Who Put Me In Charge Of These Children?

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.

At all.

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.

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  1. If I posted all of my mini-failures as a parent, I’d come out as Worst Mother of the Year.

    Well, maybe not WORST because I do make sure they’re clothed (it might be last night’s mis-matched pajamas), I make sure they’re fed (it might be microwave pancakes for breakfast, lunch & dinner), and I make sure they’re happy (it might be a day of the TV babysitter).

  2. Vic says:

    At least you haven’t forgotten them in the supermarket yet!
    Hoping school started next week was just wishful thinking – summer holidays are a PITA for us working mothers. You’re forgiven.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Vic, yeah, they really are. And I feel so guilty because I want them to have REAL summer vacations with the pool and playing with friends and blah blah blah blah.

  3. muskrat says:

    Did you were pants to work today?

  4. muskrat says:

    Apparently, I can’t spell.

  5. NaysWay says:

    I did the exact same thing to my oldest – almost sent her to school a whole week early. And who has a calendar? Who’s the organized one in the family? Whatever. I’m on Summer Break, too. (ha!)

  6. Becca says:

    See and I was all sad for you because you were only going to get to have them home for a week before school started.

    Seriously, I got something in the mail last night from the Princess’s teacher saying “Hope to see you on the 13th” and I thought I had messed it all up. Now why my 11 (almost) year old would start 3 days earlier than everyone else was beyond me, but wait! No school doesn’t start on the 13th, her damn stinking open house (I love them, can you tell?) is on the 13th. That makes 4 open houses in the last two weeks. Grrrr….

  7. Jared says:

    Wait. Does that mean by default, I am a bad father. LOL. We shall figure it out. Besides I saw Emma using the microwave yesterday, as soon as I show her the grill, our problems are over.

  8. amy2boys says:

    If you knew how badly I’d farked up my 7 year old’s summer camp schedule, you wouldn’t feel so bad. I am so lucky those camp folks were glad to be flexible, what with enrollment down because who can afford all this camp shit in this economy? Those effing camps are expensive!

    ANYWAY. I get dates mixed up and all sorts of wrong all the time. And they let me have 3 kids!

  9. jo says:

    Okay. At least you did it in the comfort of your home. Last school year, I got my oldest dressed for his first day of First Grade, took the obligatory photos, beamed with pride, then drove to an empty school (*instert crickets here*). So ya. You are a crappy mom. But I’m even crappier.

  10. Hockeyman says:

    So I’m guessing you forgot my kids were coming to your house next week for the week. Crap, now what are we going to do? We’ll be out of the country!

  11. Deb says:

    My total favorite response to this issue is Jared’s: give the children some ground meat and a propane tank and call it a day. No worries here, officer!

    Best of luck–I couldn’t have made it through the summer AT ALL without our oldest as a live-in sitter, and she’s gone back to school, leaving me stranded with these two hellians. And they won’t even let the little one GO to preschool until he’s one–in six weeks! What’s with that, yo??

  12. Ya know, this kind of sounds like an Aiming Low post :P

    I am just in awe how early you all start school down there. Up here it’s in September. I remember raising hell one year because I had to go to school on AUGUST 30th! Wtf? Summer isn’t over until September. Of course we also don’t finish until June 30th…


  13. avitable says:

    Oh, so that’s why I got the secret phone call from Emma asking me to please come over!

  14. I’m thinking you need to find some sort of device that you can put on your kids that gauge if they’re empty or full. Also a flashing schedule with key dates would help too.

  15. Dawn says:

    You’re way better than uptight, “gotta follow all the rules” parents. Your Mom taught you how to be a bohemian — embrace it! :)

  16. Kristin says:

    Goodness. We were on Christmas break the year before last and I figured school started back on Monday, because duh, why wouldn’t you start on a Monday? So, on Friday morning when I get the weekly email from his teacher discussing what they had done the past two days, I figured the teacher had preset her emails to go out and forgot to turn it off. So I email her politely and told her to wait until school resumed. “We started back on Wednesday,” was her reply. “Seriously? Why would they do that?” “Well, it is in the school calendar and it was in the newsletter before Christmas…”

    Ah, okay, I’m supposed to be responsible and pay attention to these things. Seriously?

  17. Kris says:

    Our kids don’t go back until the 3rd…or the 4th… I’m still not sure.

    And they’re lucky if I remember to feed them on a daily basis. Good thing kids are resilient. ;D

  18. greg t says:

    You can send them up to Boston for the week. I am unemployed and have a boat. They do like the beach, eh?

  19. perpstu says:

    My kiddo starts school next Monday – a week before the public schools. If I don’t say it 12983673947856123 times a day, I’m afraid I’m going to forget to send him!

  20. Finn says:

    OK, the first day of school I totally have down (we’re also the 24th) because Lil’ M has been going to camp and camp ends the Friday before. And I had to get all of his therapy rescheduled and the therapists have all of that stuff WRITTEN DOWN and shit. So basically I’m on top of this because of other people.

    Where I fail is the teacher work days and half-days and other days off that don’t directly correlate with days my office is closed. I’m always quite surprised by them and live in constant terror that I’ll forget to come home early to get him and he’ll be standing out in 90-degree heat for two hours waiting for me.

    And really, if they’re hungry they’ll speak up. Loudly and in a high-pitched voice. ;D

  21. whall says:

    Whenever my babies had diaper rash, I was all “In my defense, they didn’t ASK to have their diapers changed…”

  22. daniel says:

    “Who does that? Who miscalculates the first day of school?”

    *raises hand*

  23. Sybil Law says:

    Not meaning to laugh at you, but that is funny.
    We’ve all done that crap – totally. :D

  24. the s.i.l says:

    I have been witness to both Devin & Emma helping get supper ready (otherwise how does one get 5 children fed alone with no other adults around)- get some bags of those veggies you pop in the microwave and hot dogs, you will be good to go for at least 2 days! Good luck gettin’ your groove back!

  25. Brandie says:

    So as I was rolling on the floor laughin, I mean commiserating with you. I realized that I had forgotton to pick up my child from basketball. Ironic…and I’m with you if they don’t tell you they are hungry how are you supposed to know???

  26. usedtobeme says:

    Me too. I did the same thing except backwards. I told the dramas they had to come home so I could spend some time with them before school started on the 17th. There was pause on the telephone and they both said very calmly, “Mom, school starts thisssss mondayyyyyy on the 10th. Clear?”


  27. Oh Lord, hon. If that’s the worst you ever do as a parent? You’re golden! And I’ve learned with my brief forays without kids that the key to getting your groove back is a trip to the grocery store. Just stocking up the fridge helps get back.

    Love you, hon, and glad your family is all back together!

  28. Dude, my son had me convinced for 6 months that he was 12 when he was only 11. I did not know how old my kid was. Talk about parenting fail!

  29. don’t take this the wrong way. but i lurve you.

  30. Sarcastica says:

    I haven’t done anything like that – yet. I have, however, forgotten to buy diapers, wipes, and heck I’d forget the formula too if he wasn’t nursing. We all have our moments :)

  31. Lynda says:

    If it was just your son, I say stick him in front of some video games and you’ll be the best mom ever. :)

  32. I had no idea when my first day of class is until a few days ago. So don’t feel bad.

  33. [...] but I’m pretty sure I need to let work know two weeks ahead when I want to take my vacation. School starts in two weeks, so there’s really no point in a vacation if I also have to go to class. So much for taking a [...]

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