I have so much to do…I need to find something fancy to wear, polish up my jewels, pluck-wax-trim, get my dancing shoes ready….
Because I KNOW that my mom of the year invitation is going to arrive any day now.
My 15 year old was grounded. Part of her punishment…I HAD HER PHONE. To get it back I had to see some efforts around the house AND she had to perform some community service. And I had just the service…I needed orientation swag made up for the new hires that we orient every 2 weeks. Tuesday I grabbed her from cheer practice, swooped in and got little miss THANG, skiirrttteedddd into QT for a pizza and we headed back into work.
By 5:32 I had both of them working away. By 6:10 I was debating if I was guilty of slave labor.
A little after 8pm little miss thang finally moaned, “are we ever leaving—it’s past my bedtime.”
Opps. I’d gotten a little carried away. I finished one more email and away we went.
Straight in the door and straight up the stairs she went. Well past bedtime.
This morning she stumbles down in the same clothes she wore yesterday. The sticks and leaves from the playground still affixed to her shirt and her hair. We hadn’t picked out her clothes the night before. Her solution: bright pink cheetah yoga pants and a pale orange, long sleeve Columbia shirt. I said YES. What else could I say?
By some stroke of luck we got the sticks out of her hair and managed to get it into a semi-respectable pony tail.
“Clean out that bookbag!” I admonished as I stepped over it to get to my coffee. Trash and papers stuck out of every conceivable opening.
“Like I have time to do that,” she grumbled.
“Pick a pocket…one pocket…we’ll do the rest later,” I went about pouring my extra-large cup of WAKE THE HELL UP. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a mounding pile of crumpled paper on the table. “Put that in the trash baby.”
“It’s my homework that you are supposed to be checking!” she slid a slim white envelope behind her back.
“I’ll look at it tonight. What’s that?” She played dumb so I held out my hand. She begrudgingly offered up the paper. It was a school envelope with a note that said: to the parent of….Crap. No good news every came from these white envelopes.
“You have to give these to me, baby!”
Inside was an invitation for extra-after-school tutoring for my girl. Which is great. The problem? Must pick up child by 3:30p every Tuesday and Thursday. Not possible. She asked what it was. I told her. I also told her we couldn’t do it because Mommy couldn’t pick her up at 3:30. She looked down and said, “Oh…I need tutoring. My teachers and my friends tell me to FOCUS all the time.”
I was feeling oh so competent as a mother right up until that very moment (not).
“I am so sorry…maybe we can get you extra help another way,” so much for the mommy pep talk. We were already late for the morning extra help she was getting.
Purse askew and gaping open, coffee spilling and one forgotten lunch box later we trip over the dogs and make our way to the car. Or at least I do. She’s still fiddling with the trash…err…papers that she dumped out of her bookbag onto the kitchen table.
“WE HAVE TO GO,” I call out impatiently.
She’s shuffling thru trash…errr….papers…equally impatient. “But my story. I wanted to read you my story!”
“Find it and read it to me in the car,” I would like to say I encourage but I really just barked out the order.
Triumphantly she wobbles out of the house waving a crumpled piece of paper. Her little round face is smiling—all her big teeth and gaps shining. Her big eyes even rounder in pride. My heart thu-thumps. “I can’t wait to hear it!” I say which makes her smile even broader.
We are both buckled up and backing out when she begins. I can barely hear her tentative little voice over the ac blowing full force (late mornings and hot coffee and middle age don’t mix). I encourage…yes, this time I really do….to speak up so I don’t miss a word.
“When I am old—like you mom—“ of course she has to add that just as my hot flash kicks into full gear. I can’t turn the air up or I can’t hear her so I suffer in silence. “When I am old I will do,” she begins.
‘I will watch tv with my mom and my sister and my brother and I will ride my car in my driveway and I will not drink a beer.”
Let’s just pause here. A) watching tv is her aspiration as an adult? Yep, mom of the year material I am. B) she fully intends for it to still be the 3 of us…sweet c) I can’t even begin to wonder why she added that she won’t drink a beer-spelled bear into her story. File that away for a later conversations.
‘I will play music in my car like boty like a back row driving with my eyes closted I now evry crov like the back of my head 15 in a 30’ she giggles. “I added the song, momma…you know…” she then proceeds to sing the lyrics before going back to her story. ‘I ain’t in a harry I know evry crow like the back of my hand.’
‘And then I will make slime when I get back to my house from the store’
“Do grown-ups make slime, momma?” I tell her they do in her story which pleases her.
“Wait until you hear this part! I went to the store for ice cream for my hasben (when I saw how she spelled husband I had to laugh. Looks like has been which is probably exactly how it appears in her little life. Another epic momma fail. ‘I got ice cream for my hasben the flaver was caramel and banana and it was rilly and I am going to cry it to and it was rilly good.’
“That’s it. Ms. Adams gave me a check mark and a smiley face and wrote LOVE IT on my paper momma. I think that’s a A like sissy gets,” she’s beaming.
I ohh and goo and make all the appropriate mommy sounds. We are almost at the end of the car rider line at this point. I can’t help it. I try but I can’t. “why did you put you aren’t going to drink a beer?” I ask.
And of course…of course…just as the SCHOOL COUNSELOR opens her car door she answers the question. Loudly.
“Because I don’t want to get DRUNK!” she tosses the paper in my direction and hops out of the car. The counselor looking at me…at least I am sure he was. I certainly wasn’t making eye contact at that point.
Wham. With that the car door slams.
I don’t think my tires squealed as I made a fast get away but I can’t be totally sure.
Yep…Mom of the Year material.