The kids went back to school yesterday. Forgive me for saying
YEAH, YOU RIGHT! TAKE ‘EM, BITCHES! MY TAX DOLLARS AT WORK! that I’m not sure I’ll miss them for the seven hours and 42 minutes they’re gone each weekday.
Their reentry into the education system was preceded by a trying day. Only the stomach flu could have made it worse. First, you should know that I have been taking some sort of super-antibiotic that precludes me from drinking. When the nurse first gave me the prescription, she told me not to drink while I was taking it, and I was all, ha ha, I bet you say that to all your boozy patients. But I thought to ask my pharmacist about it, and he said, “No, you cannot drink alcohol while taking this. I’m not saying you might get sick – I’m saying you WILL get sick – vomiting, stomach cramps, the works.”
“Whoa!” I said. “I can’t take that right now! My parents are coming into town!”
So I let a bacterial infection reside in my netherworld parts for a week in order to ensure quality family time. TMI, men? HAHAHA! Too bad.
Not that I would have been drinking early Sunday morning when the chaos started – but, you know, I like to have options.
The Diva had spent the night out, so we didn’t have the usual arguments about when to wake her up. Instead we argued over who should lie next to me in bed. I needed to be situated in my favored spot next to the table so I could perch my coffee there. The Tyrant woke up first and burrowed into the fat pockets of my abdomen. After 20 minutes, the Pterodactyl woke up and wanted to sprawl on top of me, which crushed the burrower, who lashed out with flailing limbs. The Pterodactyl drew first blood with his scraggly fingernails. Hot Firefighter Husband was getting ready for work, spending 10 minutes with the automatic toothbrush in order to mute the sounds of Life With Children.
All I wanted to do was read the Sunday New York Times Modern Love column and drink my coffee but THAT didn’t happen. Day of Rest, my ass. Who watched the kids while you relaxed, Moses? Who made your unleavened bread? Who yelled, “FOR THE LOVE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, SHUT UP BEFORE I THROW YOUR ASSES IN THE UNPARTED RED SEA!”
I spent my Day of Rest laboring at the familiar sisyphean task of straightening the house. I put away a sleeping bag, and the kids used two sheets to make a fort. I replaced the cushions on the couch, and someone emptied out a toy chest. I loaded the dishwasher, and the Tyrant threw a football in a perfect spiral across the room and knocked a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal onto the floor. GAH!
Mid-morning, we picked up the Diva and treated ourselves to Yogaberry while writing a grocery list of the lunch items we needed for the first day of school. Genius! Except that I didn’t watch the children self-serve themselves frozen yogurt, and they racked up $30 in toppings before wolfing down the toppings and throwing away the yogurt. By the way – Yogaberry peeps? Pieces of cake, entire Twix bars, and Rice Crispie treats aren’t “toppings.” They are “dessert options.” Please label them as such.
We proceeded to Publix, where the Tyrant and the Pterodactyl embarked on an hour-long effort to mortify me in front of mothers whose children don’t use the frozen food display case as “base” or push each other into stacks of macaroni.
We had entered Publix under a blazing sun. When we left, a tropical storm apparently had made landfall in the parking lot. A grocery store clerk kindly used her enormous umbrella to usher the children to the Motorized Landfill while I pushed the cart and collected an inch of water in each grocery bag.
By the time we arrived home, I was soaked and exhausted. “We will not leave the house for the rest of the day,” I announced. I tethered each child to an electronic device, changed into pajamas and took a nap.
We ate an early dinner, and started getting organized for the next day. We were nearly done when the Diva said to her brother, “Where’s your clipboard?” And I’m all “Clipboard? What clipboard? There’s no clipboard on the list.”
“The assistant teacher told Daddy about it on Meet the Teacher Day. She said to be sure and have a clipboard on the first day.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t have to have it the first day, honey,” I said.
“Mom, he does!” insisted the Diva. “He needs a clipboard!”
“I NEED A CLIPBOARD!” shrieked the boy.
I texted the mom of the boy’s bff, who is in the same class: Is your son bringing a clipboard to school tomorrow?
She texted back: Yes! We just bought it!
I texted again: Damn you.
I put the Tyrant in the bathtub with 40 Barbie toys, stuck the Pterodactyl in front of the computer and put the Diva in charge. “I am going to CVS to buy a clipboard,” I said. “I will be back in 15 minutes.”
But CVS, which sells pink ankle socks, monkey chew toys for dogs, and Betta Glo Fun Green Clip-On Earrings, did not have a clipboard on hand. I couldn’t call the Diva to tell her I would be gone longer because she had left her phone (and purse and new book and iPod touch) at a pizza parlor the previous night.
I called Hot Firefighter Husband at work. “Do you know something about a fucking clipboard?”
He said, “Ooohhh! Riiight! I forgot about that.”
And I said, “THANKS FOR TELLING ME. NOW I’M DRIVING AROUND TRYING TO FIND A CLIPBOARD WHILE THE KIDS ARE HOME ALONE AND I GUESS I HAVE TO GO TO FUCKING STAPLES BUT I CAN’T CALL AND TELL THE KIDS THAT BECAUSE OUR DAUGHTER LOST HER PHONE. AND MY BANK ACCOUNT IS ABOUT TO BE OVERDRAWN AND I’M SO DAMN SICK OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND THE KIDS SPENT THIRTY DOLLARS AT YOGABERRY TODAY FOR YOGURT THEY DIDN’T EAT. AND THIS DAY HAS TOTALLY SUCKED BECAUSE I KEEP CLEANING THE HOUSE AND IT KEEPS GETTING MESSED UP AND NOBODY CAN GET ALONG AND I CAN’T DRINK.”
“Okay,” said Husband. “I just found you a clipboard. Come by and get it.”
So I did.