Thursday, February 13, 2014

T is for Tired

I debated this morning on the topic of today’s post. I considered sharing a link to the latest list of “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” (I’ve hit 29 of these, heard of 84 of them, can think of at least four that I believe should have made the list, and disagree with one). A beauty blog I follow and enjoy had a good post today. A childhood friend of mine suffers from Chron’s disease and is asking co-workers to share their sick days with her as she has depleted hers and is just trying to keep her head above water. Sinkholes seem to be occurring more and more frequently. And the cold weather…enough already. These are all good topics, but I’m going to instead write about my day yesterday. 

I’m writing not because I think it’s terribly interesting (it’s not) but for any Mom who happens to read this, they will be able to relate. And, should I read this on down the road, I want to recall it all. The good, the bad, and the fantastically ugly. It’s been a busy week. That’s an understatement. Each day has started with me peeling out of the driveway, racing to get to school early for this choir practice for which we unwittingly signed up for the next few weeks. You wouldn’t think having to leave the house 15 minutes early would be a big deal but I’m here to tell you, it is. This morning, I left a perfectly good, brand new cup of coffee sitting firmly under my Keurig, made and forgotten in the rush that is life. Yesterday, I forgot my water bottle that I make each day to take with me. The day before that, I’m not 100% sure I was wearing matching shoes. 

Yesterday was a busy day at work. A good busy but one of those where you hop from meeting to meeting and don’t actually get to do anything that you talked about in those meetings. Then it was time once again to peel out of the garage and race to school in time to run in, catch my breath, and be sitting calmly on a bench awaiting my sweet girl following her weekly piano practice and doing my best to not look like I had just pulled a scene from “The Fast and the Furious” out in the school parking lot, doing the Tokyo Drift into a parking space. Remembering I needed to take cupcakes to a Girl Scout meeting for today, we swung by the grocery on the way home. This was convenient as we had nothing for dinner at the house anyway. 

Just inside the door, we were greeted by a table full of perfectly decorated Valentine’s cupcakes from the deli. “Ooh, aren’t these pretty?” I said as I thought how $9.99 for a dozen cupcakes wasn’t a bad trade for the extra hour of time I would be afforded at home later. “No, Mommy, we have to make them.” Sigh #1. “OK, we can make cupcakes tonight.” 

By the time we arrived at the checkout, both of our arms were full and the hand basket was overflowing with more than the four items I’d gone in for. As I scanned for the shortest checkout line, her sweet voice said “let’s do self-check.” “Oh, no, babe, I don’t want to do that tonight. We have too much.” “It’s fine. I’ll be fast and do a good job.” I mentally kick myself for ever allowing her to scan our groceries in the self-check lane as a way to teach independence, math, self-sufficiency, and, worst case, have a trade to fall back on. Sigh #2. 

“OK, let’s do it.” Normally very adept at self-check, last night she was off her game. With the appointed store clerk lording over the self check area looking on, she began to scan our items. Her timing was off. She was either scanning too quickly or placing the scanned items into the bags too slowly but after every item, the computer would beep and the screen would say “Please see attendant.” Finally, the young man just devoted his attention to us, pressing his override button after each of her scans. As I’m silently pleading “for the love of all that is holy, please let me go home!!!” she scans the last item. Sighs #3 and 4.

Now, for better or worse, I’ve taught her to use my debit card. She knows the PIN and she knows how to scan the card through the card reader. I hand her my debit card, daydreaming about sitting and pajamas and, for a brash moment, about sitting while wearing pajamas. The computer emits a loud “plunking” beep and says “card not authorized.” Sigh #5. “Stinking kids,” I think, “good help is hard to find.” I take the card from her and re-run it. “Card not authorized.” Kyle comes over. 

“It says ‘card not authorized',” he says. Yes, Kyle, I can see that. Sighs 6-9. I run it again. Same response. Kyle runs it. I pull a piece of plastic off a grocery bag and try the plastic over the bar strip on the card trick. “Card not authorized.” 

“Do you maybe have another card,” Kyle says. 
“No. I don’t. I don’t understand. It worked this morning.” Sighs 10-11.

My total is $62 and change and I have $11 in my wallet. Deciding to pull out the kid’s dinner and pay for it in cash, I ask Kyle if he will stick the other items behind the customer service desk for my husband to pick up on his way home. Kyle looks at me like I’m a wanted criminal, afraid to turn his back on me. A lady in the neighboring check out looks on with mild irritation even though I’ve in no way inconvenienced her. I just want to go home. Sigh 12.

I call my sweet husband and share with him what has happened. I don’t remember exactly what was said but here’s the gist: 

“Darling, I know you’re tired, too, but can you please swing by the grocery on your way home and pay for some groceries that I was unable to?” 
“Of course, sweetheart, I would love to.” 

Again, that’s a summary but that’s how I’m going to choose to relive it. As I’m walking out of the store, fighting back tears of embarrassment and weariness, I see a familiar face – that of a classmate of my child’s. As they’re doing what little girls do (hugging and embracing each other as though they’ve been separated by more than 30 minutes), I catch the eye of the girl’s father. He has two other little children hanging on him and makes a motion that conveyed either “you got this?” or “are you cool with this?” and then he vaporizes. I’m telling you, the man disappeared in thin air, leaving me with his two little girls. What just happened? Is he doing his weekly shopping and asked if I would stay up here and watch them? 

“Honey, where did your Daddy go,” I ask the older girl in a voice that was not nearly as calm and normally-pitched as I’d planned. 
“I dunno. Maybe the potty?” 

As I’m about to have a full on, lying in the floor, meltdown, he emerges, from the restroom, with his son. He smiles and offers a grateful nod. I return the smile as best as I can and give him a “I’ll see you around” nod and scamper to the car. At home, I ensured that my family ate, including the two dogs who have an insane ability to tell time, and made cupcakes. I licked both the leftover cake batter and frosting as I was pretty sure that was going to be my dinner. Afterwards, I helped make Valentine goody bags and decorate our Valentine mailbox for school. With my last bit of energy, I worked in a bowl of cereal (an actual dinner), and got all of our stuff ready for another day. Another day of being a Mom. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Written by Howard Johnson, c. 1915

"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell
A word that means the world to me.

Written by Valerie Mangrum, c. 2014

"M" can be "Mommy needs a little nap, OK?"
"Oh" my goodness, why aren't you dressed?
"T" "The kitchen is closed...dirty a dish and you die."
"H" Have you done your homework?"
"E" Early mornings, late nights, and everything in between.
"R" is for most of it is rewarding. An adventure full of glee.
I think these all spell out the word
Still, I can't imagine another thing I'd rather be.