Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Secret Service Agent

Two weekends ago I went on my annual trip with a high school girlfriend.  Each year, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, we meet in a spot, somewhere between San Francisco and Dallas, that meets all of our four main criteria: good food, good shopping, good spas, and good wine.  This year we ventured to Vegas where where the bright lights of The Strip mesmerized us into believing that we were young 20-somethings with the ability to go clubbing until three in the morning.  I felt much like Katherine Hegel's sister in Knocked Up.  At what age does drinking and dancing alongside people that recently earned the right to vote and buy cigarettes just become sad?

However, since returning home I have paid deeply for my parenting transgression, the one where I don't spend every hour of every day in the company of my children.  While my 5-year-old missed me and was ecstatic to have the parent who knows how to properly brush her hair and butter her bagel home, she admitted that the Daddy-Daughter weekend was fun (I believe that they had chocolate croissants for at least two meals each day).  

The 3-year-old sand a slightly different tune.  "Oh Mommy, I never want you to go anywhere ever again! I'm going to stay right by you forever and ever!" 

She truly meant every word.

In the past two weeks, she has followed me to ever bathroom visit and countless times up and down the stairs to the laundry room.  On Sunday I begged her to let me bathe by myself, just for ten minutes.  "No, Mommy!" I NEED to be with you." We compromised with me lying in the tub, my arm hung loosely over the side, while she sat on the bathmat and stroked my fingers. 

This must be what it feels like for Malia and Sasha Obama to have the Secret Service following them to every birthday party and school function.  However, instead of a six-foot-tall muscular and svelte bodyguard in a black suit, I have a 2.5-foot tall toddler wielding a stuffed bunny. She may be tiny, but her super-power is the ability to stave off bad guys with her unrelenting tantrums.

Eight days have passed since I returned home, and the little one is still watching me like the creepy stalker dude in Sting's "I'll Be Watching You". Every breath I take, every move I make, she is watching me.

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