Just a few things I’d forgotten

I thought I had it all figured out, today: Chickadee was invited over to a friend’s house for “as long as she likes,” and I had made plans to bring a friend over here for Monkey. My day would be busy, but manageable. With the children occupied I’d be free to finish up getting ready for our trip, doing my work, and cleaning the house.


There were too many things crowding my brain. I made a rookie mistake, thinking this was going to make it all work out okay.

First of all, I had to spend the early part of the morning trying to convince the kids to eat breakfast, get dressed, and STOP TOUCHING EACH OTHER. Finally they were ready to leave, and we headed out. We dropped Chickadee with her friend and then went and collected Monkey’s pal, a sweet little tomboy (hereafter, TB) from his class. Both of these friends live across town, so on the drive back Monkey’s friend was conspicuously silent for about the first ten minutes, then she piped up, “Where do you live, anyway?”

“It should only be another hour or so, honey!” I offered.

It turns out that this kid has no sense of humor whatsoever unless you’re telling fart jokes. Monkey had to reassure her that I was kidding and we were almost home. But she was a little scared of me all day, after that.

My plan was to sit down at the computer, finish up some work, and then get busy folding laundry and packing. I’d take a break to make the kids some lunch, and then later—when I’d be nearly done with everything, anyway—I’d run TB home, pick up Chickadee, go pick up my jeans at the tailor’s, and then we’d have a relaxing evening.


My plan overlooked a number pertinent items. Some of them had slipped my mind, others I hadn’t anticipated.

In addition to my original plans, today I had to…

… help two cold and soggy children peel off their snow gear and hang it up to dry.

… make cocoa for said children, making sure that the mugs had exactly the same number of mini-marshmallows apiece.

… respond to the call of “Mama, TB spilled a little!” to discover that an entire mug of hot chocolate had been upended on my beige carpet. And both children were sitting there looking at it. And neither had any idea how it happened.

… scrub the carpet for half an hour, using up an entire roll of paper towels and three different cleaners.

… explain to TB that in our house, we do not consider “cliff diving” off the edge of Monkey’s bed to be an acceptable activity.

… track down art supplies for the kids.

… send both children to wash their hands of markers.

… clean the bathroom which was now covered with marker-tinted puddles.

… head back across town to drop off TB and pick up Chickadee (which I’d planned), but come upon Chickadee and her friend in the middle of building an igloo which they weren’t done with yet, Mooooooooom!

… discover that my now even-legged jeans still look stupid, because now one leg bottom is distressed and one isn’t!

… bring jeans home and distress the newly-hemmed leg using all of the ingenuity I can muster (plus a bit of bleach and a serrated knife).

… remember that Chickadee needs to attend Tae Kwon Do today because she’ll be missing class later this week. So much for our easy evening.

… sit in the waiting room at TKD playing with Monkey, gradually realizing that his level of spazzmocity (that is too a word) is headed into dangerous territory; his fun day has him clearly overloaded and he is unable to sit still, talking at top volume, and obviously on edge.

… try to remain calm when Monkey hits me so hard I see stars. He didn’t mean to. As soon as he saw the look on my face he dissolved into a puddle of apology. (Lord, I feel for this kid. How weird and hard must it be to have so little body awareness that you can be goofing around and really hurt someone and not even realize it until they complain?)

… try to do a bit of surreptitious OT with Monkey without the other parents thinking I’m abusing my kid. Administering deep pressure stimulation is fun but not if other people suspect my child is being crushed to death. Heh.

… figure out something for dinner when I’ve just about used up all the perishable food in the house and no one wants anything because they’ve been snacking all day.

… convince the children to clean out their backpacks so that we can bring them to Georgia. Convince the children that “clean out your backpacks” doesn’t mean “take all the crap out and leave it in the middle of the floor.”

… fill emptied backpacks with snacks and activities and sweatshirts and pajamas and remind the children that these backpacks are THEIR responsibility at the airport. Imagine that they are betting between themselves how long it will take to get me to carry absolutely everything.

… email Susan in a panic while packing because I’ve just realized I plan to wear brown shoes with black pants and I THINK that’ll be okay but I don’t want to cause a rift in the space-time-fashion continuum if it’s not.

… check in for our flight online, press the “Print Boarding Passes Now” button seventy-two times, grumble a lot, and finally get the stupid passes printed.

… print out the last of the forms I need for the school registration, realize that it needs to be signed and blood and notarized. Well, just notarized. Because that’s convenient.

… attempt to render my feet warmer-weather ready. Nothing says “Welcome, Spring!” like that cheese grater thing I have to use on my heels.

… fit all of this crap into these here suitcases. Whose idea was it to pack so much stuff, anyway?

If this is what I have to do for a 4-day trip, what in the world makes me think I can actually move down there without having a complete nervous breakdown?

Please don’t answer that.


  1. Kira

    You just HAD to mention the cheese grater thingy, DIDN’T YOU?
    You just lost my sympathy, grater-girl. *skeeeeeved out*
    Ok, I grudgingly allow you just a smidgen of sympathy. One tiny smidgen. Good luck on your trip! Call me if you lose your mind! Love you!

