Tuesday was rainy. Like "need an ark" downpour rain. All three kids were set to be in school, and I had a lot to accomplish in the hours by myself. We left the house at 7:55 in order to get Jack & Olivia to school, and then Grant to preschool, on time. The freeway wasn't moving, so I took the back roads. It took forever to go the 6+ miles to Sunol. We made it just as the 8:30 bell was ringing, and the kids dashed out of the car.
Since the freeway wasn't moving, I then took the back roads to get Grant to preschool. Another 25 minutes in the car. As I pulled into the parking lot, I heard a sound from the backseat that could only mean one thing. . . Grant was throwing up. I quick grabbed an empty grocery bag and managed to get it in his hands, but not before the damage was done. We proceeded to turn around and head another 35 minutes back home, in traffic, in the rain, with a car that smelled of barf. We arrived safely home, I got him cleaned up, and cozy in my bed watching a movie (surrounded by towels, just in case...). I got to work on laundry, cleaning out the car, and tackling my mountain of "to-dos". By mid-morning, I reached the conclusion that he had been carsick - he didn't throw up again, and was back to himself. From now on, there will always be a plastic bag within reach.
On Wednesday after school, the kids had piano lessons and gymnastics, in Fremont. When we loaded up in the morning, I reminded Olivia to get her piano bag and put it in the car, so we wouldn't have to go home first. She forgot. So after school, we drove back home. She decided to sharpen some pencils while she was in the house, so she could work on her homework. I went to get the mail. We got back in the car, drove the 25 minutes to Fremont, and as we got off the freeway, Olivia said "Oh shoot. I forgot my piano bag." WHAT????? That's what we drove home for in the first place!!!!! I tried to keep my cool, because I could hear in her voice that she knew she'd messed up. I called her piano teacher, who said that they could work on other stuff, and not to worry about the bag.
The events of the week have made me stop and reflect on many things.
- Making a plan only works some of the time. I have to be more flexible.
- I need to double check on what I ask the kids to do. At least for now, they need extra reminders.
- I need to better stock my car for emergencies. Whether it's an extra bottle of water (or an empty one to serve as a potty in a pinch), snacks, towels for cleaning up, or a dry set of clothes, I am sorely under-equipped for the day to day needs that pop up.
- I should keep reading material (preferably my scriptures...I need all the spiritual help I can get these days!) in my car. There are days when I have 15 or 30 minute to sit and wait somewhere, and I should do something more productive then lurk on Facebook or play Scrabble on my iPhone. Although that does provide some much needed stress relief on some days!
- I will be so appreciative when we finally land in our new house in a few more weeks. Much closer to school and other activities, I won't be driving nearly as much. And if we forget the piano bag, it won't be an hour round trip to get it. Or forget it again.
- I need to update the music in my car. I've listened to School House Rock so many times I can sing every song by heart. "Conjunction, Junction...what's your function?" I have a couple of custom playlist cds, but again, I've listened to them so many times I could sing them in my sleep. I hate the commercials on the radio. For Mother's Day, I'm asking for an iPod connection for my car stereo. Then we can rock out for days without hearing the same song twice.
- This craziness won't last forever. I know people who can't understand why I do all that I do with my kids. They think I'm crazy. But I see the skills, talents, and confidence that is being built and nourished in them, and I know that it is time worth spent.
Stay tuned for what I learn next week!