Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Matron Will Take What She Can Get

Even though Mother's Day has been thoroughly stripped of its original anti-war message and been recast as an utterly Hallmark Holiday, the Matron will stake her claim on the day.

Considering yesterday.

First, she taught the last 8:30 class. Of course, Omar if the infamous email message was his usual two hours late for the three hour class! He let the Matron understand that she inconvenienced him by ending the class early, because he had intended to print out all of his assignments during the 15 minute break (which is just about when he usually arrives).

Since there was no break, the Matron waited for Omar to print and organize his work after class. And, she kept calling him Omar instead of his actual name! Slippage!

The children were under Stryker's fine care, which meant much mayhem and screaming. She received no less than 5 phone calls to complain about Stryker;s babysitting skills during her 15 minute drive home.

Upon her arrival, Merrick had a complete psychological collapse. The very presence of the Matron caused him to fall to the floor screaming: "I want Daddy! Are YOU going to take care of me!?? I want Daddy!!!"

She took that as "Happy Mother's Day, in advance."

The messy house was just more gifting.

At noon, while (1) trying to arrange play dates for the child who didn't want to be with her, (2) realizing that she was on her own for the cleaning and cooking involved with tonight's long-planned get together with her in-laws, who would be arriving in 4 short hours, and (3) making lunch for the older two who had a 12:30 stage call, she received this phone call:

Teddy: "Uh, is this Stryker and Scarlett's Mom?"

Matron: "Yes? Who's this?"

Teddy: "This is Teddy, from the play. Uh, my Mom and Dad went to the Mall of America and left me home alone. They thought maybe you could bring me."

This required a long Matronly pause as she considered what possible sign she could be giving, what neon hat she is wearing, that gave this child's parents -- who she barely met in passing during the ins-and-outs of the rehearsals and whose names she cannot even remember--the idea that she was utterly at their last minute service?

But this was not Teddy's fault.

Matron: "Sure, Teddy, I can pick you up. What's your address?"

Of course, this pushed up the entire schedule and now she was in a hurry. Just as the Matron wrangled the three children, the snacks, the scripts, and the umbrellas into the car, she had the most inconvenient thought: "Has anyone seen Scruffy in the past hour?"

Satan's Familiar was missing!

The Matron pushed her luck with time and drove throughout the neighborhood with the children leaning out the windows: "Scruffy! Treat! Kitty! Scruffy!" They looked as long as they possibly could and then made a bee-line to Teddy's house.

Scarlett cried the whole way: "Someone will take him!"

The Matron is just not that lucky.

As the Matron was considering who would watch Merrick and his friend (coming at 1:30) while she searched the streets for Satan's Familiar, the skies opened. Pouring rain. Great. Now she could get soaking wet while searching for S.F. when she should be home, preparing to single-handedly feed 11 people (who probably would like to use clean bathrooms) coconut curry chicken. In between transporting children, of course. Including someone else's.

Friends? For the first time in her life, the Matron understood the value of the manical laugh.

Merrick: "You're laughing! You hate him!"

Scarlett: "Scruffy's getting weeeeeeeeet!"

When they roll up to Teddy's house he gets in and says: "Can we stop at a store?"

The Matron wonders just what planet this child is being raised on.

Matron: "No! You have to be at the theater in ten minutes."

Then, she had a somber realization. "Teddy, are you hungry?"

When it was clear that deft parenting had also failed to feed that child, the Matron handed over Stryker and Scarlett's snacks. And she was steaming.

Once home, who was (thankfully? miraculously! tragically?) sitting safely on the front porch, out of the pouring rain, but Satan's Familiar! Of course, he was not one bit wet. He is magic.

The Matron started in on the cleaning and cooking while Merrick wailed at her feet for a friend, Daddy, Stryker, Scarlett--anyone other than her sorry self. And when the beloved Lachlan finally arrived, both boys instantly back pedaled.

"I want to play at my house."

"No, my house."

"My house. I want to play with Scruffy.

"My house!"

"Scruffy! My house!"

Because the Matron needed to get a chicken in the oven, she did not have time for this conversation, no matter how fascinating.

Then the spirit of the Lord came down to save the Matron, sweeping into Lachlan's unsuspecting body and pouring this sweet magic out of his mouth: "Can Merrick and Scruffy go to my house?"

And they did!

Lachlan's mother took Satan's Familiar to her house to poop for awhile! (which of course, he did not, because he is saving all his love for his mommy)

After the Matron went to the theater to retrieve the children (everyone's!), she went home and quickly assembled a very fine meal and wiped pee off of every toilet. A very nice evening was had by all!

But the exhausted, frazzled Matron went to bed feeling like some entertaining combination of Lucille Ball, Erma Bombeck and The Little Red Hen. This really is her life!

