It started with the jam.
I tried to open it, but the lid was glued to the jar. A rubberband, I thought. I searched the drawers in vain. Oh, I found one, but it was in use, bundling unsharpened pencils to keep them from infiltrating the writing utensils drawer. You probably think it’s no big deal to unbundle the pencils and use the rubberband. That’s because you’ve never sent 3 kids all at once in search of pencils for homework time, only to turn them back time and time again saying every time, “Find a sharpened one. Does this one have a point? No. Find a SHARPENED one.”
I knew that taking that rubber band off of the pencil bundle was a bad idea. It would make for infinite trouble later.
So I expand my search. I have an underweight toddler who wants jam on his toast, dang it. I’m practically saving a life.
I go to the room where we keep my desk. Don’t I have rubber bands in here?
The bus is late for my 9 year old. He’s been standing by the front door for 10 minutes straight. I’ll give it a few more minutes, and then I’ll have to call the bus service.
The desk drawer is locked. As in, with a key. Which means someone’s been playing with the key.
I can’t find the key. Where’s the #$%@ key?
I find the key.
Can’t make it work in the lock. #$%@.
I make it work in the lock. Must be because I use my magic word. #$%@.
No rubber bands in the desk.
Have I mentioned that I’m in my bathrobe with a towel on my head?
I break down and take the rubber band off of the pencil bundle. Still can’t get the #$%@ jar open.
Shoot. Maybe the magic word doesn’t work as well as I hoped.
I try to talk the toddler into eating jamless toast. I don’t try my magic word on the toddler. (Kudos to me.)
I try to comfort the crying toddler.
Bus is really late. Have now made my 9-year-old stand by the front window for 15 minutes straight.
I find scant jam in the bottom of another jar in the back of the fridge. I hope that the white cloudy stuff mixed in with the jam is butter and not mold. I taste it; it seems OK. I feed it to the toddler. Hoping I won’t pay with an ER bill later.
I call the bus service at 20 minutes late. They assure me the bus is just “running late.”
I wait downstairs, knowing the bus will arrive any second. I don’t go upstairs to dry my hair, find make-up, put on clothes and jewelry, get the boys’ bears to take to daycare, get their clothes or any of the other myriad details I need to do.
Commence 20 more minutes of “the bus will be here any minute.”
I could write an entire blog of bus mishaps. They involve my special needs kids, missed pick-ups, wrong drop-offs, drivers not knowing my kids were on the bus at all, letting my kids off with adults the driver didn’t know at the wrong stops, etc.
These are all going through my head as I call the bus service and try very hard to keep my #$%@ together.
The bus service operator actually calls the bus driver this time. Turns out, the driver wasn’t running late the first time, had already been to our house, etc.
School started 5 minutes ago.
I’m still in my bathrobe.
Now, I have no idea how the bus thing happened, since we’ve been waiting for the bus now for more than 40 minutes from before the time the bus was to arrive. It’s possible we just missed it; after all, there was jam involved. But it’s also a new driver’s first day. So who knows?
I try to be nice. I swear I do. But I just can’t help saying, “I hope you’ll understand when I call next time that the bus is late if I ask you to actually call the bus to find out where they are, because waiting this long thinking the bus is coming when it’s not is really not OK.”
At this point, the bus service (probably having similar visions of the bus happenings around our house) offers to send a bus. I ask how long it’ll take.
I know. I’m super, uber dumb.
They say “just a few minutes.”
I get a call from work. We have a board member flying in this morning. I gave her my cell phone to call in case anything happened with her flight. Sure enough. Her flight is late.
My twins are arguing over a blanket.
I ignore them and walk outside so our board member doesn’t know I’m at home with screaming children. I think I pull it off.
I spend the next twenty minutes hoping (a) my twins aren’t killing each other while (b) trying to make arrangements for a late airport pick-up which involves no fewer than three additional phone calls amidst the blanket-yelling, and (c) ironically hoping that the bus doesn’t actually come while I’m otherwise occupied… I just can’t stand the idea of not seeing my son leave and then having to call the bus service to make sure he’s on board.
Never fear. The bus has not arrived.
The dog, however, has escaped and run away.
I call the bus service. I explain that we’ve now waited for the bus for over an hour. That school started 25 minutes ago. That I’m 45 minutes late for work. That my boss, while kind and understanding, shouldn’t have to have me late to work because my son’s bus service isn’t working.
The bus arrives five minutes later. My son departs. I manage to smile at the bus driver; I hope it looks sincere, because her first day is #$%@.
Somehow, during the last 45 minutes, I manage to run up and down our stairs in short bursts, acquiring everything I need to get myself presentable for work. I can scrub the booger and jam tracks off of my pants in the office bathroom. I hope I remember.
I load twin toddlers in the car. During one of the calls to work, I mitigate the blanket fight with chocolate chips. Those are usually poop-in-the-potty treats, but I had to bring out the big guns. I’ll pay for the counseling sessions for their eating issues later… I hope that the counseling bill arrives after I’m done paying off the ER bill.
The dog is still wandering the neighborhood. I haven’t even bothered looking for him. I’m apathetic about his well-being. Keeping my children alive and fed is about all I can handle.