The Straw

I had a generally craptastic weekend (with one or two high points). Last night, I finally threw in the towel at 11 p.m., even though it looked as if the Steelers were going to throw away a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter AGAIN.

I woke up at 3:15 this morning.

The children woke up at 3:45 a.m., which was just dandy considering I hadn’t managed to fall back to sleep in any case.

I tried to get to sleep in between the two of them, in the guest bed — because we hadn’t put clean sheets on our bed yet — and that didn’t go well either. Kate dropped back off, although she cried out for me a couple of times; and Flora was Squirmy McSquirmerson, and she kept sticking her elbows and knees into various parts of my anatomy. Between my racing thoughts — oh and what quicksilver, anxiety-producing thoughts they were — the mouth-breathing Kate, and the restless Flora (who apparently has Ginsu knives concealed at her knees and elbows), sleep proved impossible.

At 4:30, I went downstairs.

At 5 a.m., Kate woke again, sobbing for me. I ran upstairs. Dan took Flora to sleep with him, and I calmed Kate and laid down with her again.

At 5:05 a.m., I fell back to sleep. At 6 a.m., the alarm on my cell phone went off. After hitting snooze a couple of times, I must have turned it off.

Because the next time I woke up, it was 7:37 a.m. Which means I was already late for work, and it was entirely likely that Flora was going to be late for preschool.

And then, I walked into Flora’s preschool room at 8:30 a.m. (15 minutes late) and was informed that it was Picture Day (which I knew, I mean, I have a note on my calendars and everything, but I had utterly forgotten), and the money was due. I simply told the teacher (who was very kind) that I was sorry, I did not have the time to fill out the form, and in any case, I didn’t have my checkbook with me (primarily because I am out of checks; they are on order, and I hope they get to me in the next week or so). And it took pretty much all of my self-possession, which is in very short supply as of late, to not scream I’M ALREADY AN HOUR LATE, and break down sobbing.

I gave Flora a big hug before I left, and told her, in so many words, that I was so sorry for being a complete failure as a mother — you should have seen the girls in her class, in dresses with their hair done, and there was my little girl, her hair unbrushed (although clean!) in a pair of pink leggings and a flowered pink long-sleeve t-shirt. And then I pretty much ran to my car, where I proceeded to sob for about 10 minutes or so.

I’d like to close this post out in some positive or witty way. Like: the pumpkin scone and coffee from Starbucks saved Monday from being a complete disaster. Or: but then I dried my tears and resolved to be better at this whole juggling thing. Or, hell: I dried my tears and a voice from heaven said, lay down your weary head and rest my child, and I could call into work saying that God had ordered me to go home and go back to bed.

But instead I’m feeling just as bleak now as I was at 8:30 this morning. And, frankly, I don’t see it getting too much better. As a matter of fact, it may just get worse. And I’m not really sure what I’m going to do about that.