The morning grew hectic with each waking child.
Baths, breakfast, prayers, lost shoes that should have been out the night before, redoing outfits that were chosen in what seemed like the dark, and homework and charts that needed last minute signing. And of all mornings I decided my two youngest needed haircuts. I know ,I know....
In the middle of buzzing away at the last head- my two oldest who should have been at school 30 minutes ago bound into the bathroom.
I greet them with wide-eyes.
"The bus hadn't come yet."
"Wha-?" ( apparently this was all I could muster as I worked to focus on evening out the hair, on the little peanut head, of the 2 year old sitting on the sink.)
I now had to take them to school. Not a big problem except I had a staff meeting at work in an hour or so. Not a problem.
I was able to get the others on their buses just in time, then I quickly changed, and jumped in the car. It turned over like an old dog who found a comfortable position for the first time in the night and refused to move. It started. Seconds later a car pulled up behind me. I recognized one of the young boys from the bus stop as he stepped out. He began walking with purpose to the door. I rolled down my window to find out his mom was offering to take the kids to school. It's what he said that got me.
"My mom was seeing if they needed a ride to school, so it can save you money." I got out the car and signed a thank you to the angel mom, as I waved the kids out of the truck.
They scrambled out and I thought, weird, why say, save you money- not gas or time, or anything else. Hmm. I shrugged it off and was thankful I had a moment to really get my self together before I headed out to work for this morning meeting.
I walked in the house with a now upset J who was excitedly prepared to go on a ride in the car.
He was very upset. Very.
He cried and cried. I tried to entice him with food as I cooked Oatmeal on the stove.
He cried. I talked softly, refusing to escalate.
He cried. I told him we get to go somewhere in 30 minutes.
He cried. Then he began to really get into it. Did something just pop in my head? Anxiety peaked- my eyes widened. I was ready to join in the tirade. Deep breath.
"J, what's wrong?"
"I peed myself" he bawled. " I peed myyy-selllf." I looked down as a puddle continued to form around his shoes. I'm thinking, we just put clean clothes on you. I smiled. I spoke softly." J, it's OK, it happens to the best of us." Really mom? Cuz yeah I pee myself all the time-. "We just need to get you some clean clothes on OK?" He looked down, now crying at his all time favorite boots.
"My shoes, my shoes wat."
"It's alright, we can wash them OK? Let's throw them in the washer with your clothes." As soon as I walked to put his shoes in the washer, he burst into a wail.
"I want my shoes!!!! My shoes!!!" Tension shoots up my neck. Jesus. Deep breath.
"J, your shoes are getting cleaned, and I'm not going to tolerate this behavior, you understand? You are OK. Now shut that noise!" He quieted down to a whimper. I put him in the tub and had him out and dressed in minutes.
Ok- so during all this I'm thinking, he must be tired, or hungry, or just- I don't know what, but there's no way I can take him with me to work like this. No way! So I'm in a dilemma. I look and it's 9 AM. God, I really need an answer here. Should I take him and hope for the best? Should I call and say I can't make yet another staff meeting? What do I do?
I texted my boss. Message was misunderstood. I emailed. No answer. I called the direct line. No answer. 9:15. Oh well. I have to just- go.
"Come on, J."
We get in the car. I turn the key. Click-click-click-click-click.
No way. Again. Click-click-click-click-click.
Nooooooo! I scream silently.
One more time. Click...click. Stop. I threw up my hands and laughed.
"Alright!" I yell. I jerk out of the car, yank open the back door and slow down enough to get J out of his seat.
"I wanna gooooo!" he begins.
"Well we can't J- the car won't work. But you can watch TV when we go in OK?"
Back in the house, again, I take a deep breath. Then it dawned on me. I can't go. I nodded my head as the reality sunk in. You know what? That's the answer to my question. Should I go? Apparently no.
" Father, see this, this is good. You're speaking to me. I wish you'd speak to me as clearly about everything else. This- I love this! Thank you! "
I tried my boss on the job line again. She answered. She understood. She filled me in. I had peace when I hung up. I looked up. I smiled.
"Mo-ommy! the te-vision not working!"
Father, you got this right?