I had good intentions.
Pick up my son from school. Take him to his appointment at the orthodontist. Go home.
Easy enough for a mom, right? People do it all time. Kind of like brushing your teeth, paying a bill, or buying groceries. Things we do. Stuff we hate, but do anyway.
For the record, I get four hours of sleep at night. And for the record, I nap in the afternoon, setting my alarm to wake me 15 minutes before the bus drops off kid #1. I greet him with a smile and bedhead, dressed in the blouse I wore to work that morning and winter pj pants adorned with snowflakes.
My appearance usually results in my 11-year-old responding: ‘Looking gooood, Mom.’
Except this day he would be picked up for an early dismissal.
I cut my nap short, groggily drove to his school, and approached the front desk with a smile, asking where I should sign out my son for an appointment.
She looked at me funny.
I panicked, wondering if I had forgotten to change out of my hideous pants, or maybe I had pillowcase lines embedded in my cheek. Then she paused, and said:
‘School was dismissed a half hour ago. Kids have gone for the day.’
Seriously, I don’t drink much, but wondered, for a briefo second, if this is what it felt like to be heavily lit. To not know where I am, what I’m doing or how I got there. I stared at the clock, then back at the woman, and figured it was time for some damage control. My son’s reputation was at stake. No need for others to think his mom is a sleep-deprived lunatic who can’t figure out when school is dismissed. So I muttered these words:
‘Of course they are. And you must think I’m a WHACKJOB.’
Before she could respond, I spun around and walked out. And laughed my butt off all the way home. I mean, laughed and TALKED TO MYSELF all the way home, as in, ‘Deborah, this takes the cake. Seriously. You’ve officially lost it. O-FFIC-IALLY.’
Pretty sure this beats locking my keys, and my kid, in the car. It beats getting my scarf stuck in one of those swanky airtubes at the bank drive-thru and nearly asphyxiating. Or the time I hurried to undress in the doctor’s office because I didn’t want him to walk in mid-nudity, and tripped stepping out of my underwear.
Beats all of those.
I love my kids dearly, but this mother won’t be volunteering at my boy’s school anytime soon.
Or even next month.