Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rescue 911

You know those calls you get from your kids' school?  Well, it always happens to me during the one trip I make at work to the bathroom, or on the random day that I actually have a meeting, or when my phone is dead.

Today was no different.  I was in the bathroom.

And I got a call about an incident at school with my son.  The last call was a bonked head and just make sure you ice it and he doesn't pass out and slip into a coma when he gets home please.

This one was about the fact that he had "spilled" maple syrup all over himself during lunch.  Yeah right.  Maple syrup doesn't attack you by accident, and I've been my son's mother long enough to know I need quotes around the word spilled. 

Apparently, it was all over and a sticky mess.  And could I please bring a change of clothes?

I left work, drove across town to my house (passing the school on my way), got him a change of clothes (am I really doing this?), and took it to school.  After finally locating him, they called him down to the office and...he comes around the corner looking miraculously just as clean as when he left the house this morning (keeping in mind there are different degrees of clean).

"Where's the maple syrup emergency, son?"

He pointed to a patch on his shorts, about, oh, I guess an inch high by 2 inches wide.  "It's super sticky Mom."

This kid.  He could go weeks without bathing and not think twice.  After months of taking his own showers, we realized that he hadn't been using soap regularly.  Just when he remembered.  He gets off the bus most days with remnants of his lunch smeared across his face and he found gum in his hair this summer one day...but there was no gum in the house.  And hadn't been for days.

So suddenly he can't function with a bite-size syrup spot on his shorts?  I could have licked the spot and the syrup would have been completely cleaned up, just like that.

The lesson HE learned is this:  Do.  Not.  Call.  Me.  Unless it's an EMERGENCY.  Maple syrup on your clothes does not qualify as one.  Go to the little boys' room, find the sink (it's that square white thing that water comes out of), wet a towel with that water (go ahead, just turn that little knob there, that's it), and rub the stain away.

The lesson I learned:  just because it's a call from school doesn't mean it's an emergency. 

The only payoff was the fact that the office ladies were all standing around (as well as the principal and vice principal) and when they asked me what I needed, I announced "well, apparently there was a maple syrup explosion and I'm here to help."  Their hysterical laughter boosted my spirits; their immediate recognition of the offending child lowered them again.   

And so, this is my life.

However, just know that, from now on, we will be packing on French Toast stick days.  For sure.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Bike Riding Memory

When Little Meems decided to learn to ride her two-wheeler, she decided she needed to do it RIGHT NOW.  And she wanted me to show her how.  Not her dad, who's responsibility this kind of activity is supposed to be.

Which had a bit of a lustre to it...her memory would be of her MOTHER teaching her to ride a bike.  I was starting to like the reputation I was going to have.  I mean, this would forever be a triumphant shared moment.  Us girls against the world out to prove that we can do whatever the boys can do.  Or maybe that was just me.

It did not turn out so well.

She fought me on every. single. instruction.  She insisted she could do it, then blamed me when she fell.  She refused to actually pedal until I stopped holding the seat, but she didn't want me to let go.  She didn't like trying in the grass; it was bumpy.  She didn't like trying in the street; it was scary.  And on a hill (a hill with maybe, just maybe, a 3 degree incline).

I tried to maintain patience.  I really did.

The situation quickly went downhill (on a much steeper grade than 3 degrees).  It was sweltering outside.  There was drama.  And screaming.  And crying.  And yelling.  And storming off.  And threats.  And more crying.  And more screaming.

Until finally there was just screaming.  "WELL, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS!" (not true)  and "YOU MADE ME FALL." (also not true) and "I DON'T WANT TO RIDE A BIKE ANYWAY." (again, not true)."

Follwed by:  "FINE!" and "OH REALLY" and "FINE.  I PERSONALLY DON'T CARE IF YOU NEVER RIDE A BIKE."

And then we stormed off in different directions, her crying and me sweating profusely, my hair turned to wiry wisps and face red, muttering under my breath; her trying to pedal off on her bike in a huff, then upon realizing that she couldn't do that shuffling down the street in the opposite direction with her bike in between her legs.

My husband came outside to investigate the commotion.  It was not a pretty sight.  By this time, she had melted down in the middle of the street and was wailing, the bike still between her legs.  I saw him blanche when he saw my face -- I can only imagine what THAT must have looked like.  We had made a spectacle of ourselves in front of the whole neighborhood.

Mostly, though, I had.

It's not my proudest moment by any means, and even as I write this, I cringe.  I really hope no one witnessed the fiasco.  Everyone's been friendly to me ever since, so maybe we're safe.

Another precious mother/daughter memory down the tube.

Miraculously, later she came back to me and told me she was ready to go back outside and try to ride the bike.

"Why don't you ask your dad?"

"No, I want you."

And so we did.  And now we have a memory.  And it's salty AND sweet.

And that's OK, because it fits.  And it's ours.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Price of Vanity

Little Meems loves, loves, LOVES to look in the mirror.  Not because she's vain -- frankly she could care less that her hair is tangled, her nail polish is nothing but a chip and her clothes don't match.  I wish she'd spend a little more time in this particular area, but I'll regret saying that someday.  She loves to pretend, and, even more, loves to watch herself while doing so. 

Usually wearing a wig (the pink one seems to have made a recent comeback), heels, a variety of jewelry, a purse, a baby bag, an infant and a coffee thermos.

If only she could multitask the rest of her life as well.

The other morning, as I fired off an email before bus stop, I heard her in the bathroom, talking to herself in the mirror.  As this is now second nature to all who reside here, I didn't think twice until it was time to go and then...splash.  Followed by a blood curdling scream.

She'd stepped in the toilet and there was water everywhere and her shoe and sock were soaked and her pants were also wet and then she slipped a little on the water on the floor and we were going to miss the bus and we were going to be late.  She went berserk.  Literally.  In fact, look "berserk" up in the dictionary.  Pretty sure you'll see her picture there.

Keep in mind, when I asked her if she was standing directly on the toilet seat instead of the lid, her answer was "NOO-WA".  Two syllables.  In all caps.

Being the excellent mother I am, I diffused the situation immediately with my calm voice and lightning-quick efficiency.  Because I am an excellent mother.  With lightning-quick reflexes.  And also I'm unshakably rational.

We made it to the bus.  Can you believe it?  But not before she fought me on every. single. pair. of shoes I pulled out of the closet.  Seriously?  You're going to be this difficult NOW?

Later, upon assessing the ridiculous amount of water that was on the floor, I noticed a faint indication that one of her brothers had likely visited the offending toilet sometime before her splashdown.

And, that'll be our little secret. 

But seriously, those shoes are going in the laundry PRONTO.