Thursday afternoons are hectic. Partly because I am just.so.over the week at that point--swimming lessons after school on Tuesday, church Wednesday evening, and an after-school science program on Thursday. Our afternoons and evenings are NON-STOP, from the minute they get off the bus until the magical time when they are finally in bed for the night. For two days I have been pushing them, "Guys, we have to get going. PLEASE get that done. What else do you still need to finish?" As if a typical day wasn't cramped enough, on these days we have chunks of time stolen from us. And suddenly it's Thursday and I'm tired of it, and I know that I have to do it again.
And when I do go pick up the big kids from their after-school program, I have Roo with me. And he is excited to find his big brother and sister. Who are in two separate rooms. On the exact opposite end of the school from the parking lot. And I don't know if you have guessed this, but Roo can be a lot to handle.
As an added bonus, on this particular Thursday, it was raining. Strike that, it was POURING DOWN RAIN. So I didn't bother to pull the stroller out of the van and set it up, I just grabbed Roo and ran for the building.
I have to admit that it was comical to let him run through the building, partly because it is just plain hilarious to see the way he runs, with his arms flying and his feet still a little unsure. And also because he would stop at every open door and BELLOW his siblings' names, in language that only our family could understand. I did, however, get weary of having to run and grab him every time he turned down a wrong hall (on accident or on purpose!) or ran into a room where some poor teacher was trying to finish up for the day.
And then... the program ran over the regular time slot. So we finally got back to the appropriate place in the school... and we had to wait. And Roo doesn't wait well. (The previous week, by the way, I had arrived at the correct dismissal time, and my kids were the only ones left. And I had to answer questions like, "Why did you come so late, Mommy? Why weren't you here when we got done? Did you forget?")
It feels a little like an understatement to say that I was frazzled by the time that they got dismissed. I think you have probably done that math in your head already.
But what you don't know is that my kids LOVE the after-school science program. And that they come out with the energy one would expect of a person who has chased a Monster drink with a 5-Hour Energy.
They were a little amped up.
"Mommy, guesss what!"
"Mommy, I can't wait to tell you!"
"Mommy, look what we made today!"
"Mommy, my project is hanging in the hall!"
"Mommy, Blake said he'll come over sometime!" (I have never heard of this Blake person. When did we decide to invite him to our house?)
And as a grabbed Roo's hand for the 10th time in 5 steps, I finally said in as nice a voice as I could muster, "You know, guys, I'm having a hard time listening to you and chasing your brother. I can't talk to anyone until we get into the van."
Good job, Mommy. You handled that like a pro. That should solve all the world's problems.
"No. Did you hear what I just said? You have to wait until we get to the van."
"Mommy, guess what!"
"Not until we're in the van."
"Nope. In the van."
"Oh, Mommy, I forgot to tell you--"
"NO. Not until we're IN.THE.VAN."
Look of death.
Finally we reached the magical place where I could buckle Roo in, unload the bundle of things I was carrying, and plop my weary body into a comfy seat.
"OK, guys. We're in the van. I've had a minute to collect my thoughts. Now, what did you want to say?"
"What do you mean?" (Lamb.)
"I told you guys that I couldn't talk until we were in the van. You wanted to say some things on the way and I told you to wait. Now we're here. What did you want to say?"
Pause. More blank stares.
"I don't think I needed anything. I think it was just Monkey." (Totally not the case.)
Monkey shrugs and says, "I don't know. Guess it wasn't that important."
Oh for the love.