Some times being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t involve much staying at home.
7:30 am: leave for school. My seven-year-old has early morning Spanish on Mondays.
Then, I drive my four year old to school. She has been attending a three day a week preschool but I was told at her teacher’s conference three days ago on Friday that she should be attending five days per week to be ready for kindergarten. They tell me she can’t recognize her letters, etc. I have my doubts, but decide to error on the side of caution. I attempt to sign her up for two more days, starting today. They tell me I can’t, they don’t have availability. This is a totally different story from what I was told on Friday. I am irritated but try to hide it. I leave with Kate in tow, undecided about what my next step will be.
I drive my mortgage payment to my credit union, because if I don’t pay it today it will be late. It is five minutes until 9:00. They open at 9:00. We wait outside while the people inside stand there watching us. Two minutes later, they open the door and let us in. While I patiently wait in the lobby for the employee to futz with the lock, I see someone pop their head out from the front office. She pops out of view and then yells out to the employee that it is only three minutes until 9:00. Again, I am irritated. I tell the employee I just need to drop my payment off, hand it to her and leave.
I decide that Kate and I deserve a treat, so we go to Starbucks. I order a decaf soy latte. Caffeine would not be advisable in my current state. I get Kate warm milk and a morning bun. We sit down and she takes a sip. Her milk is cold. I make her drink it anyway. I tell her we are going to play a fun alphabet game, where if she correctly identifies the letter I draw, and the color of crayon I draw it on that she will get a small animal in her bin when we get home. Small animals are the ultimate collateral. When the bin is full, (it takes sixty small animals) she earns a special outing or toy under $15.00. She gets them all right.
We leave to go to my PTA nominating committee/play date for Kate. I am there to help find people to fill all the PTA positions at our school. Kate is there to make new friends with other incoming kindergarteners. We both enjoy it.
We have to leave. I have yard duty at Emily’s school. I don’t enjoy it. It consists of trying to make order out of chaos in the lunchroom and at recess. I am good with getting little girls to listen to me. Little boys have already figured out that I am a push over and so they give me precisely the respect I command, which is clearly none. We get out alive, just in time to …
Take Kate to Gymnastics. I love watching her flit around in the tutu she insists on wearing. She loves it and is smiling and laughing the whole time, even when she rolls off the mats and misses her footing on the beam. She is pretty coordinating, but I think the things they do would be tricky for me, let alone a four year old. In fact, she is actually more coordinated at four than I am at thirty-five.
We leave to go home for a while. I should fold laundry and do chores but instead I leave the house a mess and play calico critters. I just love those guys.
We leave to pick Emily up from school. We also pick up her friend. I am planning to take them both to gymnastics. On my way, Emily poops her pants in the car. Yes, you read that right. She tells me that she just felt like she had to pass gas, but now her pants are wet. She tells me this without any trace of self-consciousness: You’ve got to love that part of being seven; She did tell me her stomach was bothering her at lunch … We arrive at gymnastics right as this happens, so we turn around to drive home to get clean clothes, get cleaned up, and get a snack. Then we get back in the car to go to gymnastics. I have no choice. I have this bonus kid with me that needs to go, plus I am supposed to pick up another one there and bring her home.
When gymnastics is over I take my two kids plus my two bonus kids and load them in the car. I forgot to mention that I have been ‘forced’ to listen to HSM 2 all day. I now know most of the words and I have to admit, it is growing on me. I have one kid to drive home and one to bring home with me until her mom can pick her up. The mom had to take the younger sister to the doctor for a rash she has had for two weeks. I think all kids are constantly in a cycle of cold, rash, flu health, and repeat.
We drop one little girl off and then arrive home, where my dog is NUTS because she has sadly been ignored all day. She needs a walk but my husband is at a hearing in Sacramento and I am in charge of three children. Sorry pups.
The children and the dog attack my house. Nothing is left untouched. At one point, they bring Emily’s golf clubs into the living room. Time out ensues. Finally the mom arrives, I start to make dinner and tell my kids to shower. I pour myself what I think is a much deserved glass of wine.
Then Emily calls me in to the bathroom. “The problem of my stomach ache is solved. I have Diarrhea.” She tells me.
No kidding, I say to myself.
”I tooted and looked and I saw a little drop and so I went to the bathroom and I have diarrhea. Problem solved.”
Yes. Except you have diarrhea, I say to myself again. I leave her to take car of it and go back to making dinner. I wash my hands even though I did not even set foot in the bathroom or touch anything. But, you know, just the idea …
Finally, dinner is made. I ask the girls to set the table. Emily informs me she just threw up al little in her mouth but she is still “starving” and wants to eat. I am thinking I may regret feeding her.
At least I am home now. I have no one to shuttle around, no place else to go. Just all the laundry to do, homework to help with, hooked on phonics for Kate, rooms to clean, and books to read before bed. And Em decides to throw a fit because no one will go with her to brush her teeth. Oh please!
I have to admit, I used to wonder what stay-at-home moms did all day. I couldn’t imagine all the great stuff I would be able to accomplish if I could stay at home all day. Yeah right.
I would like to say that this day is the exception to the rule, but the reality is, it is the rule and not the exception. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, except maybe Emily’s pants.