How the Terzis Family Landed in Disney Jail

Apologies. This one is long overdue.

The day after Real Estate Dad and I were married, we were at my parent’s house. Someone started talking about the time we ended up in Disney Jail. Real Estate Dad listened to the whole story and very calmly looked over at me and said, “I see you saved the really scary stuff until after I was locked in.”

Growing up, our family vacations were nothing short of epic. Not epic/amazing but epic…uh…memorable. The real decision maker on these vacations wasn’t even a member of the family. It was my father’s wallet. The wallet would only let us to do things where we could “get our money’s worth.” Like when the 5 of us would squeeze into one crappy fleabag Motel 6 room for $16.95. That was considered a steal. Before we checked out, we would take all the leftover tissue boxes “for the car.” If we were lucky, we would leave without lice or bedbugs. I still shudder at some of this.

On our arrival to Disney World on one such vacation, Gloom and Doom sent the three of us to the hotel game room. This was the only time they would ever encourage us to go to the game room, but it’s not like the wallet had to fork over any money. We would just go in and look for wayward coins in coin-return slots or on the floor. Don’t judge, once I found $20!

The reason for the game room strategy was because they were securing our hotel room and then the Magic Kingdom tickets. It’s much harder to shave years off the lives of children who keep showing up at the desk to ask if we can leave yet.

Back then, the tickets were a paper square and they had lines for “Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.” For many years my parents would buy 1 pass with 3 days on it and 1 pass with 2 days on it, and that was our admission. I understood two things about this situation:

1) Gloom and Doom said since there were no multi-day discounts, this 2-ticket method was the same price as 5 separate passes but just less to carry.

2) Number 1 could be a Gloom and Doom lie.

We went to the turnstiles at the front of the Magic Kingdom. My mom and I were using the 2-day pass and my dad was taking my brothers to another turnstile with their 3-day pass. The underpaid employee at Doom’s turnstile didn’t approve of the “stamp for three of us” situation. She called foul and we were being told we couldn’t enter the park. What? No Thunder Mountain? No Mr. Toads Wild Ride?

To this day, my dad is a very calm and level-headed man. It’s a personality trait that served him well for six decades in his career as an attorney. We knew he would solve this.

He yelled “RUN!”

I watched one of my brothers and his long legs go galloping into the park. My Dad took off in a different direction and my other brother followed suit.

And then was Gloom. Stuck with the dead weight. All 40 lbs and 8 years of me. They knew we were together. We were detained by the Mickey Mouse Police. They brought us to some room and told us to stay seated until they came back for us. They were on their Disney Walkie-Talkies alerting Mickey, Donald and all the other characters to be on the lookout for 3 absconders.

Somehow Gloom sprung us. See, the Disney law isn’t really the law. They’re just the characters without their costumes. When they weren’t looking, Mom grabbed me by the hand and we escaped. My parents have balls, you have to hand it to them. They literally did not give a fuck.

I said, “How are we going to find everyone else?” She said, “You know your father. He’ll be at the Crystal Palace eating eggs and sausages.” And he was. As were my brothers. You have to wonder about a family scattered faster than roaches when the lights go on, and know each other well enough to find each other without cell phones.

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She's Not Dead, She Just Fell Over and Looks Dead

It is rare that I look back on a day and say, “Good parenting today, Melissa.” Mostly I feel like I’m just getting by on fumes and promising myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll get back to this in a moment.

There’s a postscript to the story of the paralyzed squirrel. We ended up finding him. When Chubs and I were squirrel-hunting the other morning, a few neighbors saw us. You know that part of your brain that tells you, “hey, we really shouldn’t share this with other people because it makes us look crazy?” That part of my brain is busted.

I told everyone I saw about the paralyzed squirrel and it didn’t backfire! Later that day one of them found him!

I ran to grab a crate while New-Summer-Nanny called Washington Humane. Then, New-Summer-Nanny, the girls, our neighbor and her kids and I ran and scooped him up in a towel. We put him in a plastic container inside the crate and waited for help to arrive.

We all hovered around him trying to help. Princess Roundhead ran inside to get nuts, carrots, apples and water. We were outside with him just waiting. He got stuck in the towel we attempted to help him get free. It didn’t go so well.

