My 2-year-old, Vivi, loves her daddy. I get it. He’s a dreamboat. When she wakes up (an hour too early for mommy), it’s daddy who makes her pancakes with syrup and ties her hair back so it doesn’t get sticky. It’s daddy who goes in to console her if she wakes up in the middle of the night. Daddy is tall and strong. Daddy has endless reserves of patience. If the ship’s sinking and Vivi’s holding one extra life ring, I better hope I don’t have far to swim. Daddy gets all the love.
So when the time came for a mommy getaway trip with 3 friends, I knew at least one of my children would be just fine with it.
But part of me hoped my 2-day absence would make Vivi’s heart grow fonder. I mean, sure daddy’s great when he pops in at the beginning or the end of the day, but can he handle an entire weekend? Cooking all the meals, cleaning all the crap, keeping them entertained… Seriously. The kids will be begging me to come home early.
Oh, a mother’s ego. The Mogo, if you will. Here’s how the weekend really went down.
8:45am: I say “Goodbye” to my sweet Vivi. She’s in daddy’s arms—gripping his bi-ceps and gazing at his stubble like it’s a field of lavender. My kisses go unnoticed.
9am: School drop off. Pearl pulls at my sweater, “Mommy don’t go!” Aww… Maybe I should take this one with me? Sweater-pulling lasts 30 seconds before she sees her friends and runs off. So much for that.
10am: First stop: Brooke Burke’s Booty Burn class. I successfully sweat enough to earn the right to those rich meals and bottles of wine I expect to consume.
11am: Brooke wishes us well on our girl’s weekend. “I’m jealous!” she says. Yeah. I’m thinking the same thing about her bod.
11:15am: We cruise down the PCH. Wide open road. Beach to the right of us, mountains to the left. My friend, who shall be known in this post as “Hard Rock” and I enjoy each other’s company. (We’re meeting the others there.) In the car we talk about something new and different— each other. Like, what we did before kids, and what we plan on doing once they’re all in school. We talk about our own childhoods, our parent’s childhoods. Oh, we go way back.
(It’s weird when the car seats are empty, isn’t it?)
1pm: We arrive at the beautiful St Regis Monarch Beach. Unexpected: The drop-dead gorgeous staff caters to our every need. Needs we never even knew we had. Like the need for a dark-skinned man in white gloves and brilliant azure eyes to serve us water as we wait to check in. Needs.
Time to Tweet! @stregismb we are here! @homemademimi let us know if you need anything! They say that to everyone don’t they?
1:30pm: Poolside with the second half of our party, who shall be known in this post as “Noise Machine” and “Wedges.” Named after items they brought with them or forgot to bring, respectively.
Just as I’m about to dive into a pile of fashion mags, Noise Machine informs us of a shooting that occurred not far from where we live. Suddenly, I want to run home to my babies. I should’ve been with them. I should always be with them–
1:31pm: Chiseled pool boys take our drink order. Daddy’s with them…
1:35pm: First round of drinks arrive. It’s not like I could’ve prevented it…
3pm: The best thing I can do for my family is to stay calm in a crisis. So for their sake, I head over to Spa Gaucin for my spa treatment: a 50-minute deep tissue massage. Ahhhh.
5pm: I call home. No answer. Hubby must be too frazzled to pick up. Poor guy.
6:30: Dinner at Stonehill Tavern. I ask server to take pictures of us with my camera. We review them, complaining about low light and bad angles. We ask for more pictures, this time outside. We review them, complaining about low light and bad angles.
6:45: I photograph the impressive wine display. Manager says, “You’ve shot the best ones; that’s a Chateau Margaux right there.” I smile proudly because I know what Chateau Margaux is! Story: a widow my father-in-law once dated shared a 1982 with him from her personal collection. That was when he realized she must be way more into him than he was into her, and (after consuming the wine, of course) he ended the relationship. I do not share this story with manager.
7pm: Chef showers us with complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Kale chips! Ceviche! Gruyere puffs! I wonder if this is the result of all my tweeting and picture-taking. If they’re smart they pay attention to the blogger with the camera taking close ups of the details, right?
7:30: My decadent lobster pot pie arrives and is promptly devoured. Dinner conversation: Noise machine tells us she brought a noise machine with her and that she plans on using it tonight. By the looks on everyone’s face you’d think she just announced she’d brought a pistol with her. Wanting to keep the convo flowing I say sometimes I use a white noise app on my iPhone. Hard Rock shoots me a look and asks if I plan on using it. I ask does she snore. She says no. I say fine then, no white noise.
8:00pm: More complimentary desserts from the chef. After second cream-based dessert Hard Rock says, “I don’t snore, but I might fart a lot.” We laugh. Hee Hee. “Fart.” Laughter dies down and I consider trading Hard Rock for Noise Machine. Reading my mind, Wedges shakes her head “No.”
