My parents bought us a gift—a night at a ski resort--which was a very thoughtful thing for them to do. The plan was this: they would keep the girls, and Thad and I would drive a whole hour away and drink hot chocolate spiked with Baileys and sleep in a hotel room without a single princess sippy cup in it and then spend the next day skiing.
Strangely, I was far more excited about the hot tub. The resort’s hot tub wasn’t just any old hot tub. It was an indoor/outdoor hot tub. You stepped into it inside, swam through some plastic car-wash flaps, and then were outside, sitting on underwater benches with other resort guests, snow piled around you, stars overhead, your wet hair growing teeny icicles while you held hands under the bubbling water with your husband who you realized you hadn’t exactly looked at since he drove you home from the maternity ward on March 18, 2005.
So we got in. And we swam out. And we scored a cozy spot on the far side right in front of a jet. And we held hands. And we looked at each other lovingly. And Thad started thinking about getting lucky later. And, just as I was about to give him a peck on the lips … there was a human form in my lap.
“Hahahahaha,” said the human form, who I quickly discovered was a seven-year-old girl. “The water pushed me right into you. I can’t hold on. Hahahahaha!”
The seven-year-old girl was not wrong. The current in the hot tub was as strong as a category-five hurricane. It took much resolve for Thad and I not to float into the 84-year-old man with the Einstein hair and Speedo sitting to our right. But we did not. Not so for the little girl. Because eight seconds later—boom!—there she was again. Square in my lap. Facing me. Her legs spread and resting on either side of my hips. Her mouth no more than one centimeter from mine.
“Hahahahaha!” she cackled. “Mommy! I can’t hold on to you!”
Only then did I realize that the woman sitting with her back to the little girl was, in fact, the little girl’s mother. The girl’s mother was talking to a man I presumed was the girl’s father. In between them was an empty space that could have accommodated three “Biggest Loser” contestants.
Okay. So. Maybe I roll with different rules of engagement than mothers who frequent ski resorts with their children and bring them to hot tubs despite the fact that all children under 18, according to the “Hot Tub Rules” sign, were not supposed to even be in said hot tub after 9 o’clock at night. Maybe I’m more sensitive to the fact that I sometimes can’t tolerate my own children clamoring in my lap, much less the child of a complete stranger who is not only invading my personal space, but rubbing her naked, H1N1-infected thighs onto my naked thighs.
But, did the mother move over so that her daughter had more room? No. Did she say, “Get over here, Brittanyjolenerosemary! That nice lady doesn’t want you swimming in her lap! I am soooo sorry, nice lady?” No. The mother didn’t even turn around.
“Hahahahaha!” I heard, again, as Brittanyjolenerosemary circled back around, this time bracing herself by clawing my thigh—my inner thigh.
“Can you please not do that again?” I said, loud, intending to alert her mother to the fact that her child was in danger of being thrown.
“Hahahahaha!” The girl was now grabbing onto my shoulders, attempting to climb up my torso.
“Seriously…sweetie….um…ma’am?” I leaned in the direction of the mother, who didn’t hear me, probably because her daughter’s hair was in my mouth. “Excuse me? Ma’am?”
I picked the girl up, fought the current with all my will, and placed her next to her mother. The father watched me do this. He did nothing. The mother finally turned, clearly realized what had been happening, then turned back around. These people, I thought, should be jailed. Brittanyjolenerosemary latched around mother’s neck in a strangle hold just as Einstein Speedo Man got up. Thad slid over. I slid over.
We are free! I thought. Free!
But, six minutes later, there was a human form in my lap. I was shocked to discover that it was a different child, the child of the man who had squeezed into the space between me and Brittanyjolenerosemary, the child whose back was resting on the father’s forearms, floating on the surface. And into me. Though not into my lap. This human form rubbed right up against my boobs.
Except this child was not a girl.
And he was roughly 18.