The first night we got home, I forgot to feed my kids dinner.
I haven’t cooked a meal in over a month. Jared and I ate out or ate string cheese and beer or, in most cases, just didn’t eat at all. I’m always amazed by single people who go through the effort of cooking entire meals. While I can whip up a holiday meal for 20 in my sleep, I seem to have lost the ability to prepare food for less than four people. I’m like Sam’s Club or Costco now. I only operate in bulk.
In my defense, the kids didn’t ask to be fed.
I suspect it’s because they had been in the car for 11 hours and were full up on McDonald’s and mini bags of chips and bug juice. That or they assume it’s some adult’s job to remind them to eat regularly.
Last night they had sandwiches. Because when Devin mentioned that it was 6:30 and… uh… didn’t we think we should probably feed him… it seemed like a loaf of bread and some questionable deli meat was the fastest way to appease him.
And everyone knows that’s what good parenting is all about.
I still haven’t unpacked their suitcases. I’m pretty sure they are brushing their teeth though, mainly because I have a thing about bad breath. And I did run to the grocery store at 8:00 yesterday morning to pick up milk and muffins, so at least they’re getting breakfast and calcium.
It seems that this “taking care of two little people” job is not exactly like riding a bike. I feel like I’ve lost my groove and my rhythm and any ability to mother properly that I ever had.
But, I’ve told myself, we just have to get through this week. We’ll fumble our way through the next few days, get school supplies and VPK vouchers and new clothes put away – and then school will start on Monday and we’ll all have our normal routines to fall back on. I’ll get up and shuttle them off to their respective schools before heading into work. I’ll have the comfort of the 9 to 5 to make my brain do what it’s supposed to do when it’s supposed to do it, and then magically fall back into the dinner, homework, bath, bed time routine at night.
I just have to get through this one week in limbo. This week where the kids are mostly home with me and schedule free. This week when childcare consists of “just don’t kill each other while Mommy works”.
Just this week. And on Monday, all of my best laid plans will fall into place.
This morning, I called the daycare center where Emma will be attending preschool. I wanted to double check that I could pick up a school supply list and let them know that she was back in town and ready to be re-registered.
“And you just need the VPK voucher before preschool starts Monday, right?” I asked.
“Right. We just need it before the 24th. Next Monday,” she confirmed.
“Next Monday as in…” my heart skipped a beat.
“As in, not this Monday, but next Monday. The 24th.”
“Oh. Oh man,” I glanced down at the date in the corner of my computer screen. “OK, for some reason I thought she started this coming Monday like the schools.”
“No, um,” I could hear her confusion – and possible disappointment in my mothering abilities, “we start on the 24th. The same as the school district.“
Shit shit shit shit shit.
“Oh, right. Of course.” I hung up quickly before I could betray my total failure to her.
The 24th. School starts the 24th.
Which is not this coming fucking Monday.
I called Devin’s school to confirm. And confirm they did. No, meet the teacher is not this Friday. Yes, school starts in almost two weeks and not Monday. Yes, you are totally and completely screwed as far as what you’re going to do with your 9 year old next week when you attempt to work.
And also? Who the hell let you have these children??
I got the first day of school wrong.
Who does that? Who miscalculates the first day of school? Who forgets their daughter’s very first day of preschool?? Who perfectly schedules an entire summer of childcare right down to the last “we’re going to suck it up and muddle through this by working from home with two kids here” week – ONLY TO LEAVE HERSELF WITH AN ENTIRE WEEK WITH NO FUCKING CHILD CARE ARRANGEMENTS FOR HER NINE YEAR OLD SON??
Who does that?
Apparently, I do.
Because I totally rock at this parenting thing.