A Boy Named Sue

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.

 Waiting at Platform 9 3/4ths.

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.

Or eating Ghirardelli sundaes for breakfast.

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.

“When I grow up, can I be Darwin?” Seriously guys, how did I get a kid this fucking cool?

They keep the narwhals next to the Pepsi machines. This must be some kind of marketing scheme to try and lure me into not being terrified of them through my addiction to Diet Pepsi. Nice try, Earth.

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.

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        • says

          Whatever it is Brittany, keep it to yourself. It’s taken me 33 years to get over my fear of earwigs. Okay?

          And Saturday morning, I took my dog out for his morning walk… it was like the grub apocalypse. It. Was. Horrifying. Wtf happened?? Where did they all come from?!

      • says

        our town had like a big earwig infestation last year…i don’t know if screaming would all you would have been doing lol it was like the movie ‘the birds’ but only w earwigs. *shudder*

        • Mommy says

          I don’t know what an earwig or grub is, but please don’t tell me. But the worst bug of all is a potato bug. They are inside-out alien bugs and can eat your face off. Once one dared to be in front of my house, so I picked it up with a shovel, screaming, and threw it in the street. The mofo was then run over by a car, and WALKED AWAY after. Omg. Obviously, we moved that afternoon.

          Look:
          http://www.potatobugs.com/pix/potatobug_13.html

          (Shudder)

          Anyway, you are an awesome mom. That is so special that he got a trip just with you! What great memories that he will cherish forever. Also, I think he’s on to something about how we make it stop bleeding. Your kid is rad.

  1. liza says

    awww …kids are so awesome and honest…. Mine are grown *sniff* but when they were little they called my tampons ‘privacies’ (cuz i’d always yell ‘turn around i need my privacy!!’)…so they’d be in the grocery store yelling ‘mom, do you need any privacies?’ :)

  2. sheya says

    Since you like reading, and you liked the Field Museum you should try the Dresden series. It’s about a wizard, in Chicago, modern day. In fact I think you may really like them.

  3. says

    So great you got a chance to spend the day with just one child. I know how rare that is. Love your various statements like “a giant building of dead shit”….amen to that. Amazing that we are fascinated with dead stuff. Must be something wrong with us. And…”Why is her name Sue?” Kids just have the best-est questions, don’t they!! Love that little man of yours.
    And that last comment had me giggling….I remember the first time I had to change a large yucky pad with two boys under age 6 in a public bathroom with me. “OHHHH MOMMY, you are bleeding. Are you gonna die?” Of course I wanted to say “Yes dear Mommy is gonna die if she doesn’t stop bleeding like a stuck Hog!!” But instead I said, “No, Mommy isn’t going to die. This is a special bleeding that only Mommies get to have. It means we can have more little boys if Daddy and I decide to.” To which one child responded, “What about a little girl? Can we have one of those too?” Gotta love those kids!!

  4. Patty (april's friend and your new girlfriend) says

    Thank you for the laugh…God know I needed it this week. You’re the best!

  5. erica says

    I told my Mom recently if I would have known how “easy” it was to get shit done with one kid I would have gotten out more when our oldest was a baby. I get so little time with little guy that when my Mom takes our daughter it is like Christmas with the baby. “yay I have ONE of you what do you want to do 14 month toddler? The world is our oyster!” If only I’d known .

  6. Tara says

    Haa! My son, who just turned 3, gets bloody noses occasionally. A couple of weeks ago I had a little emergency and had to drag my 3 kids (3 and under) into a public restroom stall. My son said, “Mommy, you have a bloody nose in your pants?”. Kids are hilarious.

  7. Melissa says

    Gah, When I was about 6 my mom had her period and didnt flush, I went to see whats up and she was curled up in bed moaning. I called the police….

    • Jessica says

      Melissa, your story made me laughing so hard I snorted. Oh my…I can only imagine. Sounds like something my 7 yr old would do.

  8. says

    If you really want to scar them for life, try emptying your Diva cup in the shared public restroom stall.

    Good times.

    Great post, as usual. We are big fans of the Field Museum, love it there!

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