As anyone who has ever had to play zone defense against a hyper toddler and infant knows, the waiting truly is the hardest part. Normally, I prefer man-to-man defense in the case of child rearing, but Sean's at a training exercise out of state and so I'm currently outnumbered. And let me tell you, Sweet Girl and Little Man can do a mean double team. In general I try to avoid situations that require alot of waiting. Sweet Girl has a tendency to roam (away and quickly) and it can be difficult to keep up with an eighteen pounder strapped in the front carrier (Little Man may have to have a new name soon at this rate). Unfortunately, the universe doesn't always cooperate and I've found myself waiting, waiting, waiting with Sweet Girl and Little Man in tow.
Even when there is nowhere to run, Sweet Girl and Little Man can make waiting less than desirable. This past weekend I decided to make Sweet Girl's day and get her a happy meal for lunch. I am not proud of the fact that my daughter's favorite thing to eat (and I am by no means exaggerating) is a "hamburger, french fry?" from McDonald's. She would gladly trade Little Man for that stupid bag with a paper-thin patty and deep fried potatoes in it. And I'm a sucker for making her happy so I pull in to the parking lot and get in to the long line at the drive-thru. Sweet Girl perks up immediately with a "Hey! Hamburger, french fry?" from the backseat. "Yep, we'll get a hamburger and french fries and have lunch at home." I was thinking that, though the line was long, this is McDonald's so it can't take that long. Twenty-five minutes, one Little Man fit, and approximately 50,000 repetitions of the following conversation: "Hamburger, french fry?" "Yes, we have to wait our turn." later, we have Sweet Girl's McD fix and we're on our way home.
The particularly frustrating part of this excursion (apart from having to repeat myself, uh, repeatedly) is that there was no apparent reason for the wait. The parking lot was not full, none of the vehicles in front of me buckled under the weight of their orders, and this is not gourmet-on-the-go. It's McDonald's. This is not a start-up fast food restaurant. They've been around awhile, they should have this down to a science by now. If we had been inside the restaurant and waited that long, I'm pretty sure I would have been beating on the counter a la Shirley McClain in "Terms of Endearment"; "Give my daughter her happy meal! I told her to wait til noon! It is now 12:25! Give her her happy meal!" Yeah, it's best that we not go in.
McDonald's isn't the only place that has seen the best of Sweet Girl and Little Man's waiting ability this week. This morning Little Man had a well baby check-up. This being the first time we would meet our new pediatrician, I was hoping to make a good impression as a competent and somewhat "together" mother of two wonderful children. I had filled out all the forms ahead of time, made sure everyone was washed and combed, arrived 7 minutes early (enough time to check-in with the paper work but not too much time sitting in the waiting room playing zone defense - it's a delicate balance), and had a diaper bag full of distractions. One hour 45 minutes, three smallish meltdowns, one spilled baggie of cereal, two conversations about how one's finger does not belong in one's nose, one peed on nurse, and three conversations about not rolling across the exam room floor on the doctor's chair later, we were done. I'm sure we made an impression. I'm sure it wasn't the one I was hoping for. At the very least they now know that we are NOT the family to keep waiting. All this waiting makes me tired. It really is the hardest part.