Thursday, September 20, 2007

One hour and twenty-nine minutes.

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.


a happier girl said...

Been there. Shake it off. Some days are just going to be like that. Hope tommorrow's better!

Beck said...

Aw, honey. I've had days like that - but they're not all the time and then the next day is just so much better. I hope that's the case with you, too.

Christine said...

joy! that is just a rough, rough morning. And beck is right it will get better. mine got better, really.

hang in there.

and like scarlett remember that tomorrow is another day. . .

bubandpie said...

One thing that makes blogging a great hobby for busy mothers is that it can be squeezed into small windows of time between tasks.

One thing that makes blogging an absolutely lethal hobby for busy mothers is that it creates the dangerous illusion that it can be squeezed into small windows of time between tasks. We would never pull out a massive scrapbooking project in the ten minutes before we have to get dressed, but blogging ... that's another matter.

painted maypole said...

at least you an make a funny story out of it.

Diaper in the toilet! At least she didn't flush!

painted maypole said...

oh, and BubandPie's point is so spot on!! ;)

Chaotic Joy said...

Yes BubandPie, you are so spot on. Which is why I have decided that I will not be turning the computer on at all on mornings we have to get out of the house. Because so much of that stress could have been avoided, if I wasn't running late. Hee hee.

Oh and yes Maypole. Totally right about the flushing. I thought the same thing.

Sarah said...

There's something comforting about knowing "we're all in the same boat", isn't there? That scenario could have taken place in my house on just about any pre-school morning.

Kyla said...

B&P nailed it. I've been short on time many mornings due to my little habit. LOL.

What a morning! I am SO sorry. I think you did pretty well only bursting into tears twice. ;) I hope tomorrow is a shining example of a perfect day, just to balance this one out.

Chrissy said...

You know I laughed through this whole story because I know what those mornings are like. I drop Grace off at 8:20 and I have NEVER arrived at my 9:30 Bible study (parenting class at that) on time. And the nursery sneak-up-drop-off, I've done that too.

And I totally know about sitting down for a "minute" to look at blogs. I'm doing that now, before I "start supper". They suck you right in, don't they?

Lori said...

I have literally had to say to myself some mornings, "Don't you dare go near that computer missie!!" I say that to MYSELF!! :)

All in all, I think you got through all of that beautifully!

erin k said...

Oh, Joy. This is hilarious and beautifully written. Kudos to Ben for making a good choice about the shoes though.

slouching mom said...

Like everyone else, been there. So many times. Hugs to you. I doubt it will repeat tomorrow...

Veronica Mitchell said...

But if you hadn't had such a rough morning, we wouldn't have been able to read this post!

Glad things improved.

Epiphany Alone said...

Oh, Joy. I wish I could reach through the computer and hug you. What a day.

I find some days the act of getting out of the house with my 2 is too much. I arrived at Lauren's bus stop this morning, Lindsay's hair in an impromptu mohawk. I replied to the raised eyebrow of the bus stop Alpha Mom, "You too can have this lovely hairstyle with merely the aid of a banana!"

thirtysomething said...

Wow. Girl, THAT was one of THOSE days for sure...I was almost doing that mad-hatter cry/laugh thing with you, you know the frantic try not- to -cry -that -you -laugh- through -your- tears emotion, because I know these kinds of mornings too...BUT you survived it! A diaper in the toilet...poor poor you.

karen said...

Goodness! A fitting end to a day like that would be discovering you were out of wine. I hope you had a less suitable finish!

Amanda said...

Hmm, sounds eerily similar to a day we had here,the only thing missing was the cat trotting through the doggy door with a freshly maimed (yes maimed, still alive) bird.

Laurel Wreath said...

I can not explain how often I have had days like that, I am just so relieved I am not the only one. And not the only one that lets the crap word fly also (big sigh).

Hang in there Mommy, you are doing a great job.

childlife said...

I have soooo had days like that! That fascination with the toilet thing is a killer, ain't it? Glad you were able to wrap it up with a nice weekend though!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Thanks for keeping it real. That's totally the kind of morning that you couldn't make up, even if you tried!