Bug, Squish, and I flew home to Boston this morning after a quick visit with family. As we pulled into the rental car return area, Bug exclaimed, "I want to ride in the shark stroller!"
Ah, the shark stroller. A purchase from the day before when we had gone to the zoo.
Why did we buy a stroller to go to the zoo?
Because when the three of us were trying to go from our car to Logan three days ago, I officially declared the stroller we have had since Bug was four months old broken. Broken like the foot strap broke off a year ago. Broken like some metal bar that seems important to the frame and general purpose of the stroller detached itself months ago. Broken like every time Squish tried to sit in the stroller while we were in the parking lot at Logan, the stroller collapsed in on him. Broken.
I put the broken stroller into the back of the car, grabbed the baby carrier for my thirty-pound two-and-a-half-year old, and away we went.
So when we all decided to go to the zoo yesterday, I figured it was the perfect time to buy a stroller at a big box store. A nice, cheap-o stroller that we could take to the zoo, and back on the plane, and on our big family trip to Greece in two weeks, and wherever else we want to go all summer long.
We bought a perfect stroller with a canopy that looks like a shark (with a fin that sticks up off of the canopy and teeth that hang below). We arrived at the zoo, parked, and when I opened the trunk I realized the stroller had several plastic zip ties that warranted a pair of scissors or a knife before use. So I closed the trunk, opted for a rental stroller at the zoo, and wondered if I might have some kind of predisposition to be just about 87% prepared for everything in life.
Back at the rental car return this morning, Bug exclaimed, "I want to ride in the shark stroller!"
This was not exactly what I had hoped to hear from him. I had hoped that Squish would ride in the stroller while Bug walked calmly next to me to the baggage drop, through security, to the gate, all the way to the airplane.
Bug was insistent about the stroller despite my best pleas to his mature side.
I asked Squish if Bug could ride in the stroller while Squish
rode in the carrier ("with Momma!" - as if being closer to me would
somehow lure him away from the magical shark stroller). Squish wanted
no part of the carrier.
I asked Bug if he could ride in the stroller until security, and then if Squish could ride from security to the gate. He seemed willing to accept this offer. I cut Squish out of the negotiations, and Squish went into the carrier, Bug went into the stroller, I put my enormous bag on the back of the stroller, and I managed to roll the suitcase all the way from the car to ticketing and the baggage drop.
This feat earned me something in life. I have no idea what yet, but I feel entitled to something wonderful just for that twenty-minute period this morning.
Eventually, of course, Squish found his way into the stroller, and Bug found his way into a fit. He kept up his fit all the way to Gate C52.
"Momma, his turn is so long!"
"Momma, I want to be in the stroller!"
"Momma, you are ignoring me!!"
Well, yes, yes, I was trying to ignore the fit. But apparently I had failed.
Somehow the tide turned, as it always does, and between claiming that I had been ignoring the pain of stroller withdrawal and waiting for Zone 1 to board, the boys were hopping around excited to fly home.
They were zooming around, arms outstretched, making airplane noises. They were standing on the seats by the windows counting planes at gates nearby.
Zone 2 was called to line up.
Squish, standing on a seat by the window, had an accident. As the pee became a puddle on the seat, Bug said, "Good thing he's wearing his rain boots!"
I got out about thirty-seven wipes and tried to clean the seat. I looked back at Squish and saw that he had pulled down his pants and undies. I turned my attention from the seat to Squish. I changed his undies and pants. I tried my best to dry the chair. I grabbed our things, corralled both boys, handed over our tickets to get on the plane and said, "I'm not sure if this is your job or if you can even do anything about it, but my son had an accident in that seat over there, and I tried to wipe it up with wipes, but you might want to send someone over to take a look."
The gate attendant said, "What's that? An accident? What?"
I said "My son had an accident. He peed his pants in that chair over there. I cleaned it up as best I could, but you all might want to have another look. [I am losing my mind, sir. We are very close to being home with my husband, which is what I want very badly, but there was a moment, about three minutes ago, when I wondered if we were actually going to miss our flight because I was trying to clean urine off of a chair with wet wipes. Did you catch that? I was trying to clean urine with wet wipes. Oh, and I forgot to mention that all the while my son was disrobing in public.]"
The gate attendant then opened his eyes wide and said, "Oh my goodness! You are a Super Mom!"
With that praise, I smiled and schlepped down to the plane with Bug, Squish, my enormous bag, and our shark stroller.
Thank you, man who works at Gate C52. That was exactly what I needed to hear today.