Last night, I went to the grocery. Do I need to remind you how very, very much I hate the grocery. Fine, here, here.
Last night, I took both kids to the grocery. Had I called my mom and asked her to keep one, she would have gladly agreed, but I was feeling guilty about all the time they've spent with her lately, so I decided I could handle it. The cookie people weren't there. Maren discovered that screams in the grocery echo. Brynna couldn't decide what kind of sunscreen to buy. We finally left. In one piece, but barely.
Out to the car we trek, talking about sunscreen and I mention that she's got to have it tomorrow (today) for Pool Day! Thinking, wrongly of course, that this will perk up her whiney little butt. Imagine my shock when she responded with cries of horror and misery.
After a few moments' interview about why she didn't want to go to the pool, she explained that the floor of the pool cuts her toes. Not only did I not know this was happening, but I was relatively unaware of the fact that the floor of a pool COULD cut your toes.
By this time, we were strapped in and heading for home. "Well, kiddo, you've got to go to the pool, we'll just come up with another solution." Then, I proceeded to rack my brain.
"Hm. What do the other kids do?"
"All the other kids have poooool shooooeees!" she wailed.
Okay, so when I read the literature on camp, it mentioned that pool shoes were acceptable, but not required. It mentioned that particularly small children may need them. I don't get pool shoes. I kinda assumed that they were invented solely for making moms schlep around one more thing. But, apparently, they are made for "scritchy" pool floors. Who knew? Possibly a mother who has been in a pool in the last decade, but not me.
I called The Husband. Who was still at work and couldn't answer the phone.
I hastily developed a plan. I would get the girls home, put away the groceries, cook dinner, eat dinner, get at least Maren bathed, get Brynna's bathing suit and beach towel in the laundry, get everyone to bed and then go back to town on a quest for pool shoes. It would cost me a lot of gas, mean that I would miss Doctor Who and keep me up later than I was originally hoping, but it was do-able. More or less.
I stopped at my mom's house to pick up a bag of clothes and I won't even get into that story. I was telling her the story and my mother, my sainted, perfect wonderful mother swooped in and saved the day.
"Why don't you just leave her here and we'll take her to get pool shoes," a sliver of light opened above my head.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course. Now, what do pool shoes look like?"
A few minutes later I was back on the road. The rest of the night passed fairly normally, except for the part where my mother in law told my husband that we were going to the movies on Sunday and he needed to tell me that. And I promptly freaked because Sunday is the Fourth.
This morning, however, was one of those mornings where I wake up confused and it doesn't get better.
I packed Brynna's camp bag, realized that I forgot to refill her water bottle and put it in the fridge last night and got my stuff ready. I had more to do, but about that time Maren said, "Let's go!" and I went. I can't explain what I was thinking. I just said, "Okay," and followed her out the door.
When I got to my mom's, I saw Brynn sitting there in her pajamas and nearly had a heart attack. Clothes, I had forgotten clothes. Mom came to the rescue again with a new outfit. But then it didn't fit. We ended up in dirty clothes from earlier in the week. At least it wasn't unofficial pajama day. Then, I remembered that Brynna's brand new bottle of sunscreen was on the kitchen table.
"Well, we'll just stop and get some more," I proclaimed.
Halfway to town, I remembered that this was the last day to pay my car payment. I began digging in the car and came up with my payment book. So far, so good. Then I had a crystal clear image appear in my mind of my checkbook on my kitchen floor. Where it had fallen out of my purse. A little more digging convinced me that this was indeed true.
Seconds away from the bank, I remembered my "emergency check" and where it was stashed. I pulled in and made the payment.
Next up, the babysitter. We ran in, stripped off shoes, waved hastily and ran back out, minus one child. CVS is the closest store, so I ran in, barked some request about sunscreen to the twelve year olds working behind the counter and got pointed in the right direction. Brynna picked a new bottle and off we went.
We pulled into the parking lot of camp with an entire three minutes to spare before the doors are shut forever. I signed her in, filled her water bottle from the water fountain, gave her a big hug and headed out.
When I got to work (18 minutes late) my boss was here. She doesn't usually come in until a half hour after me, so, of course.
I walked in flustered and winded, but marginally calmer because I am now done. Nothing else could go wrong, I assured myself. The kiss of death.
About ten, I opened the window to write this post. The Great Pool Shoe Saga, I wrote in the Title line. Whereupon, a horrible weight sat upon my chest. When we got in the car at mom's this morning, I had handed the pool shoes to Brynna and put the bag beside her, instructing her to put the shoes in the bag. I was suddenly very, very sure that she hadn't. That the shoes, were in fact, in the minivan.
I debated with myself for a second, but one thing that I have learned is that those crushing weighty realizations are seldom wrong.
I locked up the now empty office and ran for the door. When I got to the car, I easily found the pool shoes right by her seat. I called camp, but got no answer.
The drive from my office to camp is exactly ten minutes. The drive, beleaguered by the knowledge that you are the worst mother ever and have forever ruined your child's life felt like hours.
I sped into the parking lot, tires squealing. There, in the lot sat the Bookmobile. "At least she's prepared for that," I thought. I slid into a parking spot and got out and ran to the door.
"Has Brynna gone swimming yet?" I asked holding up the shoes.
"No, not yet, " the camp director assured me.
"Can I just slip in and put these in her bag?" I asked.
"Sure," she smirked.
Relief was the wave crashing on the beach, but profound embarrassment was the undertow pulling me back out to sea.
A few dirty looks from teen aged counselors later and I was back on the road, headed back to work.
I figured I should work in a trip to McD's since I had forgotten my lunch, too and this would save me from leaving again. After giving my entire order, I was reminded it was still breakfast time.
"Damn. This day will never end."