As we neared our exit, I turned off the children's music that filled the car so that I could concentrate on my directions.
"Mommy, why did you turn off my music?"
"So I can focus."
"Mommy, why do you need to focus?"
"I just do. Mommy needs to think about where she is going. Give me just a minute. We are almost there."
Oh no. Road construction. GPS does not match actual road.
"Are we almost there yet, Mommy?"
"Almost, honey. Just hang on a sec. Mommy missed her turn."
"Why did you miss the turn, Momma?"
"Well, there was construction and my computer didn't know that. Just let me think here, babe."
Okay, simple u-turn and we'll be back on track. Except...the turn still isn't clear to me. Is it this one or the next one? There is construction everywhere. I feel sweat starting to form on my upper lip as I turn on onto the first exit and immediately realize that it is a mistake as it veers off in a completely different direction than I want to go.
"Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!" I cry.
"Mommy, why did you say that?"
"Mommy is just frustrated. I'm sorry. That wasn't a nice thing to say. Mommy took the wrong turn.
Okay, we can do this. Just turn right up at the next spot and then take another right and we should be there. Except the next right that GPS tells me to expect is not the name of the road I see. Cue text message from friend we are meeting: "We're here and sitting at table in the middle! See you soon!" At the stop sign I text back: "R f-ing lost. Be there soon."
"Mommy, why are we lost?"
"The construction just had us turned around a bit honey. Just let mommy think and we'll be there soon."
"Mommy, I want to see my friend!"
There's nothing like a three year old's anxiety to help keep you calm while driving.
I decide to give up on the GPS and follow instinct which tells me to take a left. Miraculously, it is the road we are looking for. It leads into a sprawling outdoor mall which holds the mecca that we seek. Half GPS and half guess work take us through the maze of a parking lot to our destination right as I receive a text from my friend again: "Can I help?" At this point, the only way she could help would be to pour me a stiff drink because the stress from getting here has overwhelmed me. We struggle out of the car and into the building where we pay for a pass and hustle to the table. I look at my friend, all open smiles and hugs.
"Mommy is grumpy and overwhelmed." I tell her with a scowl. She frowns and smiles all at once. As another mommy, she gets it. Thank heavens, she gets it.
Let the fun begin.