my falling apart-ness may have been read as an invitation to joke, I guess), said something stupid, which I shall not repeat here. I countered with "well, you're not capable of feeding yourself breakfast when you have to watch one child, you useless piece of bleep."
"Here," I said, shoving Scarlett into his arms. "Just try to get them both ready to leave the house. I'm going to shower! I never get to shower!!"
Moments later, carrying a disgruntled Scarlett and looking a little disgruntled himself, Ted came to apologize. I accepted and said I was sorry for swearing (this is part of our twice weekly routine. We laugh it off), yet I continue to unravel.
My ever looser ball of yarn is affecting the way I carry myself in public.
Because the pneumonia and strep throat weren't enough for my body to work through this past five weeks, my hip decided it wanted to seize up too.
I hobbled into a massage clinic on Monday, Scarlett in tow (because I couldn't find anyone to watch her), looking like Max Headroom meets Amelia Bedelia meets Andrew Dice Clay. My newly dyed too-blonde hair covering my eyes, I stumbled past the door, knocking Scarlett's bucket, hanging in the crook of my elbow like an evening bag, into my bad hip. Her large plush caterpillar fell from my jacket pocket onto the floor and I started cursing.
The massage therapist stared like he was watching a circus freak: part shock, part pity.
"What the hell did I do to myself?!" I said, catching his gaze. "Can you fix this?"
I sensed he figured there was too much to fix.
I lay down under on the massage table anyway and placed Scarlett on a blanket on the ground near my head. I surrounded her with toys to no avail. She wailed, bawled, shrieked and did everything she could to express her displeasure with the situation for 20 minutes.
"That's it! I said, jumping off the table, almost knocking out the massage therapist with my elbow or one of my flying boobs (her crying made me so uneasy, I forgot I wasn't wearing a bra). "This is over! I can't take it!"
"I'm going to go outside," the massage therapist said, averting his eyes.
"I'm so sorry," I apologized to the therapist, after packing Scarlett into her bucket and getting dressed (Imagine that, she stopped crying the moment I picked her up). "I should not have brought my daughter. This was all my fault and very wrong of me."
I whipped out my credit card to pay.
The therapist smiled.
"Put your credit card away," he said.
"No, really, I insist. I wasted your time," I said.
"I'm a dad," he said. "I get it."