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

The animal rescue people were madly efficient. They came within 15 minutes and whisked her away, saying they refer these cases to the wildlife division.

I know. They probably euthanized her. I don’t want to think about that. I’d like to think that she’s scooting around their offices with little crutches or a tiny squirrel wheelchair. (It can happen! Google it!)

After the girls went to sleep that night, I thought about my feelings for animals. I didn’t grow up with pets or any sort of love for animals. My parents viewed animals as another mouth to feed and something to take care of.

But, as we all do, I always look back on how I was raised and what I want to do differently with my own kids. One of those things is making sure the girls learn for compassion for animals. Seeing the concerned looks on their little faces worrying about the squirrel, it registered that I accomplished that. I gave myself, our friend and New-Summer-Nanny a virtual high-five. We taught the kids something important the other day - something that matters.

Whatever You Do, Don't Open the Box

Summer is off to a good start. The first week it pretty much rained on and off, just enough so the kids couldn’t go to the pool, I had clients who walked away from a death-trap-money-pit house and the Pro-Terz clan went to another Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Sort of.

It’s not really like the movie. This wedding was Real Estate Dad’s nephew (I can’t call him my nephew because he and I are closer in age than me and Real Estate Dad) (I don’t always get married, but when I do, I prefer them older) (Stay thirsty, my friends.) Anyway, there wasn’t much big and fat about the wedding. They didn’t have a large bridal party (thank god because am I the only one who hates the dozens of drunken introductions of people no one knows?) The bridal party was just a few of their closest friends. The reception was outdoors.

We were 2 hours late because: traffic. I’m sure I’ve spent more time in my life sitting in traffic in that painful stretch of the last few exits before the Bay Bridge than in all the world’s 7-11’s combined. Unfortunately for us, we disappointed Bowie. We did not get to the church on time so we went straight to the reception.

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Princess Roundhead and I were milling around the various tables they had set up with pictures and guestbooks and such. We came across this nice little carved wooden box the size of a shot glass. Princess Roundhead was like, “Does this open?” I said, “I don’t know, let’s see it.” We were both grabbing at it and fiddling with it and she was like, “I want to know what’s inside!” It appeared to slide but also it could have lifted like a lever. She tried. I tried. We couldn’t get it open.

The groom came over and said, “Ooh, guys don’t open that.” We looked up like, “Buddy we’ve been working on this thing for a full five minutes and you want us to abandon ship now?”

He said, “There’s a person in there.”

Well crap. A sign or something would have been nice, because they invited the child I call “a Bull in a China Shop” and her relentless mother. Actually, the child wasn’t really invited but that’s a whole other story. I’m not good at following directions. Or getting places on time.

I went over to tell Real Estate Dad how our daughter and I really could have gotten ourselves booted out of the whole shindig and I swear to you, that man does not let the truth get in the way of telling a good story. He buzzed around the entire reception like god damned Sophia Petrillo, telling everyone that his wife and eldest daughter almost set the bride’s father free.

By the end of the night, the Greeks were coming up to me howling, “DID YOU HEAR WHAT YOUR DAUGHTER ALMOST DID TO THE BRIDE’S FATHER????” Yes, because a) I WAS THERE and b) WHERE THE HELL IS PROAKIS. RIGHT. NOW.

He took his little one-man act over to the bathrooms. Because these were the bathrooms.

If this van’s a rockin, don’t come a knockin

If this van’s a rockin, don’t come a knockin

Real Estate Dad could not resist. When the girls or I were in here, he went running to the back like the bad kid in the back of the school bus and pushed on the side so we would rock back and forth. A few drinks and a shot of Ouzo later, I enacted the payback.

When he came out he said the vase of flowers tipped over and everything fell off the walls.

The second week of summer was better. We have a new Summer Nanny who is Chubs’s old Year-Round Nanny and she never calls in dead to work! I had two buyers close on houses in week 2 of summer, other clients get a super cute house under contract, and a few other buyers lost houses. Real Estate is still plugging along.

Today we started week 3 of summer by finding a paralyzed squirrel. He got away from us (don’t ask) but we’re going back out to look for him. Poor guy.

School's Out FOR SUMMER

Today is the last day of school. Oh how I look so forward to summer with the kids. This is an exceptionally busy summer for us with work, weddings and all the planned visits we have to fit in, but I’m thrilled it’s summer. Even if I’m consistently sweating like a pig and showering 3 times a day. Super sexy, I know.

