Now, three months into our new routine, I am sad to report it was all a lie. It’s not easieras a matter of fact, it’s more complex. I had finally gotten into the habit of juggling two kids under four when I get thrown a fire torch into the mix.
Yes, our house has always been schedule focused, but we didn’t have to live and die by the clock. You can always be 15 minutes late getting to the zoo. As much as veering from the schedule irks my nerves, I could tolerate it. “You want to keep playing, sure the library will still be open when you are done.” “Aren’t hungry for breakfast…there’s always snack time.”
Not anymore. Breakfast HAS to be served at 7:15, which also includes my pleads for TW to “just eat a little bit.” Out the door HAS to be at 7:50, along with my “Richard don’t dawdle, Richard don’t dawdle.” And while we are at it – “Dog, don’t you dare puke!” I can’t have a deviation from our morning routine.
Sure, lugging around one child during the day is much easier. But not when the child is melancholy about losing his best and onlyfriend. I have become defacto entertainment. “Mom what’s that…. Mom what’s this… Mom how do you spell lighthouse?” (I should also add Richard currently has that really annoying three-year whinny voice.)
No one warned me about “Kid Pick-up Hell.” Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since my friends had to pick up kids at elementary school. I would like to go on record as saying I appreciate and support the pick-up protocols which insure my child doesn’t get into a “Free Candy” van. But in the height of summer, walking home from school would amount to child endangerment. The next option is the vehicle queue. And god forbid you don’t get in the queue at the right time, you’ll be waiting for an hour, which means your child is waiting outside for you for an hour. (And here’s a little hint – little kids don’t think about hydrating. )
So that means, Richard and I get to sit in the car for an hour. At first I thought, Okay maybe I can use the time to read. But no, I am busy spelling out words for Richard.
I thought my schedule was organized well enough, but now it has a slick top layer, which includes “It’s Library day!” as you run around the house tracking the library book. “You have to wear orange today?! You don’t OWN anything orange, I hate the color orange for clothing.”
Then, adding insult to injury come the “Jamba Juice Fridays.” “Jamba Juice Fridays” is when your school shakes your kid down for $3 to be used for books, or school spirit or apples, or something. I would like to clearly state my opposition to Jamba Juice. Not because it’s not tasty or its price-point…. It’s because it parades around as healthy, when actually it’s liquid sugar. I try to take a stand and opt out of this kickback.
I complain about the Jamba Juice issue in particular to a school teacher friend.
“Jamba Juice Fridays are very important,” she said. “They are serious business, there will be a crying child all the way home. Send the three dollars and make your life better.”
By lunchtime, I find a way to slip TW three bucks. How sad would it be for Timothy to be the only kid without a cup of liquid sugar just because his mother has a moral objection to the company’s marketing?
Now that I know better, I will not be telling other parents to look forward to their children starting school. I will not lie to them about fantasy free time or say it will be easier. I will tell them to always make sure they have $3 cash at all times, because you don’t want to be caught flat-footed on Jamba Juice Friday.