Pretty Okay
Day of the Duplo

YOU HAD ONE JOB. OKAY, MAYBE THREE.

I left for California on Thursday, by the way, although it hardly seems worth mentioning, since I'm back already. I spent about 36 hours in San Diego; it rained for approximately 34 of them; I left my hotel room maybe three whole times. One of those times was to speak to a room of about 50 pregnant or breastfeeding moms about the current state of mommyblogging, during which I am sure I came across as some kind of dinosaur, smacking my gums together while talking about Teh Olde Days, back before ads or sponsored posts or Twitter or Instagram or Amazon drones or whatnot. IN MY DAY, WE DIDN'T EVEN CALL THEM BLOGS. WE WROTE IN OUR ONLINE JOURNALS. SOMETIMES WE POSTED WISH LISTS AND SENT EACH OTHER BOOKS. BOOKS THAT WERE MADE OF PAPER, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE. 

About 15 minutes before I was scheduled to speak, I got a text from Jason:

shit Noah had a half day

This was...not news to me. This was...not supposed to be news to Jason, either, as we'd had several discussions about the day's logistics before I left. I texted back.

Yes? Why?

There was no response, which was not exactly reassuring, especially once I finished the time zone math and realized that Noah's bus should have dropped him off over an hour earlier, i.e. not exactly jibing with Jason suddenly being surprised that oh look! There is another small human being at our house who I was not expecting. 

Did you forget him? Where are you? Where is Noah?

I sensed I was being ignored, so I called him.

Ike had a cold all week — a cold that he was having a hard time shaking, and before I left I told Jason I was concerned that it was maybe looking a little infection-y. Maybe sinus or upper respiratory. Maybe keep an eye on that, and take him to the doctor before the weekend if he's running a fever.

(Also, Noah has a half day.)

Jason decided to take Ike to the doctor after all, and was in the waiting room when one of our neighbors called him. BECAUSE NOAH HAD A HALF DAY. A different neighbor called, by the way, than the neighbor who actually had custody of Noah, since that neighbor didn't know our phone number. And apparently Noah both 1) forgot our phone numbers, even though I swear we've worked on memorizing them with him, and 2) forgot that I put a card with both of our phone numbers in his backpack for just such an occasion. Probably because, just as Jason was sputtering at me in regards to the half day, well, yeah, I'd reminded him, but I didn't remind him enough

So now, Jason was driving frantically back home, having abandoned the appointment (and thus Ike's possible last chance for antibiotics before the weekend), to collect our presumably terrified child and face the shame of the entire stay-at-home contingent (and the we-remembered-our-kids-have-a-half-day-so-we-made-proper-arrangements contingent) of the neighborhood.

Now, let me interject with some backstory: Not only had I discussed Noah's half day with Jason several times, including the time we each got a reminder about it on our respective phones' calendars, I had also arranged a babysitter for Friday afternoon to both pick up Ike from school AND be at the house when Noah got home so Jason could go to work. At some point, he decided to take the day off instead, and canceled the sitter. This was all fine and good but I feel like I need to mention it just so you know how ABSOLUTELY TOGETHER things were when I left. Things were TOGETHER as SHIT, when I left. 

Also, some even deeper backstory: The last time I went away on a business trip by myself, Ike was all of two months old. That time, most of the texts from Jason were accompanied by photos of all four of them out at various places. No big deal, just out solo at the movies. Now we're at a restaurant. Here we are all not dying at the grocery store. Miss you! I don't think I'd ventured outside the house with all three of my children in tow at that point, and yet there was Jason, being all kinds of capable and competent and adventurous.

This time, though.

Noah got off the bus and walked home himself — no big deal, I'd instructed him to do that so the babysitter could stay inside with Ike. When he got to the house, it was locked. No big deal again, apparently, as he decided simply to climb over the back fence and let himself in the back door, which Jason had forgotten to lock. 

(We have a gate, by the way. A perfectly functional gate. But I guess using the gate wasn't quite Home Alone-level hijinksy enough for Noah, so he took the Spiderman route.)

