Tuesday, September 16

A tale of failings, foibles, and faux pas

So just when I was truly glad to be getting back into the swing of things (there’s nothing like a lot of travel and illness to make one crave mundane day-to-day life), I overslept completely this morning.

It seems that all that rain in Chicago has followed us here, because it was so dark and stormy that there were no delightful rays of gossamer sunlight gently coaxing the household to waken. Nobody woke up. Not the dog. Not the baby. That’s right; Ethan slept until 9:10 this morning — his longest sleep-in to date.

Luckily I had already planned my outfit last night (puff-sleeved, Peter Pan-collared blue blouse; Daisy Fuentes trouser jeans; short-sleeved three-button linen jacket; aerology brown suede pumps), so I was able to get Ethan and myself ready in record time. I don't always plan my outfits in advance. In fact, today was the apparently inauspicious Day One of my Erin-self-improvement regimen, which will include planning to be fashionable, doing my hair and makeup daily, eating well, exercising, and a general aura of organization and control. Also ironing.

I accomplished the feat of rapid-readiness by cutting a few corners: no breakfast or packed lunch (partially because Cody ate the entirety of the chicken and rice casserole leftovers off the stovetop last night); forget the makeup for one day; don’t force the dog to do his piddles in the gale-force winds when he clearly has no interest in leaving the bedroom. Another spur-of-the-moment decision was to send Ethan to nursery school in his pajamas, an adorable little light-blue sleeper suit depicting puppies playing football. What the heck, I thought to myself. I’ve never done it before, and besides it’s such a dreary day I’m sure he’ll feel so cozy and homey in those cute little footies.

What I failed to remember is that today at nursery school, it is picture day.

Since becoming a mother, I find that I readily cry at just about anything. Like when Ethan was three days old and my dad bought him a surprise gift to cheer me up about my parents going back to Chicago. That one backfired when instead of smiling and saying, "Oh how cute!" I held up the little Winnie the Pooh for all to see and bawled, "It's a raaaaaatttle!"

Today is one of those days that I really just want to weep. And not because I feel sad. Actually, because I'm supremely happy. I feel like crying thinking about a couple of years from now when we're laughing at Ethan's first school picture featuring him in his pajamas, and about a couple decades from now when Ethan's talking to his therapist about the time I sent him to school in sleepwear. I feel like crying when I have a temporary reprieve from an otherwise difficult workweek. I feel like crying when people are kind to me.

It's like that Dane Cook stand-up routine in which he talks about those times in life when you really just want to let loose and sob your heart out and right in the middle of it your mom phones and calls you her baby angel and tells you everyone is just jealous of you that's why they're being such jerks. And then your dad gets on the phone and makes you feel like a wuss because he saw people's arms blown off in 'Nam and didn't shed a single tear.

But my dad's not like that. For one, he wasn't in Vietnam. He used to be an emotional clam, until I got married. Now he's a really big crybaby. Did you hear that, Dad? Your grandson went to school in his pajamas and it was recorded for all of time by a professional photographer. I'll call you later so we can cry about it together.

A friend in work (hi Laura!) who is an experienced mother of two gorgeous, amber-haired children reassured me by saying that this would be the first of many parental idiocies. Naturally, I wanted to hug her. And cry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Woo-woo! I made da blawwwwgg! :)

And yeah, it really will be the first of many such incidents. Whether that's comforting or depressing is entirely up to you, I've found. At least you haven't gotten a call from daycare saying you forgot to bring BOTTLES. So your baby can EAT. And you are 45 minutes away in downtown Atlanta (crazily hoping you will get called for jury duty, but that's another moment of idiocy). And you not only feel like wormpoop for forgetting the NOURISHMENT FOR YOUR CHILD, but also because, oh, you Had. Not. Noticed. That you forgot.

Baaaaad, bad mama.

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