When you have three kids who are basically the same age, they kinda glob together into one mega kid who you assume gets enough specialness and attention from you.
And that’s mostly true. They like the same things, eat the same foods, bath together, and basically function like those two younger Kardashian sisters who haven’t made sex tapes yet.
But sometimes, for completely selfish reasons, I fantasize about functioning with just one kid, which tells you how exciting my life has become. Some people daydream about exotic beach vacations. I get off on thoughts about only have one kid to lug around Target.
Which is ironic because after I had Jude, I made a public declaration that I would never again be able to travel anywhere alone. I took my mom with me to the grocery store, mentally unable to process buying food and caring for a baby.
Then Wyatt and Gigi came, and I realized I could probably climb Everest or direct a foreign porno if I only had to drag one kid along. In fact, it’d be a treat.
Because Andy and I travel a lot, we decided to make it our summer goal to take each of them on a special trip. Wyatt loves Chicago and has been clamoring to ride on a train, which sounded great to me, because it’s a little quicker than car and I don’t have to, like, drive or pay attention to my surroundings.
I have very little immediate knowledge of trains outside Harry Potter, Polar Express or Pelum 123, so I assumed there’ll either be a candy cart, creepy versions of Tom Hanks serving hot chocolate, or we’re all going to be held hostage until we admit John Travolta’s wig looks totally natural.
In my opinion, if you aren’t in a hurry, trains are the way to go. They feel way less murdery than airplanes. The bathrooms are bigger. There’s a dining car so I don’t have to smell the jackass next to me eating peanuts. The seats are huge and recline like lazy boys, and every seat has a power outlet. You don’t have to check your bags, in fact, you don’t even go through security, which yes, is somewhat disturbing, but I guess we’re all operating on the assumption that trains are still for hobos, and bombs are way too heavy to carry in those little handkerchief bags they tie to sticks.
Three hours later, we were in the city, free to do all the Wyatt things Wyatt felt like doing.
Like playing games on Aunt Daisy’s phone without having my say things like, I CAN’T CUT AN IPHONE INTO THREE PIECES GUYS GET A JOB AND BUY YOUR OWN IPHONES OR LIKE I DON’T KNOW LOOK AT TREES OR TALK TO EACHOTHER OR SOMETHING.
We had planned to spend a day at the aquarium, but the line was really long, and if there is anything Wyatt and I have in common, it’s our mutual distaste for being crowded around and brushed up against by strangers, so instead, we made a bee line for the The Field Museum, which is basically a giant building full of dead shit that probably comes alive at night, exactly like Ben Stiller predicted.
“Why is her name Sue, she looks like a boy?”
“There were girl dinosaurs too, Wyatt.”
“I wish boys could lay eggs, so then all the dinosaurs could be guys.”
We all wish that, dude. I would love to stop laying eggs.
We spent about five hours wandering around the museum, and we didn’t get bored once. We learned about bugs and mass extinction and mummies and how Ghengis Kahn slaughtered people but also invented pants, but the most mystifying revelation happened in a stall in the crowded second floor bathroom.
Beasts bigger than our imagination roamed the Earth. Modern man evolved from hairy humanoids. We’ve found remnants from entire civilizations buried beneath the dirt. And yet, nothing blows a kid’s mind more than when you are forced to change your tampon in front of them in a tiny public restroom stall.
What are you doing?
Just turn around, Wyatt.
What is that?
A band-aid, mommy has an ouchie, turn around.
How do you even hurt yourself there?
I have no idea.
Maybe if you stop sticking things up there, it won’t bleed anymore.
Five hours and a $20 admission, it’s like he’s already a scientist.