(From The Archives, May 2014)
Every once in a while I do a NO BOYS ALLOWED post. This is one of those posts:
I should have known that Monday was going to be rough. It started with me waking up at 4:28AM. That’s never good because I can’t get back to sleep. I try to count sheep, but somewhere around 12 I start contemplating scenes from Mad Men, and then I stress that I can’t sleep, and then, of course, I have to use the bathroom.
Speaking as someone who has gone to bed at 4:28 in the morning and woken up at 4:28 in the morning, the former is more fun.
After an hour or so, I finally made it back to sleep and when I woke up I looked like this:
Just kidding. I looked like this:
And I felt like it too. But when you’re a mom, the day calls for you whether you’re up for it not.
Our morning routine was uneventful and once I got my kids off to school, I worked and did mom stuff before it was time to pick up my younger one (JJ, 5) from pre-school. She had dance in a few hours and it was Picture Day. I still had work to do, but I remembered to carve out 5-7 minutes so I could get her into costume and make-up.
After that, it was time to meet the bus and grab my older daughter, F, who is 7. JJ and I discussed what kind of mood F would be in when she got off the bus. There are only two moods for F: Good or Bad. Thankfully, she was good.
Traffic was bad on the way to dance, so we were running late. Testing F’s good mood, I asked her if she would be a “nice big sister” and take JJ in while I parked the car. I was very proud of myself for multitasking the drop-off/car park. I don’t think I would have been able to do that a year ago. (Honestly, I’m not even 100% sure that I should have done it this year, but F is responsible and their dance studio is great. I knew my kids would be safe.)
When I walked in, I noticed that everyone in JJ’s class looked perfect while she, though very cute, looked a little disheveled. She was the only one without a ponytail (oops) so we searched until we found a rubber band. I also didn’t think to bring a brush so F and I had to finger brush her hair which left it all bumpy.
It wasn’t until class started that I realized bobbie pins might have been a good idea because her hair wasn’t staying in the band, and also her costume was all jacked up in the back. (See kid on the right.)
She was a mini hot mess. I felt bad. I let her down. But she made it through, unscathed.
When we got home, it was dinner and homework time. The girls usually play while I make something (something they will complain about) for dinner. I never know what they’re doing when they “play,” and I really don’t care as long as there is no crying or blood. Normally they come in and out of the kitchen to bug me, but F only came in once—and it was so she could borrow the broom.
Wait. That’s weird.
Me: F! Hold up! What do you need the broom for?
F: Nothing, Mommy. Don’t worry.
Well, that’s never good, so I followed her. Sure enough, in my bedroom, there was a trail of hair leading to my bathroom. Chunks of hair. And then JJ, on the floor in the bathroom:
JJ: Hi, Mommy! We cut our hair!!!
And since my husband is not around (he’s in northern Michigan living at camp) it’s on me to do everything, and suffice it to say,”cleaning up hair” was not an add-on I was looking for.
And the girls? They thought since Mommy was laughing, she wasn’t mad. They don’t know that sometimes when Mommies laugh, it’s not because something is funny, it’s because we have LOST OUR MINDS.
She cut one big chunk out, Sixteen Candles style.
At least F’s cut was a little more symmetrical, she kind of gave herself layers. Either way, I needed to get them both professional appointments ASAP.
I didn’t yell. I wasn’t mad. I was tired: Tired of not getting ahead and from not enough sleep.
They took that to mean they could go play though. WRONG. I wasn’t the one playing Vidal Sassoon—they made the mess, they can clean it up.
And they did. And then, since we were already in there, they did my make-up.
Finally, it was time for them to go to bed, but it was garbage and recycling time for me. That’s when I really, REALLY miss my husband. I managed to get everything down our driveway (I drove it) but just as I got to the end, a man and his dog were walking by.
I didn’t hit them. (This story would’ve had a much different ending.) I did chat with them though, and even though the last thing I wanted to do at that point was talk to anyone, I managed to hold my own.
But once I was back in the house, washing my hands, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw what the man saw.
I totally forgot that the girls did my make-up!
And then, RIGHT then, as I wiped excess lip gloss off my teeth and sighed in defeat—in defeat of the day, but hopeful that the next one would be better, I got my “P.” P for PERFECT. I didn’t even see it coming or I would have worn a different pair of undies. And I sank to the floor.
And as I sat amidst the chunks of hair that we didn’t quite get, I realized that I truly am very fortunate to be in this position. As moms, we have days like this: Manic Mondays, Turbulent Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays…they are “Mother’s Days.” They’re part of the job, a (more often than not) thankless and exhausting job for which we get no money and few accolades, but an important job nonetheless—quite possibly the most important job.
I hope all the Moms out there have a very special Mother’s Day. You deserve only good things today, (unless you are a horrible mom).
And as for me, I think I’m going to treat myself to some new undies.
Happy Mother’s Day!