Twice a year my mother-in-law makes her pilgrimage to Cleveland Clinic to have her bi-annual checkup. So, twice a year the roles are reversed and I get to be Mr. Mom for a day or so while Stephanie accompanies her. It’s fun to see the “other side” every now and then, just like I imagine she gets to see what I get to put up with when I’m on the road. Granted, I don’t usually have my mom with me wherever I go but still…having to stay in a hotel and eat horribly at some hole-in-the-wall dump restaurant (like a PF Chang’s or Olive Garden) and then having to use hotel shampoo and conditioner? It’s a life not made for someone with a light stomach.
So tonight I had things to do. Actually…I had a schedule. It was hand-written on a blue sticky note and it had my itinerary for the night. It looked like this…
This was all fine and good but it’s what ISN’T on there that was the more challenging aspect of it.
First, let’s break this down. Stephanie pulled away from our home today at approximately 12:33pm. I remember this because I glanced at my watch while I was wheeling out the lawn mower to tackle the jungle formerly known as our yard. As I watched her mother’s tail lights disappear up our street, I put in my earphones, cranked up the music and chuckled to myself…”I got this.” And I did! For maybe a couple hours. Then I picked the kids up from school and it was showtime!
2:58pm – 8 minutes late getting into the pickup line at school because I forgot I had to run to the bank. I get a phone call on the Batphone…
Christopher: “Where are you?”
Me (trying to hide the fact that I’m late and at the back of the line): “I’m in the line. Don’t you see me?”
Christopher: “No. We’ll walk to the BACK of the school so we don’t have to wait here longer.” *click*
There ya have it. I’ve been in charge for a whole 8 minutes and I’m already a failure.
After picking the kids up, my (internal) itinerary says I have 2 hours for them to get their homework done, get them a snack, get them organized and off to the first stop of the night…Christopher’s baseball practice. 1 hour and 47 minutes later, Ava has her homework binder in her arms, paper falling out of it, an eraser-less pencil clutched in one hand, her new cell phone in the other. Christopher is rushing down the stairs, bag full of clothes his mother packed for him over his shoulder, his new birthday IPhone in one hand, basketball shoes in the other. I rush to get him a water bottle before we leave (it’s on the list!) and conveniently leave it on the table as we rush out the door to baseball practice. And so the night begins.
Upon arriving at baseball practice, I drop our children off at the park and, realizing we (I) forgot the water bottle, return home to get it. I also grab a water bottle for Ava and a soda for myself (calorie free Vanilla Coke. Perfect!) and proceed out the door with both dogs staring at me with that “Please take us!” look in their eyes. I pretend not to see them and keep on movin’!
Back at the baseball field, I watch the clock as time starts to grow short. I have 15 minutes to get Christopher from baseball practice to a basketball skills practice and it’s 6:13. In my head I crunch the numbers…6 mile drive, maybe 7 stop lights, gotta get them in the car…that’s at least 18 minutes…UNLESS I hit 5 of the lights! THEN it’s possible! As we head to the car, Ava asks for her phone. I have conveniently left it on the bleachers right where she gave it to me so she wouldn’t lose it when she went off to play with her friend. *sigh*
Ava runs and gets the phone, rushes up to jump car as we’re pulling away. Chris changes in the backseat while Ava and I search for something to listen to on XM radio. Ava wants Disney, I want 80’s On 8 and Christopher is busy answering texts in the backseat while trying to pull on his basketball shorts. I somehow managed to make it with 2 minutes to spare (hey…4 of those lights were on YELLOW mister!!!) and Christopher is shooting layups in the gym by 6:30. WIN!!!
Unfortunately, Ava had decided to roll in the grass at the park and is all kinds of itchy. And so, with a little under an hour before her gymnastics class, I rush her home to get her a quick shower and a snack. When we arrive, Barkley and Stella are staring at me. It’s 6:45. Their dinnertime. Ava showers, I feed the dogs, update my Facebook status and somehow end up descrambling Ava’s english words for HER homework (I dunno how this happened) and then we’re off and running her to her class.
7:22pm – I drop Ava off at the studio for her 7:30pm class and I watch her walk into the building. I have to pick up Christopher in 10 minutes. I don’t like leaving Ava but she assures me that it’s okay and I’m not doing anything wrong. So I head south to get Fer.
7:35pm – Arrive back at the gym as things are wrapping up and my phone rings. Ava’s instructor hasn’t arrived and Ava is all alone. Luckily, her assistant principal (a friend of our family) is there and calls me. So now I feel REALLY bad as I’m rushing Christopher out of the gym to hurry back to get Ava! As I’m pulling out of the parking lot, I get a text that the instructor has arrived and no need to hurry. I sigh and slow down after peeling out of a school parking lot. All is good.
After Ava’s class is over, I take both of the kids to Skyline for dinner, get them home, get Fer showered and everyone is in bed by 9:35pm. Except I’ve left the windows open upstairs all day and it’s about 85 degrees so…after a little bit of complaining…I allow both kids to head downstairs to sleep in the much cooler basement.
It’s now 10:55 as I wrap this up. Being Mom for a day has its headaches but ya know what? I kind of enjoy it when I get a chance to do it. It shows me how much Stephanie does for this family and I should never take that for granted. And now…I’m off to bed. Gotta get the kids up and moving tomorrow for school!