Mondays are sacred around here. If M and I make it through the weekend in one piece, we dive into Mondays with the kind of glee that only comes from getting a much needed break from five children. My weeks generally get less productive as they go along. Appointments crop up and swallow up my mornings, someone gets sick and swallows an entire day, and by Thursday I can pretty much waive the rest of the week away.
So on Mondays I really do try to get as much work done as possible. Today, however, there were forces conspiring against me from the very beginning of the day.
Last night’s consumption of about thirty latkes made this morning’s run painful and SLOW. Sidney was clingy and wasn’t having any of the babysitter. When I finally pried her off my legs, I squeezed in a hour of work, only about one forth of which was actually any good. (Am I proud that out of 60 minutes, only 20 produced anything to be proud of? No, I am not.) At some point, after she’d napped for 30 minutes, I hear Sidney call me from her crib.
“Help, there’s a big mess in here.” Clearly, that can be ignored. Hello, fifteen more minutes of work.
“Help! There’s lots of blood in here!” And that cannot be. I don’t wait for the sitter to get her, I bolt out of my office and into her room.
By “blood,” she meant “poo,” of which there was copious amounts all over her crib as well as her body. She seems to have shot crap out the side of her diaper and then spent about 10 minutes or so silently playing with the stuff, so by the time I got in there it was coating her limbs, her torso, one of her cheeks and all of her stuffed friends. There’s nothing cute about a shit-covered pillow pet.
I couldn’t casually walk out, hoping the sitter would hear her and take care of the whole thing, because I was already in there, holding a crapped out baby and could be heard swearing over the monitor … so it was too late for a getaway. I pissed away another 30 minutes cleaning it all up.
Headed back into my office when the phone rang. Whenever I see the school pop up on the caller ID I wonder if today’s the day Bennett will be caught teaching the sixth graders how to play strip poker, but today’s adventure was different. It was the school secretary/nurse/uber-Jewish mother.
It seems Bennett was in her office with heart palpitations. I kid you not. He was playing basketball outside and came in, short of breath and all flushed. Yeah, it’s called exercise people. After she took his temperature and checked his pulse, I assured her he didn’t have asthma or a heart condition (even though I was rapidly developing one) and told her to tell him to bide his time for 30 minutes then get his ass on the school bus.
Ten seconds later the phone rings again.
“Can you come and get me, please?”
“Bennett,” I say, “You’re fine. Get on the bus and I’ll see you in an hour.”
“Why aren’t you taking me seriously?” And that thing that just flew out the window, ladies and gentlemen, was the rest of my day. I could have said, “because you’ve already faked two sick days this year,” or “because I just spent half an hour scraping shit off your sister and I the last thing I want to do is drive for 2o minutes to come and pick you up from school when you’re just fine.” But I said neither. His line worked, and as I was bundling up my coat and purse and heading out to the car, I said:
“I’m bringing a pair of paddles with me, and you bloody well better have a heart attack in the car on the way home, otherwise this will be another hour of my day pissed away.” But I don’t think he heard me. He had handed the phone back to the nurse who told me that I was about to win the Mother of the Year award for coming out to get him.
Yeah, I’ll bet. With my luck they’ll probably schedule the ceremony on a Monday….