The Drive

Children truly are a labor of love. I’m sitting here watching reruns of the 1970’s Spiderman cartoon with my children. They love Netflix and all of the wonderful old shows that used to entertain me when I was a child. Just a few short hours ago I was driving down the interstate wondering how I was going to make it one more minute in the car with these tiny terrors I love so much.

This morning was chaotic. Not that chaos is unusual in my home, but this morning was especially trying. I did manage to get all the little people where they were supposed to be, but not before: my daughter took it upon herself to get the lunch boxes out of the refrigerator and hide her brother’s lunchbox so that I couldn’t find it in the heat of trying to get everyone and their tiny shoes in the car; the same clever daughter ate her lunch from her lunch box while I was inside frantically searching for the missing lunchbox; my oldest child gave me a set of beautiful spring pictures with an order form due…today? tomorrow? How should he know, he only just found the time to give me the form – as we are leaving for school – running late for school, actually.

I made it to work, harried and honestly glad to get a break from the antics of my children, but that relief was quickly replaced with non-stop phone calls from people who don’t listen to a word I say and then wonder why they end up in jail. It turns out that being a probation officer is similar to being a parent only in that the consequences for bad behavior are slightly different. To top it off, work was even more fun because I have a huge, painful cold sore – and as I found out at the doctor on my lunch break today – an upper respiratory virus that is causing coughing fits that flare up at the most inopportune times. I had to go back to work, so I tried to hole up in my office and catch up on work from being out last week.

Naturally, by the time I met my husband and children at the oldest child’s wrestling practice after work, I was spent. I needed to pee before I took the little kids home and the hubby and oldest son resumed practice, but I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight and thus couldn’t find the women’s restroom in the high school where they practice. I finally conceded that surely I could make it until we got home. That was mistake #1.  From there, it all went down hill.

I pull out of the school parking lot and proceed to having a coughing fit that for some reason disturbs my children so much that they decide to repeat the B-I-N-G-O song at the top of their lungs – claps included. And if one of them messed up, they had to start ALL over again, from the top (of the song AND their lungs). Then, I get tailgated by some weirdo in a pick up truck that really was about a pinky finger’s length away from my bumper for about a mile –including while merging onto the interstate. Luckily, I was distracted from the nasty tail-gater by my darling 3-year-old (It really should be called the terrible 3’s because the 3’s are much, much worse) throwing his shoe at my face. Unfortunately, my shoe blocking abilities are not as impressive as George W. Bush’s mad skills.  I think I remember my mouth being wide open because I really couldn’t believe that size 8 toddler New Balance tennis shoe just grazed my shoulder and neck while merging onto the interstate. Obviously, this was unacceptable, but what was I gonna do? I’m merging onto the interstate for crying out loud. So I did the logical thing and scolded that little 3-year-old about hurting Mommy. Not that it did any good, because the scolding only prompted him to shout: SHIT, DAMMIT, SHIT! SHIT, DAMMIT, SHIT! SHIT, DAMMIT, SHIT! as loud as his little lungs get it out. In a stroke of luck, another coughing fit drowned out the sounds of my angelic baby boy shouting obscenities.  (Which by the way, I do not shout.) O.K. I do say shit. And I do say Dammit occasionally. But I do not say shit, dammit, shit in rapid succession so I have no idea where he got that.

After the shoe throwing and the cursing, my daughter decided to weasel herself as much out of her car seat as possible without actually coming out of the seatbelt, so that she was essentially hanging out the side and touching her brother. They laughed hysterically. I did not. I still had to pee. We got closer to home.

Next, I got to stop by the pharmacy and watch the cute, young, little pharmacy tech smirk at my prescription for what I’m sure she thought was for an STD. I won’t lie, I tried to make it a point to put my face out so maybe she would see the hideous cold sore on my lip and know that she had no freaking right to smirk when a fellow woman was having the kind of day I was having! I’m pretty sure that didn’t work and only furthered her opinion that I am a nut-job.

Last stop: Home sweet home, where I had the privilege of running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get my beautiful, healthy babies bathed and brushed and ready for snuggling and Spiderman. Can I pass out now?

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