Monday, May 18, 2009

parental mistakes, part (however many)

I had a horrifying realization yesterday.
We've got our one trip of the year coming up next month -- my cousin is getting married in the Houston area, and I had the brilliant idea of talking those heading up the 20-year high school reunion into tacking it onto the next weekend. Two vacations in one! So we'll be gone for 10 days in mid-June. Anyhow, it will be fun, and Lizzy is looking forward with great anticipation to seeing her cousins again for two or three days. I think we could probably leave her behind, and she’d be fine with that, except for missing her sister.
So yesterday. I’m sitting down with my calendar, trying to figure out the two-parents-working nightmare of what to do with one’s school-aged children over the summer, when I realize: I am pulling Lizzy out of the last six days of her first grade school year.
I had no idea they’d still be full steam ahead in the third week of June. Really? Really??
And then they’re not starting up school again until the second week of September. Which, if you ask me, is how it should be, but I was working on the assumption it was to be the tail end of August, as it seems to fall typically. There's two weeks where her whereabouts will be unaccounted for. I've been warned by other working parents that this happens at the end of every summer -- the school-sponsored summer program ends two weeks before school begins. Hoo boy.
I’ve just been feeling not up to the task recently. Things have been falling through the ever-larger cracks in my brain with frightening regularity. Last week, I had to leave work early to get Maddie because, the night before, I’d forgotten to put the milk I expressed at work into the fridge. Yes – I remembered to take the pump to work (check!), with bottles in the container (check!), took the breaks at work (check!), remembered to bring the pump/milk home from work (check!), brought it in from the car (check!), and LEFT IT ON THE COUNTER to go bad overnight. But, lo and behold, Maddie did make it through the day, mostly by compensating by eating ever-larger amounts of ‘grown-people food’ – they feed her WELL at that day care! Pancakes, Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes, etc. – and after I picked the girls up, we ran into our neighbors on the way home, who invited us for a fun bike ride. So all turned out well, aside from me once again losing yet more stock with the good people I work with who must think me mentally challenged at that point. (and my point here is, I don’t think they’d be far wrong.)
I just almost don’t trust myself any more. This weekend, we had a complex ‘birthday party for one hour, then leave for soccer game’ schedule worked out, and I remembered all elements necessary (stuff for baby, drinks and snacks for Lizzy, birthday present wrapped, etc., swimsuit, soccer gear) EXCEPT for shinguards. Which I am told by those who play soccer, one should not be without. So we just skipped the soccer game, which was probably just as well, but I felt awful about.
Life with a full-time job and kids is just too much, too much, too much. I know I am among millions of other parents in this same boat. But I still reserve the right to whine about it. :)
Tomorrow morn will mark another attempt to get up at 5 a.m. to register Lizzy for a Fairfax County swim class on Saturday morning for the summer. (which, by the way, she’ll miss the first class of due to my reunion in Washington state.) Then I will get myself and girls ready, drop off Lizzy, and take Maddie to the doc for confirmation of suspected ear infection, and medicine. Here’s hoping I remember all the stuff I need.
Who remembers way back when this blog used to be fun to read? (show of hands) Again, my memory’s foggy, but I seem to recall that it once was.


  1. Wow, sounds kinda... complicated. I bet you would be really good at that game where you stare at a tray of objects, remove the tray, and try to remember what they all were.

  2. Oh, Kate, I feel for you!!!
    Here's a thought (and it's only a thought). How 'bout giving Maddie formula for the next month? She's almost a year, right? You're a MAJOR trooper for pumping this long. I would have thrown it in long ago! Would that make your life easier???

  3. Danielle -- that's part of the problem. She hasn't ever really taken to formula. Conventional wisdom says, 'if she gets hungry, she'll drink it,' but -- as happened last week on that day I didn't have milk for her, and a couple of other days in the past -- if she does drink it, she generally throws up shortly afterward. Don't know why. Ugh.
    Yeah, she's 10 months now. Which means cow's milk is not far away -- HALLELUJAH.

  4. Kate, I totally sympathize. We go to church, and I have the usual assortment of diapering supplies, plus entertainments, and maybe even a snack and bib, but am completely flummoxed when the service ends early and we go out for brunch because I don't have a sippy cup for the extended activity.

  5. Tara -- yeah! And then you get mocked a little, don't you, for being too 'uptight' about it all when you inquire about all the possible plan permutations ahead of time?
    *heavy sigh*

  6. SO much to keep track of. And I can't believe that Lizzy will be in school until the third week of June. I'm so used to being around undergrads (living in New Haven) that I forgot mid-May is not the end of the school year for everybody else.