A few weeks ago, my husband and I took the kids on a cruise. We’ve been on a few before, but it was Baby Girl’s first time. And man, were we nervous. Y’all know how the girl is — temper, temper, perfect angel, then more temper. It’s all hot and cold with her. It’s something that makes me kinda afraid, but I admire at the same time, the purity of her emotions. The anger is scary, but the pure love and adoration she shows when she’s not mad is enough to make my eyes mist up. Her random “I love you’s” and swooping by to kiss my knee or arm or wrap her little arms around me…
(I totally did not intend to start this off as a sappy post.)
So, cruise. We were worried she’d get lost or fall over or be overwhelmed and miserable or starve or not sleep or rage so much that our neighbors would hate us. Lots and lots of worries. (We did bring a bag of Goldfish crackers, a loaf of bread, and some peanut butter and jelly with us to be safe, so she wouldn’t really starve.)
Well, obviously she didn’t fall over. Being a little shorty has its advantages, even if the anxious mama doesn’t consider that.
And she didn’t starve. She existed on a diet of PB&J, grilled cheese, fruit, cereal, hash brown cakes, and yogurt for five days, which isn’t entirely unlike what she exists on at home.
She had a couple of bad outbursts the first couple of days, but it all subsided. Her sleep schedule was way off and she definitely did get overwhelmed at first, but once she adjusted, it was smooth sailing. She really loved the trip, which made us ecstatic, as cruising is absolutely our favorite way to go on vacation.
And, oh yeah, she didn’t get lost. But Little Man did, and holy fuck, that was the most scared I’ve been in my whole life.
The second day of the trip, I had a major wipe out. I hurt my leg/ankle pretty bad on the water slide deck, and after resting a bit, we went downstairs to the pool. LM knew this because he was the reason we were going down, since he asked to go to the pool a hundred times. My husband had to help me walk and try to hold on to Baby Girl at the same time, which wasn’t easy. Little Man walked ahead of us, and as my husband helped me down the spiraling staircase, we lost sight of him.
At first we didn’t freak out. We figured he just got in the pool, since that’s where we were headed, but he wasn’t in the pool. And then we figured he must’ve gotten a table and chairs and waited for us, so my husband walked around the deck looking for him. And he wasn’t at any of the tables, either. That’s when the panic set in. It hit me that my husband might’ve just looked for his head/neon green shirt when he checked the pool, and that there was a possibility he could have drowned and be floating at the bottom. (I recently read how often kids drown in busy pools.) My blood ran cold and I told my husband to run back and check, and obviously he wasn’t there. So we walked around looking, with me eventually yelling like a crazy person. (Adrenaline had fully kicked in, so the pain from the hurt foot/leg which ultimately left me wearing a walking boot after a visit to the doctor when we got back, had disappeared.)
After taking some more laps around the deck, I talked to one of the security people, who directed me to go to guest services. He was concerned at first until I told him his age (10) and then it was like whatever. I went inside, and then my husband appeared with the boy. Apparently he had forgotten we were going to the pool (thanks, ADHD) and gotten freaked out, so he talked to one of the staff who took him to the kids camp and had him wait there.
I about squeezed the life out of him when I saw him. There were a lot of tears. And then there were a couple of very strong drinks. Little Man thought he should get a strong drink to calm his nerves, too, but no.
That is really the worst feeling ever. We’ve had a couple of very minor scares before — like when I lost sight of Baby Girl for 30 seconds at Chuck E. Cheese because she ran off and someone got between us, but nothing that bad. There was once a tornado scare with LM, but I didn’t find out about that until after it was over, which was rough, but it was already over at least. (A very weak tornado came through by my MIL’s mobile home, where she was with all of the grandkids. No damage there, but they were horrified and it knocked another mobile home off its blocks.)
On a lighter note, BG’s birthday is this weekend. She will be 4. She was just 3 or 4 months old when I started this blog, y’all, and know she’s four and just a year from kindergarten. I’ll be cliche for a moment, but I do wish time would slow down. The older I get, the more quickly time passes by.
We have a bounce house party planned for BG. Justice League theme. She went back and forth on several different themes, but Justice League it is. Last year was the Joker, the year before that was Batman, and the year she didn’t have the ability to pick, it was Mickey Mouse. Transformers, Avengers, and straight up Wonder Woman were among her top choices. I so love my nerdy little girl. We bought her a doll house off of Craigslist (it was like new and a fraction of what it cost new, plus someone else had gone to the trouble of assembling it) and some toys from the movie Coco. I can’t wait to kick off the festivities!
Little Man is also going to audition for a play this weekend. He has had parts in plays at school before, but this will be the first time with the community playhouse. He fucking nailed Cassius in Julius Caesar in third grade, so I’m hoping his nerves will go away and he’ll be able to get at least a small part in this one. He’s worried he’s going to embarrass himself, but we talked about how important it is to take chances so he isn’t left with regrets over not trying later (a lesson I learned the hard way). Fingers crossed!!