Yesterday was Chubs’s Pre-K graduation. I have to got to rename her before she learns to read. Anyway, I was so happy to see her in her cute little cap and gown the teachers had for them. But then she walked into the gym and she looked sad. And then I got sad.

Her teacher went through the “awards” they gave each of the kids in class, and one of Chubs’s awards was that she was like a ray of sunshine. Let’s pause for a look at our little ray of sunshine.

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She was like this the entire time. She looked sad. Then she cried and ran over to us. When she stopped crying I asked her what was wrong and she said she didn’t want to leave her class.

Then this wave of emotion came crushing down on me and I just wanted to get out of there. The girls wanted to stay after school to play on the playground and Real Estate Dad stayed while I walked back home. I kept thinking why am I sad, why am I sad. Then it just hit me that the girls are growing up so fast. It’s true what they say - the days are long and the years are fast. I can’t believe they are about to turn 5 and 7. What I would give to have a day with them again when they were 1 and 3. Or 2 and 4.

Perhaps it was the jolt I needed to remind myself to work less. And pay attention more. I spend a lot of time away from the kids for work - and lots of that work is often times unproductive in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Chasing agents for showing instructions for their listings. Sitting in traffic. Showing a listing that has a ratified contract and the agent, “oops” forgot to cancel the appointment we made. I can’t even quantify the hours of time I’ve wasted in the past month alone from this nonsense because people just don’t respect other people’s time. I’ve suddenly become a huge advocate of respecting other people’s time because I realize how much this is costing me personally.

Today is the last day of school and I can’t wait to get those girls and start our summer.

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On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

Like so many other mothers of girls, I do not look forward to the teen years.

I can’t believe my girls are going to endure the really crappy teen nonsense and there is nothing I can do about it. I encourage all the camaraderie they have with their girlfriends now, especially M. She and her besties write each other love notes every night, with really sweet compliments that build each other up.

Girl Power

Girl Power

Here’s M and one of her “hype girls” at Field Day today. Look how dang cute they are. They love each other.

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I know it won’t always be like this. In fact, I know it will change and change forever into a Regina George world. There are not a lot of venues where women celebrate other women succeeding. Life for women is really about moving from one area with nasty mean girls to another area with nastier mean girls. The teen years are soaked with nasty backstabbing girls. Early adulthood and launching into the professional world - also soaked with nasty backstabbing women.

I briefly worked for Calvin Klein (note, I said briefly) (note, I really mean it was a short period of time, this was not making a pun about Calvin Klein briefs) when I was in my 20’s. Several women would fly into the office each morning and park their broomstick in the corner with the others. They would proceed to make everyone’s day miserable while they nibbled on a carrot for lunch then proclaimed they were full. I would have gladly purchased all of them first class tickets to hell but we were already there.

Fast forward to present day. I’m still dealing with it.

Some of you may know that two years ago I started East Coast Corgi Rescue. It has tested my love of corgis in ways I could never have imagined. A good friend told me not to do it. She runs a rescue in Atlanta and said it is just so difficult and so much work. I didn’t listen though.

When I first started the rescue, I was welcomed by some corgi lovers and derided by some frosty nasty hags. As I worked to build the rescue by myself, I looked to many of these women for advice. Some were awesome. Some were assholes. Some were total trash.

When I shared my first shocking rescue story with my friend in Atlanta, she said, “Probably 85% of women in animal rescue have some sort of mental illness. Once you know that fact, everything else makes sense.”

Well, it does and doesn’t. The current board of East Coast Corgi Rescue is comprised of 5 women and 1 man. We all work in a very similar manner. We all have a similar viewpoint on most things. We’re all 30’s to 40’s, work in a professional capacity, and we all, most importantly, do not believe ourselves to be God.

In 2017, the first year of the rescue, I worked alone and saved 6 dogs that year.

In early 2018, it became obvious I needed help. Several people joined and formed a board. We had two board members who could not get along and they both quit in the early stages. The board that remained persevered and saved 61 dogs that year.

I’m incredibly proud of that accomplishment. We couldn’t save them all. We endured some very difficult tragedies with corgis because of some very negligent prior owners.

