Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fear and Loathing in DC (or) I May Have Earned Another Gold Mom Star

I have a very good friend who lives in Alexandria. If you are not aware this town is near/on the edge of DC. She has been campaigning for me to come visit her for about two years now. At first my excuses were the typical, "I'm just so busy..." or "This month is booked, let's try and set something up a couple months from now..." After this excuse I would have to ignore her emails for a bit. Either way, I was dodging the inevitable, driving in the general direction, and to the out skirts of, Washington DC.

I have an irrational and unfounded fear of DC. Well, I guess it is not so unfounded. The first time I ever...EVER drove there it literally took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to figure out how to leave. To me DC is like some sort of black hole filled with crime, destruction and general scary stuff. (I know I am overreacting on most accounts here, but it's what I picture so there you have it.)

My friend caught me with my guard down and I agreed to drive to Alexandria with Parker to meet her for lunch. (deep breath deep breath- just the thought makes me light headed.)

Parker and I start our day as normal- gym, bottle, shower and then were we on our way to the DC area. We are about 20 minutes from home and running a little late (see previous entry on leaving the house in a timely manner ha!) when I realized I had to pee. Here I am faced with the choice to hold it when I am driving to a place I have never been, which is located in a land that terrifies me. I fear how long I will actually have to hold it and what if I get to the point where I may be about to burst and am in the depths of the city, would the corner bum let me use his bench as a potty?!
Before it got to that point, I pulled over at a WAWA in a familiar area and got P-man our of his seat heading to the bathroom.

It was a little odd using the potty with a babbling baby who just learned how to do raspberries sitting on your lap, but I'm a mom and it's what we do.

I managed to get my pants down without a problem. I managed to pull them back up with out a problem, however, I was wearing jeans.

I stood there for about a minute holding Parker, pants up- unbuttoned trying to figure out exactly how to button my pants with one hand. Parker was oblivious as he was still blowing raspberries on my face and was therefore no help what so ever. I tried several times to button my pants with one hand to no avail.
I tried pulling the zipper up and then button them- no luck.
I even tried to convince myself that if I just held Parker down low and walked to out quickly, I would be able to get to my car without anyone noticing.
I ended up balancing Parker between the toilet paper dispenser and my own stomach and saying a quick prayer while buttoning my pants. All is well and we left the WAWA and headed toward the dreaded DC area.

We got there just fine, had a nice lunch and visit with my friend. Since we got there ok, I figured we would be a-ok on the way out. However, I figured wrong.

Much like a lot of cities, you cannot really go the way you came because of one way streets and dead ends. Any logical person- or if I were not already a insanly apprehensive about being in the city, I-probably would have been able to figure out how to get out with no problem. However, since I had been trapped in DC once before, I immediately went into panic mode and started sweating as my eyes filled with tears. I also cannot be held responsible for the words coming out of my mouth at that moment in time.
I tried calling my friend, but her cell phone died while we were out and she did not have the charger. I tried calling Josh, although I do not know what he would have done, he has never been to Alexandria.

As I am driving around in a frantic panic I hear unmistakable grunts from P-man in the back. His face was turning red and he was making his signature poop-face.

Despite my destine and fear of DC, I am an excellent parallel parker. So I whip my Santa Fe into a spot as traffic is whizzing by. My plan was to get in the back so I could change the monkey.
I look up and I see someone loading stuff into the back of a truck. My first thought is, "Great I will ask him for directions!"

In hind sight I realize this man may have been robbing the store he was in front of as he was moving quickly and seemed generally shifty- who knows, maybe I am stereotyping- I was scared. Although, given my mental state at that moment, he is lucky I did not just get out and pepper spray him. I am sure he saw me pull up in front of the "No Parking" sign and attempt to exit my vehicle despite the thundering traffic and thought "Dumb suburban mom."

When there was a break in traffic I got out and asked him out to get to 495 or mainly Maryland. He told me to stay straight and stay in the right lane and follow signs to Baltimore.


Stay straight- correct

Follow signs to Baltimore- correct

Stay in the right lane- WRONG

I basically ended up driving horizontally across a vertcial traffic pattern to get to the exit. I some how ended up on Rt. 50 meaning I got home from DC by way of Annapolis. For those of you not familiar with the area, that is like going from California to Texas by way of Ohio.

I am writing this though so we are home safe.

Disclaimer- Alexandria is actually very cute, kind of like Annapolis or a small New England town- clearly not the crime riddled picture I have in my mind. I mean they have a Starbucks and people leash up their dogs while they go inside to grab a latte.

Mom hint- I always have a couple Zip-Lock bags in my diaper bag for just situations like this, messy diapers and no where to throw them away. I toss the soiled diaper and wipes in the Zip-Lock until I come to a trash can. These bags are also useful if clothes get wet with drool or soiled from an explosive situation. They take up virtually no room in the diaper bag, but can be SUCH a life saver.

There you have it.