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.
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.
"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.