We removed stones from a bladder, removed a tumor from a rectum/prolapsed intestine, treated heartworms in several dogs, took a dog with diabetes which we have in hospice care and continue to spend a small fortune on, cleared up several extreme skin rash issues, treated hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, fixed an allegedly hermaphroditic dog with a habit for biting, picked up several from Amish puppy mills who lived outside in deplorable conditions, pulled 3 out of a meth house and showed several dogs how to trust again after the life they endured.

All in one year by the way. All in ONE. FUCKING. YEAR.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

“Your rescue only takes easy dogs. You don’t take biters.”

Maybe three dogs of the 61 we took into rescue were easy. But none of the above medical issues were easy, nor were they inexpensive.

We have had several biters in the rescue. We have one now. We’ve tried taking them in but none of our adopters want a biter. And sometimes, biters cannot be rehabbed into not biting. This also doesn’t make us different than many other rescues who also have policies that they don’t take biters. But fine, guilty as charged. I have two young girls living at my house that I’m like, legally responsible for keeping safe, and two elderly dogs - one which has seizures. I’m not bringing a biter into my house. My older daughter has a huge scar on her foot from a dog that bit her, totally unprovoked. My kids are the priority and it’s my job to protect them. You caught me. I won’t bring a dog that bites into my house again with two little girls.

We have a sliding scale based on age for our adoption fees. This information is available in our FAQ’s which are pinned at the top of our Facebook page - where they have been pinned for a pretty long time.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

“Your rescue charges $800 for dogs.”

Laughable. I’m not sure where that rumor started but I have a pretty good idea which Mama June started it. We’ve never charged $800 for a dog. Again, fees are on our FAQ. If we have a puppy, it’s $600 with $100 refunded at proof of spay/neuter since they are too young to do it prior to adoption. The scale slides down based on age. Easy info to find. Easy info to confirm. But I suppose it doesn’t make as good of a “story” does it? One of the Mama Junes charges $600 for her dogs, but yeah, it’s more fun to spread a lie about us than look in your own mirror I guess.

We had a dog early in our rescue days when we had no money, and the dog had a defect in her esophagus. I brought in all the corgi people I knew to ask what to do and to say that we would surrender her to anyone who could help. Corgi world’s version of a martyr Mama June appeared before me and said she would take care of the dog. We transferred her to that rescue.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

Never to our faces of course… “I flipped out when I heard they were going to euthanize the puppy.”

That is a nice giant lie and we all had a good laugh at that one. Euthanizing the puppy was never on the table, and those parties know it because we were all included in the same message. Revisionist History is funny.

These lies and accusations continue, I have several more I could share but they’re losers, this gets boring, there’s that 85% mental illness figure looming. There’s really one theme to recognize here that you learned in junior high:

When women see other women become successful at something they are either doing but not as well, or that they wish they could do, they lash out in all sorts of ways. This is a lesson we learn early and often in our lives, and it will manifest itself over and over through the decades.

It’s pathetic that I have to prepare my girls for this but I’m ready with the lessons I have to teach them:

Downplay successes. Downplay your good grades. Downplay how sweet your boyfriend is, how much money you have, or how much you enjoy playing the lead in the school play. It only incites jealousy and then turns into a full assault and takedown. It’s easy when you’re a teenager to get distracted by this nonsense and that’s what “they” want.

I’m still learning, because I’m rabid about defending the reputation of an organization I founded. But there’s no point, because disproving the lie isn’t what Regina and her friends want. They want the fight. But karma, as I’ve learned, is incredibly efficient in handling these matters. Case in point, one of the biggest bullies we grew up with now wanders the aisles at stores, mumbling to herself like a crazy person.

It won’t be long before someone chokes on a hamburger served on that delicious dish of karma.

Someone Jizzed on Santa

Now that we no longer have Summer Nanny, we have to parent our own children. It’s not so bad because we “text-in-sick” way less than Summer Nanny. I tried to text-in-sick once, but Real Estate Dad didn’t buy it when I said that the mockingbirds in Glover Park formed a gang (MB-13) and chased me out of the neighborhood. The good news is we’re now front-and-center for the delicious hilarity that goes along with all-things-Stoddert-Elementary at drop-off and pick-up.

