Friday, May 15, 2009

Every day is an adventure

Although every day is an adventure around here, Tuesdays are our "busy" day.

As if getting three kids up and ready in the morning isn't a daunting enough task on its own, on every second day of the week I pile them all in the van to drive Thing 2 to preschool for 9:00 a.m. This also includes bringing the little boy that I take care of each day.

First on the agenda, we drive Thing 2 to preschool, where I circle the block until I get the parking spot right in front of the fenced-in play area so that I don't have to unbuckle everybody and take all the children out of the van to drop him off. I take Thing 2 to the fence, open the gate, and hand him over to his teachers, only feet from my van.

If it rains and the children are inside on Tuesdays, I'm screwed. 'Nuff said.

I then take the remaining three children down the street to our Tuesday morning playgroup, which thankfully runs at the exact same time. Playgroup is always hectic but fun. And by "fun" I mean there is real adult conversation to have with other mothers whose lives are as insane as mine. The *get* me. We drink coffee, wipe noses and bums, brush off crumbs, and kiss bruised knees.

I then need to corral two one-year-olds and a five-year-old back into our van and head back to preschool to collect Thing 2. Timing is crucial here. If we are late by only a minute, it wreaks havoc on our lunchtime routine and my ability to get Thing 1to the bus stop for afternoon kindergarten on time.

Thing 2's class is inside at the end of the day, which translates into me being required to unbuckle and haul three bodies up the steps and inside the school to pick up my boy. Today, just to shake things up and be different, I chose to carry the little boy I watch on my back in my backpack, hold Thing 3 in my arms, and thankfully - because he can - I let Thing 1 walk on his own. Somehow we make it inside the preschool building.

I then proceed to nod and laugh at all the seemingly original "looks like you've really got your hands full" and "are they all YOURS?" comments. I exchange pleasantries with a few of the preschool moms with whom I've formed a bond over the past nine months, and then Thing 2 is released from his class. He informs me that there is artwork of his that I need to pick up.

While I am not one to stifle a child's creativity, it is beyond what I can cope with to herd four kids *and* a wet, dripping piece of rainbow-coloured paper out to my van. Yet I am a mother, and so I do it anyway.

I threaten Things 1 and 2 with their lives (or loss of toys, food, air, or any other bartering tool I need to use) if they don't head straight to the van and climb in. Having a child run into the street or veer off in the wrong direction would be catostrophic at this point. And returning home with all four is of crucial importance, and, really, is expected of me.

We make it. We get in, I buckle everybody up and climb into the driver's seat. I let out a gargantuan sigh of relief for this is when I truly believe the worst part is behind me and that I have, indeed, "won" today.

We drive home and I quickly run through my head all the things I must quickly do when we arrive at the house. I need to feed four children and get Thing 1 ready to head to the bus stop for school in less than 30 minutes. I visualize getting lunch ready and cross off little check marks on my imaginary "to-do" list in my head as I sit at a red light, waiting to turn left.

I am jolted back into reality as I hear a siren blaring and see flashing red lights behind me. I wonder what idiot is speeding on Woodroffe and getting pulled over. I look around. There are no other cars around. And it is a good thirty seconds before it all sinks in. The police car wants ME to pull over.

I quickly pull over, stop the van, and explore all the possible reasons a police car has just pulled me over. Speeding? No. Ran a red light? No. Too many kids in the van? No. Kids not secure in car seats? No.

As I begin to hyperventilate and try to answer the "what is going on, Mommy" from the back seat, I roll down my window. A young, male police officer peers menacingly into my front seat.

He hears noise in the back, and looks around to glance over my shoulder.

"Are they all yours?"

"Uh, no, " I sputter, trying to relinquish the gag reflex causing me to feel like I might throw up.

I can't fathom that the reason he pulled me over is to ask me if I gave birth to all four rug rats in the van. He is slow to offer any useful information.

"I noticed your registration sticker on your license plate is overdue, " he tells me.

Realizing there must be some misunderstanding and that I must have forgot to put my new stickers on back in February, some of the tension is released from my neck and shoulders.

"I forgot to put the sticker on I guess, " I explain.

"Nope. I already ran you through the computer and you didn't renew your registration, miss."

I am briefly not thankful for this age of technology, where a police officer knows half my life history just by pulling my van's file up on his computer.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, " I say, grasping at straws and waiting for a brilliant explanation to spew from my lips. I look down at my dirty, over-sized t-shirt and realize I am not even wearing the right attire to try to use my sexuality or my ample, lactating breasts to win over my officer friend and have him show me some compassion.

