Friday, July 9, 2010
Alice was under the influence of some sort of demon possession.
“MOM-MA-I-NEED-THIS!” She screams at the top of her lungs, tears streak down her bright red face as she bangs her fists into my driver’s side door. I am in the car praying for a solution. I have learned the hard way that if I force her into the car that she will escalate into kicking, hitting, and biting. Not the safest way to drive. Her teachers tell me to ignore her. I am trying to do that but every mom, grandmother, sister, and aunty walking or driving by stops to give me advice on raising my daughter. My favorite was the older woman who begged me to let Alice in the car. She yells out her window “It’s none of my business, but it’s hot out here! She’s so little. She’s hot. It’s too hot. Let your daughter into the car!”
Why don’t I keep emergency Twinkies and Vodka in the car for moments like these? I think to myself as she drives away shaking her head in disgust. I can picture her telling the girl’s at the Senior Center all about the horrible child abuse that she witnessed. When you have a child with behavior problems the world is an expert. Even your friends and family secretly think that they can do a better job. Such is the cross I bare. (Insert sappy music here).
Another 30 minutes later and I know that Alice is way too hot, hungry, and thirsty. I have tried everything in my tool box. I know that at this point that she must cool down and have a drink in order to calm down. I see a Honey Dew Donuts a few stores away. I pick her up and carry her screaming and kicking to the coffee shop. I walk in and feel the cool air wash over me as sweet as young love. My whole body is revived I put down Alice and she too feels better. She stops crying and runs to the cooler and grabs a milk.
“Momma I thirsty.” I open her drink and get her a straw. She drains the milk in one large sip. My poor baby must have been so thirsty. I sigh. She is going to be fine. We sit and cool off until her cheeks are light pink again. I check the clock above the counter. It is now 11:00. I have wasted half of the day!
I smile down at Alice her face covered in chocolate donut crumbs. “I wuv you momma!” She says.
We walk back into the heat and I buckle her nonviolently in to the car seat. We drive back to Dylan’s camp. I scribble his name on the swimsuit and towel and drop them off at the desk. Have I mentioned that my daughter has two speeds? Crawl and creep. Alice needs a drink from the water fountain. Then Alice needs to go potty. Then she was to weigh and measure herself on the doctor scale next to the bathroom. Then she has to scrap the old piece of scotch tape from the wall beneath the bulletin board. I watch my whole productive day flash before my eyes. We were to drop Dylan off at the YMCA bus, go to the post office, library, grocery store, then meet our friends for lunch. Our friends! I check the wall clock in the officer. 11:45, we need to get back to Franklin by noon.
I drag Alice back into the sweat lodge and speed back to Franklin. We arrive at my friend Carol’s house at 12:15. We left to drop off the boy at 8:15 now here we are four hours later. I am exhausted and ready for the day to end. I wonder how many hours it will take me to pick him up?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I pull into the Mansfield YMCA parking lot and walk Dylan to the door. He is still a little boy and asks me and Alice to walk in with him. We walk into the hall and there is our favorite teacher Miss Andrea on the stage. She looks at us and cocks her eyebrow.
“Dylan? I don’t have you in this camp. Do I?”
My stomach twists and turns. “Yes he is signed up.” I say.
“He’s not on my list and he wasn’t here yesterday.” Damn it! The camp started yesterday?
Dylan starts to look worried. “Don’t worry sweety this is just a mistake.” Damn damn damn! Did Dave forget to send back the forms? Andrea’s helper Melissa has Dylan take a seat with the other kids and takes me and Alice into the office to talk. I assure her that we are signed up and that this is all a misunderstanding. She agrees to let him stay and then informs me that I have to sign a release to let him go swimming. Swimming? There is swimming at Drama camp?
I sign the forms then tell her that I will come back to drop off a bathing suit and towel. I then drag Alice back into my portable sauna to go drive around looking for a clothing store. When I turn the key the dashboard tells me that the temperature is 101 degrees and that the time is 9:25am. I left to drop Dylan off at the bus at 8:15am I have already wasted almost an hour on this traveling freak show and we are not done yet.