Once he realized there really wasn't anybody at home, he got a little nervous and decided to go next door. Those neighbors didn't have our mobile numbers, so they then went door to door until they found our OTHER neighbor, who did.

("Did you mention that your mom was in California?" I kept asking after the fact. "Does everybody know that I was in California and thus in no way responsible for any of this? BECAUSE I WAS IN CALIFORNIA.")

Long story short, Noah was fine. Very calm and collected, frankly (minus forgetting our phone numbers AND the phone number cheat sheet in his backpack), and he demonstrated some very good problem solving skills. Or cat burgling skills. Either/or. 

The doctor let Jason reschedule Ike's appointment for slightly later that afternoon, during which it was discovered that Ike had no infection of any kind, it was just a basic cold, what are you even doing here, how many kids do you have, because this is like, a rookie-level overreaction, DAD. Mom's in California, you say? Mmm-hmm. I get it. 

They all stayed in on Friday night and ordered pizza. I thought that was a wise choice. And yet on Saturday Jason, never one to stay rattled all that long, took them all out for lunch and got Ezra a haircut and Noah a set of Apology LEGO. I gotta give it to him, I probably would have kept right on staying home, lest I leave one of them behind in a tragic headcounting mistake, which I have done before because sometimes all preschoolers look kind of alike.  

We had another snow day today (ARGLEFKARGLEBLAG) so I have yet to face any of the neighbors and overcompensate by mentioning the fact that I was in California!!! 500 million times. We're going to play in the snow and then work on phone number memorization a little harder, because clearly, child, this probably isn't the last time you're going to need to seek out a more competent set of grown-ups than your parents. 

(P.S. It'll be awhile before Jason dares bring up the Fruit Sticker again, at least. Yay, I am winning!)

Comments

RzDrms

The Fruit Sticker Incident™. Best. Story. Ever. :-)

Thanks for the laugh today.

anne-on

This is why I leave my husband pages and sticky notes and instructions when I travel. Because he is prone to not listening to things I tell him even while nodding and assuring me 'he's got it'. And I don't really need a meltdown from our child because he was the only one who didn't have the random thing they needed for the craft project du jour at school that week.
Did I mention we only have the one kid? Sigh.

Cristin

Besides, you were in California!

This is my husband

My husband would have done the exact same thing. The canceling the sitter thing really rang true. He LOVES canceling the sitter without thinking about it, especially if I am away or unavailable. Then, he inevitably has to stay at work, or help a friend, and the poor sitter is scrambling because she is a good soul and knows my husband's tendencies. I can totally relate.

Sarahmia

Every time I think I'm ready to have children people I know with children post blog posts like this and I have to get myself a gin and think about it real hard...Ha.

Megan

Did you pick up any T-shirts while in California that say, uh, "California"? Because in your shoes, I would even wear those shirts over my heavy winter coat and say "Look where I was!!!" to everyone.

jodifur

I LOVE the climbing over the fence. Quite resourceful he is.

One time I was out of town, (Okay at Disney Social Media Moms and I didn't take Michael, I took my mom. Michael couldn't miss school.), I texted my husband no less that 5 times reminding him what time to pick Michael up. And a neighbor as a fail safe in case Doug forgot. Seriously.

margie s

Try singing the phone number. Sometimes they can remember the song.

Cheryl

Left my hubby with the two kids and lots of notes for a week. They made out pretty fine for that time. However, they forgot to come and pick me up at airport. It was on the note page, in two different places. Sigh.

Rebecca

I had to click over to read the Fruit Sticker story, AGAIN, because I still find it so hilarious (and was that really Noah, I was thinking Ezra, and dang that seems like a really long time ago!)
My kids are older now (and also I never leave) so I think they could fend for themselves for the most part... I don't even want to think about what they would eat if I was gone.

Brigette

Why do men DO that?!?! (Completely disregard anything important you might mention to them eleven million times, that is.) So annoying.

I am highly impressed with Noah's keeping his cool though. HIGHLY.

