So, yesterday I had the big birthday party to go to before the big Interview. It was at Pump it Up, essentially a big, ginormous place full of bounce house/inflatable slide sort of stuff. KICK ASS IDEA. In fact, we all decided that I should have my 30th there and make it an adults only, drunken party...how much fun would that be? So.Much.Fun.
However, little kid was not content to go do his own thing and would only play if I played, so my pre-interview self was hopping around bounce houses and zooming down slides. Finally, Girl Crush and I just sat inside one of the bounce houses and talked and that was nice BUT she carpooled with New Friend, the one she went with on the Girl's Night Out I missed? I'm obviously the third friend now. I live between them, but no one asked me to car pool. Yeah.
I was also super hungry and super nervous. I had been prepping Big Kid for the fact that my Interview was SUPER important, and that a lot of mommies would just cancel the party and do their super important thing, but I knew the party was super important to him so we were going to split the day, and this meant that we might have to leave right after pizza but that all the playing will be done by then. I even stopped him while playing three different times and reminded him. He was fine with it, it was a deal, he was thrilled to be going, thrilled to be there, even excited about my interview for me.
So pizza is wrapping up and I tap him on the shoulder to give him the 5 minute countdown.
"But I don't wanna go," he starts. Oh no. Oh hell no. This was not the deal. I remind him that my interview is important and he bursts into tears and starts crying that he doesn't want to leave. Everyone starts watching. I try reasoning with him, the hostess comes over and offers to take him home and keep him for me but that was simply not practical, it was not the deal, and there was no way I could reward him at this point.
Now I'm pissed. Down on his level, looking in his eyes, quietly but in my best don't-fuck-with-me voice, "This was the deal. Go with the flow. Toughen up. We ARE leaving, are you going to make a good choice or a bad choice?" These have been our go-to phrases during emotional outbursts lately and sometimes they work.
He starts really carrying on and now people are trying not to look, but you know they're aware of the whole scene and you know that no matter what, you have somehow failed at parenting in someone's eyes, or are about to.
So I pick him up, stiff and rigid and crying, grab little kid's hand and head for the door. The hostess follows me out (nicest girl, I seriously love her. She is a true friend kind of person, always calm and collected and a great mom and wife. I aspire to be her and she is fascinated by my ability to be me) and takes charge of little kid, chattering with him ahead of us and giving me my chance to hiss threats into Big Kid's ear as he resisted me all the way out to the car.
I'm embarrassed to admit that Big Kid is no stranger to public tantrums. Do you all remember when I almost left him in the parking lot of Chick-Filet? Like for real? Em's mom and I together couldn't get his ass into the car seat. I don't think I elaborated on that situation for you all, and I won't now, but trust me when I say that it was a parenting low. It was also the last time we had a public tantrum and it was quite a while ago.
So I knew what was coming. I knew his ass wasn't going to go into the booster seat willingly. The hostess (Good Friend, we'll call her) went to put little kid in (my car was a mess too, but I doubt she'd expect anything less) and I went to put Big Kid in, and got the resistance I was expecting.
Now it's 95 degrees out, so humid I'm breathing in moisture, and I have a job interview in a little over an hour and can feel my hair frizzing. I wasn't fucking around. I knew the only solution was the Atomic Elbow, a modified WWF move that is 98% effective at getting car seats buckled. I won't share the controversial details, but let's just say that Good Friend was forced to witness it and I'm sorry she had to be there.
But I got him in.
And I gave him hell the whole Interstate ride back.
In a moment of fuming silence, he asked, "Is ebrybody embawassed of me now?"
Ashley: Yes. Embarrassed for you, for sure. I'm embarrassed, gram and daddy will be mad, I'm sure little kid is embarrassed. You acted like a total baby.
Big Kid: So da whole world is embawassed of me? 'Cuz now I'm sowwy I cried. Da deal was no crying.
Ashley: Yes, you should be. But that room full of people don't see you feeling sorry, they just saw you acting naughty. You made me feel like a bad mom in front of my friends, and you acted like a baby in front of your friends.
As soon as he walked into my mom's house she told him she was really mad at him and he'd just better go and watch some tv. "I know," he answered sullenly. I was fuming, shaking mad that he pulled that shit on me, definitely not the pre-Interview mood I was planning on.
I got ready there for my interview. I rolled my Spanx bicycle pants and body shaping camisole on, overlapping for extra coverage, put on my nicely pressed trousers and tailored shirt, a strand of chunky pearls, my fabulous Ann Taylor wedges, re-applied my makeup, fluffed the hair 9 trillion times, and I was off.
I got there early and parked in the shade and laid back my seat so as not to wrinkle my pants, and alternated between practicing my hypno-breathing and just full on panicking. Finally, I did final make up touch-ups, another hair fluff and went in.
Eventually I ended up in a conference room with three other women who were really nice. They were all moms, all seemed down to Earth and were easy to talk to. They were impressed when they asked what I would do if I had the position and I whipped out my notebook full of ideas. The leader loves lists too. She admired my tidy, one-side only lists and we discussed color coding methods and our love of blank notebooks.
When I'm nervous, I resort to humor, nervous laughter and leg shaking and I had all three going on. They were laughing too, so hopefully I was funny and I'm hoping only the girl sitting right next to me could have detected the leg swinging. I think that those are better nervous tics to have than sitting there scared into silence.
I had good answers and at one point the three of them looked at each other with an obvious "DAY-UM" look on their faces. At one point she asked how I knew that I could convey the right tone and personality necessary for the online portion of the job because being able to attract an audience was essential, and it was so hard to keep the closet a secret but instead I concentrated on my many online friendships and online forum experience and hopefully that's enough.
I tried to get her to tell me if I had the job that day by saying I could start that night, but she didn't take the bait. Dang it. I did follow up with a thank you email (she travels too much for snail mail, I think) and this morning I sent her a lead on another position they were trying hard to fill.
So, let's hope I hear tomorrow and let's hope it is good news. Since I think it went so well and I'm so qualified, I'm going to be really crushed and confused if I don't get it. Be prepared for lots of whining.