Wednesday mornings at our house are always particularly hairy. I drop Ben off at school and then Clara and I have to be at Bible Study. No carpool lane in our PJs on Wednesdays. I have to have us all out the door packed and presentable because we have to be at the church 20 minutes after drop-off. And if things go smoothly, it's doable.
Stop it. I can hear you chuckling from here.
But this Wednesday, I started our get-out-the-door morning routine a bit late. Because I was~~ yep you guessed it~~ reading blogs. So I got the children dressed and deposited them at the table. A cut up banana for Clara, dry cereal for Ben and off I rushed to attempt to find something presentable to wear. Something that fits. That's becoming quite a challenge these days.
It was 8:22 AM.
Finally dressed in something that semi-fits, I was frantically trying to cover the dark circles (from staying up too late blogging~are we sensing a theme here?) I hear squealing and laughing from the kitchen. Now at your house, children laughing together alone in a room might bring thoughts of sibling bonding. Here it elicits something more like terror.
Oh no. What's so funny? What are they destroying?
I dashed into the kitchen and found Ben roaring in laughter while Clara mashed Bananas into her hair. The more he laughed the more she mashed.
"Clara NO!" I moaned. And then proceeded to listen to her scream in rage and terror as I washed her head in the kitchen sink. Finally calmed, dried and dressed in another outfit, I put her down and ran back to my bathroom to change my own, now sodden, shirt and finish the makeup process. Meanwhile I start shouting instructions at Ben from across the house.
Me: Ben go get your shoes so we can go to school.
Ben: I don't want to go school, I'm pwaying wif Cwara.
Me: Yes you do Ben, you love school.
Ben: Noooo! I wanta pway wif Cwara.
Me: Ben, come here.
Me: (really yelling now) Ben, come here now! Ben sulks into the my bathroom. I stop, mid-mascara-ing and look at him. Ben, get your shoes now or mommy will have to give you a consequence.
Ben: I need my choices.
Me: Deep breath. Deep breath. You can either go and get your shoes or you can stand in the corner.
Ben: I choose go get my shoes.
Me: Good choice. They are in your bathroom.
Ben runs off to get his shoes. Immediately happy again. I attack my other eye with Mascara and look at the clock. It's now 9:02. School starts at 9:00. Bible Study starts at 9:30. Ehhh? So we'll be a few minutes late.
As I am looking for my own shoes, Ben starts yelling from his bathroom. "Mommy! Cwara put a diaper in the toywet!"
I dash off to that bathroom and find Ben and Clara both looking in the toilet. Clara has used the rim (seat-up mind you) to pull herself up and is swishing a diaper around inside. Ben's just standing there. He looks at me and says,
"See, I towd you"
I can feel my blood pressure rising, at this point. Trying really hard not to yell, I grab Clara, plop her down on the ground and remove the soggy diaper from the toilet. I scrub all of our hands with disinfecting soap, shove Ben's shoes on his feet and drag both my children, whining, out to the car. I put them in their seats, and run back inside for their backpacks. I get back in the car and start to back up. It's 9:14.
"Arggghhh" I forgot my Bible Study Bag.
I stop the car and run back inside for my bag. Get back in the car and slam it back into reverse.
And I pull out of my garage, and back RIGHT INTO OUR BASKETBALL GOAL.
"Crap! Crap! Crap! Crap! Crap!" I yell, tears coming to my eyes. So much for
removing that word from my vocabulary.
I sit for a minute and cry as Ben asks repeatedly from the back seat "Did you cwash, Mommy? Did you cwash the car?" Finally, I take a deep breath, and say a prayer asking God for His peace, and do a momentary mental assessment.
'This is okay. Ben can be late for school. That's okay. It's not the end of the world. I can be late for Bible Study. That's okay too. I wasn't going very fast when I backed up, I am sure the goal and the car are okay. I can look at it later. Just calm down.'
I feel a bit better now, and I start the process for the third time of pulling out of my driveway. We get almost out of the neighborhood and Ben says:
"Mom. You forgot to buckle me!"
Now I am not going to lie to you. Ben's school is just around the corner, and I almost didn't stop. But I did. I stopped the car, just short of actually getting out of the neighborhood, and buckled Ben into his five-point-harness.
Back into the car again, I dropped Ben off at preschool 26 minutes late.
Clara is crying at this point because, as we all know. she hates the car. And she particularly hates it when her brother gets out of the car and leaves her behind. So I continue down the road with my crying child, trying hard to find that peace I prayed for.
And then we are at my church. I bring Clara into the preschool building and sign her in. I then drop her off, wailing, at a class that says "Ones" on the door. The lady looks in her bag and says with a definite frown,
"She doesn't have a sippy cup?"
I kid you not, I was about to lose it at that moment.
"No!" I say through gritted teeth. "Can you just give her some crackers or something?" and I walk away from Clara's crying and think. I have never seen that women before. Why have I never seen that woman before? I look at my sign-in receipt, and realize I have dropped Clara off in the wrong class. I dropped her off in the churches preschool class, not the Bible Study childcare. The tears are threatening to come again, as I turn around and retrieve Clara from the no-sippy-cup lady, who laughs and says,
"Yeah, I was thinking I had never seen her before." ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What kind of preschool do you run here? Clara is happy as a lark to be set free, until I walk her 20 paces down the hall to the class she is supposed to be in. And then she's mad. I mean she is furious. The worker in her class, who I do recognize, says
"Hi Clara. It's okay, honey. Does she have a bag?"
Why yes she does. It's in the sippy-cup-lady's class. So I go down the hall again to retrieve the bag. When I make it back to Clara's class she has stopped crying. So I creep up to the door, trying to avoid being seen, and stick my hand in the room with the bag. "There's no sippy cup I say, defeated." Her teacher, God bless her, takes one look at me:
crouching by the door to her room, hand outstretched, make-up smeared and a definite I-am-about-to-get-psycho look in my eye and says,
"Oh that's okay honey. She'll be fine. It'll be just fine."
Her grandmotherly kindness was just too much for me, and I burst into tears. For the second time that morning. Then I sucked it up and walked off to Bible Study.
It was 9:51.
The rest of the day?
It was just lovely.