It wasn’t really a Snow Day. It was Faux President’s Day. A random day where schools and preschools decide to close for no apparent reason–just like half of those January Snow Days (which I think would be a nice name for a poem, but is a hellish thing to experience). We had finished watching the first three Star Wars (or last three, I don’t know what to call them—all I know is that LL cried when Darth Vader turned nice because the bad guy always turns nice in the end which meant it was the end, and I had promised him there were 3 more DVDs to go). The air popper was developing a bad smell of burnt something. And a few sparks had flown out of it. Patience was wearing very thin. Everyone’s. Around 4:30, I sent the kids upstairs to “play nicely.” When the Scientist got home from his stimulating day of Rocket Science or Brain Surgery or whatever intellectually engaging pursuit he had come here for, he found me, the frazzled hausfrau (Stay-at-Home-Professor?) shoveling a spoon piled high with applesauce into Baby MoFo’s mouth again and again in a robotic motion.
“Where are the kids?” asked the Scientist.
“Playing nicely upstairs,” I responded.
“Oh.” Pause. “But someone’s crying,” he replied, stating the obvious. I glared at him. “Someone”—or the other “someone”—had been crying pretty much constantly for the last 45 minutes. The Scientist went up to investigate.
Baby MoFo was showing no signs of getting full when the Scientist called me upstairs to the boys’ room. Grunting and pouring half the box of Cheerios onto Baby MoFo’s food tray to keep him occupied, I pushed back my chair (loudly) and stomped upstairs. “What? I. Am. Busy.”
Both boys were crying. Cool J had blood pouring out of his nose, around and into his mouth and under his chin. It was dripping onto the floor. LL, meanwhile, was less than contrite. In fact, he was busy reporting all the wrongs that Cool J had committed to make him deserve such a fate. The long day had just gotten longer. . .
That was Friday. Then came Monday—Real President’s Day (kill me now, and do it quickly!!). On Monday, I had a stroke of genius (actually, The Scientist will claim it was his, but that’s besides the point). You see, there are high-end perks when you live in a high-end town, even if you yourself happen to be pretty, you know, low end.
The perk I was going to check out was at a particular high-end supermarket, where all the produce is unnaturally shiny and uniform in color, and the cheeses span 3 aisles. Neither of those interested me. What did interest me was the playroom. For no fee at all (but for that built into the price of every star fruit, Cab Sauv, and lugano olive you could purchase there), your children can be dropped off to “play” (i.e., color or watch episodes of “Franklin”). Which is exactly what I did. I marched straight up to the playroom, filled out their paperwork as quickly as possible, said “Bu-bye” to LL and Cool J, stuck a bottle in Baby MoFo’s mouth, and headed for the elevator. Upstairs offered a spacious, quiet space filled with about 3 dozens tables and only a couple of patrons. Screw grocery shopping—I had free time! I pulled out my novel—Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs (what’s with all the Jane Eyre references? Where is this story headed? Is her boyfriend really Brazilian? Isn’t the whole I’m a half-Jew, you’re a half-Jew business gratuitous? What’s up with the Christmas hamentaschen—is that Moore’s idea of a culinary mixed marriage?)—put my feet up, and relaxed.
Later, I bought the overpriced avocados. They were worth it.