Pajama Jams- January 21, 2016
Before we had kids winter meant watching basketball on TV and having multiple leather coats without worry that they would get ruined. Now winter means we brace ourselves for the inevitable string of snotty, barf days. My children are sticky, sneaky germ incubators. They are seemingly fine, begging for food and cartoons with their usual gusto. Then I run upstairs. I’m likely grabbing hand sanitizer because, you know, winter. When I come back down they are suddenly glassy-eyed and puny. I swear sometimes it happens that fast.
Last week was that week. It actually started with me this time. Cold and sinus pressure. I put on a movie for my son and laid on the couch before falling into a dark hole of watching 90’s alt-rock videos on You Tube. Don’t judge me! I was in a mucas daze. You know Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots were awesome in their day. I looked up from a Sublime video to see my two year-old looking flushed and pitiful. After that it was four days of a fever higher than 100. He had Herpangina. That’s basically Hand Foot and Mouth without the hands and feet. It’s terrible. Avoid it at all costs. You can borrow my hand sanitizer.
Since my son and I were both feeling so lousy, on school days I would quickly take my daughter through carpool before heading straight home. This meant I threw my hair in a top knot, smashed my glasses on my face and stayed in my comfy pajama pants, never planning to get out of the car. This particular day I looked extra ridiculous. You can see the photo below. That sweatshirt is one my parents bought me before college as they moved me on campus in ’99. I was probably listening to alt-rock at the time. This is how I looked, please note that you can’t see the ski cap with the beer logo I was also wearing:
Yeah, technically those flats are Crocs. Remember when I confessed my flashback MTV binge earlier in this post? Yeah, thanks for continuing to not judge me. Anyway, since I had the best laid plans to NOT get out of the car, I bet you can guess where this story is going.
Yep. We were running late as I put my sick kid in his pajamas and my preschooler with her backpack in the car. We hit every light. I stared at the red stoplight before looking down at my magenta pants. “No. No. NO! WHY didn’t I leave earlier?!” I whipped into the carpool lane to find all the teachers gone. Carpool was over. I figured I’d call the preschool principal from the car. I’d politely explain how pitifully sick we were and if she could come snag the healthy child that would be tremendous. I was doing the school a favor by not spreading my germs, right? Well, I didn’t have to do that. I looked up and saw the green security light at the school entrance. It wasn’t quite 9:30 am! The red light came on and the doors locked at 9:30. I had maybe 60 seconds to get my child with her sparkly backpack through those double doors. I ran, coughing in the cold air. I took my keys and wedged them in the door on the ground to prop it open before running back to the car. Please, God don’t let anyone see me out of my vehicle! The entrance was only about 30 feet long, but there were still good odds someone would see me looking like a hungover bag lady.
I pulled my daughter out of her seat, draped her coat over her shoulders as she looked confused. “We’re in a big hurry! You’re going to have to walk in by yourself, okay?” I mumbled something about not wanting to leave her brother alone in the car, which she knew was total garbage. Preschool protocol states that you are to walk your child to their class if you arrive after 9:30. Well, it wasn’t after 9:30 and there was no way I was walking inside the building in my pajamas and Crocs. I heard, “But, Mommy!” I shoved her bag in her arms and we started walking toward my makeshift door stop. “But, Mommy! Wait! My snack for the class!” Ugh! We have the snack today! I looked in the passenger seat to see the huge basket we had filled with pretzels, grapes and a jug of juice for the hungry 4 year-old class. I thought, “She could carry it, right?” I snatched the basket and ran with her to the door. She looked up at me bewildered.
In one of my poorest parenting moments I looked down at her and said, “Okay, you can carry it in, can’t you!? It’s not that heavy!” I knew good and well that her backpack, coat and the basket weighed down by a full jug of juice was way too much for my 37 lb. child to carry. Sorry. There was NO WAY I was walking in. Her classroom was ten steps from the door. She could make it. My daughter then gave me a look with all the disgust one can muster. “FINE! Whatever, Mom!” I couldn’t even be mad at the sass. She was right. I was pathetic.
I have never felt like a worse human than when I kept my body outside the door and peered down the hall as my tiny preschooler dragged all her paraphernalia, straining as she pulled. The worst part? I laughed. I LAUGHED! I laughed at her frustration, at my absurdity and my parental failings. I laughed at all of it as I rushed back to the car. I did hear a teacher say “Oh, sweetie! Let me help you!” I can’t be sure in my haste, but I’m almost positive her voice was dripping with judgement.
I got in the warm car and turned on some alt rock. I tapped along to the beat in my Crocs.