May 24, 2013

1/2 Day Off from Work (Are you kidding?!)

Liam's preschool had an end-of-the-year music program, so I took a half day off to make sure I could be there in the audience.  These things are REALLY important to him.  Yes, they are important to all kids; all moms know that and thus wouldn't miss them for the world.   But for Liam, they are doubly important as he is the only child in his school who has a working mom and who doesn't have a dad. 

My preschooler will soon be a prekindergartner

At least once each week, he will ask if I can pick him up from school (his day ends at noon).  Or he will ask if I can drop him off at school like I do for his brother in kindergarten.  Liam's babysitter does an awesome job getting him to school and picking him up.  She celebrates his successes and takes him out to lunch much more than I would if I were his "ride".  Still, he wants me to be the one in the car line.  I try not to dwell on it or spend too much time discussing it with him.  Nothing is going to change logistically, why continue being sad about it?  But we are.

All this is to say that when it comes to special events, I try VERY hard not to be absent.  The music program was to start 90 minutes after the start of his school day (and mine).  I was asked to attend an early morning meeting and toyed with the idea of going to my building for that purpose then leaving my students with a substitute while I rushed to Liam's school.  In the end, that seemed not the best plan.  I was already being charged for the time off and my being there for an hour would make no difference in my current situation.  So instead I did this:
  • Drove 40 minutes to get Henry to kindergarten in the pouring rain and construction.
  • Upon drop-off was summoned by his teacher regarding Father's Day celebration.  (Really?  In the hallway with 25 kids looking on?  Not the best timing.)
  • Drove back towards Liam's school, stopping for gas because we had twenty extra minutes and I was almost on E.  Paid $4.25 and later saw every other station was charging $4.12.  I don't want to talk about it.
  • Left Liam at school after argument over whether or not he could climb over the central console and balance on movable armrests in the front seat.  After telling him "no" twice, he proceeded to do it anyway.    Felt guilty that we parted in anger.
  • Headed to our village hall twenty minutes away to apply for building permit needed to fix broken fence.  Copier broken but they'll take my check.  "Come back in a few hours to pick up the documents."  I just smiled.  I won't be back for at least ten days.  Village Hall is not open Saturday and closes at 4 on weekdays.
  • Drove another mile to purchase giftcard for Henry's teacher.  She really is wonderful despite this morning's interaction.  That was more about me than her.
  • Did I mention it was pouring rain and there's construction EVERYWHERE?
  • Returned to Liam's school at the appointed time.  Brought covered dish to pass as requested, then sat and waited.  Always fun to sit in pew by yourself when every other kid has a contingent of seventeen adult family members.  Program started 20 minutes later. 
  • Watched as Liam searched for me in the audience and as he came close to tears when he couldn't find me.  Sighed with relief when, after the second song, he managed to locate me in the second row. 
  • Tried to enjoy post-program brunch but had to keep checking the clock.
  • Liam and I drove to my workplace and met his babysitter in the parking lot.  Did I mention that it was pouring rain?  Did I mention that I love his babysitter?
  • Commenced teaching my eighth grade class at 12:15 pm thereby ending my 1/2 day off.

The fine print:  Of course the day didn't really end there.  At 4 pm, I drove the twenty minutes to pick up Henry from after school care.  We then drove another 25 minutes to collect his brother, headed home to let the dogs out and grab a snack.  We capped the day by driving in horrendous rush hour traffic for swim lessons and then on to the McDonald's drive-thru.  Days like this really must end with McDonald's french fries.


  1. Oh my gosh, I SO feel for you! Fiona's preschool has had all kinds of mid-day activities - so much so I think it's insensitive to working parents. Seriously, don't these people have jobs?! I'm lucky with an incredibly flexible consulting job- can't imagine having to get approval and a sub every absence. You deserve more than some french fries for that day!

  2. Totally concur about the MacDonalds fries!!

  3. So worth it that you made it to the show and relieved he saw you in the audience. Your day makes me feel exhausted. Glad everything worked out.

  4. Wow such a amazing insite to your life! So glad you made it to his program. Those are the precious moments you WILL remember! Fries do make things better! LOL Hugs to YOU!