So today, she is participating in the continuing bastardization of this holiday's initial impulse: she is celebrating Mother's Day with some good old fashioned self-indulgence. Spending some money, you know, to help the economy.

This morning, she drove alone to Bread and Chocolate where she had a caramel roll, large coffee AND a muffin top. Now, that's living large. After a late lunch with her family at The Tea House, she had a Juut pedicure! Now, she and Scarlett are heading to the theater, catching one of Scarlett's Home Place colleagues now performing at the Jungle Theater. She's lifted nary a finger all day.

If you're a mama, she hopes you didn't, either.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What is the signal we give off--of course we have nothing better to do than drive miles out of our way to get your poor, forsaken child. And would we ever ask or trust you to transport one of our children? Not in a million years.

Happy Mother's Day.

JessTrev said...

Oh, Saint Matron. We cannot do any great things, only small, child-loving things with great, Satanic (all deference to his familiar) waves of bitterness towards clueless, entitled, self-centered adults who don't deserve their offspring. Ahem. Happy Day! Didn't lift a finger!

Nora said...

Your morning at Bread and Chocolate sounds perfect.

Bonnie said...

Wow - what did you say to those lovely parents?

Yesterday for me was not as aggravating - but just as busy. Two softball games, the Art Car Parade, a soccer game, family dinner out with friends. Lots of fun - but enough frenetic activity to make me want to hide in bed all day today. Which I did not. :(
I get that as long as my Mom is around, Mother's Day is really about her. I will have my day in the (hopefully) distant future.
I did fantasize about the perfect Mothers Day though. Husband would take both kids on vacation for two weeks and I would have the house to my self and NOTHING planned. Ahh - peace and quiet and puttering to my own inner clock.

Madge said...

i'm so amazed at those parents. that is one insane crazy day you had yesterday. you better not have lifted a finger! my husband is currently bathing the six year old -- even as he screams for me. i will not give in. i will not give in.

Anonymous said...

I only lifted fingers to pour move vodka into my glass my darling. Hope you had a wonderful day!

Heather said...

Wow, I wonder what some people are thinking!

Did not lift a finger here!

Mrs. G. said...

I didn't do a thing. I am going to have to tell you about some of my best party recipes-all you have to do is dial a phone number and pick the food up. It's magic.

Happy Mother's Day MM.

Jennifer S said...

I wish I could say I didn't lift a finger. Now I'm just bitter.

Your day yesterday sounds horrid. Those parents sound horrid. I'm glad you were able to end the day with a nice evening.

And today sounds fantastic. Happy Mother's Day!

Jocelyn said...

I only covet one of the two days of your weekend. It is not the day involving Teddy.

You know, I could comment about twenty-seven things here, from expressing my admiration and vicarious exhaustion and advising you to hire someone to take SF the hell out of Dodge...but mostly, I want to be serious and urge you to communicate something--whatever you feel necessary--to that poor Teddy's parents. They are presumptous and inappropriate, at their child's expense.

Nora said...

I am a mama of a grown up daughter who forgot to call me or send me a card and I hardly lifted a finger all day and I really don't give a darn, because it is all commercialism. Do you believe me?

Anonymous said...

That other mother? Is a saint. God sent her to you, Matron, to take the devil incarnate off your hands. Amazing. I'm glad it worked out. I'm also glad I got to read about the hysteria along the way;)

ps amen on the way Mother's Day has been "rewritten" to be a boost to our economy and not at all political. Total crap.

JCK said...

Funniest post EVER, La Matron! You are gifted.

So glad your Mother's Day was lovely. You definitely deserved it. I could hear your maniacal laugh all the way out here in S. California!

Anonymous said...

About the child left behind while the parents went to the mall - seems pretty sad and here's another one - on our Saturday before Mother's Day we had a car-pool sorta trip to the MN Zoo for a BD party. We arranged a few days before to pick up one other child (besides taking our daughter) and that other mom would bring the girls home, and the other mother also asked if we could pick up one more little girl that they were planning to bring (a bit out of the way) but it was fine. Then our daughter came home from school the day before the party with instructions for picking up that other child (an 8 or 9-year-old girl) - just honk twice at the apartment. When my husband pulled up he didn't even have to honk, the child was sitting out on the steps and just ran to the car and we have never even met the parents! I don't think we are helicoptor parents, but there are some situations where a bit of hovering is called for - at least in my book.

Becky Brown said...

I originally read it as "had to get the children in the oven."

And it totally worked with the rest of the story, really.

I hope your mother's day was truly restful. You are a saint!

Kimberly said...

I'm so glad you had a great mother's day after all that. Good grief!

And what is up with Teddy's parents? I'm steaming right along with you.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

You had to drive Teddy HOME too?!? The hell?