Monday, July 18, 2011

Bag Lady

“I’m done carrying this,” Natalie explained. She dropped her pink backpack at my feet. It didn’t occur to her that I would refuse to help her out.

The problem was I already was struggling with my own backpack, a suitcase, a carry on bag and my purse. Traveling without Tom is not always easy. If he were there I’d have handed him Natalie’s backpack. He’s a soldier and is used to walking many miles with heavy crap on his back.

“Natalie, you’ll have to carry it,” I insisted. “I can’t.”

Natalie scowled. She crossed her arms over her chest. It always amazes me how she can go from sweet to sour in seconds.

“Come on, Natalie,” I tried again. “Do you want your mother to look like a bag lady?” I probably looked frightening. I could feel my hair standing up on the top of my head. I could feel wetness on my neck. Oh my God, I was bleeding. The backpack must’ve been digging so much in my skin and—

Oh wait, it was just sweat. I stared at the glassy film on my fingertips that I had just swiped across my neck. Gross.

“I’m already sweating like crazy,” I said.

Natalie was unmoved. She just plopped on the floor, waiting her snack. I had picked up donuts at Dunkin Donuts—I always do this when we fly out of San Antonio.

“Is Natalie in trouble?” Tommy asked. Tommy! I could ask HIM to carry Natalie’s backpack. But…well, it’s not that my son is weak or anything. It’s…okay, he’s a little on the weak side. He already had his backpack, plus his own suitcase. If I handed him Natalie’s backpack he could topple over. He’s one of those tall and skinny types even though he tries like mad to build muscle (I try to explain that lifting my 3 lb weights for only two seconds won’t do much but he doesn’t believe me.)

“She’s not in trouble but she’s wearing on my patience,” I replied, settling down beside her. I opened the Dunkin Donuts bag and breathed in the deliciousness. Is there nothing better than fresh donuts? We washed our hands and then I handed the kids their chocolate donuts and pulled out my Boston Cream. I love Boston Cream donuts. Plus I bought some iced hot chocolate to wash it all down. I took a bite of my donut and…some of the custard spit out from the other side and landed on my pants.


So not only did I look like a disheveled mess, I also was a disheveled mess who was a slob.

“You’re messy,” Tommy said cheerfully. He should talk. He had a ring of chocolate icing around his mouth.

“I’m done,” Natalie said, pushing her donut away. She eats like a bird. She’ll take a few bites and then insists she’s finished.

“That’s a perfectly good donut right there,” I reminded her.

“I’m,” Natalie said firmly, “DONE.”

Well, excuse me.

I ate the rest of her donut because hello, wasting Dunkin Donuts is a sin.

We were riding on Southwest so we had to line up soon after. I tried to put Natalie’s backpack on her but she wiggled free. So I was left carrying it. I slung it over my arm and acted as though I weren’t about to keel over at any second.

“If I start to tip over, push me back upright,” I whispered to Tommy.

And Natalie. Well, she was just happily dancing in place. It must be nice to dance in place and not have to worry about holding anything.

Luckily the kids behaved on our flight from Texas to Oklahoma.

And then we were home.

Where it’s been over 100 degrees for 20 days or something like that.

Hotter than TEXAS, people.

Anyway, that’s all the traveling I plan to do for awhile.

And now I’m ready for school to start.


  1. I will start off by saying ... I really hate people who do this to me :)) But here goes ....

    I have kids that are 5, 4, & 4. We now live in California and all the favorite cousins are in Texas and we travel back and forth ... I can NOT handle all the "stuff" so I have to rely on the kiddos to do their share ... and that means they MUST carry their back packs. My trick ... I always insist that a favorite toy is IN the back pack. When they pull that ... they know that I will walk away from the back pack and leave it on the floor ... I just tell them "... that means you are going to leave "X" for someone to take home ..."

    It has worked every time ... of course I have to admit ... I've only had to use it twice.

    I hope your weather gets better soon!!

  2. Your patience with that girl AMAZES me.

    I am more patient with my daughter than with my sons, but still.

  3. UGH.....I've been there and done that! And it sucks!
    I travel with my son alone and he refuses to help with anything.
    He's now Tommy's age and will help a little.
    Glad you made it home....Don't melt away in that horrid heat!
    And can't start soon enough for me too.

  4. Glad you made it home without any trouble! I can't wait for school to start either. And the heat here in the East is oppressive too. ugh.

  5. Oh poor you- (and I mean that sincerely) can you imagine maybe one day only having you and Tom to worry about???? What the heck will we do when it's really an empty nest?
    I am fast leaning to the side of "It will freaking R.O.C.K."

    I have been raising kids for like thirty years. Boo. LOL, but I love them. Sometimes I just get tired. It's ok, you're allowed:)

  6. I feel your pain - I always look like a pack mule. Ugh!

  7. Traveling with kids was never "relaxing" for me. It was work. You are a saint!!!!

  8. It's no wonder we love our moms so much! :-) I have two grown daughters and these moments happen to the best of us. My daughters lovingly had middle names of "brat." Again, in a loving way. haha I love those brats! Glad you made in home without being sliced apart by all the straps.

  9. I admire you, traveling with two little kids sans husband. I can't get to my car with my kid without my husband, so you're my hero! :)

  10. I was going to suggest dangling the doughnut in front of her by a fishing pole attached to the backpack device, but the bird-like eating habits would have foiled the plan anyway. Good job just rolling with the chaos. Sometimes you've got to pick your battles.

  11. You're a way nicer mom than I am. I would have told her that if she wasn't carrying it, it was staying right there on the ground! Of course then you'd have had to deal with the inevitable screaming fit. . . hmmm. Well, at least there were doughnuts to make everything better!

  12. sounds like what happens when me and my girl fly sans husband. only now I have a newborn too. we're flying {Southwest!} in Sept... I'm already dreading it a little.

  13. Hello bag lady! Your writing was fun to read! I'm glad you made it back. I think I'm in need of a donut. :)

  14. Is it terrible that I want to tell you that I would have left the backpack there and walked away?

    Truth is, as much as I'd have wanted to do that, I don't know that I could have!

  15. Welcome home!!!

    Sorry about your hotter than hot weather though. That's just crazy HOT!!!

    This is the first summer vacation in a long time that I'm 100% enjoying! No stress and The Bella is being remarkably great! Which means I've just jinxed myself........*great*

  16. I'm ready for school to start too. My kids go back a week from today whoot whoot

    I LOVE the line "wasting Dunkin Donuts is a sin." --sooo true ;)

  17. Glad you survived the trip! *offers another half-finished Dunkin Donut* :D

  18. I too often feel like the bag lady. Isn't it so frustrating how our kids have the ability to get exactly what they want?! I always fall for the "can I bring this" line....and I get stuck with whatever it is they brought. I think I just have "sucker" on my forehead. :)

  19. The patients of a Saint! :)
    *I always tell Jerk Face that I feel like a pack mule! I somehow get stuck carrying all of the crap and he carries LB... how does THAT happen?!

  20. This is why I love mountains. It's been in the 70-80s all week here. Yes, we have had some 90 weather, but no 100s. Thank Goodness!! Hope you're air conditioner is working great. ;)

  21. Boston Cream are my fav too!

    The heat has been awful here in Florida too, so I sympathize!


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