Truth be told, I probably deserve it. And I think I'm going to blame it on a book I've just finished. "Sh*tty Mom" is a hilarious tribute to those mothers who don't always meet the Mother of Year minimum quals. Sometimes you laugh because it's ridiculous. Sometimes you laugh because you did that, too. I mean because you are a MUCH better mother than these yahoos and would never do that, too.
Alison has had a cold, which generally means she'll eventually hack like an 80-year-old man who's smoked cigars since he could walk. That's the trigger for her to get prescription help. She struggled through Fall Break and we got the meds on Monday. She started to feel better at the precise time I started to feel worse.
By Thursday, I was the cigar smoker and my hack was scaring my colleagues. I had some important stuff to do and had a quick work trip to Philadelphia that had been planned for months. I did not have time to be sick.
But there it was. I went home a bit early on Thursday, collected Alison and crawled in to bed. She was excited about a pep rally she and her cheerleader friends would lead the next day and chattered on about school and decorating lockers and an upcoming birthday party. Or maybe she sat there in silence. I don't really know. I was sick and was fixated on how fast I could get to bed and look pitiful enough for her to bring me soup.
Friday dawned and I was still in bed. I'd been snuggling pretty tight with my friend Nyquil and was prepared to spend the day with him too. I'd set the alarm for a 9:30 meeting I had to call into, but I was planning to mute my phone in case I nodded off and snored. Once done with it, I was going to snore for real.
My fog was pierced early by my phone ringing, CKS on the screen. I answer cautiously. Alison was in the nurse's office thinking she was going to vomit.
Straight out of the Sh*tty Mom playbook came an answer: "So she hasn't actually vomited yet?" See, the rule is, you have to come retreive your kid if she throws up at school and you can't send them back until 24 hours has passed.
I opened my mouth to ask Becky to call me back when the puke hit the waste can. Somehow the words wouldn't come. It was probably the mucus blocking the way, but I managed to croak out, I'll be right there."
I could not, however, bring myself to get dressed. So I went down to school in my glasses, bedhead, robe and slippers. I did wear pants. I walked into the school office. Becky assessed my condition. "So I guess the whole house is sick. Beautiful robe though."
I think she threw that in there because she realized that I'd just realized I'd staggered into school just as the classes were letting out for the kids to go to Mass. I suppose it possible if they were moving fast, they might have thought I was a cardinal. They wear red robes, too, right?
I looked at Ali. "I'm not faking, Mom, I swear," she said. I pointed to the car.
It had occured to me that she was faking but the phlegm trapped those words too. Plus, she really had wanted to be part of the pep rally and wouldn't have jeopardized seeing Jenna -- even for a day off school.
It did not occur to me that she probably needed to collect her homework and all the end of the school week stuff she needs to get back into the place.
That came to me a little while ago. When we were getting her prepared for Monday.
She'd left behind her pencil box that contains the Religion homework she needed to print out at home and her blue folder that requires a parent's signature to show you know how they made it through the week. She could have 12 outstanding assignments for all I know. I am such a Sh*tty Mom.
I sent her downstairs with the big TV while I returned to my nest. That's where Jeff found us. God love him, he took a better-feeling Ali to Jenna's to trick-or-treat. (Weather had given the holiday a one day game delay in central Indiana.) And God love Amer for taking care of Jeff before and after the haunting.
Saturday morning, I loaded up on OTC cold medication and flew to Philly to collect a fabulous award for Angie's List and its fabulous parenting and daycare programs. ( Yes, I realize I might need to take that parenting class...) The award was presented by former Gov. Ed Rendell, who was highly jovial, and it was a really, really lovely event.
We stayed out past 11, walked 25 miles (in heels) to see the Liberty Bell because we had to leave at dawn the next day and Rob insisted we get a little culture in before we left. At one point, I swear he reprimanded Kim, our national award winning day care program director, to keep her hands to herself. "Don't break that, it's history," he hissed. We made a friend on the street. Well, we liked him. I think we scared him, though, but he was a sport and posed with us and advised us to stop by the City Tavern (where Kim endangered history.)
In deference to my roommates, I thought I'd sleep in a big chair in our room. Lying flat tends to encourage the phlegm to choke me, which makes me hack loudly.
I've had worse nights sleeping, but not many. On the bright side, we only had five hours of potential sleep before we had to catch our flight home.
Each of us had something important to do on Sunday, so it wasn't just me who agreed to the fast turn-around. And despite the rushed nature of it, we did have a lot of fun moments.
But I had a football game to get to Sunday. CKS was in the city championship game in the 7-8 grade division, and Ali was cheering at noon. I made it in time to see them get crushed by their arch rival. Then it was home to start chipping away some more at my mulch pile and get Ali fed and prepared to meet her first babysitting clients. They were coming by to get mulch and to meet Ali. She's sitting for three kids next week.
She had a presentation and lots of questions for the mom. She showed off her Safe Sitter credentials. (Another class I might need.) Then, it was a mad dash to 4-H for Ali and me to Book Club.
She's all tucked in bed and Jeff and I are watching the Colts get crushed. My fantasy football team is getting crushed too. There's time for a miracle, I suppose.
I have a note into Alison's teachers explaining her situation and accepting blame for the infractions she has coming. I'm hoping they'll assign them to me instead. It's a three strikes and you're in detention rule, and she's a pretty good kid so even if she gets nabbed, she can likely make it through the week without punishment. But really, it's my fault. We'll see if they'll me serve her detention for her if it comes to that... :)
So I might occasionally be a less-than-perfect mom but I have a shiny award to show off tomorrow. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight -- and for more than five hours. That's not sh*tty at all.