The day my child was born, I noticed he looked vaguely like a turtle. He had a round little face on a poky little neck. That resemblance was later reflected in his approach to punctuality. Through the process of learning how to get him out the door in a timely way, I have learned prunes are entirely unnecessary. The best way to get a kid to poop is to try to be on time for something.
The other day we were late for school for an unprecedented reason. He woke up blue, of all things. He wasn’t sad. He wasn’t in respiratory distress. The dye from the ice pack he sleeps with to stay cool transferred all over his face, marking his perfect little ears and round, rosy cheeks with hand-soap resistant indigo splotches that screamed “My mommy forgot why we always wrap that one in a tea towel”. I will never know what the secretary wrote down (“untimely Smurf impression” or “Blue Man Group audition gone horribly wrong”) as the reason for his tardiness. I would not be surprised at all to receive for Christmas an illustrated anthology of all the reasons we’ve been late for things over the past seven years.
As a busy single mom, I’ve got a lot on my mind and I wouldn’t be able to keep track of those reasons otherwise. My mommy friends all talk to me about how hard it is to find that (seemingly unattainable) work/life balance. I’ve actually lost my car keys in the fridge, so I get it, completely. Finding stuff is really hard. I know this totally flies in the face of the expression “nothing is truly lost until your mom can’t find it”. Maybe it’s not lost. Maybe it’s in the fridge next to the pickles and mom just really needs a nap.
I was sad when my own son broke up with naps. I remember the happy days of peaceful afternoon slumber. I would yell “Freedom!” and shake my fanny like Mel Gibson in defiance of teeny tiny tyranny that ruled the rest of the day. Then, abruptly, those days were gone. He didn’t even leave them a note. He just left them behind, along with all my hopes and dreams of having fifteen minutes of peace and quiet to mitigate the hurricane of Lego and discarded cheese string wrappers stuffed in the couch cushions. People who complain bitterly about stepping on Lego obviously haven’t sat on it recently. Modern decorating magazines have yet to recognize the simplistic artistry of the lonely Fruit Roll-up, plastered to the wall, making a quiet statement (mostly about the speed with which disaster can strike if you can manage to pee without an audience). I like to call it “Snack Food Feng Shui”.
I would ask him to clean it up himself, but it would take forever. And then we would be late for something.