I have spent my entire adult life ten minutes late for something. I cannot seem to reset my clock. I’m just always slightly behind.
Today was no exception.
With M out of town I am on the AM shift to school. I got all five kids out this morning, dropped four off at school, and took Sid for her two year checkup. On the way I met a friend for a quick coffee (actually, cocoa for Sid and green tea for me. I enjoy watching Seattleites squirm when I tell them I prefer the tea leaf to the holy bean.)
As usual, I misjudged how long it would take me to get to the pediatrician and the sadistic bitch who lives in my phone directed me to a building that was most definitely not the pediatrician’s new office. Sidney starts to moan and I frantically work my way through the morass that is downtown Seattle. She moans louder and I am perhaps too firm when I ask her to please shut the hell up while mummy drives. Because even though mummy is always always late, it still stresses her out.
But she cries louder and I pretend I am back in LA and start honking at slow drivers, which is just about every bloody car on the street here.
And now I’m 20 minutes late; double my usual.
I pull into the parking lot and turn around to tell Sid we have made it only to witness her throw up three gallons of cocoa.
She is the fifth child. I have no spare clothes for her. The kid is lucky if she gets a daily diaper change. So after I use the two dried-out baby wipes I have in the car to clean up, I take her up to the doctor. In nothing but a diaper. We are both whimpering and smell like puke.
And all I can think, when I show up with my naked baby, who has wiped vomit in her hair and mine is thank God – this is the perfect excuse. Nobody has to know I was late way before she puked, or that she likely puked because I was driving like a bank robber.
Because when you spend your life looking for excuses. You’ll take any one you can get. Even if its whining and crusted in vomit.