**NOTE** I have been asked to stress that the following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any children, living or dead, is purely coincidental, and not to be interpreted, in any way, as representational of the behavior of my particular children. My children are never this chatty in the morning.
Only SLIGHTLY exaggerated…
Child 1:Where’s my belt?
Me (while brushing child 2′s hair and helping her put on tights that she can somehow only manage for herself on weekends.): I have no fucking idea. Where did you leave it.
Child 1: I dunno.
Me: Do you remember taking it off?
Child 1: No.
Me: Did you look in your room?
Child 1 (without moving in any way): Yes.
Me: Have you tried looking around?
Child 1 (without visibly moving either head or eyes): Yes! I’ve looked everywhere!
I put hairbrush in Child 2′s hand which causes her to lapse into complete stasis.
Me: Fine. I’ll look… You’re standing on it.
Child 1: Oh. Thanks.
In car on way to school…
Me (to Child 1): I got another email about your late library book. It’s been six months. Where is it?
Child 1: It’s in my locker. I think. I’m almost completely sure it is in my locker.
Me: Please look for it and return it today.
Child 1: Okay, sure. Only… the library is on the other floor, and I might not have time. Plus I think the library is closed on Tuesdays.
Me: It is Thursday. Also why would the library be closed on Tuesdays?
Child 1: And Thursdays. I think. I’m pretty sure somebody told me that once.
Me: How about you walk up there and check? And bring the book with you?
Child 1: I will definitely try to remember to do that. You know you aren’t supposed to turn left to the school here, right? You are supposed to turn six blocks back and follow the traffic pattern of ever decreasing spirals so as to approach the school from the southwest ONLY because the school made an agreement with the neighbors.
Me: I don’t give a crap. We are already late, and if the school doesn’t want me to turn left, they can put up a bloody sign.
Child 1: It is your fault if I am never accepted to college because the school hates you.
Me: Great. We are here. I’m slowing down. Tuck and roll.
Ten minutes later on arriving at Child 2′s school.
Child 2: Where is my homework?
Me: You told me you didn’t have homework. You told me that you NEVER have homework on Wednesdays and if I asked you about having homework on a Wednesday ONE MORE TIME you would die of frustration, shame and embarrassment, because it will be proof that I have Alzheimer’s.
Child 2: Not THAT homework. The project.
Me: You mean the project from Tuesday night? The one that you were supposed to be working on for six months but you only mentioned to me while brushing your teeth for the night? The one that was due yesterday?
Child 2: Yes. You didn’t put it in my backpack.
Me: Actually, I DID put it in your backpack. After we stayed up for four extra hours Tuesday night finishing it I most certainly DID put it in your backpack. And I told you “I am putting this in your backpack. Look at me right now and see where I am putting it so that you may turn it in on time when you get to school.” We are talking about THAT homework project?
Child 2: Yes. It isn’t here. I looked and LOOKED.
Me: Why would it be there when you were supposed to turn it in yesterday?
Child 2: Only it turned out it wasn’t due yesterday because the teacher said. So I didn’t turn it in yesterday.
Me: Why not? It was done.
Child 2: The teacher said.
Me: Well, then it should still be there. I did not touch it. Did you take it out?
Child 2: No! Only I needed a pencil, so I took everything out to look for one, so it MUST be at home and you need to go get it or I will die.
Me: Ah. Actually, I did see the contents of your backpack strewn about the kitchen floor last night, so I put everything back in the backpack that I saw. Let me look… See, here’s a cat toy. But… No Project. Is it in your desk?
Child 2: It is absolutely impossible that it would be in my desk because I never put anything in my desk except decorative erasers shaped like small animals and food items.
Me: How about I come up and look before driving home to find it?
Child 2 (on the brink of tears): I am 100% certain it is not in my desk. If I set one toe on school property without my homework then I will have to join the witness protection program. And then die.
Me: And yet, I am coming in to look.
Ten minutes of foot dragging later we arrive at said desk.
Me: Isn’t this your homework? Right here? On top of the permission slip I signed and gave you on the first day of school so that you would legally be allowed to breathe oxygen on school grounds? Why don’t you just turn those both in right now.
Child 2: I can’t. If we turn things in before the teacher says it is time to turn them in, we die.
Me: Fine. Whatever. Now my phone is ringing.
Child 1 (on phone): You forgot to tell me to put on shoes this morning, so I just have on socks and the office says it is a violation of the uniform code so you have to come pick me up right now and bring me home to get shoes and then drop me off again 20 minutes ago. Or I’ll die.
Okay, that is a teensy bit of an exaggeration. Because it generally doesn’t ALL happen on the same morning.
But it FEELS true.