I had visions of how the night before the first day of school would go. I would prepare a nice Home cooked meal and then we would spend the rest of the night organizing book bags while we all gathered around the table laughing.
I am not sure what family I was imaging this cozy and subdued night with cause it sure ain’t mine. Andy Griffith we are not.
The meet the teacher at the daycare sucked. My poor shy girl was so scared that her little hand, clutching mine with the force of an industrial vice, was shaking. At one point I had to ask her to switch hands so I could try and get the feeling back into my fingers. The sad part-she was trying so hard to be brave. She was faking enthusiasm about the centers and even smiled at the teacher. And I use that term loosely. The same woman who responded ,”I’ve already heard that twice tonight,” when we told her how painfully shy and timid our girl was in new situations. Cue the hug or the bubbly assurance to Sadie that she would love her new school-in that fantasy world mine that is.
Reality? Not an ounce of warmth as she leaned down to my girl and said.”Every time I see those hands in your moths tomorrow I am gonna make you wash them.” Oh that’s just what you say to a shy, petrified little girl who is so nervous she is sucking on her finger. It was all I could do not to ask her dad to hold my purse if you get my meaning.
I did come home and cook-not just assemble-dinner. Orange chicken thank you very much. First issue-I am terrified of touching meat. Second issue-I am terrified even more Of bad meat. I sniffed that chicken 100 times. I am even MORE afraid of undercooked meat. Just to be on the safe side cooked those 1 inch chicken pieces for 10 minutes. On each side. The globs of cornstarch made it hard to tell when the chicken turned a lovely golden brown. Black was much easier to spot.
I thought it was edible. I was the only one that thought so. I couldn’t understand why big girl decided not to eat any more just because one of the pieces wasn’t actually chicken but was rather a 2 inch glob of pure cornstarch fried to perfection. Even the dog had an opinion. I left some of the scraps in the trash and she didn’t even try to grab a bite. Oh well-I’ve got lunch for tomorrow-from the pan, not the trash.
The bath was surprisingly uneventful. The drying of the hair was not. I told her it was hot. My perfect child didn’t disobey me when I told her not to touch it. Who knew I should have also specified-‘and don’t turn it on and hold the part that dispenses hotair under your armpit ‘when I step out to referee the brother and sister who were so eloquently debating exactly what was meant by my instructions to wipe off the table. My bad. Should have been more specific-about where to not put the hair dryer and the wiping down of the table.
We would have laid out school outfits had both of light bulbs in the closet not blown. Really we would have.
And we certainly would have packed those book bags had my darling son heard me and obliged my command do take the dog-who was all but crossing her legs-out. He went outside. He just forgot to take the dog. Oh yeah, we are ready to learn to drive .
Did you know that dog urine does not soak into a polyester shag throw rug? I do. Now. Dog finally couldn’t wait so she wisely spied the neon yellow rug upstairs in my daughters room. She was probably thinking .”hey-they’ll never know-it blends.” And the dog would have been right had my daughter not seen the dog squat. I admonished her to “GET THE DOG OUT” in the most pleasant way possible. To which she replied, “why? She’s already gone?” Oh yeah-right time to invoke that attitude.
When she got back from walking the dog…
She comes in-madder than a wet hen-cause it wasn’t her “turn”. Baby daughter is crying because she doesn’t want to go to bed without me. Boy decides that is the exact right moment to re-enter from outside where he went without the dog for me to read his summer reading school essay. Impeccable timing.
A simple question to boy,”really? Now” solves that issue. I instruct the hen to get her rug to the deck while I find the carpet cleaner. Find the cleaner. Find a rag and Mollify my crying daughter as I go by. I am nothing if not efficient. My brain doesn’t compute that I am stepping in wet spots until I hit the parquet flooring and slip on a puddle? As I sprawl out on the first step I notice spots on every step. It’s easy to see wet spots when your nose is actually in the carpet. I dog crawl up the stairs like Gretel following breadcrumbs. The spots become a smear. I am still pondering what in the world this could possibly be when I reach the point of orgin.
“Gross,” I howl. I wipe out my carpet cleaner like an old western lawman at high noon on the dusty street outside the saloon. “FIRE I all but yell as I press the thingy that makes it go Whoosh! Nothing. No whoosh. Not even a whoo—. The can was as empty as my bank account.
My smart daughter had taken the edge if the rug and pulled it across the room, down the stairs, across the kitchen floor to the outside deck. Did I mention that urine doesn’t soak onto a polyester shag rug? Did I mention how bad the dog has to go?
Things went downhill from there….
And things aren’t looking up this morning. I’ve had 4 hours of sleep. 2 of those hours were actually concurrent. 3 children, 3 different NEW schools and 3 hours sleep. This could get ugly.