Joel has been away for the last couple of nights on a shoot and doesn’t land until after bedtime tonight, which means that Miss Claire and I are having our first official night alone.
Well, not the FIRST. Before I lived here we had a few girl’s-only adventures, but that was before Joel and I were officially set on having a future, when I was always going to go back to California at the end of the weekend or whatever. The fact that we now live together part time makes this A Very Serious Event. Except it’s not. Because I’m over-thinking and being completely ridiculous.
We decided to go to Houlihan’s for dinner – which is unfortunately close to our house, and has replaced Noodles as Claire’s new favorite dinner joint – because that’s what mostly happens when you ask a seven year old if she wants to go home or go out. We were supposed to have a private session with the dog trainer this evening, but he was called in to help assess a group of 15 dogs seized in a dogfighting ring, which seems more important than Huck’s creepy stare. This meant we had some extra time on our hands.
I am proud to report that this time we managed to order vegetables along with our potstickers! Except after snarfing down eight of the 10 dumplings, Claire told me her stomach hurt. She sat very still and stared off into space. Was she too pale? Was she getting green around the gills. She tinkled her fingers across my arm and said that’s what it felt like in her tummy. But she didn’t need to throw up, or so she said. She just needed to burp. Or maybe drink water? Finally, she asked to go to the bathroom, but didn’t want me to go.
So I sat there. And wondered who I would call if Claire was actually sick. Her dad was on a plane! I didn’t have her mom’s phone number! (Will remedy that momentarily, as it’s on the fridge.) Remember, I don’t know many moms, but shockingly I did not think about calling my own. No, I thought about calling my co-worker Lizz - mom of Max, friend of many moms, and mom blogger – because I could not imagine any other options.
Claire came back and slumped in her chair. Her tummy hurt, she said, because she had been running in the gym and gotten hot, and then she ate all those potstickers. The solution, apparently, was to drink water and then put her head between her legs, which she didn’t do. Instead, she insisted on eating shlumped in the chair so no pressure was on her belly. The mac-n-cheese, she said, made her tummy feel good because it was warm.
Then she proceeded to eat everything on her plate, including a large serving of broccoli and – after turning down the scoop of ice cream that came with her meal – the larger half of a scoop of my ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauce.
You guys, I have no idea what to do with a kid who has an upset stomach. I tried to talk to her about ginger ale. Kids drink ginger ale, right? My mom always gave me Sprite or 7Up, but Claire doesn’t drink soda (and rightly so). She didn’t want to go home. Should I have made her go home?
In the end, everything was okay. Maybe her tummy really was upset from all the running, or perhaps it’s because she ate eight potstickers in three minutes. Man, that kid loves potstickers.
We’re now on the couch in the basement with Toby watching The Incredibles. Claire ate a plum. She’s totally fine, but I’m still a bit of a Nervous Nelly.