Monday, September 27, 2010

Mother suckitude

"I need to go to bed early tonight.  I'm so tired.  And tired of being tired."

"Tired?  WTF?  You were out of town for a week and a half, and that last part you just goofed off.  How can you be tired?"

This is where our life turns into a vintage superhero cartoon whereupon I, caped, take the bad guy and head-butt him and pound him until he screams uncle, and then finish up with noogies and maybe a swirly while starbursts with words in all caps pop up around our heads, "CRASH!"  "BOOM!"  "POW!"  "SWIRL!!!"

Okay, so that last one isn't powerful or mighty or cringe-inducing, but I couldn't think of a better way to alphabetically describe a swirly.

Instead of the cartoon, though, I whine.

"But we didn't goof off.  We hiked our asses off.  And besides, then I came home and unpacked and worked late for two nights to get stuff ready for the garage sale and then we had the garage sale and then I went to Joey's game and then we had the mouse races and so that was a late night and then yesterday I cleaned the entire frickin' house and did laundry and made home-made chili and went grocery shopping and inventoried the left-over garage sale stuff for St. Vincent De Paul to pick up and helped load up the foosball table and the mini John Deere tractor into Beano's truck and gave the model airplane stuff to cousin Joe and entertained our child and let her help make chili when really a five-year-old has no business making chili but it was fun because the onions made us both cry and laugh..."

What's really going on here is that I have a huge case of delinquent-mother-guilt going on.  Today, I am a bad mother.  Despite the onions and the Halloween decorations we put up together and the snuggling and the laughs.

Because I didn't get her f*cking Kangaroo Kid poster done this weekend.

I could give excuses about how busy we were with swim lessons and garage sales and golf tournaments and the like, but that's not really the truth.  The truth is simple, and ugly.  I forgot.

We got the poster in her cubby Friday when we picked her up.  I silently raged when I saw it.  Once again, Zozer is the first child picked for this honor.  This happened last year, too.  The first child picked, therefore, typically has no notice to get things done.  I should be honored that one of her teachers told me this morning, "I picked her first because I wanted a kid with lots of excitement, lots of personality."  I should be honored, but instead, I'm pissed.  Mostly at myself.  But it's easier to take it out on Ms. Lisa.  Anyway, the reason I raged when I saw it was that I knew that we had a jam-packed weekend and the poster would get lost in the activity and that I would most likely forget.

And so I did.

Until last night, at 10, after Zozer was long asleep.  Queue argument with M.  He claims I didn't tell him.  I claim I did.  (We typically have counter-claims, and it's at these moments when I wish our entire lives were recorded, Big Brother style, so I could rewind the tape and say, "See!  There!  Right there!  While we were both running a gajillion miles an hour I slipped it right into the conversation between, "We need more milk" and "Where in the hell are you gonna find inch-and-a-quarter black pipe?")  We were both hacked at ourselves, and probably a little bit with each other.  I went to bed upset, which means I don't really go to bed but rather lay there and beat myself up mentally for failing my child by not coloring her Kangaroo Kid poster with her over the weekend.  We made Rice Krispie treats together, but pah.  Rubbish!  What counted at that moment was the damn poster, and nothing else.  My entire self-worth as a mother rested on that poster, and it wasn't done.

I tried making weak excuses with her teachers this morning.  "The note said we'd get the poster a week before..."  They weren't buying it.  Three bad-ass preschool teachers staring me in the eye. I half-expected one of them to say, "Really?  Dumbass."  I considered making up excuses, like a plague of locusts or an emergency lobotomy, but instead I hung my head and meekly mumbled, "Um, we were really busy this weekend.  We'll have it done tomorrow."  At that they softened, and then discussed amongst themselves that maybe they should give the poster to the family the Wednesday before the Kangaroo Kid week, not the Friday before.  Yes!  Yes!  I wanted to shout.  For the love of all that's holy, give families some time, some notice.

I'm not sure about other families, but for our family, the weekends are both jammed and free-wheeling and have nothing whatsoever to do with school.  It's our break from school and work.  We don't think about either on the weekends.  So having just the weekend to complete a poster...yeah, ain't gonna happen.  We had the same situation last year when she was Star of the Week, and there we were, right up against her bedtime on a Sunday night, feverishly coloring this stupid poster on the kitchen floor.  It was less a fun project and more a pain in the ass because we simply didn't get to it over the weekend.

And so I wear my delinquent mother crown today, and wince every time I think about Zozer starting her Kangaroo Kid week without her poster.  I realize in the grand scheme of things that this isn't likely to scar her for life, and that we will go and be fine, and that the memories we made this weekend in the form of Rice Krispie treats and Halloween decorations and giant pots of chili and learning that Abraham Lincoln is the old dude on the penny mean more than a poster.  And I take some comfort in sending her in with her beloved World Bird Sanctuary CD to share with her Bunny Room friends (she planned on playing both The Owl Song and The Vulture Song, and maybe Little Tree and probably The Wonderful Bird Song...all of which she knows the words), and that the doughnuts we'll take into school tomorrow will more than make up for it.  But still.  The guilt settles heavily on my heart and hangs around my whole body like a shroud.  Damn.


Post a Comment

<< Home