If I had to spend four hours of my Sunday sitting in a meat locker (and I did) at least I had a blue ribbon to show for it. Or more accurately, Paige had a blue ribbon to show for it, having won first place in her first ever figure skating competition.
Like any good First World mother in 2016, I deleted selfies and screen-shots of inspirational memes from my iPhone to make room for this momentous occasion. I snapped the picture below, which I immediately posted to Facebook, and beamed as the likes came pouring in.
What a great mom I am! How awesome is my daughter!? Not so fast, homegirl.
It was one of those divide and conquer weekends of parenting where each parent thinks they drew the short straw. I for sitting in the aforementioned meat locker; Geoff for minding Isaac while Isaac continuously head-butted him in the balls and begged for cartoons all day in a room temperature environment.
By the time we arrived for dinner at another couple's house, we were doing that thing where you're mid-domestic row, but for the sake of decorum must instantly pretend you're not arguing the moment your friends open the door. Sometimes these forced interruptions successfully abort an argument. More often though, they just help it marinate and gain texture and flavor so it can be resumed with gusto the moment you're alone again.
Unfortunately, this situation fell into the latter category.
On the way home from dinner, Isaac grabbed all three of Paige's ribbons (two third places and one first place) and hurled them into the front of the car. Screaming and crying ensued, amid lectures about THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!, and how WE DON'T THROW THINGS IN THE CAR!
When we got home and failed to locate the blue ribbon anywhere in the vehicle, there was generalized dismay and incredulity that something special in the children's possession for all of half a day was already gone. A stream of profanity-laced invective came hurling from my mouth, followed by admonitions not to be profane, a four-way quid pro quo and tit-for-tatting about who was more affronted and by what, and empty threats to sleep in hotels and run away from home.
I was sad the ribbon was already gone, but I was more annoyed with myself for taking what had up to that point been a nice memory and shitting all over it in the space of twelve hours.
As if sensing this very anxiety, Paige bellowed between sobs "I'M NEVER SKATING AGAIN!!!!," to which I responded very maturely that "IN THAT CASE, WE SHOULD JUST GIVE AWAY ALL YOUR SKATING EQUIPMENT AND OUTFITS RIGHT NOW!"
The following morning, I apologized and asked Paige if she was permanently scarred and thought she might need therapy someday because her mother had cursed like a maniac and thrown an adult temper tantrum over a missing ribbon. I then asked myself (silently) whether such a question in and of itself would be the subject of future therapy.
She smiled politely and said no, but I'm pretty sure she was lying just to be nice.
Final Score: Life: 1. Me: 0.