A few weeks ago, Real Estate Dad was standing on our postage stamp (you can’t really call it a front yard.) Our neighbor was walking down the street with her Mini-Me, who was saying, “I love soccer, I love soccer, I love soccer!” The mom stopped to tell Real Estate Dad how much her mini-me loves soccer. She said the teachers are so organized, they send out emails communicating everything, and she is super impressed.

Let’s just do a Mr. Roper direct-to-camera thing for a moment. Soccer is horrible. Much like a Taylor Swift Concert, falling into a street grate, or working for Calvin douchebag Klein, who demands that everything is black - including file folders and pen ink (try writing on a black folder with black ink and tell me how that works out for you,) soccer is hell on earth. The entire weekend is hijacked with games. I now understand why calling someone a “soccer mom” is a thinly-veiled insult.

If you win the first game, you go on to a second game. If you win that guess what? You go on to a third game. None of the parents can make weekend plans because: soccer. If my girls were in soccer and we even made it to an early game, I’d be sitting my fat ass in a lawn chair drinking my fountain diet pepsi, rooting for them to lose. Losing IS winning. Losing means you can go home!

Back to the conversation.

Me: Princess Roundhead (“M”) and Chubs want nothing to do with soccer and I’m thrilled.

Real Estate Dad: Funny you should say that because there’s another part to this story. Earlier today, G’s mom came up to me - what’s her name?

Me: Drunken Santa. (That’s not really her name. She just throws a really good Holiday party in the alley behind her house.)

Real Estate Dad: Drunken Santa came up to me and she swears more than you. I didn’t think that was possible. She said ‘Are your girls in soccer?’ I said no. She said ‘My boys are and f*ck it is such a pain in the ass. They start these games at 8 a.m. on Saturday and we’re not even awake. Then we have to trek across town to another field for another game and no one told me this sh*t before we signed up so now I’m stuck. They email us all the f*cking time, it’s endless. I can’t stand them.’

(I normally would never censor anything but damn it, some of you work in places where my blog gets banned due to language.)

Me: You know how I bought that DSLR Camera on Black Friday that I have yet to use? I asked Drunken Santa if she would teach me how to use it because she has one. She said “Sure, with vodka.”

I need to be better friends with her.

Stoddert had the annual auction and Drunken Santa did not disappoint. She became known as the “mom in the shorts.” There were many notable moments - like when she got a little too close to the cupcake table and had to scrub some white frosting off her shorts while screaming, “WHO JIZZED ON MY SHORTS?”

But here she is at one of her finest moments that evening, ahem, raising money for the school.

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The school year is coming to an end, thankfully. Drunken Santa volunteered to be the Treasurer for next school year. Brave lady. I was not at said meeting where this happened because I was showing houses to clients. But if I had been there, let me tell you what I would not have been doing. I would not have been volunteering for the committee I chose for this year. Staff Appreciation.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t love them. I do. Our elementary school has to have some of the best damn teachers and staff on the planet. But I thought it would be fun. I had visions of milk and cookie trucks and parties. But what I got was that literally everything is celebrated or acknowledged. I’m currently missing several birthdays that occurred in May that I haven’t acknowledged because two words: Realtor. Spring. In my defense, I was extra diligent for Nurses Appreciation Week. I figured I owed her since Chubs has single-handedly depleted her arsenal of bandages with the same freaking complaint all year: “My finger hurts.”

I can’t wait until Drunken Santa realizes how hard being the Treasurer is. Constant bank runs and writing checks. She is going to swear up a storm next year. I will be LOVING IT!

Oh, wait. I volunteered for a bunch of shit too. I’ll probably be swearing and drinking right along with her.

Incest is a Dish Best Served on Holidays

I have this awesome client who was referred to me from another awesome client. The first time we looked at homes, his parents came along. This can sometimes be a sticky situation for agents in a high priced markets like DC because the prices here compared to the rest of the country are insane. The parents say things like, “Almost half a million dollars for this condo? In Okaloosa you could buy the whole dang town for this kinda money!”

My client’s parents are not from Okaloosa. And my client clearly had a fantastic relationship with his parents. He was pointing out various landmarks to them - all the venues where he and his friends liked to go. When we passed Wonderland, he told his parents that it was one of his favorite bars in DC. As someone who was a regular fixture at Wonderland back in 2006 / 2007, it was nice to know it’s still a cool place. I was also impressed he would share that with his parents.  I would never tell Gloom and Doom such a thing. Because the judgment, ohhhh the judgment.

