Sunday, March 12, 2006

sorry about not posting

Okay, so I haven’t posted in a while. Whenever that happens you can be pretty sure I’m outta town. This time, back in Potomac, kid and dog sitting. I was supposed to come down on Monday. The 1:00 flight. At ten am I am awoken from a sound sleep.

“I just wanted to make sure you were coming down…”

“Uhh, yeah. Tomorrow, right?”

Oooh, that’s not good.

After some juggling we got new tickets for Tuesday morning. Whoops! That’s gotta instill a lot of confidence in the mom, right? But hey, my track record speaks for itself. In thirty years this is only the second time I messed up where the kids are concerned. And I’m not sure the first time counts because all I did then was forget to pick up Casey to take him golfing. It’s not like I left him somewhere and forgot to go get him. And I’m not sayin’ there weren’t times I was tempted to “forget” one or two of them somewhere. But they’re all still around. I haven’t lost one. Not yet.

So I get to DC on Tuesday and have a couple of hours before my tour of duty starts. I think I remember getting some rest then. It seems soooo long ago.

Tuesday was pretty easy. Go watch the sixteen year old’s lacrosse game, wait for her to get her stuff, then go pick up the twelve year old at the school library. Pick up dinner (hey, if I cooked that woulda meant I’d have to do dishes too. Not on the first night.)

Homework goes well. Everybody gets to bed on time.

Wednesday, get up at the crack of dawn and start the day. Did I mention I’m not a morning person? Guess what? Neither are the kids! Hmmm. I wonder where they got that from?

Awaken the sixteen year old. You can pretty much wake her and forget her. Despite not being a morning person, this kid’s really got it together.

Gently awaken the twelve year old…
awaken the twelve year old again…
go in and pull the covers off the twelve year old…
go back in and grab the twelve year old’s feet and drag him off the bed. He’ll wake up when he hits the floor. Trust me. It works.

Go downstairs and let the dogs out (Who? Who? Who let the dogs out? I did. That’s right, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.) Yell up to the twelve year old to make sure he’s getting dressed. He has his pants on.

Feed the dogs. Then let them out again. Yell up to the twelve year old. He’s thinking about putting his T-shirt on.

Let the dogs in. Hey, ya let ‘em out, ya gotta let ‘em in again. Yell up to the twelve year old. He’s workin’ on putting his dress shirt on. The twelve year old wears a suitcoat and tie to school. That is soooo cute. But it’s also extra stuff he’s gotta put on.

Ignore the dogs. Yell up to the twelve year old. He’s on his way down. He’s trying to tie the tie.

Check on the sixteen year old. She’s pretty much ready to go out the door. The twelve year old is still workin’ on the tie. I have no idea how to tie a tie. He’s on his own. The tie gets done. He’s actually pretty good at it. And he DOES look cute! Ooops! Don’t tell the twelve year old how cute he is.

Okay, time to leave. The only way I can do this without totally screwing up the kids’ morning is if I have specific instructions. And a timetable. Too bad plans change after the mom leaves and I just have to fly by the seat of my pants. Thank God for the sixteen year old…and the GPS system in the car. Mapquest ain’t got nothin’ on that GPS guy. Mapquest isn’t as demanding as the GPS guy, though.

“In 300 feet, Turn Left.”

“In one hundred feet, Turn Left. At the intersection.” (duh)

“Turn Left.”


“I SAID turn LEFT!!!”

Okay, okay, I just thought I’d wait for traffic to clear first.

Drop off the twelve year old. All the kids are in khakis and jackets and ties. They look so grown up. And yes, they are soooo cute.

Switch seats with the sixteen year old, who is learning to drive. She’s so good I keep forgetting I’m supposed to be watching her. Then she kinda drifts to the right and I remember. Drop the sixteen year old at school. Go home and let the dogs out. Take a nap.

Pick up the twelve year old. Take him to the mall, drop him at home, go pick up the sixteen year old after lacrosse. Go home. Make dinner. Do homework. Wash dishes. Do more homework. Oh oh. The twelve year old has forgotten his science homework paper at school. How can we fix this? He decides he’ll go to school early so he can do it before school. Good decision! I'm very impressed. But not as impressed as I'll be in the morning!

Awaken the twelve year old at 6:45 instead of 7:00. Let the dogs out. Check on the twelve year old. He’s already out of bed and half dressed! Feed the dogs and let them out again. The twelve year old is standing in the kitchen, ready to go with a smile on his face. We leave before 7:15!!!

Thursday afternoon, reverse carpool. Pick up the sixteen year old at lacrosse practice, which has run over a half hour. Change of plans. Pick up the twelve year old BEFORE dropping the sixteen year old at church youth group. Get the twelve year old home and feed him. Start homework. I'm learning a lot about General George Brinton McClellan. I bet none of you knew he was Abe Lincoln's challenger in the 1864 presidential election. Now you know. There may be a quiz later.

The sixteen year old comes home. First crisis of the night…the sixteen year old needs a wristband to see her favorite tv show cast at the mall this weekend. The mall that is an hour away and closes in fifty minutes. Make a deal with the sixteen year old. Help your brother with his homework and get him to bed, I’ll go get the wristbands.

Unbelievable. There’s traffic on the beltway. It’s nearly nine o’clock. There’s not supposed to be traffic on the beltway. Get to the mall at 9:27. Mission accomplished. Get home. Twelve year old is in bed, sixteen year old is done with her homework. She's ecstatic when she gets her wristband. Her happiness is infectious. We chat about the tv show and cast. Time for bed.

I'll let you take a breather and post about Friday another time.