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Late for pick-up, a.k.a. The End of the World

February 25, 2010

It was bound to happen, of course. What’s that, you ask? Sleeping through my children’s afternoon pick-up time yesterday. By about an hour. They apparently cried and cried, convinced they were going to live in an orphanage, a la Annie. So how on Earth could this have happened (besides the obvious–that I’m human and made a mistake, of course)? Well, let’s back the truck up for a moment, shall we?

My shoulder and neck have been in spasm for reasons that are too long and boring to go into here. I got Botox injected there by my awesome neurologist about two weeks ago and usually I get immediate relief for about four or so months. Not this time. however. I’ve been very uncomfortable both day and night, particularly when I (attempt to) sleep, as I just can’t get comfortable. So I went in yesterday morning for a Toradol (injectable anti-inflammatory) shot and finally got some blessed relief. So much so that I was able to take what I thought would be a quick 1/2 hour nap. I set THREE alarms; in addition, I asked husband to call me at 2:30, in case I didn’t hear the alarms.
Well, apparently I slept through all three alarms and JP’s phone call. When I woke at 3:45, I didn’t even freak out. I casually looked at the clock; that’s about the time it slowly dawned on me that “Holy shit. JP’s on an airplane and I am so fucking late to pick up my kids!” I look at my iphone and there are ten, yes TEN messages on there from the kid’s school. I have screwed up–major. Damn it to hell shit piss, as Grandma Adele used to say.
I call the school and the kids are, of course, being wonderfully well cared for by the daycare staff. My daughter, age ten, and son, age four, despite crying hysterically and predicting doom and gloom for their own futures, were really quite brave. I’m actually very proud of them for turning to each other in a scary situation and for once setting their bickering aside and sticking together–truly a wonderful sight to see. My daughter comforted the little man like the natural born nurturing mama she is. Warms my heart.
Naturally, my children scolded me to no end when I did get there. How could I forget them (didn’t–was asleep)? How could I, their mother, sleep through pick-up time (got a shot–pain relief = ability to rest)? What was I thinking? (The little guy mostly just said he missed me and could he have a cookie.) This is when I explained to them about being a “human bean.” Huh?
Me: when I was little, I learned that we are called (what I thought were) HUMAN BEANS. I pictured in my head a green bean, but with my head, and little arms and legs. My teacher told me that human beans weren’t perfect all the time–we made mistakes, and that it was OK to mess up as long as we learned from those mistakes. I’m pretty sure I even drew myself as this little bean.

Anya: Yea, so? (cracks a smile) Your point? (She’s sooo tweenish right now; it’s irritating. How do they know how to do that? Does some little evil tween fairy give them lessons while they sleep? Anyway…)

Lukas: Mama, that’s funny. (laughs) You thought you were a green bean? I like green beans. Can you make green beans for dinner?
Okay, so maybe my story didn’t hold the weight I was hoping for. But you get my point. Even though I am Jewish, I’m not taking on guilt about this. Though an expert in guilt already, I realize that I have to give myself a break on this one. Pain and fatigue are powerful deterrents to our normal routine. As mothers we can only do our best; my best was making sure I had a back-up plan, which was picking a school that has wonderful, caring people to care for my kids in a situation where I’m ONE HOUR LATE in picking them up, which is apparently also known as THE END OF THE WORLD to my daughter.
Kids are fine today. They just made sure to remind me to pick them up on time today–at least twenty-five times.
And I did.
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