I keep imagining its some silicone or plastic based toy from my daughters' play kitchen and my wonderful little children eat it and it travels down their esophagus and into delicate little girl tummies and then sits there. I imagine that if I were to peek in there years later, all the acid would have failed to change the chicken nuggets and fries much. Im sure thats not how it goes. The lack of nutrition is probably more the focus here but still. Its what my mind conjures.
I was invited to hang out with a group of moms at the local Mcdonalds today to give the kids (and mommas) a chance to socialize during lunch. Lately I avoid these things too. I wasn't going to go but then Aeva ran out of her room sporting her Snow White costume, a pair of oversized heels, massive amounts of jewelry and started to 'mop' the floors.
I think that was her version of my daily routine now a days. Get dressed up...to clean the house.
Not exactly what I want my 2 year old thinking life is all about. So I coerced her in a more play friendly outfit (to which she added a tutu and halloween jewelry), and trekked out to McDonalds.
How do you know that you aren't a regular patron of McD?
You get lost for 30 minutes getting there.
Best part? I got off at the exit that sits directly next to it. And somehow missed it. Aeva passed out in the back with a crown that slid down around her eyes.
But I did it. I did the mommy thing. I paid for two meals if only because mine included coffee (coffee maker failed to brew me a cup this morning, again), and sliced apples and apple juice for Lil Bit.
Boy did she have fun. The play place wasn't too full and Aeva got into all the tunnels, waving enthusiastically from some of the little windows way up high, sliding down the slide and running back to me for juice and apple bites.
Thats when I noticed it.
I asked Lil Bit where her socks were and she answered with a pull and an "over here". I followed her to the tunnel entrance and watched Aeva disappear with in, yapping about having left her socks somewhere in the maze. As she is climbing I see the bottom of her feet are getting black from...oh Gods...the tunnels..I mean they're tiny for regular sized humans like me. But they're anti microbial right? Surely they get cleaned now and then...Whats that black stuff stuck between the bolted tunnel window and the pastic sides...It must be DEAD SKIN...millions and millions of discarded dead skin cells just sitting there, and layered all over the tunnels...touching my KID!
Just as my mind is ramping up to how not just skin cells but snot and diaper leakage must surely be encrusted all over the handles and walls and steps of the entire
Its time to go. Neither one of us really ate and my mind is going to make me the germaphobe Im not entirely. It takes a good deal of Purrel to ease the germ fear. At least we were somewhat normal for a good 30 minutes I think. I've done my Mommy duty. I did the right thing. I think.
At any rate I felt accomplished.
That ended shortly after I picked up Iris.
I should know better with this child. She keeps so much inside, and can at the most surprising moments, be so subtle in how she discusses deep thoughts.
Riding home she tells me how much she loves this base compared to the last one we were stationed at. She's only sorry that there isn't a school INSIDE the base, like last time.
Being in a school on base ensures that all the children that attend are also military children, and the teachers and staff are much more well versed in what military children endure than those in a school off base. Its a comfort not only to her but for me.
Iris: Do you think that there will be a school inside the base we are going to next?
She's subtle. But I catch where she's going.
Me: There may be. But we wont be living on base so you wouldn't be able to attend it anyhow.
Iris: Oh. We will be living off base. Will Daddy be living on base?
I don't want to address this right now. Im driving up to the gate guard and I am holding my soon to be gone dependent ID and my kid is rounding the corner of the worst topic now a days. The timing is not for me to decide in this however, its hers.
Me: I dont know. For a while he will be with us. Eventually we won't live in the same house.
She's very silent as we take the short drive to the housing area, passing all of her favorite stationary display airplanes.
Iris: I just wish you and daddy wouldn't divorce.
She pauses and I go to give her the standard 'I know hunny' when in a voice so quiet:
Iris: It was my biggest fear...
And this was mine. I reach over to hold her hand and its limp. Iris is never unresponsive to touch. I squeeze her hand and nothing. Her little fingers just lay open on her lap, as though asking for a different answer than what I can give. I try stroking her hand but my heart is falling quick. She's angry but she's more heart broken than upset. I feel like she's slipping away from me. Im typically so good with words but what do you say to the embodiment of your love and soul? I can't think of anything to mend this and I know it's already too late. In the back of my mind I'm thinking: She's going to hate me.
Everything I say to her next are like drops of water in a void. They get sucked away. Nothing I say about remaining friends with her daddy, or how its not her fault, and how we both love her more than anything helps. Im talking but im hearing it resounding in my head. Im Charlie Brown's teacher. No amount of Purell is going to kill the germ of pain inside of her chest. Its spreading as I see her start to cry. I can't take her home and know that none of the bad can touch her there.
I can;t reach this little one beside me. This little one who was once inside me and knew my heartbeat. My heart grows so heavy I swear it will stop.
Im doing the Mommy duty, but this time...its not the right thing. There's no accomplishments here.