A Very Long Post in which Nothing, and I mean nothing happened the way it was supposed to happen. And by supposed to, I mean the way I wanted it to, the way I needed it to, and the way I planned it to.
Few things rankle me like being late. I hate hate hate being late. Fabric scraps three inches deep in my sewing room and a play room that needs a snow shovel? Meh, whatever. But late? I can feel my temple start to throb and my blood pressure climb. So I had my day planned out- breakfast, school, gym, chiropractor, grocery store, lunch, bus, school for me, birthday prep for Abby, carpool, chaperone field trip to the inflatable playground fundraiser, home for dinner, baths, bed, done. Not forgetting that all this would be done juggling three kids, one of whom is autistic and hates tagging along, and another is trying to master her bladder and still “oopsing” quite a bit. Sound like fun yet? Add in hormones just for the cherry on top.
Right off the bat, the train jumped the tracks. I woke up with a sore throat and allergies. I got Jeffrey out the door fine, and had jumped in my gym clothes first thing so I could throw Bean and Abby in the car. I had a 90 minute window to get to the gym and back, and to my chiropractor appointment. Bean decided this, this was the morning that he suddenly hated going to the gym and playing on the rock wall, the playground, and with his buddies. Oh no, nope. He was not going. It went downhill- and it was 9:40 by the time he was calm. Time to reassess.
Okay, I think. I can be flexible. I rearrange the puzzle pieces of my day, and we all jump in the car.
I get to the doctor and we have to wait longer than I planned, but the kids are surprisingly good. Beanie likes my chiropractor, and this helps things go smoothly. But by the time we are done, we have just enough time to run into the produce stand, then zoom home and gobble lunch before the bus gets there.
Bean gets on the bus, and I change Abby into dry clothes, because eating lunch is too important to stop and use the toilet. We are out of milk, bread, peanut butter and popsicles. A real jump to the grocery store is necessary. I have two hours before I have carpool- and I forgot about Bean’s post-school field trip. Into the car, off Abby and I go to the grocery store.
With all the false-alarm trips to the potty, the grocery takes five times what it should. Also, she likes the Dyson air razor in the bathroom. I am patient. We now have 30 minutes to get to Jeff’s school, and we aren’t even out of the dairy aisle yet.
Pulling into Jeff’s school 32 minutes later, I had forgotten that I agreed to take another girl home- and that with Bean’s field trip I had to pick him up at school and not have him take the bus. Also, the car is full of groceries. Cold food. I drive the girl home, and realize as I’m coming down the hill from her house that I will never make it to Bean’s school (across town) before he gets on the bus. Also, the food thing. Crap.
Executive decision: go home and put the groceries away, and wait the 20 minutes for Bean’s bus to get there. Done and done. And then we wait some more. His bus is almost 15 minutes late, and the other kids are in the car waiting when it finally pulls up. Our time-slot for the field trip was supposed to be 3:30 to 4:30, but now it’s already 3:45. I still feel like, despite my burgeoning anxiety, that I can salvage this… until I get caught in a construction zone detour and cannot even get to the place we’re supposed to go.
When I finally get to the place, the obnoxiously perky and cheery PTA lady tells me, with a sing-song voice, how sad it is that we are late… She chews on her pencil as she confers in actual whispers with the lady next to her about whether we should be let in. I am not amused. I paid, I plan on playing. I am informed we can jump in the next shift from 4:45 to 5:45. Oooookay. Crap. That means I need to revamp dinner plans and get the kids something to eat. The only problem is we are in a BFE office complex in the industrial part of town and the only place I can find is a deli.
Awesome. Bean is hepped-up and so excited he’s ready to jump the tracks, and they don’t understand why we have to wait. Me neither, but I remember that today I am flexi-mom, and drag everyone to the deli. At the cavernous, dark deli, we are the only ones there, and the kids are wild and loud while I try and find something Bean will eat. At a deli. Yeah.
While I was ordering, Jeffrey climbs on the metal railing for the queue, and breaks the whole thing. The insanely loud clatter of metal bars hitting concrete floor sends Bean running and screaming, and Abby pees herself. I still haven’t ordered, and I think I may cry. I find Bean in a corner, and tell him I can get him a PBJ, and he crawls out.
For two sandwiches, two cups of soup, and two pops, it was $22. I know. I wanted to cry. What the heck kind of deli charges $8.95 for a cup of soup and half a PBJ?? But I was stuck. The food came, and lo! look! the PBJ was, of course, on the wrong kind of bread. The soup had celery and red peppers in it, Abby wanted HAM not turkey, and they could not share drinks. I should have just thrown $22 out on the lawn and danced a jig- it would have been more successful.
Once again at the play place, we take off our shoes, Abby is in clean clothes, and we play. When our hour is up, the employees clear out the kids and begin to clean up. I can’t find Bean. The whole play area has been emptied, and the workers are starting to clean and sanitize the place, and no Bean. I put Jeff and Abby in the car, to which Abby bursts into tears because we are leaving Bean forever! and I go back in to find him. I know he’s there somewhere because I have been watching the door like a freaking hawk. The employees help me, and we finally find him in a crevasse on one of the giant slides. On purpose. He didn’t want to leave. I had to drag him to the car, and he honked the whole way home- great keening honks of dismay and misery. Because his mom was so mean.
We get home and he locks himself in the car, refusing to come inside until I take him back to the play place. Sayonara buddy- I’ll bring you a blanket- keep the doors locked. As I jam my keys in the lock, the phone starts ringing. I rush in, dumping everything on the counter, and it’s Bean’s dentist. His oral surgery, which was scheduled for June can be moved to tomorrow morning- do I want the spot? Oh yes. Yes, I do.
They remind me that I am not to bring siblings to anesthetized dental visits. And his appointment is for 7 a.m. Crap, now I need a babysitter. At the butt-crack of dawn- what am I going to do?
The phone rings again. It’s someone from Primary at church who wants me to run the potato-sack races at the Family Fun Run on Saturday at 8:45 in the morning. I am THIS close to the breaking point. I tell her my kids and I were going to participate in the run, and I ask if she knows I’m a single parent? yes, yes she does, can I help? I start to cry. I tell this poor woman more than she ever bargained for in this simple phone call, and end the conversation with me saying No, I can’t. I hang up.
Meanwhile, the kids have found the Nerf Samurai Swords in my closet and are beating the crap out of each other in my room, and the clean laundry that was ON my bed is now all over my room.
Out of sheer exhaustion, I call my RS president and ask her if I can be exempt from people asking me to do anything extra. Just for a little while. This is accompanied of course by the requisite female grief. I cannot print what she told me, but I will say I love my RS president, and she totally gets it, and I won’t be doing anything for a while. I will have a big, invisible placard around my neck that says “hands off!”. I sigh with relief.
It’s now bedtime- and oh look! Abby has peed all over her jammies and her blankets- the ones I just stripped, bleached and re-did yesterday. Beanie starts to keen, because he is hungry. That’s right- because he didn’t eat his $22 PBJ. Go figure.
As I put him in bed, he thinks this would be a great time to freak out about The Dentist tomorrow, and Jeffrey, ever the opportunist, tries to sneak off to my bed while I deal with Bean. Meanwhile, Abby spills a whole cup of water on her new, dry bedding.
(…Shall I go on? Is it quite enough now? No? Okay…)
And then my period started.