The truism, "You know you have a lot on your plate when..." has never been more evident than the last day of school before winter break. I actually pine for the last day. No, no, no. I mean to say, I pine for the first day of winter break. I'm not good with schedules. Getting the kids to school in the morning is a drag.
On the last day, however, you still have all that crap to do but it's somehow compounded by all this extra stuff known in some circles as fun and educational distraction. Also known as Christmas pageants and classroom parties. And so, an account of the day begins:
Run Coop into school just as the bell is ringing. Was lugging his backpack full of snack closet crackers and a bag of non-perishable food items for the food drive. He had his lunch, I think.
Begin tenuous negotiation with Mason to eat breakfast, get shoes on, backpack in car, and GET TO SCHOOL on time.
Miserably late to school. All teachers breathe sigh of relief as they were afraid Mason would boycott participation in aforementioned Christmas pageant. Mason is still nibbling the 3 Ritz crackers he agreed to eat for breakfast. I am carrying his backpack and coat and a 20-pack of water bottles intended for after-pageant reception.
Run to car and speed toward home where I need to clean up for the cleaning ladies and leave them a check. Also need to stop at a store and buy kindergarten teacher a gift. Once past point of no return I look down and notice I have Mason's lunch. Resolve to get back to school a little before the pageant so that he can eat.
Rendezvous with husband -- ha ha ha. Anyways, we try to have a brief coffee date before the mayhem begins and on our way to the Christmas pageant. Steve's car (we're driving in separate cars) is dangerously low on gas, however, and he detours for gas while I detour to Starbucks for two Venti drips, cream and sugar. Lots of sugar these days.
Barely get to Mason's school in time to seat ourselves in sanctuary. (Forget his lunch, again.) Discover that drinking coffee -- or anything really -- is discouraged in the sanctuary. Apparently this crowd does not worship caffeine like I do. I down my venti, sling camera over shoulder, and by stealth sneak husband's venti into sanctuary.
Program begins. Turns out painfully shy shepherds with Spongebob Squarepants sneakers are very cute even when they do not sing a note. Following pageant proceed to classrooms for a cookie reception. At which time Mason's teacher graciously thanks me for the opportunity to teach the class the true meaning of sharing. Quizzically I stare at her, mouth gaping, then realize she means that Mason had no lunch and his classmates all pitched in a crust of bread or something so that he could eat. Good mom moment.
We leave the school -- husband in his car and Mason and I in my car -- and head directly to McDonald's (I have more to say about this, so tune in tomorrow or something.)
Get home with just enough time to whip up some royal icing for Coop's gingerbread making extravaganza. Royal only because it is a royal pain in the arse, I suspect.
Check in to school dragging Mason, his duck-duck, a bag of gingerbread making supplies, my camera, a spare lens, and a gift for teacher. Walk into classroom in such a daze I don't recognize own child. Gladly kneel on floor for the next hour or so while trying to keep Cooper and Mason from eating too many of the candies intended for the houses, snapping pictures, and periodically being asked to hold Mason's duck-duck. Did I mention it is approximately 84 degrees in the classroom and I am wearing fur-lined, knee high boots, opaque tights, a wool skirt, a HUGE sweater, and from time to time a small child.
Learn from teacher that Coop has complained of a stomach ache the better part of the day and that when she excused him use the restroom he was gone for the better part of half an hour. Decide I want to get him home and a little closer to a toilet bowl. Check us all out of the school at this point dragging Mason, his duck-duck, a bag of gingerbread making supplies, my camera, a spare lens, an actual gingerbread house precariously perched on a flimsy paper plate, a gift bag full of the stuff Coop made in school this month, his backpack, two water bottles, all while chasing Cooper in the parking lot while he darts in front of school buses, and swings his lunchbox and coat around his head.
I think we can commence the dialogue concerning the series of events that fuel my dislike for the last day of anything. Merry Christmas.
Please note the picture of Mason affixed to the ornament he made in school. His teacher actually apologized to me in advance for that one. She claims he WILL NOT smile if she asks him to.