We had your basic suburban day. I caught myself running down the driveway this morning, dressed in a brown baby-doll summer dress, barefoot, trying to give my husband the ice water he had poured for himself before he ran out the door. I caught up to him on the street. I gave him his water. He gave me a kiss, leaning out his open window.
I said, “Oh, my, this feels very suburban.”
He said, “I think I sort of like it.”
I ran back into the house, straight into the kitchen, and was so distracted I made the worst pancakes I’ve ever made in my entire life (except for the ones I made over at a friend’s house, but I can’t tell you about it because she might read this). They looked weird (the pancakes, not my friend). Andrew cheerfully said that they looked like lily pad pancakes (no one should be so cheerful in the morning). George threw his entire 20-pound body forward far enough to grab one, took a bite, and promptly threw it further than I had ever seen him throw anything. Curious, I took a bite myself.
I forgot the sugar.
“That’s okay,” Andrew said just as cheerfully, “we dip them in syrup anyway.” (As a mother, I should have thought of that myself, but we all slip occasionally).
“Fabulous, I made lily-pad panbread! What a terrific breakfast!” They gobbled them up. I looked for that iced coffee I had stowed somewhere in the refrigerator. Where was that coffee?
I had a PTA meeting this morning. The subject of the PTA will provide a great deal of amusement for the rest of the school year, so I will leave that for later. We decided to ride our bikes, mostly because it is much easier to get the kids out of the house that way.
The kids were in “babysitting,” which meant that they were watching a movie with other children only slightly older than they are. I spent a brief moment talking to one of the faculty members. When I found my children, they were alone, completely glued to the television. Andrew was laughing out loud. They left happily. We rode home, stopping only briefly at my friend’s house because Andrew insisted. She wasn’t home anyhow.
After lunch, the piano teacher came for Andrew’s lesson. George napped. I played something with Gladys in the basement. What DID we do? I finally found my coffee. After his lesson, Andrew wanted to play Battleship and then Othello, so we played boys against girls. Andrew has finally gotten good enough to beat me in Othello if I let him sneak into all the corners. He won’t get more than three corners next time! Ha!
After George’s nap, we ran a few errands to prepare for tomorrow and the next day. The next two days we will go on long bike rides. I had lost the attachment pin for the bike trailer at the park the other day, so I drove back there to find it in the grass (I found it, can you believe that??) Then, we bought a bike lock. Finally, we went to the grocery store. Yes, I could have done all of this at Target. What did Gladys say?
“I am fine with Target, mostly, but I prefer Giant Eagle, Mommy. They have much nicer sandwich makings at Giant Eagle.” She was right, and I needed a few other groceries too.
By the time we reached the checkout lane at the grocery store, my children had consumed about a quarter pound of ham and cheese from the deli. They were picking at each other. I had politely explained to them our mission, laid down the vision, and given them an outline of incentives. For their part, they wanted to ensure that my leadership skills were fully honed.
I began to feel sorry for the woman behind me.
Then, the woman and her children behind HER stole the show.
“Mommy, can we get this candy, can we? Can WE? CAN WE??” It got worse. She was having a much worse day than I was. It was 5pm in the checkout line.
Then, the woman in the middle answered her cell phone.
I walked out, leaving yet another suburban nightmare in my wake.
After dinner, I bathed three children and put George to bed. I went to a babysitting co-op meeting. Probably ten or so women sat around trying to figure out how we could work out all of our schedules to ensure everyone makes it to every appointment, activity, and dinner date in September. It’s a circus that can’t be fully appreciated without attending.
When I came home, my dear husband had folded another load of laundry. He was asleep in the family room. I gave him a kiss. I sent him to bed. And, here I am.
It is the end of another suburban day.
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