We Aren’t Even Out of the Driveway Yet!

Today I was supposed to take Sweet Pea and Spud to their preschool.  Since I’d never been to their preschool (and since I wasn’t registered as a designated “dropper-off or picker-up” person, I first was to pick up their grandpa at the tennis courts and then we’d both head over with the kiddos.

You see, the usual arrangement is that their grandpa would take them to school when their daddy is away but today he had a tennis match so he had asked me to fill in for him.  He even loaned me their van and that was probably the first mistake.  I am pretty hopeless with other people’s cars.  But he got the car seats set up and had told me that one side door had to be locked and unlocked by hand but otherwise, it should be pretty straight-forward.

Spud wearing some “garden dirt” 

This morning I got both children dressed with only one small “time-out” when Sweet Pea decided she only wanted half of herself dressed.  Both children were fed and rediapered, lunches were packed, their bags were packed with spare clothes and diapers, and I think everything was ready until I looked at the clock and realized I needed to get out the door.  Oh, man….where were their shoes?  And Mika was insisting on braids but she ended up with ponytails and was none the wiser.

Outside, I had my hands full with everyone’s bags plus my purse and was fumbling for the door key and trying to keep an eye on the two children so they wouldn’t head for the street.

“Spud, STAY!”, I shouted.

He froze in place.  Hey, cool!  Their grandpa’s set of keys had a dog whistle.  I considered trying that next if they decided to make a break for it.

The next challenge were the car seats.  Trying to get Spud into his car seat was a challenge.  It was further over in the “half seat row” and I had to try to sling him across the floor of the van and up into the seat, which wasn’t making my back feel any better.  Then the straps were twisted so I had to fiddle with those and undo them until I got them right.  Spud wasn’t happy but we eventually got it. I rushed over to the other side of the van where Sweet Pea patiently waited.

Hmm, I remembered that this was the side that I had to manually unlock.  Oh, no….the darn door thingy was missing and instead of a nice thick knob to pull up on, there was a little thin metal strip to grab.  My fingers are quite weak and arthritic and I really was struggling trying to get it pulled up to unlock the door.  I am hoping that both children didn’t pick up on the “new vocabulary” that they might have been exposed to this morning.

Finally, I got the door open.  In the carseat she went and into the driver’s seat I went.  Now I just had to release the parking brake and we could back out of the driveway and head out.  Dang!  I couldn’t get the brake to release.  In my van, you just press down on the brake with your foot and then let up on it and it pops right up.  It wasn’t happening here.  I looked frantically around for some lever I should pull.  I couldn’t find anything.  Then I spotted something on the bottom of the dash, right about where my gas cap release is.  Hmmm, well, it had to release something.  I hoped it wouldn’t pop the hood.  I pulled and yay, the brake released.  Gah!

We made it to the park and of course, I pulled into the wrong parking area (employees only), had to back up and go around, went into another parking area (wrong one), stopped a jogger to ask him where the tennis courts were and then got directions from him.  As we headed over to the courts, I saw a bicycler coming towards us, gesturing at me.  “Get out of my way,” I thought.  “I’m running late.”  Then I realized it was their grandfather.

We got the bike in the van, switched drivers and made it to their school in time.  Once we had both children deposited in their classrooms, Laura’s dad decided we should get me registered as a designated person for them as long as we were there.

“We’ll need to take your picture,” the receptionist said.

“You’re kidding,” I replied.  “I haven’t had a shower in two days and I haven’t even combed my hair yet this morning.”

I smiled wanly at the camera and am now duly registered and looking like an escapee from the looney bin, I am quite sure.

This visit is teaching me a lot of things.  One of them is that I can probably handle children about two hours max and then that needs to be followed by about 12-15 hours of solitude for decompression followed by retail therapy and lots of desserts.  Carrot cake, carrot cake, where art thou when I need you?

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • “parenting’ seems to get a little more difficult as we get a little older, doesn’t it?

    But oh…..it’s so nice to spend time alone with the sweet little ones.

    Sounds like you are doing just fine, Nana.


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