I just dropped sissy off at pre-school. We do a carpool, and Fridays I get to drive the girls there and back...yuck. So not looking forward to this in the dead of winter. Dragging the baby out in the snow. Getting multiple girls buckled in (which is no small feat when trying to wedge the buckle in past the 87 layers of tutu that are obstructing the thing-a-ma-jig the buckle clicks in to)...ANYWAYS- back to the point. So I drop her and her friend, Haley off at school. The drop-off is smart, because the parents don't get out of the car. They just have the big line of cars, with the teachers to see the kids in to the building. So, as I am watching Sis running in to her building, I am pulling away. And then I see her trip and fall on her face. Luckily the tutu cushioned her fall, along with her enormous puffy coat, and the back pack she was carrying in front of her. I saw her get back up. And I saw a teacher run over to help her. And true to Shelby-form, she was far too big (embarrassed) to accept any comfort. So, I had a decision to make. Do I drive away, hoping that this incident won't ruin the rest of her day at school, or do I unbuckle the baby and go in (of course, the morning I have not brushed my teeth, and I have my pj's tucked in to my Uggs) and check on her. The teacher motions for me to go.
But, what does she know?
What if Shelby is really needing her mom? Wanting a hug from me?
Hasn't she ever seen the movie Cypher In The Snow?
So, I do it. I unbuckle the baby, throw his blanket over his spit-up covered shirt (didn't have time to do the beauty routine on him this morning either) and go in the school. I catch a glimpse of myself in the car window just before I shut the car door, and...well, I look like poo. But oh well. So I go in. And I see Shelby lining up her pink furry boots, next to another girl's furry pink boots. They have to put their backpacks and shoes away before they go in to yoga (I know, don't laugh). So, she looks up at me, and that is when I realize, I should have known better. She is totally fine. But as soon as she sees me, she's the definition of Saran Wrap. Oh, and so is the girl she car pools with. They both wrap their arms around me, and about knock me off my feet. It's like they are being rescued from Guantanamo. I say "I saw you tripped, and I just wanted to make sure you are okay". Shelby tells me "Yeah, but can you stay all day, the way the other moms do?" I look around. There are a bunch of "regulars" whose kids have got them tricked in to staying the entire day at the school, following them around from yoga to art, to snack to dance and so on. They look like the class rejects, at the end of the lines, following the four-year olds around, their kids constantly looking back to check to make sure they are still there. Once in a while a mom will try to make a quick escape, only to have her kid wail as they see their mom bolting for the door. That is when she slinks back to the end of the line, to resume her place as her kid's crutch. And today, that would be me. Only, I have drooly attached to my hip. And all those other moms got to shower and brush their teeth first. SO, I sit and watch her do yoga. OHMMMM. Then when it is over, I tell her that I am going to go, and she flips "Just five, No, TEN more minutes...like the OTHER moms?!" She knows how to work it. And with all the eyes on me, I give in. So I follow the kids, with the rest of the shmucks, to "play practice". Her little friend runs up to me, and wants me to sit with them on the floor, then Shelby sees her touching me and has to run over and grab me and the baby just to show her whose property I really am. That's when I lose it.
What am I doing?
I need to put the baby down for a nap and get showered for Pete's sake!
I pay good money to have this time alone...I mean... educate my child in creative arts!
So I get down on my knees, in front of the teachers and kids, and I look Shelby and Haley right in the eyes. I say "I have to go home and give baby Garrett a nap". "NOOOOO" they both wail simultaneously.
"If I don't give him a nap he is going to throw up."
"Why?" Haley asks.
"Because he will be so tired, he will get sick and he will just throw up everywhere. Do you want him to puke all over you?"
"Okay, then I am going home. I told you I would stay for five minutes, and I did. You need to be big girls and have big girl behavior." "Okay," they both say. "Okay? I repeat...OK."
And then I got the heck outta dodge. As I left I passed the other moms, with their kids wrapped around their legs. Maybe they were envious. Maybe they thought I was Satan. All I know, is that I should have known better. Next time, when I get the wave from the teacher, I will keep on driving. And the girls will be just fine.