Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Mismatched Maven and the Grumpy Vampire

I hate to be late for anything.
My palms sweat. My heart races. I can’t take it. Punctuality is my only compulsion. I can go to sleep with a sink full of dishes, no problem. An unmapped floor simply calls for a shrug of my shoulders and a comfortable pair of shoes. Coloring outside the lines? I say why conform. Matching socks . . . who needs the work—not me.
I’m pretty laid back for the most part. It’s just that damn clock that has me right where he wants me with his tic tock, tick tock, coaxing me to get the hell out the door or I’m gonna be late. I hate that clock.
Having kids really takes my dilemma up notch. I heard all about diapers, binkies, poop, croup, gas, and colic when I was pregnant, but not one person prepared me for my new life as a late person. Did you hear that? Even alluding to the word late quickens my breath and sends my heart into overtime. Right now, the keys on this computer are click-clacking at an overwhelming pace.
It doesn’t help that my husband has the urgency of the DMV. He is perpetually five or more minutes late and he pisses me off because he’s bestowed his turtle-like speed onto our two children. Mornings have not been the same since.
Today’s example:
7:50 a.m. Alarm goes off. I wake my daughter, who is less than cheery to see me. She takes about five minutes to get downstairs. Five minutes! Do you know what can be accomplished in 300 seconds? She doesn’t.
She collapses onto the couch.
“What were you doing up there?” I ask, trying to remain composed.
She mumbles something inaudible in reply. I normally would’ve asked for clarification, but time is ticking. I’m just about to go fetch her some clothes when her four- year-old brother wakes up.
“Good morning, buddy.” I love his morning greetings full of joy and smiles, but something happened from his bedroom to me that nixed his usual pleasantries.
He stomps over to the couch and collapses, screaming about the light. “It too tunny. It too tunny.” He points to our living room window where beams of sunshine filter inside.
I run to the window and close the blinds, making sure not an ounce of tortuous light comes through. Not only do I want my son safe from the death rays, but that stupid clock has me in a stronghold.
I steal a quick peek over my shoulder, 8:00 a.m. I have thirty minutes before her dad leaves for work. If I hurry, he can take her to school and my Vampire son won’t combust in my car.
“Strudel. Strudel,” the vampire boy chants.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. If I don’t run upstairs and pick out my daughter’s clothes, I can’t guarantee what she’ll look like. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes and saying, ‘what about your mismatched socks? Why can’t she wear whatever she wants?’
Okay, so you think you’re smart, I get that. Here’s my answer. Socks don’t matter because pants cover them, hellooo, and kids are too mean to appreciate a good blend of plaid and stripes. When she’s all grow’d up she mismatch her duds all she wants.
With the pesky clock egging me on, I decide to roll with my daughter’s clothing choices and pop a couple strudels into the toaster. I fill two cups with juice, glancing at the microwave. 8:20. Deep breath. Vampire boy is content and not a pile of ash. My daughter was humming in her room. Things were going good.
8:25. My daughter’s gleeful hum should’ve been a warning. She bounces down the stairs wearing hot pink and black lace leggings with her white socks pulled up high and a small blue shirt.
“Do you think that looks good,” I ask, trying to curb the quake in my voice.
She hugs her arms across her body. “Soooo comfy.”

I stare at her for a moment, debating. Do I march her back into her room, which would hurt her feelings, or do I improvise? I toss her a pair of black boots just as her dad comes up the stairs.
“I’m leaving in five minutes,” he says.
300 seconds? No problem.  
My daughter finishes her strudel and juice, then slips on her coat. A kiss goodbye reminds me that we forgot about her teeth, but vampire boy needs me. Apparently, the cat hopped onto the windowsill and moved the blinds. Death rays careen toward him; so, I do the only thing I know and pop a piece of Orbitz gum in her hand. Don’t judge. The clock made me do it.

**Disclaimer: My husband would like the one or two readers I have to know that my portrayal of him is a gross exaggeration. He says he is always on time and lateness is a thing of the past. I say mmmkay to that and that's about it. You can also insert an eye roll with that mmmkay if you like.


Anonymous said...

Ha! I love it.

So descriptive and well worth the (thanks to my kidlets) 300 seconds it took me to read this! Although, I can not sleep with a sink full of dishes. :)

Have a FAB and unhurried kind of day!

Des said...

OMG I love this post. I totally understand. Every second counts!!

Diana said...

I'm so glad a couple moms can relate to the stress just a few minutes can bring. Thanks for reading.

BK said...

Great post :). Love the blog. Thanks for stopping in to mine.