This weekend, I was on the phone with my work-wife while waiting for my client to arrive. She asked who I was showing property to and I told her how cool he and his parents were. I said “They have my parents beat that’s for sure. I’m sure his parents wouldn’t try to set him up with his cousin.”

Work wife was like “Ha ha. Wait. What?” 

One of those gems you forget about until it’s out of your mouth and you’re like, “Oh yeah, that did happen.”

Back when Real Estate Dad and I were in the infancy period of taking our formerly professional and very platonic relationship to the next step, and he was in the midst of a mid-life crisis that resulted in him leaving me in DC alone on the holidays while he scampered off to NY, I met my parents half way in Jersey at my mom’s cousins house for a holiday dinner  

All the Greeks were there. My mom had mentioned something about her cousin wanting to set me up with someone but I didn’t pay much attention because in no world I’ve ever lived in would I allow Gloom or Doom to set me up with someone. At the party though, my mom told me who her cousin was eyeing for me.

It was her son.

I was like “I’m sorry. What? We are related!”  

Here’s where you would think my mom would have been on my side.  Well, here’s where you would think anyone else’s mom should have been on their side.

Gloom said, ”You’re distant enough.”  

I said “ARE WE? OUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS ARE THE SAME PEOPLE.” Second cousins are not distant cousins.

She actually waved me off and said something to the effect of how it was fine. I don’t remember because I think I passed out and hit my head on the pavement. Really lady? You were responsible for raising us? And now you’re advocating that I marry a second cousin?

It is all kinda of fucked. But, it explains why there is a Greek panel of bloodwork that you have to do when you’re pregnant. Because all these idiots were living on islands sleeping with each other and most of the population is mentally retarded challenged. And they clearly do not know the definition of "distant relative."

I Didn't Even Apply But I Was Recruited Anyway

If you want to volunteer at any DC Public School, as of Fall, 2018, you have to jump through the added hoops of getting a TB test and being fingerprinted at the DCPS Central Office. Suffice it to say, most people are too busy for this nonsense, so there is a limited number of parents who can volunteer for field trips.

I received an email from M’s teacher a couple weeks ago asking if I could chaperone a last minute field trip to Nats Stadium. Apparently they applied for this field trip and were never told by the Nats people that it was a yes until a week before the date. And since very few parents can chaperone…

I agreed, mostly because I love M’s teacher as much as I love 7-11.

Right after I replied: “Dear M’s Teacher, I had one thing on my calendar that I can move and I’ll be there,” I got a text from Real Estate Dad. He said: “M’s teacher emailed to ask if we would chaperone a trip to Nats stadium but I said neither of us could as we were both busy that day.” (We were…if you count “busy” as the day of our orthodontic appointments where we’re cashing in $29 Groupons for an alleged $3000 off Invisalign.) (What could go wrong?) I told Real Estate Dad I already moved our appointments and we were going. Turns out she only needed me though. Score for Real Estate Dad. No ortho and no Nats trip.

Yesterday was the field trip. We were to report to school at 8:30. This was hard for me because I just don’t like mornings. And mornings don’t like me. But I got to be with M and two of her sweet little friends who I adore, so we expected it would be a good day.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

When we arrived at the entrance to the park, they didn’t even check our bags, making me wonder why I bothered to remove my pocketknife from it. I could have used it to ward off street vagrants or alley rats should we have encountered any. We were sent through the metal detectors. There was one mom who had a trough of water who held up the line because they told her to dump it out and she refused. The guard said, “Didn’t they tell you the rules? There’s water inside the park.” She said, “I have a sick child with me, I can’t be without water.” They went back and forth a few times. He finally said he was going to pick his battles and let her through. So me and my trough went through the gate.

Real Estate Dad says I cause trouble wherever I go. It’s not on purpose. I just want what I want. The other day M whispered to one of her friends that she loves when her mom makes announcements to people, as I was telling a bunch of kids I didn’t know to get off the neighborhood trampoline. There were little kids who deserved a turn and none of the other parents would look up from their phone long enough to tell their ungracious little mini-me’s to get off the tramp. Sometimes you have to corral the crowds so things work out in your favor.

