When people ask me what it’s like to have two very small children, this is my answer: It’s like the last 30 minutes of Con Air. It’s over-the-top, everyone has terrible hair, and it never seems to end.
It’s hard to explain, so I’ll try my best to illustrate it in a series of scenarios. These are real-life examples of me and my family interacting with the outside world:
GOING TO A NORMAL BACKYARD BARBECUE AT THE HOME OF NICE FRIENDS.
We plow our 20-seat church van through the fence and skid to a screeching halt in the middle of the backyard. In the process, we’ve knocked over the grill and sent firey coals flying into a pile of dry leaves. The pile, then the deck, then the wooden house are suddenly engulfed in flames. I check my phone and realize our friends house is actually two streets over and the barbecue was actually three weeks ago. We consider this a win.
GOING TO A REGULAR PIZZA PLACE AT 4:00PM ON A NORMAL SATURDAY.
We plow our 20-seat church van through the back wall and skid to a screeching halt in the middle of the restaurant. Our oldest has already spilled a gallon of ice water before we’re even seated at the table. We ask our server for the check, beer, ten pizzas, and more ice water (in that order). The children are ravenous, even though they just tongued all the Parmesan cheese out of the shaker.
The pizzas come, and then they’re gone. The kids are screaming for more. We need more pizza. Like, now.
The pizzas aren’t coming out fast enough. Everyone on staff, including the hostess, is shoveling pizzas into the wood-burning oven. My husband takes off his shirt and joins them. One of the servers, who has a family history of heart conditions, collapses to the floor. A barback’s arm flies off and lands on my daughter’s plate. She eats it.
In its 50 years of service, the wood burning pizza oven has never known such demand. It starts to shake and buckle under the weight of all the dough and sausage. The family restaurant that’s been passed down for three generations catches fire. A massive fireball roars out of the kitchen and wipes out everyone in the dining area… except for us because we’re encased in a protective tank of disgusting ice water backwash.
We swim back to the van, grateful that this dinner outing went a lot smoother than last weekend’s.
WATCHING NETFLIX AFTER THE KIDS HAVE GONE TO BED.
We search for the remote control in the pile of ashes and debris. When I find it, I point it to the sky (there’s no more roof), yell “ACTIVATE ‘SCHITT’S CREEK,'” and then fall asleep for an eternity.
GOING TO A NICE MUSEUM ON A REGULAR WEEKEND.
We plow our 20-seat church van through the doors and come to a screeching halt in the middle of the History of Gasoline exhibit. We all light cigarettes.
Author’s note: This post was started two years ago [insert 2-year-long extended version of Con Air] and actually published today. Thank you for your patience.