  2. Lena

    I too doled out mini-marshmallows to kids today! (And then, because I was afraid it was too hot, I added a little water to the hot chocolate. One of the little girls asked “Why is it so watery?” and I answered “Because I added extra water.” So, she says to my daughter “My mom doesn’t have to do that at our house. We get to have WHOLE cups of hot chocolate.” “Yeah?” I say, “Well, next we’re having ketchup sandwiches!”)

    That story was much funnier in my mind.

    Spazzmocity is most awesome word ever. And why is it that notaries are all over until you need one??

  3. carrien

    I go through an identical process before trips, once I was scrubbing the bathroom at 4am and my cab was arriving at 6:15, I was tons of fun that trip. I remember with extreme clarity the last time I was ready for a trip, I was pregnant with my first and I was so organized. Then he was born and I’ve been behind ever since.

  4. Cele

    I’m with Lena, Spazzmocity is most assurely the most awesomest word ever.

    Bon Voyage!

  5. MomCat

    Wishing you zero Spazzmocity on your trip, Mir – You will love the weather! (at least till summer…) :)

    I don’t think the “playdate-keeps-them-busy” concept worked till mine was about ten or eleven. Now they go into her room and shut the door and I don’t see them for, literally, hours. I admit to lurking at the door from time to time, listening. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

  6. LyndaL

    I’m a notary!! I’m a notary! But then,….I’m in Scotland so that probably doesn’t help much. Have a good trip!

  7. Sara

    Hope the trip is worth all of the frenetic activity and angst and that future schooling and housing issues are wrapped up in a nice little bow for you so that you may enjoy your new hometown and your time with Otto. Happy Travels!

  8. LadyBug Crossing

    LOL!!! It never ever works out as planned…
    You’ll be fine.
    If you forget it, you can purchase it. You aren’t going to Tibet. They have Walmarts in Georgia…

  9. Ei

    I THINK they have notaries in Georgia too. Too bad you aren’t going to Scotland…um…because you know a notary there.

    You can easily move. Whatever doesn’t fit into the truck can be replaced. Easy, huh?

  10. Susan

    NOW I understand why you were e-mailing me and not IMing. It all makes sense.

    And I am totally going to use “spazzmocity” in a conversation today.

  11. BethR

    Look at it this way – in a weird way moving will actually be easier because you won’t be coming *back*. It’s trying to keep the current location in perfect shape, figure out what to take, etc. that makes short trips so hard. When you move you’ll be taking everything so there won’t be so much picking and choosing, and you won’t care so much about the house because, hey, not coming back!

  12. Caren

    I, too, am a notary. IN GEORGIA!!! But I have no idea where my notary stamp thingie is. My mother, however, works at the Board of Ed. AND is a notary in Southeast Georgia. Anything we can do to help?

  13. Laura

    Your realtor in Georgia will have access to a notary. Very likely one works in her office. So if you’re meeting with her (and I’m guessing you are) just let her (or him?) know ahead of time that you’ve got something that needs to be notarized. Then you won’t even have to hunt one down on your own.

  14. TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre

    I’ll tell you what my sweet DARLING spouse says to me.

    “Well SURE you’re overwhelmed if you list everything off like that…”

    blink. blink.

    All hail the female of the species.

  15. Holly

    Folex works MIRACLES for stains on carpets!

  16. Sheila

    …and they’re off!


  17. Melanie Marie

    My life feels terribly empty. I don’t think I do that much in a week!

  18. liz

    409 Carpet Cleaner – I need to buy stock in that stuff. Gets out popsicle stains, vomit, pop-tart goo, anything ya want. And here in Georgia? No worries about getting kids into and out of snow clothes and building igloos. Yesterday it was nearly 70 degrees and sunny. :)

  19. Liise

    OT = Overtime, then uh No. OT= occupational therapy? YeS! that makes mucho more senso to my brain.

    Have a great trip!

  20. RC

    Like Monkey, my little sister always tries to beat the crap out of me, but so far I haven’t pooped my pants, which is good.

    Not sure what makes you think you could move down there, but if I was you, I’ll stay right where I am, until you get evicted.

    Didn’t mean to answer that.

  21. Woman with Kids

    Spazzmocity! I love it! Boy 2 is like that, completely unaware the world exists except for what he’s looking at right now. All those things he walks into, knocks over, hits, sits on and steps on? When did they get there?

  22. Brown Eyed Girl

    This trip nearly sent you to the loony bin…jeez.

    Spazzmocity is a great word. I need to start using that!

    Have a very SAFE if not organized trip.

  23. Brigitte

    Is the OT stimulation having any effect that you can see yet, or does it still have to be given more time before any results?

    Good luck on this trip!

  24. dysd. housewife

    Wow..I have these kinds of days when I am NOT taking a trip..damn..I better not ever take a trip. And the cheese grater thingy? Got one.. my nickname in winter is ‘cactus foot’. Nuf said.

  25. Kris

    Heh…I love freaking out other kids. Mine are just so used to me they roll their eyes.

    Bug gets nutty like that too when overloaded, so we use a lot of touch. She’s bashed me a good one, bent my glasses, and until I told her she hurt me, she had no clue. I swear she and Monkey are twins.

    Cheese grater – I hope you put it back in the proper drawer after you washed it.

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