As a mom to four kids you learn something pretty fast. You learn you can never ever ever NEVER go out of town. The only exception to that rule is if you take your kids with you. Then you CAN go out of town but you want to kill yourself in the process. So basically you lose either way so you might as well stay home.
That’s what I normally do.
Except this time.
I left a day and a half ago for Palm Springs to attend Camp Mighty.
My friend Heather picked me up from LAX and we drove the three hours to the desert. On the way we were invited by McDonald’s to stop and visit the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda. There, we learned all about Ronald McDonald House charities and how they help so many families. We toured their amazing two story house and met one of the families. As I sat on the sofa in the comfy family room and listened to their heartbreaking story I cried like a baby. I’ve always known that these houses were around and I kinda knew what they were about, but I had no idea the extent of their generosity and support for families with sick kids. I left there wanting to give them all of my money. And then when I realized I needed to pay my electric bill and oh yeah, COLLEGE FOR FOUR KIDS, I decided I would just give a little shout out to them instead. So. If you are looking for ways to give back to the world then you really should check out the Ronald McDonald House Charities. And if there’s one in your city go visit and take a tour. They’re changing people’s lives. Seriously.
OK, so back to going out of town.
Before I left I typed a 3-page document outlining the kids’ schedules, curfews, yada yada yada…to make it easier for Patricia, the sitter, who would move into the house and become ME for a few days. (Sucker!)
After reading over what I’d written I realized something. My kids are ridiculously spoiled. It’s disgusting. And you know what? It’s all my fault.
Here. Read this. I actually typed THESE WORDS.
Riley likes a healthy lunch. So use the 100-calorie bread, with Dijonnaise and 4 turkey slices. She likes provolone–not the colby jack. Harley prefers the colby jack over the provolone. Oh, and Harley likes mustard–not Dijonnaise. Remember Ethan’s peanut allergy so no PB&J for him, although Harley likes a different kind of sandwich each day. So PB&J would be another option for her. But she doesn’t like PB&J on the wheat bread. Use the white bread when making PB&J and the wheat when making the turkey and colby jack. But not the 100-calorie bread–that’s for Riley. Ethan really doesn’t like sandwiches all that much so you can pack him chicken noodle soup in a thermos. You know what? I’ll just make all the lunches ahead of time and put them in the fridge. So go ahead and skip this part about making lunches.
Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
When I was sure I hadn’t missed any important details about our daily routine, I laid the 3-page document on the kitchen counter, made lunches for the rest of the week, and ran upstairs and hurriedly packed my bag and then got the hell outta there as fast as I could. It was the first time I seriously considered never coming back. OK it wasn’t the first, but can you blame me? I mean look at these people I work for! They’re like slave owners. WHO ARE PAID. BY THE SLAVE! The whole thing is completely messed up. I have no idea how I even got here.
Anyway, so things are going well at home…as far as I know…I turned off my phone as soon as I got in the car to leave. They could have Patricia tied up in the basement or burned down the house by now. I don’t really care, I’m in California, don’t bother me.
OK so I don’t have my phone turned off, but it’s a nice thought.
Which leads me to this.
Last night the phone rang. It was Patricia. Since I’d already checked in with everyone I knew this wasn’t going to be a call I wanted to answer. But I did anyway.
Hi, Shauna? Sorry to bother you, but Harley? She has the lice.
Yes. Lice. All in her head.
Oh my god that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. Lice? Are you SURE?
Yes. The eggs. I see them.
Well run to CVS and get the lice shampoo! And boil the sheets! And vacuum the house! And check Ethan’s head too! Oh my god I need to come home. Why did I go out of town?
No, it’s OK. I can handle this. I just wanted to let you know.
And then she hung up. Immediately I had Heather check my head for lice (we’re sharing a hotel room–lucky her). And so far I don’t have it. But I do feel like throwing up.
My phone rang a few more times. But it wasn’t Patricia. It was the older girls, freaking out and worrying they were going to get lice from Harley.
You know what? I think I *will* turn off my phone. Because so far nothing good has come from me answering it.
My head is itching so bad. Seriously.