Right before I fulfilled my parental duty of retrieving my child from school on Friday, Henry came home and began to gather up all of the dirty clothes to take to the Laundromat, which annoyed me because it meant he was going to be gone for like, two hours! On my day off! We barely get to see each other during the week, so I was not cool with this.
So after I brought Chooch home, the poor kid had just gotten comfortable in front of the computer, when I screamed, “OMG WE SHOULD GO STALK DADDY AT THE LAUNDROMAT!” Chooch thought this was a horrible idea because it involved us walking more than 20 feet. So I called him lazy, bribed him with ice cream and money, and he eventually caved.
This Laundromat is a mile or so away, I figured. And I know that there are safer ways to get there on foot, but I chose the way that made the most sense in my directionally-challenged head, because it only required us to make two turns. What it also required was us walking down a very busy road with little-to-no sidewalk. I never understood this since there are TWO HIGH SCHOOLS on this road! Isn’t that a thing that kids do—walk home from school? You’d think a road might be more accommodating. There are also several bends in the road so cars oftentimes came flying at us seemingly out of nowhere. I kept making Chooch walk further and further off of the side of the road until he started screaming at me for making him get burrs all over his shoes and socks and then OMG ONE GOT STUCK TO HIS HAND! It’s times like these, when nature-things are involved, that I am reminded how similar we are to one another.
And then, god forbid, a BUTTERFLY popped out of NOWHERE and that little sissy lala screamed like it was actually Jason Voorhees with wings, because he hates butterflies, you guys. Like, a lot.
I was going to DRAW a map until I remembered that maps already exist on the Internet.
I mean, that seems like a simple walk, right? MapQuest told me that it’s 1.58 miles and was supposed to take us 38 minutes but I think it might have taken us longer because Chooch tends to forget where he is and he will start walking in this slow, dreamlike cadence and ask me rambling questions about what my favorite insect is and then he will say his is the Kimodo Dragon and we will have a huge argument about how that is not an insect.
Meanwhile, I was so afraid we were going to get hit by a car and Henry would spend the rest of his life thinking we were walking to the Laundromat because we wanted to spend time with him since we love him and miss him so much—-wait, he totally wouldn’t think that. He would know for sure that we had our typical asshole-motives for walking down McNeilly Avenue during prime afternoon traffic.
(FYI: Spellcheck keeps automatically capitalizing Laundromat. Thank you for teaching me that it’s a proper noun, Spellcheck. OR IS IT?!)
Then I had to stop and buy Chooch his stupid “frozen treat”, as he kept calling it. But the shitty gas station had a minimum to use a credit card, so I ended up having to use his promised $5 to buy his stupid “frozen treat”, but he had totally forgotten about that part of the deal by then anyway.
And then it was finally time!
Turned out that Henry was all the way in the back watching Family Feud, so this allowed Chooch and I to slip in through the front door and trench-crawl around aisles of washing machines, popping up every now and then to snap some pictures. (Chooch’s turned out AWESOME. Sike.) Our stalking unfortunately was cut short because CHOOCH hasn’t quite learned to stifle his giggles on the war field, so Henry eventually caught on. (Eventually = 30 seconds.)
Subject turns upon hearing mysterious yet familiar choked chortles.
And then we were totally busted, thanks Chooch. I knew I should have left him at home! (I mean, it’s OK to leave a 7-year-old home alone if there are cats in the house too, right? And pretzels?) So then Chooch wasted more money in the vending machine and watched too-young cartoons on the complimentary telly while I ran around taking pictures like I’ve never been in a Laundromat before (this is almost true since Henry does all of the laundry, all of the time).
Once Henry found out that we walked down McNeilly, he got all Fatherly and started lecturing me about how dangerous and stupid that was. YEAH I KNOW, OK. THAT IS WHY THE WORD “HINDSIGHT” WAS INVENTED.
“I didn’t think you two would actually walk all of the way here to help me,” Henry mumbled dejectedly.
Then I got bored and decided it was time to walk back home (a safer way this time!). I thought for sure Chooch would hang back and come home with Henry in the car, but he was all, “No, I love you more than daddy. He can rot. Let’s go!”
Ha-ha, look at the Dance Gavin Dance pin on his collar. I made him wear that to school.
After Henry came home with a thousand loads of laundered clothes, we went to dinner at Hanni’s Place, which is my new go-to for cheap American fare. They serve an outstanding veggie burger dumped with some mean coleslaw on a fresh Cellone’s (local bakery, OK?) buns, the waitress was pleasant without being overbearing or too interrupt-y, and who I can only assume was Hanni himself even came out from the kitchen to thank us for coming in. That’s a place I want to support. A thankful place with good coleslaw, I guess.
Henry couldn’t find a single thing to complain about it, and he he is one of those super crotchety complainer types that can take a five star meal and whittle its merits down to your basic Happy Meal.
Chooch thought he was so cool for ordering beer cheese fries and then proceeded to call forth eight different personalities to entertain us. It was exhausting. But not so exhausting that I couldn’t later walk down the street to CVS to rent absolutely nothing from Red Box! By the time I went to bed that night, I had accumulated a little over nine miles on my pedometer, and that doesn’t count the first walk to and from school that morning because I hadn’t yet put on my pedometer.
What a productive day off! I’ve already decided on my next day off, I’m going to sit on my front steps and wait for Purple Pants to walk by, and then I’m going to follow her around all day because I need to know where she goes.