after a day of bullying, fighting, teachers disorganized – calling students names – I come home to the tutor from 4-5 – that is tricky because oldest son finishes dance class at 5…4 miles away during rush hour, son #3 finishes wrestling also at 5. The tutor goes overtime by 10 minutes. Son#2 accidentally lets crazy puppy out. Son#1 – 5:20 pick up, simple lecture from coach. Son#3 5:40 – a more complicated “FYI” from coach.
It is 5:45 now. We head to son#3’s therapist for his final session (at this time). We have 1 hour 15 minutes to get there. I am sad that I have to do a fastfood dinner. Then I realize I need to pick up son#2’s prescription at the doctor’s or the maws of hell will open in the am.
Traffic sucks. We get the prescription and to the therapist’s town with 25 minutes to spare. The entire time son#2 is speaking continuously. Eventually everyone in the car is pleading for him to be quiet. He laughs a simplistic giggle and keeps on talking. I dream of veering off the highway and floating into a dimension of peace and silence.
Instead, I must find food for them. My self loathing is increasing because they are not eating healthy. I turn into a Dunkin Donuts. “They have sandwiches here…lets get…”. “NO WAY, MOM” son#1 barks. I ask him to just pick something. He refuses. I tell him we don’t have time for this, he digs in his heels. When did they lose all respect for me? I pull out of the drive through line and continue on my way.
I wonder how many subconscious thoughts run through my brain that tear me down. I want to scream. Instead, I pull into a Burger King drive thru. I lecture on respect. I know it is moot.
I order nothing…too gross for words. I get yelled at for accidentally giving out the wrong sandwich. The wrestler son insists he is not hungry – really, not hungry after wrestling practice and nothing to eat since noon? (he didn’t eat breakfast this am either). While checking the order the guy behind me lays on the horn. I take off. Yes, son#2 is still talking.
We sit in the therapist parking lot. We are missing a fry, of course it is my fault. Wrestling son tries not to eat – his kids meal. He goes up to the office. We sit in the lot. Son#2 and #4 are fighting over who gets shot gun. I make sure they understand we are not going anywhere and that when we do seat assignments will change. Son #2 persists and asks for reassurance 15 more times in the next thirty minutes. I feel like crap. I go up to get son #3 from therapist office. He has something he needs to tell me. He wants to know when I will quit smoking. I tell him I just am not sure but will come up with a reduction plan. At this point I havent had a smoke in a few hours.
We stop at the pharmacy, drop off the script. Come home, do home work, showers, jammies and snacks. Run out to pick up the prescription because of the pharmacy backlog we could not wait earlier. Son #2 intermittently sucks his thumb and speaks to everyone within a five foot radius. I cannot keep it together.
I make it to the car. I text a friend for support. Son#2 tries to read over my shoulder. He asks 20 questions about my text in 5 minutes. I tell him to stop in a very firm voice. (God this is tedious to write…should we take an intermission??). He opens his phone and starts texting gibberish like crazy “I can text, too ya know. I know how. I can do it.” He is mad and trying to get under my skin. We just spoke about this 6 hours earlier.
I am reminded of the reading teacher lecturing him this afternoon about his text messages to her – looking exasperated with me for my son’s unavoidable short comings. I cannot maintain calm any longer. I explode as nicely as I can reminding him what text messages are for, what he is capable of. Just when I fear he will cry, he whisper, “Sorry, Mildred” and lays that honey sweet smile across my spirit. I am humbled by his perseverence.
It is 10:20. I am on empty – but we have the meds and kids are fed. I ask everyone to get to bed, apparently in Chinese since no one moves. I ask my wrestler to turn off the game, get a shower and get to bed. He looks at me and returns to his Skyrim quest as if I was invisible.
I speak the Chinese in a louder octave. Suddenly, they understand the Chinese. I also become the mean, unfair, unkind mom.
An hour later everyone is asleep. I am unfocused and hazey. Too charged to sleep. I breathe, be present and breathe again. I wouldn’t want any one else to be Mildred.