One of my biggest pet peeves is someone being late. So why I am constantly late getting my child to school, I have no idea.
I was never late when he was smaller. As soon as I was ready, I could get him ready, fed and then stick him in his car seat, pop the binky-plug in and be on my way.
Now, there’s missing Bakugans and Hexbugs that he cannot step on the playground without, homework to be found, and an inevitable form that he remembered at the last minute that I have to sign.
I am smart enough to read thoroughly any form that my child thrusts in front of me, demanding a signature like I am reviewing a legal document.
I am not blaming Cole by any means.
I honestly think there is a rabbit hole similar to the one in “Alice in Wonderland” that creates some time-space continuum that makes the time from 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. fly by in a blink.
That 30 minute window has the voracious speed that Sunday goes by with when one dreads Monday.
And I am constantly like the White Rabbit, dashing around, watching the clock, exclaiming I am late, I am late, for a very important date!
How am I always late? I wake at 5 a.m., ease into the morning with my extra dark and extra strong coffee.
I get showered, throw curlers in my hair and have even dismissed the sacred rule of letting moisturizer set before I apply foundation.
I glance at the clock and realize it’s 6:45 – time for Cole to wake.
This can take some cajoling.
The tactics of screaming for him to wake up do not work.
Luring him with the scent of cinnamon rolls baking however can help him emerge from the bed.
He gets his bath; I get his clothes ready.
It’s amazing how laundry that was put away a few days before is now MIA.
And if you haven’t matched socks, forget it.
That’s a 10 minute search to find two that match.
By the time I have finally returned to finish getting ready, he’s out of the tub and wanting breakfast.
I forget the important stuff like a glass of milk to go with the cinnamon roll. And did I mention I burned my fingers getting the cinnamon rolls out? Even SuperMom needs an oven mitt.
“Do we have any chocolate syrup to go in the milk?”
“Why not? You should never run out of chocolate syrup.”
It’s now 7:04 a.m. and if I had a bottle of chocolate syrup I would probably be main-lining it.
I trip over a dog as I try to go back to finish getting ready.
I apologize and out of guilt, find a dog biscuit for the critter.
I coat my lashes with mascara, poking myself in one eye, and rip the curlers from my hair.
I don’t know what I am going to wear other than jeans and whichever blouse I can find.
I realize there’s something I need in the bathroom but Lamar is already in there.
It’s now 7:37 – where did those minutes go?
Did it really take me that long to do those few things?
“Time to go!”
I call for Cole who has wandered into the bedroom to watch a cartoon.
“Let me get my shoes on!” he says.
Followed by: “Mama, where’s my shoes?”
“Probably wherever you left them!”
“I can’t find them.”
I have to locate two shoes.
One is usually nowhere near where the other one was.
I am still wearing my fuzzy green Angry Bird pig bedroom slippers and a pair of jeans and now my clean black shirt has dog hair on it because I had to get down on my hands and knees and dig under the couch looking for missing shoes.
On a positive note, I found the missing remote to the stereo.
It is now 7:45.
I yell to no one in particular as I herd Cole to the car. “Mama, I gotta -“
“No, you don’t. You gotta get in the car and we’ve gotta go.”
“I need my bookbag!” he remembers as he buckles his seat belt in the back seat.
“I’ll get it,” I mutter.
I have forgotten my cell and have to go back in anyway.
“We are so late, we are always so late,” I say under my breath.
“You sound like that character in ‘Alice in Wonderland,'” Cole says from the back seat.
“I feel like that character in ‘Alice in Wonderland,'” I say.
I pull out of the driveway and look at the clock.
It’s now 7:52.
It takes me anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes to get to school, and that doesn’t factor in the stray and random cows that may decide to leave pasture and hang out in the road.
Of course, I get behind some tractor that is on the road. He’s going about 10 miles an hour on a no-pass zone, out for a leisurely little drive at 8 a.m.
By the time I get to school, I have created new cuss words in my head, had two episodes of road rage and need a venti breve latte with a shot of valium.
By the time we get inside the lobby, I smile sheepishly at the sweet ladies in the office.
They probably think I am terrible for always being late but they are always so understanding and kind.
Of course, if I ever get Cole there on time, they may announce it over the loudspeaker.
I sign the tardy sign in sheet.
When I get to reason, instead of putting ‘late’ like the other moms do, I put my variations of the truth: it’s a day that ends in a ‘y’, it’s Monday, couldn’t find my panty girdle.
All things that happen.
All things that make me late.
I wave my goodbye, thankful that at least in this Wonderland, there’s no Queen to behead me for being late.
I would have lost my head a long time ago.