After we got inside the stadium, we began a long processional of collecting water bottles, popcorn and cracker jack bags on the way to our seats. Once we were seated, on hot metal, in the blazing sun, with now lukewarm water, the fun began.

Oh wait. No it didn’t. Some actor types came out and this shit happened:

1) Postage Stamps
2) The Postal Museum
3) The 4 Mascot Presidents
4) The History of Baseball
5) And several other things I don’t know anything about BECAUSE WE LEFT. Other moms we spoke to afterword called it a “play.”

It wasn’t fun to roast like a marshmallow while two of the three children I was in charge of were FADING FAST. One was sick, one was super hungry and one was “bored and hot.” The bored hot one was mine so I was more than happy to tell her to stuff it. But the other two were not mine, and I knew they weren’t doing well in the heat. I also knew I had to deliver them back to school alive and well.

I brought the girls up into the breezeway and went to look for food. A bunch of other parents made their way up there as well and we began chatting about this pain in the ass field trip. I said I was going to get my girls some food. I was determined too, I actually considered leaving the park because no vendors were open and our alleged free lunch of hot dogs was nowhere to be found.

I knew though that if I left the park, I’d be banished from field trips and I would be the subject of the legend about “that mom” who left the stadium to get food. Kind of like I was “that waitress” who rung up the $1800 bottle of whiskey at Ruby Tuesdays, and instead of just taking that out of the register since we didn’t even have it in stock anyway and since no one goes to Ruby Fucking Tuesday’s to imbibe on an $1800 bottle of anything, I was the subject of Waiter/Waitress Lineups up and down the east coast.

I found a woman who worked at the stadium. I explained our plight. She pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Um, well, hotdogs are being served at 11:40 after the kids run the bases.” I said, “IT’S 12:15!!! THESE KIDS HAVEN’T EATEN ALL DAY!”

The woman started to look a little nervous. I realize these are first-world problems and I felt bad I pushed a little too much. She said she didn’t have a walkie talkie to call anyone. I said, “Fine, you said food is at the 107 entrance?” She then looked real nervous. I grabbed my girls and said, “We’re going on a walk.” I told the other moms we still had to wait until after every single first grader in the entire District of Columbia ran the bases before we could eat. We were looking at at least an hour. In the sun. Did I mention the sun?

The girls and I started walking. We got from 131 to 119 when we encountered a roadblock. It was a giant, white, toothless guard who spoke in grunts. I found another person who worked there because negotiating with Big Poppa was getting nowhere. I’m standing there telling this new lady that we needed to get through, all the while conceding inside my brain that I have literally become my fucking mother. Despite our rocky and often non-existent relationship, I have no clue if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The woman said she’d be right back.

It took a long time. We waited. I’ve got to hand it to her, M certainly knows her mother. She was pretty much suggesting I push past Big Poppa and make a run for it. I was like god damned it M, we can rob banks and run underage sweatshops on our own time but we have two nice girls here who I cannot and will not bring down with us, now put your counterfeiting equipment away.

SUCCESS! The lady let us go through.

We got to see some neat stuff on that walk.

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We finally got to the food! We grabbed hot dogs and burgers and sat down to eat while we watched every first grade class run the bases. The girls were done with their lunch for a good 10 minutes when they finally called our school. We watched from the other side of the field as their classmates ran the bases. I said, “See girls, you would be down there running the bases if we didn’t come here to find food.” All three of them said they were happy they chose the food over running the bases.

I think we all know I like to complain. It’s part of my schtick. When we got back to the school and all the chaperone moms convened, every single one of them said some version of, “That was horrible!” Some moms even ran home before pickup so they could shower (again) because it was so darn hot out there.

I texted Real Estate Dad and said, “When this trip comes up in two years again, remind me to keep Chubs home that day.”

Because I’m working hard for School-Mom of the Week this week, I finished out the day by going back to the school at night for the PTO meeting. One of the newly elected officers for next year was heading up to the school a few minutes before me, sucking down what she had in her cup. She told Real Estate Dad she was going to hide her cup in our yard because she couldn’t bring it into the school.

I really need to be better friends with her. It’s gonna be a good year next year.