How Will They Ever Survive?

By 8:45 am this morning, I had already decided that I suck as a mother. It was that kind of morning. Here are the things that led me to this conclusion:

• It started last night, when I was too tired to give the girls a bath. I decided that I would give them a bath in the morning, before school. Who was I kidding? When exactly was that going to happen? What was I smoking? Anyway, the bath did not happen, big surprise, which meant that I had three little girls who were overdue for a bath and all of them would be out in public today.

• I couldn't find a hairbrush to save my life, which meant that I had three little girls, plus one bed-headed mommy, who were going to go through the day with little rats' nests on top of their heads. I used a comb on Lola's hair -- one of those thick ones with teeth that bow out slighty on alternating sides of the comb. It's slightly better than a regular comb, but it was still just this side of torture on her poor little head. I pulled the mess up into a pony tail and called it "barely acceptable." I ran out of time to make any attempts with Elizabeth or Tallulah. Or me.

• I put the two littlest girls in the car without shoes, because I knew they had left their shoes there last night when we got home. Elizabeth's were still there, but I couldn't find one of Tallulah' she went to daycare with no shoes. I searched that damn car forever. Well, as much of forever as I had.

• Tallulah managed to get most of her breakfast all over her nice clean shirt before we left the house, and I managed to not notice until we were already gone.

• In the rush of getting out the door, Lola burned her finger on the toaster. Did I pay appropriate attention to this? No, I did not. Just got her in the car and off to school. At which point, she told me how much it hurt. When we got to school, I saw how bad it was -- she had a big ole' burn blister on her knuckle. I took her to the school office to get a bandaid, feeling sheepish that I had not taken care of this at home. This is the second day in a row I had to ask the school office for a bandaid. Yesterday, it was to cover the healing cut on Tallulah's forehead where she got the stitches, because I had not remembered to put sunscreen on it as the doctor has instructed me to do daily for one year.

Just a recap: I was bringing my kids to school with dirty, unkempt hair; one had no shoes and a filthy shirt; one had the same Disney princess dress she's been wearing FOR WEEKS, complete with about 10 rips and myriad stains; one had an untreated burn on her finger. The boys? They were fine, just mad at me for yelling at them during the rush to get everyone out of the house. No good-bye kisses for me this morning.

Of course, while standing on the school yard, I remembered where one of the hairbrushes was. Remembered that yesterday when I was cleaning up, I put it back in Lola's top dresser drawer, WHERE IT BELONGS. And of course, I didn't look there because it is so rarely where it belongs that I am not in the habit of checking there. I just have to ask: why oh why couldn't I have remembered this when it would have helped?

Also while standing on the school yard, I had to wrestle with a stubborn, squirmy Tallulah, who was bound and determined to get down on the black top and run, while I was bound and determined to keep her unshod feet off of the ground so that I could drop her off at daycare with clean socks at least. Also while standing on the school yard, another mom mentioned in passing something about the 2nd grade project that is due on Thursday -- which of course reminded me about the project in the first place as well as the fact that I have not worked with Vincenzo to do ANYTHING for this project yet.


The one thing I did manage to do was to get the girls to daycare WITHOUT their blankets because they were so filthy I was worried about exposing the daycare kids to some funky science experiments. Somehow, they didn't ask for them and I avoided that particular struggle.

And Tallulah's shoe? Another mom found it on the street near the school, near where I had parked YESTERDAY, and recognized it as belonging to one of my kids; she gave it to one of the teachers, who gave it to me when I picked the kids up at the end of the day.

Got the blankets washed and the girls bathed tonight, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I was feeling pretty lousy about my mothering skills, until I ran into a friend of mine with three kids of her own. I asked her how the kids were doing and she said: "They're all doing fine. Heck, if they can survive me, they're all doing great!"

That made me laugh. And made me breathe more easily for the first time all day. Days like this are the reason why Rick and I do not have college funds for the kids: we have therapy funds for them instead.


Sandy said…
I am so glad you found space to remember to breathe and laugh at yourself.

I find it amazing that you manage to get 5 kids anywhere in the same day, let alone on time. You are doing a tremendous job.

Hint: send of of them to college to become a psychotherapist and the rest can get a family discount!

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