I’m fairly certain that the last time I took a week off from work was the week between Christmas and New Years. In 2011. Since then any vacation days I’ve taken have been to chaperone field trips, or to see school programs.
A couple of months ago we determined that we could take the little girls out of daycare when school started this fall. After further reflection, we realized we could also cover the month of August. I am taking a week, my in-laws are taking two, and my husband is taking a week. Easy peasy, right?
I had big plans. I could run my training runs in during the day, or even in the morning! I could perform a deep clean on my wreck of a house! I could take the little girls to this park, and that museum, and this library, and that crafty place! I could wash, dry, and fold every single piece of clothing in our house! I could do an inventory of fall and winter clothes so we know what to buy on our school-shopping-extravaganza in a couple of weeks! I could go to the gym, run through Starbuck’s, drop off the dry cleaning, wash my car, and show the little girls a good time, all while living in my Lululemon yoga pants! I mean…hells to the yes please!
Yesterday I woke up early. I had to drive my husband to work (his car was in the shop) and race back to take the rollers out of my hair before having to drop the little girls at their first day of theater camp. On my way back to the little girls I sauntered through Starbuck’s smirking at all the people in a hurry to get through the line so they could rush off to work. THIS…I thought to myself…is how the other half lives (the other half being stay-at-home moms…obviously)…sigh.
I got home, Starbuck’s in hand, and I headed straight to the bathroom to check-out the masterpiece I expected after sleeping in pin curl rollers. This, my friends, is where things started to go awry. The pin curls? They didn’t work as I’d hoped. Instead I looked like a blonde Jermaine Jackson. It was maybe the worst hair I’ve ever seen on anybody. I quickly pulled the mess of curls back into pig-tails, threw on a hat, and the little girls and I were on our way.
First stop? The post office. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and lost lately. A beautiful daily planner I ordered last week to solve this problem was delivered to my mailbox on Saturday. Or, more accurately, the envelope was delivered. Opened. With nothing inside but the receipt for said beautiful planner. We parked at the post office at 8:48 when I started to wonder if camp started at nine instead of 9:30 as I’d been thinking. I called two incorrect offices before finally getting confirmation, at 8:51, that camp did indeed start at nine. We peeled out of the parking lot and sped over to camp. I dropped them off and went back to the post office where, I was informed, my mail carrier absolutely remembered putting my daily planner in my mailbox in its closed envelope. This, they asserted, was to be considered mail theft.
Next stop? Police Station. The post office said I needed to file a police report and then call the postal inspector. I had 2.5 hours to waste so I went straight to the cops. I was informed by the woman sitting behind bullet proof glass that she would have to call in an officer off the streets. There was nobody in the police station who could take my report. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Until finally a nice officer came in and took a very detailed report in a matter of 24 seconds. He gave me a case number that I could use with the postal inspector and sent me on my merry plannerless way.
By this point the dog had had enough of this ridiculous car ride. So we drove ten miles south and I dropped him off and called the postal inspector. Then, it went a little like this…
- I drove ten miles back north to pick up the girls from camp.
- I drove ten miles south to grab snacks and to pick-up one of my oldest little girl’s friends.
- I drove ten miles back north to drop my oldest little girl and her friend at yet another camp.
- I drove ten miles south to grab lunch for my littlest little girl and I.
- I drove ten miles back north to pick-up my oldest little girl and her friend.
- I drove ten miles south to finally go home.
- I drove 25 miles south to pick-up my husband (during rush hour).
- And then we drove 25 miles back north (in rush hour) by way of our mechanic.
By day’s end I was exhausted. My husband, who’d had a very long and busy day, had nothin’ on me. I’d spent the day in the car with little girls so excited about theater camp that they sang the songs they’d learned at the top of their lungs for the remainder of the day. Songs they hadn’t yet really learned. Meaning…one verse…over and over. I was ready to crash and burn when we put the little girls to bed at 8:30.
Tuesday. Tuesday would be better, right? In the sense that I no longer looked like I just got back from a perm appointment at the salon…it was better. But the little girls had camp, then last book club of the summer, then ice cream to celebrate the last book club of the summer, then home to eat briefly before heading to a National Night Out party, then a NNO party during which the sky opened up and unleashed a hell of a thunderstorm, then home again to host a sleepover (and to wash and dry the soaking wet clothes that came off the little girls who danced the night away despite the thunderstorms). All while answering a barrage of work emails that had to be answered and getting out bids that needed to get out. In one of the emails I wrote to a colleague I told her that apparently stay-at-home mom was really code for taxi-driver-who-doesn’t-get-tips.
What in the world? I expected relaxation, hours at the gym, quality time with my little girls, cultured activities, and more. Instead I have a head spinning with “to dos,” no daily planner in which to list them (shaking fists at sky), and I have gone through a full tank of gas in two days. I’m assuming this is why the Real Housewives drink so much?
TODAY: What if I do my best to enjoy my final three days of vacation and the chaos that is being a stay-at-home mom?
PS – I get the sense that this mail crime isn’t high on the priority list of the local authorities. Thus, if you’re in a meeting and see someone with a lovely gold shimmery planner that has MONROE O’KEEFE embossed on the cover, you can go ahead and make a citizen’s arrest. Or simply point and laugh.