Deb

can i just tell you how happy this made me to know that I am not the only one this happens to? And it is always my fault because even though I wrote it done, and told him in the morning, I didn't remind him one more time right before pick up? Imagine my embarrassment when I made arrangements for my son to have a playdate in our new town while I was out of town and my husband forgot where the playdate was and started going door to door asking our new neighbors if my son was there? Did I mentioned we had just recently moved to this town? Oh yes, you can be sure that the next time I saw the mom across the street (you know, the one whose house he was NOT at), I showed her the pages of notes I'd left behind for my husband....you know, the ones he didn't bother to check before he started ringing doorbells...*sigh* but, he's the best and often does a great job and hey, not every dad can stay home with 3 kids!

Meredith

The most frustrating thing is.....even though you planned to the max, had every possible scenario though out and covered while you were away, Jason didn't pay any attention to the them, nothing really bad actually happened and all of the men will shrug it off and wonder why mom gets so worked up! That is the most frustrating thing!

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montanajen

IKE GOT A HAIRCUT? !? Way to bury the leed, woman!

Suzy Q

Oh, the Fruit Sticker Incident. I remember it well!

What's funniest to me about the Current Californication Conundrum is that Jason just opted to take the day off rather than dealing with all of the comings and goings of the various childrens.

Also, I LOVE Noah's Spiderman Adventure!

Julie

My husband raised two kids as a single parent for 7 years before he ever met me. Even though I'm the stay at home parent, he's the one who magically remembers playdates and half days... it's almost like he's done this all before. Then I'll mention the time he mixed up the kids and dropped the wrong kid off at swimming lessons.

Ann

haha! My parents had a similar mixup once when I was about Noah's age. I got home to find no one there and proceeded to force one of the windows open with a screwdriver I found on the deck and climbed inside.

The best part? I had a spare house key in my backpack for exactly that sort of situation. I guess kids like to go full on Home Alone the moment opportunity strikes.

Robin

Oh my god I love your family.

Rachel

"I was in California" reminds me of Ross from Friends "We were on a BREAK!!!!" lol

Also, Marge mentioned about teaching Noah your phone # by singing it. Any chance you can change it to 867-5309? Because now I will have that song in my head allllll day. =)

JulesInNC

As a sometimes-traveling mother, this really resonates. My husband often rolls his eyes at my mad organizational skills, but then when I'm away, it seems to hit him that I manage to juggle work with the household stuff and stay on top of our schedules (which is a struggle for him, despite literal meeting invites that I send him for important stuff).

I was gone all of last week, and when I got back, he seemed to hug me extra tight, and told me that while he didn't think we 'took each other for granted' exactly, he really, really missed having me there. Mmm-hmm, that's right. Mama GSD.

jess

My family has a similar story. One time my dad was playing on his computer in one room while my 4 year old sister was watching tv in the next room over. At some point she got it into her head she was going to go meet me at the bus stop. She goes outside with shoes on the wrong feet (which was kind of her trademark at the time) and is wandering around waiting for me. One of the neighbors calls my dad who then proceeds to get into arguement with her that there is no way that little girl outside is Rachel, rachel is watching tv right over here...oh wait she's not. Anyway sounds like you're even on parental incompetence stories.

Lynda M Otvos

I have similar stories-one involving a horse who I swore a thousand times couldn't POSSIBLY be at YOUR house. Well, looky there, that is my horse at your house !~!

KImtoo

Imma give Jason some love here, because yesterday was my kid's half day, has been since the beginning of school, and when the school called an hour after the bell, I looked at it and wondered why they were calling me to get her early.
Yep,I'm that mom.

Sara

One time my mom forgot to pick me up at piano practice. In the time before call waiting (or cell phones!) and the phone was busy. My mom did show up, she had just miscalculated the end of my lesson. I remember it, but it was more traumatic that my piano teacher told me I had to wait on the street because she was busy making dinner for guests! ACK!

But this made me think about those stainless steel ID bracelets we all had in elementary school in the 80's. You ordered them through school, (like scholastic books) and they had your full name, address and parents numbers on them. I guess maybe those aren't in style anymore for privacy reasons, but I have very vivid memories of those bracelets.

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