I am one of those people who has felt like a full-blown adult ever since I was about six. I’m not saying that I’m MATURE, because lord knows I am NOT, but neither am I one of those “Oh, gosh, when did I become the grown-up??” sorts of people. I can’t remember NOT feeling like a grown-up.
(I do remember feeling mighty aggrieved when I wasn’t being treated like one, as a kid and particularly as a teen. I see this same frustration in my daughter and when it’s not DRIVING ME UP A WALL it cracks me up. I think we should isolate the chromosome responsible for this premature sense of adulthood and learn how to extract it from prepubescent girls and inject it into politicians, instead.)
So when I do stupid things, I am never one to blame my age/inexperience or to think “Gosh, I should’ve known better because I’m an adult.” I just figure I do stupid things because I’m stupid. And yet here I am, responsible for two other human beings like I have a clue, or something.
So here’s today’s “Huh!” moment:
Today is the next-to-last day of school, and Chickadee’s BFF is leaving town tomorrow to go on vacation. The girls have been jonesing for a last hurrah before the vacationing begins, and I have been trying to oblige. Now, I don’t know if you remember that Chickadee wanted to dye her hair pink for her birthday, but we ended up not doing it because the principal “respectfully requested” that I wait until school ended to do so. So we decided to do it TOMORROW, after school is over. But Nightingale (aforementioned BFF) is unavailable tomorrow.
So we decided to do it today.
Now, I had talked to Nightingale’s mom about this a while back, which is when I found out about the vacation plans. And so the mom suggested that we do something today, and I said sure, and then she mentioned a sleepover, and MY HEART STOPPED because the only thing I’d like to do less than host a sleepover on a school night is to dine on my own intestines during a movie as if they were Twizzlers. (Mmmmm… chewy!) But anyway, we had this speculative discussion about it a couple of weeks ago and said we’d get in touch and iron out the details.
Well, I sent her an email last week and it bounced. And then Chickadee was a complete brat for about a week straight and I didn’t do anything. And then she sort of straightened out and started in with the CAN WE CAN WE CAN WE PLEEEEEEEASE MOM CAN WE HUH? and I realized that suddenly it was the day before and I hadn’t talked to Nightingale’s mom. So I called her cell yesterday and left a detailed message, asking her to call me back.
She never called.
I called her at 7 this morning and we were in the middle of morning stuff and it sounded like they were, too, and I said “Hey, did you get the message I left you yesterday?” and she said no and so I went through the whole thing one more time. We would like Nightingale to come over after school, I am going to dye Chickadee’s hair pink and I will do Nightingale’s as well, if it’s okay with you and she wants me to, and they can play and have a good time before you go on vacation. Does that work?
Oh, sure, she said. Want her to go home on the bus with Chickie?
Sure! I said. That’d be great. And if your son wants to come, too, to play with Monkey, the more the merrier. (Monkey and Nightingale’s brother are accidental friends because of the girls—the boys are not in the same grade and run in slightly different circles—but they get another well enough and while I’m wielding hot pink hair dye what I REALLY NEED is two small boys running around, too!)
Well, she said, I’ll have to talk to him to see if he wants to come. I’ll call you back about him.
No problem! I said. I’ll talk to you later!
Well, it’s now coming up on 9:00 and I just realized a few things.
1) I still don’t know if I’m getting one child or two this afternoon, because she never called me back. The kids are at school now, so surely she knows the answer. Maybe she’s trying to make it a surprise?
2) I meant an afternoon playdate, but maybe she thought I meant a sleepover! In which case, quick, find me something very sharp I can stab myself with before they get home, please.
3) A woman I barely know just gave me permission to dye her child’s hair, which means that either I am extremely trustworthy-looking or she is ON CRACK.
4) I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tonight or if we even have any dinner-worthy food here in the house, particularly if we are having guests for dinner. (“Here, kids! Strawberries for dinner!”)
It’s not exactly that I’m surprised to find myself the adult in this situation, it’s that BEING that adult apparently confers a hefty amount of power with so little planning.
So, um, hey! We’re having a tongue-piercing party here, later, and I was thinking maybe your kids could come over…? Trust me, it’ll be great!