10-ish: Full, happy and… exhausted. I could’ve gone to bed an hour ago. Afraid my friends will freeze my bra if I am the first one asleep, I sit with them in piano lounge and order another Monarch Martini even though crawling into bed in a pitch black room is worth more to me than a bottle of 1982 Chateau What’s-Her-Face. It was a fun-filled day, but my friends nicknamed me “Old Lady Abrahams” for a reason. Eventually, I find myself in bed and realize I should probably call my huzz ZZZZZZZ…..
8:40am: We wake up. Not 5 or 5:30 or 6 or even 7. EIGHT FUCKING FORTY. On our own. With no one tugging at our limbs demanding waffles and entertainment. We text Noise Machine and Wedges—they also slept in. We rejoice. It is the greatest thing that has happened to any of us all year.
10am: Leisurely coffee. Wedges gets a text from her husband that he succeeded in making his first ponytail in five years. We laugh. Guys, man. They want validation for every little thing. I call my husband prepared to hear a tear-filled tale of woe. Unexpected: They are in line at the zoo. Yup. Mommy? Who’s Mommy? AND they had BANANA BREAD for breakfast because daddy stayed up late last night and made it from scratch.
So naturally my children have no interest in talking to me. Which is fine because I am here to relax and have “me” time and not talk to them anyway.
3-6pm: Poolside. I “read” 10 magazines. I flip through them so fast I can just feel ADD shooting out of my fingertips. Hard Rock stays with one food magazine for the entire 3 hours. This is why she is a better cook than me.
6:30pm: Dinner downtown at Broadway by Amar Santana. I hit the bottle, drown my sorrows and learn a little Farsi while I’m at it. Ma’shala!
10pm: Attempt to crash a Persian wedding back at St Regis. Busted near the gift table. I learn another word: Na.
6am. Wake up. 6am. NOT 8:40. The universe wants to prepare me for this cold hard fact: I will never get a solid 8 hours again. *sigh.
11am: On the road again. We get lost leaving Laguna but no biggie, there’s still so much more to talk about. Like the fact that Kevin the flamboyant party planner from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills did Hard Rock’s wedding flowers. Yes, he is real. Chi chi chi chi chi chi chi chi!!! This is the single greatest piece of meaningless information I have ever heard.
1pm: I arrive home. What a wonderful trip. My husband’s proficiency at full-time childcaring turned out to be a huge relief. The kids had fun, and I feel rejuvenated and well-bonded with my girlfriends. I have the World’s Best Hubby. And you know what? He’s way more foxy than that exotic Fantasy Island guy with the white gloves. I thank him profusely and profess my undying love. And then I hear Vivi wake up from her nap. Let me get her, I say. She’s been away from mommy for so long. She’s going to be so happy to see me.
1:15pm: Vivi sees me and screams for 45 minutes straight. It’s sounds like this: “No!!! No Mommy!!! Mommy go away!!!! I want daddddddeeeeee!” Knives to the heart.
Should I have breastfed longer? I only went 19 months with her. Maybe she’d feel more connected to me if I had endured the biting and stuck it out till 23, 72 months?
If I were the first person she saw in the morning, the one to cook her breakfast and satiate her hungry belly, would she love me more?
Should I not have gone away?
6am-7pm: I spend the entire day trying to wriggle my way back into Vivi’s good graces. We go to the park, we wander every which way she wants, we tickle, we laugh, we play and eventually, she forgives me. But I’m not gonna lie. I did use a few cookies. “Do you want mommy to get you another one?”
Also, “Look at this jar of honey Mommy got you from the St. Regis!” And “ Do you want this yummy chocolate they left on Mommy’s pillow?”
Awful, just awful.
I should have gone away. I’m glad I went away. This trip was important. And I will do it again.
My friends try to make me feel better by saying her freakout was just her way of punishing me. Some say it’s just a phase and she’ll grow out of it. Some say it’s because daddy isn’t around as much as I am so he’s like a magical phantom and magical phantoms are fascinating (think “unicorns”) but in reality I am her rock.
This kid is pure love. She’s Dimples Mcgee. She beams, she bursts, she overflows with joy. She’s my sweet, sweet cookie and despite my relentless affection for her, she still likes daddy better.
But the truth is, I get so much pleasure watching her love someone so much and I love him so much too that it really doesn’t matter. The bond they share is truly a beautiful gift. So she loves daddy more. And I’m OK with that.
Although when hubby started talking about the guy’s weekend he wants to take in September I quickly told him I thought it was a GREAT idea.
“Take all the time you need, babe.”