My husband owes me. Big time. Not only did I take all four kids solo on a road trip to my brother’s house six hours away from Friday to Sunday, but I didn’t say a word when he got tickets to The Who concert, and left me to manage all four kids at David’s band concert. If I’d pulled that, I’d never hear the end of it.
First of all, two hours before he needed to be at the venue, David told me that he needed a pair of black pants and a white shirt. Apparently whatever I rounded up for him last year in likely an eerily similar situation were either MIA or no longer fit. Stupid growth spurts.
That done, I came home, and found out that Cameron had gone over to his friend’s house, about a half mile away, without permission. When the phone rang, and he asked for a ride home, because it was dark and cold, I told him no. He walked there, he could walk home. A good lesson, I thought. Until a bit later when his friend’s dad dropped him off at our house. Nice of him, but great, I’m waiting for the phone call or e-mail from the kid’s passive-aggressive mom, who has previously seen fit to confront me over lesser “offenses.”
So I managed to get everyone fed, and we were ready to head out the door, when the button on David’s new pants came off because he tried to take them off without unbuttoning them. Brilliant. I was going to sew it back on, but David thought that would take too long, so I gave him a safety-pin, and we were finally ready. Justin was rarin’ to go, but Alex refused to put his pants on. I can’t even remember what led to the pants stand-off, but I was not happy about it, and the madder I became, the more he dug his heels in and wouldn’t do it. Meanwhile David was chomping at the bit because he didn’t want to be late.
After a WHOLE lot of drama and yelling, we got into the car, and David nattered on about how we would most certainly be late, and he’d fail Band. Until we pulled up to the school, and he decided he was there way too early. Grrrrrrrr. On the way there I told Cameron in no uncertain terms, that he was to stay with me, and watch the concert, not go off running around all over creation.
So naturally as soon as we sat down, he disappeared. After I told him to SIT DOWN with us. So I told Justin and Alex to stay seated while I went after him. Justin didn’t want to, but I convinced him to stay, since our neighbors were nearby. I marched out into the commons area, dodging people who were filing in, and spotted Cameron at the book fair. He made me, and I saw him duck underneath a table. I yanked him out by his arm, and started in with a lecture. As I was dragging him back to the gym, Justin and Alex showed up, with Justin telling me how Alex refused to stay. So I herded all three of them back in, and of course, since our seats had been unoccupied (though Justin’s coat, a program, and my purse were sitting there), someone had taken them. The last thing I wanted to do was look around the controlled chaos of this event for a new empty seat, and in one of my boldest moves ever (I’m not prone to confrontation.), said to the couple sitting there, that I was very sorry, but those were our seats, and we had gotten up because my kids took off. The woman looked slightly put out, but I really didn’t give a flying fuck at that point, and I was especially annoyed that they had taken them because they appeared to be friendly with the people behind us, who knew we had been sitting there, and didn’t bother to save the spot for me.
So finally we settled in. I think I smoked an entire secondhand pack of cigarettes breathing in the fumes emanating from the coat of the woman behind me. That was pleasant. So was her son, who kept burping and breathing on my head for an entire hour. Justin was being an angel, and watched the entire thing quietly and patiently. Alex was fine, but asked a lot of questions. Cameron declared that he needed to go to the bathroom, which I know was a ploy to get out of there. I made him wait until the 7th grade girls choir was finished, and he acted as if his bladder was going to explode. I made him swear he’d come right back. Amazingly enough he did. Meanwhile the 8th grade band began their performance, and the 7th grade band took their seats ahead of us. I saw David screwing around with his friends, talking and texting. I wasn’t in a position to rein it in because Cameron suddenly busted a move and snuck out of our row the other direction. I was fuming. Alex and Justin started to get restless.
Finally, mercifully, it was over. I went over to get David. A teacher was talking with them, and he waved me off. Their conversation moved, and the band director joined in. Then a busybody parent jumped in, and I realized the kids were getting lectured about their behavior, when she went on about how she “saw everything,” and proceeded to call the boys out. I asked what was going on, and the teacher said that they were having a discussion about respectful behavior. Idiots. They can’t shut up for 20 minutes to listen to their peers perform?
Then we had to wend our way back out, passing the strategically placed cookie sales table that Alex noticed immediately, trying to pull me to the ground to get me to stop for one. So I’ve got Alex pulling on me, Justin whining because he’s thirsty, Cameron nowhere to be found, and David scattered to the wind because he’s embarrassed by his situation. Finally I managed to round everyone up, and drag them out to the car, at which point I let everyone have it the entire way home.
And my husband had the nerve to mention to me three times this morning how very “tired” he was.
So as long as I don’t move the body across state lines, I can’t be tried in federal court, right?
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012