Posted on | May 22, 2012 | 3 Comments
Wake at 6am with Munchkin digging little heels into me (how does he get right in between us in bed without us even noticing?). Walk The Mutt, all the while cursing that it isn’t my usual 5.45am outing. Because yes, in Tucson, Arizona in the summer, that half hour and the sun being lower makes all the difference.
Arrive back to a sleeping family. Bit o’ shouting and cajoling. Sweetpea not wanting to get up. Says she is ill but I doubt it; more likely a tweeny hangover from her school dance the night before. She came back hoarse from so much singing and sweaty from so much dancing. So I brush off her complaints of a sore throat and tell her to get dressed and eat breakfast then see how she feels.
She eats breakfast. And my dastardly trick has worked. I triumphantly tell her that if she can eat, there’s nothing the matter with her. She sulks. Says she really is sick. And then I’m thinking this is a ploy to avoid former-BFF-now-arch-enemy who has, by horrible coincidence, been put in the same school project group as Sweetpea all week.
She sulks again. Hubby and I have a huddle and agree on dastardly trick #2. “OK honey!” I say breezily. “Of course you can stay off school. But remember if you’re too sick for school we’ll have to cancel your theatre production tonight.”
“You GUYS!” she squeals and flings herself on her bed. Realization is dawning of her Sophie’s Choice here.
“Just you think about it,” I say and she slams the bedroom door on me while she apparently does.
7.55am, doorbell rings, and it’s the babysitter, come to look after Munchkin and his friend whilst I and friend’s mom try to squeeze some work into this godawful summer schedule that is pre-summer school and a huge juggle of hours and babysitters and hand-offs to neighbors and friends and hence godawful.
8.05am, doorbell rings, and it’s neighbor and Munchkin’s friend. It will be another half-hour before Sweetpea and I leave. She hums and haws, moans and sulks, slams and stomps, then finally says she will not be going to school, and is thus forced by me to call a theatre friend to ask him if he will cover for her tonight on the sound and lighting work she’s meant to be doing backstage.
Leave instructions with babysitter that the boys (a) don’t eat or drink near my beloved new sectional, and (b) leave the poor Mutt alone, as coaxing him with dog treats to see if he can jump over a baby gate (he can’t, his legs are about 3 inches long) is currently their favorite hobby.
8.30am and we’re off, Sweetpea and I, a whole half hour before I was meant to leave for work. I tell her the babysitter can’t look after three kids so she’ll have to come to my office and be sick there. Time is money: money earned at my job, money given to babysitter, so I’m already in a bad mood. Then Sweetpea announces she will go to school after all, and also that she has forgotten her lunch box. Turn car around, collect lunch box, sign her in late at school, and finally arrive at work almost an hour after I was supposed to.
Get less than 2 hours’ work done and arrive home with a small car I can’t see out of. It’s full of cardboard boxes. We were having a clear-out at work and I claimed them for the boys who, when not taunting the Mutt, want to build things out of cardboard and duct tape. Pay babysitter almost half of what I have earned. Discover sticky patch on rug which means that juice got way too near my sectional and am pissed off. Then turn to see that a small cardboard boat is already in the works on our patio and am glad. Snatch half an hour in which I make myself lunch and sit down to eat it without interruption, which is bliss.
Pack boys in car and can’t see out of it again as have also packed some of the boxes (to take to friend’s house), drop off friend, then take Munchkin to another friend’s house. Have requested of the friend’s mum that we boy-swap for four hours: 2 at hers, 2 at mine. It’s an easy sell. What mother doesn’t want 2 hours to herself in godawful pre-summer-school time?
Go to Starbucks, slurp on iced skinny latte and munch cashew nuts with pomegranate (yum) and catch up on some work for 45 minutes. Then back in car to pick up Sweetpea from school. Then to another cafe to snatch another half-hour of work whilst Sweetpea plays games on my phone, before going back home in time for Munchkin and friend’s arrival. The two hours have passed way too quickly.
The boys build things out of boxes for an hour while Sweetpea watches TV. Then start packing kiddos in car again to take all of them to Sweetpea’s theatre. But she can’t find her script, the one with all the cues for sound and lights. I literally hold my hands over my face in horror. This could be a disaster. It’s the final production. Three frantic calls to Hubby, whose car she thinks the script was left in, then when he doesn’t answer, a text: “Urgent. Call.” That does it. He calls and is relieved to hear the house hasn’t burned down. Yes, script is in his car but he works too far away to deliver it in time for the show. Sweetpea sobs all the way to the theatre whilst I (a) shout and blame then (b) remembering how I detested being shouted at and blamed as a child, attempt to backtrack, commiserate on being totally scatter-brained because I am too, and try to gently advise her that preparation is in order, like putting out her stuff for the next day the night before and not looking for it as we’re headed out the door. She enters theatre still sobbing. So much for that.
Am cheered, though, when Munchkin, chatting with his pal in the back of the car about grown-ups getting mad about things, proclaims: “You never get mad, Mommy.”
“Really? Well, I’m glad you say that honey, but I do shout…”
“Sometimes but not very much.” Is the child deaf or what? I smile though, savoring the moment, ignoring the fact that he’s talking crap.
Have to go to dollar store to pick up stuff for a fundraiser. Bribe boys with offer of a toy if they behave. “Yay!!!! Wheeee!” they shout, one standing on each side of the trolley as I run them down up and down the aisles, because it’s a hot afternoon and therefore empty and the staff seem to not care that we’re being a bit reckless. They love their $2 trucks that, when they hit something like a wall or a door, roll over and turn into a completely different truck. And I think the store should seriously reconsider its name, or be prepared for some all-American litigation, because not one of the seven items I bought cost a dollar.
Drive friend back to his house, and Munchkin home. Plonk him in front of Scooby-Doo and snatch another hour’s workk including writing this blog entry. Walk dog, thank God that Hubby can pick up Sweetpea, make dinner, snatch pieces of the American Idol finale whilst bathing Munchkin, meet a pal for coffee at 8.30pm – because that is the earliest either of us can meet – and commiserate with pal over our crazy days. Then tell each other we have it lucky: our kids are healthy, we are healthy, we want for nothing, except maybe some more sleep. Get home, check emails, get a Facebook fix, realize I need to return two DVD’s so drive to video shop to do that. Then bed. Alarm set for a little bit earlier tomorrow: 5.30am.