Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The kids ate my punctuality

Open letter to preschool teachers, gymnastics teachers, dance teachers, friends, and anyone else with whom I have an appointment

To whom it may concern,

I apologize in advance for my tardiness. Please understand, I did everything I could to arrive on time for our appointment. I checked the weather and laid out the kids’ clothes last night. I set my alarm, and got up when it went off. Everyone had breakfast, got dressed, and had a bit of quiet time for the short people to watch TV while the tall people checked e-mail and facebook. I began the car-loading process 5 minutes before we actually needed to leave.

Nonetheless, we will be 10-15 minutes late. I’m really sorry.

If it makes you feel better, I have already been punished. Here are some of the things I hear between announcing it’s time to get in the car and actually driving away: “But mom, I’m not ready yet. Two more minutes.” “I need more milk.” “Can I have cake, please? I ask so nicely.” “I NEED MORE PANCAKES!!! MORE PANCAKES PLEASE!!” “No, not pancakes, waffle.” "I need to make a poo-poo." “Can you find my Lightning McQueen with the snow plow on it?” “No, not that Lightning McQueen with the snow plow on it. He’s dirty. [points to microscopic speck of flaking paint] The other one.” “Grab me.” [Note: the word “grab” in this house has come to mean simply pick up. As in, “I’m just going to grab my purse.” So instead of saying “Pick me up,” my kids say, “Grab me,” which I find hilarious, so I have not corrected it.] “NO! Put me down. I want to do it myself.” “No, not here! Put me down back there! We have to try again. We have to start over.” “Mommy, you go away. I want Daddy to put me in the car.” “NO!!! Don’t put me in the car. I want to do it myself.” “NOOOOOOO! I clip the buckle myself! We have to start over. I go back in the house now.” “Clean up eyes.” “No, I need a wet napkin.” “No, that’s too wet. I need a drier napkin.” “Now we do kiss, tickle nose [rubbing noses], hug, high five, knuckle five, fist five, and lazy five.” [Lazy five is smacking one’s hand in the air in the kid’s direction and making a noise when one is too lazy or exhausted to get up and give a real high five.] “No, that lazy five was too quiet. Do it louder. We need to start over. Put me back in the house.” At this point, when we refuse to take said child back in the house, words are no longer used. A high-pitched angry animal sound begins, and lasts until there is some distraction, like the spotting of a concrete mixer truck or passing the fire station.

So yeah, please forgive my lateness, and also please ignore that crazed look in my eye. It will go away as soon as those wild dingoes look up at me and say the one thing that allows me to keep my cool through the rest: “Mommy, I love you so much.”


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