"I can see how you might be busy and may have forgotten to renew your registration this year, " he offers. "I rarely do this . . . but I'm going to let you off with a warning."

Sniffling emerges from the back of the van. Thing 1 asks, "Mommy, are you going to jail?".

He pauses as the day's scenario obviously unfolds in his own mind, then asks, "are we going to get to see a real jail?".

Right on cue, Thing 3 starts crying loudly. It is lunch time after all. Officer Forgiveness offers to "watch the other children" while I "attend to the baby". It's at this moment I realize the poor soul doesn't have kids of his own.

"She's fine, " I tell him.

He writes up a warning and hands it to me, suggesting I go renew my registration TODAY. Which I obviously promise to do.

"Thank you, officer, " I say, smiling my thankful you-just-saved-my-day smile, "I really appreciate this and I promise it won't happen again."

As I drive away I am hopeful that in the two km between the spot where I was stopped and my house I will not run into another police car, because my van still bears the delinquent stickers.

Yes, every day is an adventure around here, and Tuesdays are still my "busy" day.

14 comments:

Loukia said...

Shannon, this was the best post ever! So funny. I loved how you wrote all this... I'm so tired thinking about your Tuesdays! I had to laugh when the police officer offered to watch your children becuase your baby was crying! OMG, too funny. What a situation! I can't believe you do all that in one morning. How do you manage to get all the children fed and out the door again in time for Thing 1's kindergarten? I don't know how you do it! Wow...

Chantal said...

Oh my, the adventures you can get into while staying at home. I won't believe anyone who tells me being a SAHM is boring! :) I am glad you got off with a warning. My hubby got ticketed for that last year and it was a $140 fine!

Peggy said...

Sounds like everyday is a "small" adventure at your house! :o) Guess it's a good thing you had all the kids with you or you probably would have gotten a ticket for sure! I hate to admit it, but I was giggling while reading your story today! Thanks for the sharing your day!! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Shan

I am laughing beyond that which I should. Where did you get that incredible sense of humour? From your mother or FATHER? You lighten my life to hear these great stories.
Your attitude is incredible.

Wits

Amber said...

I was going to pull a quote out of the post, but I couldn't choose just one. It was hilarious! You did a great job of capturing your day.

And I'm glad you were let off with a warning. :)

Donna M said...

Shan, you really do know how to tell a story! That was hilarious although I am sure at the time you weren't even close to finding it funny!

Lisa said...

I will never complain again...YOU are truly busy. :) Hi-larious!!! Wow, you can write girl!

Lizzy Borden said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing your very chaotic morning.
I remember when my kids were young the same very crazy mornings(minus the police officer)..

BeachMama said...

Great post. I remember well getting pulled over when Apple was a baby and as soon as the officer had gone to write my ticket for speeding, Apple started screaming again, and J started bawling that I was going to jail. My Mother just kept singing, loud and I was so thankful that I made it home that day because it was just one of those days I wanted to drop everyone at my Moms and head for the hills.

Elaine A. said...

Boy can I relate to this. My Wednesdays are kinda like this b/c I have to drop 2 kids in diff. places AT THE SAME TIME! Yeah right. Anyway, I feel your pain. And SO glad you didn't get a ticket!

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Oh that officer was sent from heaven, he really was. That was a gentle reminder to renew before anything happened and you needed your insurance,huh!

What a day. May this Tuesday be much less eventful!

Anti-Supermom said...

OH, SHANNON-


You know I'm laughing, really rolling over here, because THIS IS MY LIFE.

Almost all of it is the same, except I'm super jealous that you don't have to take kiddos out of their carseats, I do. I make a human train with us five.

LOVE that you got a warning. Did you know that my husband got my license plate tabs for my Mother's Day present - I guess it wasn't such a sucky present after all.

I love this, hilarious :)

the Preppy Princess said...

Oh. My. Word. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read! It just keeps getting better with every paragraph!

BTW, the timing required to pull off *just one day* is incredible. No, make that *you* are incredible.

Hugs,
tp

the Preppy Princess said...

Oh. My. Word. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read! It just keeps getting better with every paragraph!

BTW, the timing required to pull off *just one day* is incredible. No, make that *you* are incredible.

Hugs,
tp

 
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