Yesterday afternoon didn’t start out well; once again, my kids had a substitute bus driver. Normally, we’re the first stop on the route, but when there’s a sub, they always ends up doing the route backwards and we become the last stop.
This results in the kids getting home a full hour later than usual. And in me calling the bus garage to try to explain—AGAIN—why it is really not okay with me that every so often the bus simply DISAPPEARS with no warning or explanation, and I’m supposed to use my powers of ESP to figure out that everything is fine, my children are merely being UNEXPECTEDLY HELD HOSTAGE. I may have been a little snippier than usual, even, yesterday, on account of the delay meant we missed a doctor’s appointment. Hmph.
So the kids got home and we had to rush rush rush to have a snack and get them out the door again, to get to the afternoon’s activities.
Both kids actually held up very well under the strain, and were in good spirits despite their prolonged tour of our town and then the rush to leave the house again.
The problem came when Otto kindly offered to pick up Chickadee for me, later. I guess he arrived a few minutes earlier than planned, foiling her chance to play longer with her friends, and she was Not Happy. She was so Not Happy that she stomped in the door, cried and yelled and complained, and got sent to her room to cool off. She was so Not Happy that after both a conversation with me and a separate one with Otto, she still ended up electing to stay in her room for half of dinner while she pulled herself together.
Eventually she recovered and emerged and joined us at the table and was perfectly pleasant. Really, that would’ve been progress enough for me.
But the extra special bonus happened later that evening.
Otto and I were sitting together in our big comfy chair in the family room, chatting and snuggling while the kids got ready for bed and talked to their dad on the phone. Chickadee suddenly came careening around the corner and fairly leapt into our laps. We giggled as she made a great show of arranging herself just so—stretched across both of us, head resting on Otto’s chest, drawn up knees against my chest—and then she sighed a gigantic, theatrical sigh.
“You guys are THE BEST,” she said, hooking one arm around Otto and the other around me.
Otto and I exchanged glances.
“Awwww, thank you, honey,” I replied, giving her a little squeeze. “That’s so sweet!” She pulled us even tighter and sighed again. “And I guess now would probably be a good time to tell you that… well, we’ve decided to keep you!”
I waited a split second for the howls of indignation (at the implied choice in the matter) that were sure to come, but instead, she flung her arms wide in a grandiose gesture.
“That’s ASTOUNDING!” she declared.
Otto and I exchanged glances, again.
“I mean,” she continued, matter-of-factly, bringing her arms down and tucking them around us again, “considering some of my recent behavior and all.”
I did not, in fact, wet myself in the laughter that followed, but there were a couple moments there when I was a little worried.
I’m so glad we decided to keep her.