Report from Headquarters
Yesterday I hopped on Priceline to book a hotel for our big weekend away. I bid a little higher than normal and asked for a three-star room, in hopes of snagging a reservation at a joint that has a pool. I’ve used Priceline a lot and it’s a hit-or-miss affair. Last time we used it, we ended up with a beautiful suite, access to a pool, and a free breakfast – all for around $55.00.
I put in my bid and then voila – I have a room at a Hilton. So, I dig up the website for that location. It turns out that we get to pay an additional $22.00 for parking. Sa-weet! Then I click around some more and find that the hotel has a full-blown water park inside. And everyone is welcome . . . if they have purchased a water park package. Well, there is no way I am going to explain to a three-year-old that there is a water park in the same building but that we can’t go because we don’t have the right type of package. Honestly, I’d rather eat glass.
So, I call the hotel to plead my case. The woman who answers the phone tells me that if I call the day of our arrival, I have a shot at buying water park passes separately (depending on how many people have purchased the magical “package” for that day). The passes are $18.00 each. I will call as instructed on the kid’s birthday and let’s just say that the only answer I’ll be accepting is “Yes, Mrs. M, how soon can you pick them up?”
Let me see here. Between the room fee and the parking and the water park passes, I saved . . . ah, divide by 3, carry the 2 . . . oh yeah: zero dollars using Priceline.
In other news, I also ordered the oft-mentioned pink cake. A few days ago I picked the kid up from daycare and then we stopped at a little bakery called “Bake My Day.” (Get it? Ha ha!) I told the woman that we need a pink cake and she flipped through a binder of cake designs until she found one that is all kinds of pink. Pink pink pink with pink accents. “We’ll take it,” I told her.
Just then the kid announced that she needed to go potty. I asked the nice bakery lady if we could use the bathroom, explaining that the kid is newly potty-trained. Apparently she has walked this road before and was sympathetic to our plight. She directed us into the back room and pointed to the employee bathroom. The shelving in the bathroom was piled high with cookie cutters and other bakery-specific stuff. So here I was, crouched next to the toilet in this claustrophobic little space, waiting for my daughter to empty her bladder. “I gotta wipe my gyna,” she informed me. This was good, because wiping is not that high on her priority list.
On our way out, it dawned on the kid that we were not, in fact, taking a pink cake home with us at that time. “No, it’s for your birthday. We just ORDERED the cake. The lady has to make it.” She proceeded to disintegrate into toddler meltdown mode so I did what any good parent would do: I bought her a cookie.
I still had a few more errands to run, so ten minutes later we were at Target. The kid was sitting in the front of the cart as I compared the merits of various chewable vitamins. “Mama, I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Okay, there is no way you have to go, because you just went at the bakery. Remember?” I mean, I’m no psychic or anything, but I KNEW she didn’t have to pee (or anything else for that matter). My youngest sister was like this at the same age. She was bound and determined to see the inside of every public restroom in the entire metropolitan DC area.
This time A got significantly louder. “MAMA, I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!” I could tell that other shoppers were looking at me like, “Wow, what kind of jerk doesn’t let her kid use the toilet?” I thought of that scene in the movie “Sybil” where the unspeakably abusive mother ties Sybil to the piano for hours and won’t let her use the bathroom.
So of course I wheeled her over to the Target bathroom and hoisted her up onto the potty where, predictably, she announced “I’m done” about .036 seconds later.
It occurs to me that, even though I am paid by a small corporation for my work as a project manager, my true and actual boss is three feet tall, with curly hair and a surly attitude.