Friday, May 29, 2009

Life in the Fast Lane

Thanks to Cheri at Blog This Mom for the clever formatting idea (although the Matron's woes aren't as weighty - wishing you well, darling).

Did you ever have one of those days when you wake up at six a.m. to face your THIRD DAY with no pot of coffee to get you through your morning post-dawn Cave Man conversation with your nearly 13 year old?

Matron:  "Anything special to look forward to, today, honey?"

Stryker:  "Uh."

Ever have the kind of day where your son sidles off to the bus stop wearing a shirt made out of duct tape and a red plastic hat with a light mounted on it (don't even ask).

Then at 6:50 am you wake up your husband -- because he hasn't yet mastered the concept of alarm clock -- and remind him that the lottery ticket thing didn't pan out, and he has to rise and shine and start setting the children in motion by 7:15.

Ever have the kind of morning where on your daily run with a dog Satan built, that dog stops DEAD in his tracks for no reason--directly in front of you -- so that you can hurl over him headfirst and entertain the teens on the school bus driving by?

How about going home to the three narratives:  the six-year old with the ZapTingleItchOw Skin who is wailing about pain because the ONE pair of pants he can tolerate have finally turned to dust; the ten year old, frantic with anxiety over a voice that can barely croak and a big show to carry; and the husband trying to prepare for a morning with clients.

The Matron was fully struck this morning by how distinct these narratives were.  Each person had his or her own arc, theme, characters, and plot.  And none of them were related.  Each was all consumed.  But the Matron?  She belonged in everybody's plot.  

Ever have the kind of day where you run through those plots simultaneously, carrying on three conversations at once while packing the final lunch box, finding another pair of pants and securing some throat lozenges.

Wave the daughter off to the kick-ass car pool and the kindergartener to Dad who's doing the driving but WHILE the door is still open, you're already on the phone to make a  4 pm appointment about the daughter's rash and sore throat (because the littlest one has strep) and call one of Stryker's parents about that overnight, RSVP forgotten.

Ever have the kind of day when you notice that Satan's Familiar is nowhere to be found and spend the next twenty minutes outside screaming for him, only to finally find him inside under a bed because (and you had forgotten this) he had been scared by a feral CAT an hour before?

Then you go to the computer, to your online Introduction to Literature class, only to discover that in the 12 hours since you last visited said virtual classroom, one student declared that James Baldwin's iconic short story "Sonny's Blues," is actually NOT AT ALL ABOUT RACE and everybody else jumped up and said "I agree there is no racial overtone here"?  Ten hours without a Matronly guiding hand, and they had removed any degree of social justice or racial tension from a text known for just that.

Ever spend a morning quickly writing a lecture that was both literary criticism, history and current events?  

After which, the lack of caffeine meant you were unfortified to fight against your urge to search for rabid bats -- which you spent a good half hour in pursuit of?  

Ever have the kind of day when your next email is from HR querying why you have not taken a required and time-driven course on the History and Philosophy of the Community College and could you please register and take this right away or get fired?

Except you took that class in the fall!

So you spend forty minutes trying to clean up that mess and then your next email tells you that yes, Publisher X is very intersted in you penning a research and writing textbook for them (nice propsal, Matron!) and how soon can you pen the sample chapter?

Then you realize you must wash your oldest child's baseball uniform for a 5 pm practice/game and put away some of the clutter in the house while rescheduling the youngest's dental appointment and calling the daughter's school about the doctor appointment.

Ever have a day when you get a phone call from your middle-child, en route with her father from her play, to say that the sore throat is SO bad, she is in agony AND that unless the strep takes place by 2 pm, she might still be contagious and the understudy fill in?

You go to the Minute Clinic with the child, where the nurse deems the results 'inconclusive,' (and here you get to wonder how that can possibly be) but recommends antibiotics immediately, given how many people this child could infect during any given performance.  So you agree, thinking the culture will only confirm or deny this and if it's the latter you can stop the drugs without damage and the former you are serving the public health, only to have the nurse immediately TOSS the strep test and announce:  "Once we give the scrip we cannot do the culture."  

So you give your chlid a dose right there in the Minute Clinic pharmacy and you follow instructions to immediately follow up with the stage manager on health and infection status.

Ever have a day when you go home with the child to meet the oldest's school bus and give him instruction on evening Travel, Route and Game, reminding him about tonight's overnight and inquiring how the whole duct tape shirt thing went?

Then you go to another school to pick up the third who has a backpack full of rocks and take this one and the daughter to another doctor (their real one) to investigate the mysterious rash which turns out to be chiggers but only after a forty minute wait?  Yes, the Matron is sure that during that wait the rash morphed from fatality to chigger.

Ever have the kind of day where you are unable to eat an entire cheesecake but the thought actually crosses your mind?

Ever have the kind of day where you go home and make dinner while your six-year old rides his scooter in footie pajamas and cowboy boots (he can cram the foot in) and a helmut while your ten year old comes downstairs with huge basket full of toys and says:  "What can I sell tomorrow?"

Then you remember that you agreed to participate in the neighborhood garage sale!!  And have done not one little thing to prepare other than warn your neighbors that you've never done a garage sale before and are wondering about inclination?

Then you work on the garage sale, catch the tail end of the oldest's ball game, transport that child to an overnight, come back and find neighbors in yard - chatting --  which is good because your head is going to explode and Alice Walker is probably a Republican white woman in the online class and you are unable to share that glass of wine because of the CLEANSE mania, thank you.

Ever have the kind of day where the bed time, the laundry, the garage sale, the perpetual nature of the online classroom and the mandated half hour zombie stare at late night TV meant you rambled off a last-minute midnight blog post?

And you go to bed knowing that tomorrow looks just about the same.


Lynda said...

That sounds like just about every day! Thank goodness I am not alone :)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh, good grief you poor dear.

I'll just keep my Michael Jackson nose and you keep the bats, rashes, students, chiggers, throats, garage sales, et al.

Happy to help with the formatting though.


Anonymous said...

I admire your energy. If I'd had a day like that, I sure wouldn't have had the time to post all this stuff on a blog! more power to you.
---a retired Mom

thefirecat said...

Welcome to the cleanse of your life, apparently.

Daisy said...

Yes, I've had days like this! At this point, were I in your shoes, I'd probably forgo the cleanse and go for the wine.

Amy said...

We all need to take a vacation. When you put it into words it makes it even more tiring.

MJ said...

In part due to this post, I have just confirmed that I won't have child #3, nor a pet. I am also reconsidering whether to return to work. I feel exhausted.

Hope your weekend is better!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have, in fact, had several days remarkably like that in my life. I don't know if I could have survived them and done a cleanse at the same time.

Good luck!

JCK said...

Yes, the cleanse would have sent me over the edge.

Gertie said...

No, I have never had a day that even comes close to that - unless you figure in the tasks of being an elementary school teacher with a family of 3 kids. So, yeah, on second thought I probably have had a day like that... but, never the oooomph to document it.

racheld said...


I don't know how you do it---I'm soaking up my second cup of caffeine, and there are only three of us in the house.

I hope you great strength and fortitude and invisible hands to help you through this day.

apropos of nothing---I just caught side of my "secret word"---returd. In memory of my own Mom-of-three-one-year-apart-each years: I hope you at least ONE unsupervised, unpaged, un-called, unaccompanied loo visit today.

Just that would help, I think.