You know that saying, “I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached?”
Yesterday started with me getting up early to shower so I could get the kids fed and dressed in time to get Corin to Mother’s Day Out by 9 a.m. It was pouring – and I do mean POURING – when I pulled into the parking lot and immediately realized I must have missed a memo. The parking lot was nearly empty. I broke a cardinal rule and left the kids in the car while I sloshed to the door to sheepishly ask the one person in the place what exactly I had missed. Sure enough, no Mother’s Day Out this week, an open house next Tuesday, and then the normal schedule resumes for the school year. I needed to pay a tuition balance, but of course, I hadn’t brought my checkbook in. I sloshed back to the car to get my checkbook, dripped on the patient woman’s desk while I wrote her a check, and sloshed back out to a very disappointed three-year-old.
Of course, the lack of Mother’s Day Out meant Corin would be coming with me to Lina’s physical therapy appointment. Thankfully, it wasn’t a hard sell. They have toys.
We showed up on time (okay, 5 minutes late) and waited quite some time before the therapist came out and said, “Remember how I asked you last time if you had a recurring appointment on the schedule and you said you did?” Yeah. Oops. Thankfully, the kind therapist was able to see us, and we’re now on her schedule for the foreseeable future. Corin enjoyed himself and Lina had her best appointment so far.
By the time therapy was over and I’d fed the baby, it was well into lunchtime. We headed to the Panera just around the corner. Corin likes the food there, and it’s healthier than some options, but the logistics are a challenge. Maybe there’s a way to gracefully manage two children while ordering at the register, locating an empty table mid-lunch rush, finding somewhere to stash the baby carrier and then ferrying two meals and a baby back to the table. If so, I haven’t found it. I wish I’d gotten the names of the kind strangers who stepped in to help, because they deserve public thanks.
The brightest spot all morning was the thought that the cleaning lady was at that very moment polishing things to a shine at home. That is, until I realized upon our return that I had completely forgotten to let her know we wouldn’t be home. The key was under the mat, but of course she didn’t feel comfortable barging into my home without instruction. I listened to the answering machine message – “No one is answering, so I’m leaving. I can come next Friday, if you want.” – and nearly cried.
The final chapter came at around 5 p.m., when I got a call from the agent who sold us our new health insurance policy, which it turns out had been voided for nonpayment, despite our having filled out all the paperwork for autodraft payments. (Thankfully, it’s all cleared up: a brief phone call this morning and the customer rep freely admitted it wasn’t our fault, waived the reinstatement fee, and promised all claims will be paid.)
There are just some days where you say a prayer of thanks you made it to the end. I gotta tell you, that was not my A game. But it’s also true that this narrative leaves a lot out. It doesn’t communicate how many times Corin’s commentary made me laugh, or the pleasure of sharing his first Dairy Queen blizzard, or the way Lina’s face lights up at brother’s antics, or the goofy way she pulls her foot up past her ear in the high chair… There is magic. It’s happening, even as I’m facing the truth that this once-organized and relatively together adult really would lose her head if it wasn’t attached.
Carrot loaf was a HIT