Alice and I finally find a store and rush in to find a swimming suit and towel. Just kidding, have I ever rushed Alice anywhere? She slowly saunters down the aisles stopping to gaze lovingly at shovels, dreamily twirl pinwheels, or absent mindedly knock over a stack of plastic flip flops. What feels like 14 hours later we are in the seasonal swimsuit section; where I quickly grab the boy’s items. Now Alice must gradually promenade to the front of the store and my freedom. This time she is fascinated by the left over Fourth of July light ticks.
“Momma, Dilly need these.” She says.
“No sweety, he just needs a towel and bathing suit.”
“Momma this for me cause I afraid of the dark?”
“No sweety.” I say “ Those are for night time and it is day time.”
“Momma I need this!” She clutches the yellow light stick like a drunk holding his last bottle.
“Honey, we need to go back to Dylan’s camp now. You have a night light. You don’t need one of those.”
“MOMMA I NEED THIS!” She screams at a decimal that thankfully doesn’t shatter the light fixtures above our heads. I feel my heart racing. Alice usually doesn’t jump from idle whining to mock ten tantrum. However the heat, coupled with the morning’s unexpected travel. Her whole routine has been upended demolishing our schedule making her anxious and angry. The only question is how can I not give in to her and get her safely into the car?
Thirty minutes later and we are still in the parking lot. She is still refusing to get into the car.
To be Continued
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The day starts like any other. The alarm doesn’t go off. I wake up at 7:50am giving me 40 minutes to get the kids dressed, fed, packed, and to the bus. Today it is 99 degrees in the morning shade and Dylan’s first day of acting camp. Yes acting camp. You know that my son prefers Jazz hands to sweat bands, not that there is anything wrong with that. By 8:10am I am screaming and yelling at my kids like a deranged bag lady wearing a tinfoil headdress. By 8:15 we are in the car speeding towards the YMCA. By avoiding all traffic signs and speed limits we arrive at the front door at 8:20. But where is the bus? I run into the building to ask the ladies at the front desk. They have no idea and tell me to check the camp office in the back. I grab the kids and run around the side of the building to find a teenager sitting at a desk filled with official looking folders and a clipboard. I again ask if she knows where the drama camp bus is. The poor little deer looks wide eyed at me and says “We have a drama camp” For the first time in my life I understand deer hunting and wish that I was packing heat. She points to the farthest cabin at the edge of the field on the other side. “Try there.”
I thank her as I picture how her little pink face would look mounted in my living room. The kids and I run across the field to the cabin where we are met by another teenager with a clip board.
“We are looking for the drama bus.” I say with clenched teeth. She twirls her red curls.
“Why? Isn’t it out there?” She says. I feel sweat dripping down my back.
“Out where?” I hiss.
“Where it’s usually parked?” She says.
“I don’t know that is why I am here asking you.” I almost yell. She hold up her pointer finger and gets on her Barbie Walky Talky.
“The bus just left.” She says. I try my best not to grab the clip board and beat her with it. I look up at the clock; it reads 8:25am.
“I thought the bus left at 8:30am” I say. She gives me the finger again and gets back on her Walky Talky.
“Yes the bus leaves at 8:30am.” She says.
“Well it’s 8:25 now so can you please tell me when the bus really leaves” I can feel the flames starting to puff smoke out of my nose.
“Um it just literally pulled out this second. Maybe you should come early tomorrow?” Oh yes she did! I saw red and choose to leave in a huff rather than end up on the nightly news in a court room with my sweatshirt over my head. Like a well adjusted adult I ranted and raved all the way back across the field and into my Subaru Easy Bake Oven.
Missing the bus meant that I would have to drive Dylan 45 minutes to Mansfield to his drama camp.
To be Continued.