I have now been single-parenting for 5 days. When I posted Day 1 on Monday, did you think I was going to blog every day? So weird - me too! But that didn't happen because of single-parenting days 2, 3 and 4. On Day 2, the morning was as smooth as [insert cliche here]. I got everyone ready, fed them, packed lunches and got them to school at the correct time.
Internal monologue: No. More. Mistakes.
I knew the evening was going to be rough because Zeca had a choir concert right after school and then Miguel had a soccer game. So, I prepared the hell out of things. I packed all of the stuff for the game. So much stuff - like we were going to be living on a soccer field for a year. I knew that time was going to be short so we would have to grab a quick dinner out. I figured subs would be easiest so I carefully crafted our post-concert route to include a trip to the sandwich place most conveniently located. I loaded up the car, grabbed the camera and headed to school for the concert.
Internal monologue: You can do this. You have planned every detail. What could possibly go wrong?
Zeca's concert was supposed to start at 4:10 and run for 30 minutes. We would then have 50 minutes to pick up the subs and get to the soccer field by 5:30. Here are a couple of little known facts about me (and I mean little known by most of you but certainly WELL KNOWN to those who have to spend any time with me) - I do not like to be rushed and I do not like to be late.
Internal monologue: Take deep breaths. You will have to rush but you will be fine. Look at your adorable daughter waiting to sing. So cute. I wonder why she picked such drab clothes for the choir concert. How did I not notice that this morning? It's 4:10. We should be starting any moment.
We did not start at any moment.
Miguel quirmed next to me and kept saying that he needed to burn off energy. I sat calmly next to him saying, "Knock it off and sit still" in that whispered hiss that parents are so good at. I looked at the clock - it was 4:20.
Internal monologue: It's ok. No big deal. We'll still have plenty of time to get the sandwiches. We'll just eat them at the field. No. Big. Deal. As long as the concert starts in the next minute or two, you'll be fine.
The concert did not start in a minute or two.
It started at 4:30.
Internal monologue: We're going to be late and Zeca's not even singing. Why isn't she singing?! I can't make her stop singing at home and now she's standing there like a drab lump on a choral log. Oh my god. She's sick. She's not singing because she's sick. I don't have time for urgent care. DON'T HAVE TIME.
About half-way through the concert, Zeca decided to grace the world with her voice. She seemed fairly ambivalent about the whole thing though, so right before the last number, I asked her if she wanted to just skip out. She said, "No!" So, we stayed and the song went on forever because everyone was enjoying it so much. Everyone but the Watcher of the Clock. When the last note ended, it was 5:10 and I grabbed the children and ran.
External monologue: We are going to be late! We have to get some food! Maybe we'll have to eat after the game! I didn't bring any snacks! Run children run! Zeca why didn't you sing? You love to perform. Everyone in the car. Quickly! What am I going to do about food?!
The children suggested McDonald's. Here is another little know fact - the only time we eat at McDonald's is if we are stuck in an airport or on a road trip without other options. We have never stopped at McDonald's in our day to day life. I said, "We can't go to McDonald's. We just can't." But we did. And, at every one of the 317 red lights, I thought this:
Internal monologue: Look at what has become of me. LOOK. This is a turning point. This is the point that we became so overscheduled that I had to betray my values.
We got to McDonald's and the drive-thru person messed up my simple order for 1 Diet Coke and 2 Happy Meals three times. I was snippy. I was rude. I am rarely snippy and rude...with strangers. I got to the window to pick up the food and there was no Diet Coke. The guy was going to look it up but, because he looked like he was moving with as much speed and grace as a wind-up doll, I said, "Forget it!" and sped away.
Internal monologue: Shame! I shouldn't be mean to the poor teenagers at McDonald's just because I'm late and crazy. Oh woe is me! I'm becoming a stereotypical American!
I pulled over. I put my head on the steering wheel and took a couple of deep breaths. I told the kids that I had behaved very badly and that I should have never been so curt with the workers at McDonald's. Zeca said, "I'm sorry you didn't get your Diet Coke, mama." Miguel said, "I'd be feeling pretty bad too if I had just been as impatient as you were with those people."
Internal monologue: Thanks, Miguel. Now I feel so much better.
We arrived at the field at 5:31 - 1 minute late. I then tweeted the following:
Choir concert for Zeca and now at Miguel's soccer game. I got here on time but had to sell a piece of my soul to do so.