I got zero done today (in terms of work stuff). When I signed up for this mom gig, I knew about the feeding, clothing, burping, changing diapers, even the carting to and from school and other activities, but some days, there’s way more to it than that. Today was filled with an accomplishment, a crisis, having the you know what scared out of me, chauffeuring, negotiating, meal planning, grocery shopping, counseling, dog walking, and laundry. First, I handed over my volunteer web site duties. Over coffee and a scone at Starbucks, we transferred accounts, and I showed the new person the ropes. We’re also both teachers, and know people in common (she considered applying for my job), so we chatted about getting ready for school and fun things like that. As I drove home I felt good to have relinquished a task.
But I came home to a minor teenager crisis that involved an hour of discussion in the car. Teenagers are challenging. Teenagers who fall outside the norm (which doesn’t take much) are even more challenging. After we had that squared away, I entered into negotiations with the almost teenager about plans for lunch and a movie. She and several of her friends packed their lunches and headed to a nearby park for lunch and then I was going to take them to a movie. This required discussions with parents on timing–one girl had clearly underestimated the amount of time it would take her to walk to the park–and pick up and drop off times.
After all that was worked out, Geeky Girl made her lunch while Geeky Boy and I ate ours. Then she left for the park, which is a mere block and a half from our house. About 15 minutes later, one of her friends called to say that they couldn’t find Geeky Girl. I immediately imagine the worst and assume she’s been abducted and start planning how I will react in front of the other girls so I won’t worry them. As I round the bend of the road leading into the park, I can clearly see Geeky Girl sitting at a picnic table. As I approach, she gets up and walks toward me. There are no signs of her friends. Now, I think they’ve been abducted. Just as I’m trying to figure out how to tell their parents, they come marching across the playground waving. Tragedy averted.
By now, there’s only 1/2 hour left until we need to leave for the movie. 40 minutes later, no girls. So, Geeky Boy and I, who are making a trip to the store, hop in the car and drive over to the park. For the third time today, I think they’ve been abducted, although honestly, by now I just assume they’ve deliberately gone somewhere just to scare the crap out of me. As we pull into the road I had walked down just a while earlier, there they are, like the 3 Musketeers. They all climb in the back, giggling and talking, their voices just a little too high pitched and a little too loud. I remind myself that this will be my life for the foreseeable future. Geeky Boy is dead silent.
On the way to the movie, the girls negotiate to come to our house afterwards, turning lunch and a movie, which has already been filled with adrenaline pumping moments, into a full on playdate. I agree, of course and phone call to parents are made.
Then, Geeky Boy and I head to the store, which should have been the easiest thing in the world, except that the road to the store is closed. We take a detour that involves sitting in traffic way longer than necessary. Luckily, I know an alternate way home.
We get home and put away groceries and I have a whole five minutes before I have to leave to pick up the girls from the theater.
I get home, walk the dog and go to the produce store for a few items not available at the other store.
Currently, the girls are downstairs playing video games. There is lots of cheering, laughing, yelling, and OMG’s!
When people wonder what parents do all day, this is it. I’ve had probably an hour to myself today, in 15 minute chunks.