OK, can I just say being a single parent sucks?
Yesterday, I was supposed to go to Cyd's school to meet with her counselor to discuss her classes for next year, then take Mychael to the orthodontist. I printed out Cyd's appointment when I made it on-line, but for whatever reason, did not write it down in my little appointment book. I remembered to call The Tool (easier to write than "my Soon-To-Be-Ex") to tell him about the appointment, though.
And, the orthodontist's office is really good about sending reminder e-mails and phone calls before the appointments, too. And, just as a safe guard, I did write this one down in my appointment book.
So there I was, just going along with my regular day, when I get an e-mail from my friend asking me if I want to go to lunch or dinner one day this week. I get out my appointment book to see what I have going on, and realize that I have completely spaced the orthodontist appointment! No worries, though - I still have about an hour and a half or so before I need to leave work to grab the kids on the way to the ortho.
I am working, working, working, and as usual, leave it until the last possible minute to squeak out of there and race to get the kids. I belatedly realize that I so entirely, completely, just plain forgot about this orthodontist visit, that I didn't even remind the kids about it! So, I hurry and text Mykie on the fly. Or at least, as fast as I can, given my limited texting ability during the best of times, let alone while walking to the car.
Just as I hit "send," I remember Mychael has lost her phone, and won't get the message, anyway. So, I think, "No problem! I'll just call Bretten!" Which I do, and she answers as she is on the bus home. I tell her to tell her sister to be ready as soon as she gets off the bus because I'm on my way to get them to go to the orthodontist.
Bretten says, "Well, Dad just called and says he already has Cyd and he's going to meet us at the first bus stop and take us from there."
"What? Why?" I say. Bretten starts to explain, but I can hardly hear her for all the background noise of the junior high bus. Frustrated, I say, "Nevermind. That's fine. I just wish someone would tell me what's going on," and I hang up.
I build up a head of steam as I call The Tool, all ticked off because, no matter how many times I have asked him to communicate with me directly, it seems he is prone to make plans with the kids, and none of them remember to tell me what's going on - or, I get bits and pieces of things from the kids that I can't decipher and then they feel like they're in trouble when I quiz them to try to figure out what is happening, when. I hit "send" and wait for him to pick up, ready to pounce as soon as he answers.
"Hello?" he says.
"Hi," I say. "What's going on? You're taking Mykie to the orthodontist?"
"Well, yeah," he says. "I figured I'd better. I tried to get ahold of you earlier to see what was going on when you didn't show, and I couldn't find you, so I just planned on doing it."
"Didn't show? Didn't show for what?"
"Cyd's appointment with the counselor."
It had completely, and I mean completely, slipped my mind. The appointment was there, written down on a paper, and I had totally, 100% forgotten about it. Suffice it to say, I was mortified. I hate messing up. I am not good at it. I am not gracious about it under the best of circumstances, though I manage to apologize to The Tool and figure out what's going on now and what I need to do to get back on course.
The Tool takes the kids to the ortho, and shows up at the house about an hour later. We exchange information about Cyd's appointment and Mykie's next ortho appointment, and then he says, "By the way - I forgot to change the direct deposit on my travel checks. They have been going in to your account, so I am just going to deduct that amount from the child support check I give you this weekend."
Not that I don't trust him, but I don't. I went and looked at the bank account, and sure enough, there is a deposit that is just labeled "Federal" but it is a weird amount - obviously not my regular salary. So yeah, I owe him the money. I never did the bills when we were married, and I have been really trying to get the financial crap all squared away because he always told me I wasn't good at it. I had kind of been thinking, "See? I can, too, do it!" because I've gone five months now with no late payments, no bounced checks, etc., etc. I even managed to pay for San Francisco and fit Christmas shopping in there, too, with minimal impact to my savings. And yet, here was evidence that I am not nearly as good as I thought I was, as I will only have half the money I was counting on for December.
So after absorbing that blow, he leaves and I turn to the girls to tell them the plans for the rest of the day. Before I can even open my mouth, one of the twins (I won't say who, to protect the guilty), says to me, "Where were you?!? Why did you forget?!?!"
Well, I'd had it. I got all teary (I usually try to do my crying in private) and just said, "Well, excuse me. I've had kind of a crappy day!"
And of course, the sight of me in tears immediately has her crying, too.
So now I am thinking I can't manage the kids' scheduling crap, I can't manage the money, and I can't even manage to be "The Mom" without falling apart! It seems I can't do anything right today!!
But then I remember some wise words from one of my cousins, who was born and raised in the southeast (North Carolina). "It's okay," she said. "Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett."
It's true. Oh, sure, it feels like the most totally craptastic day, ever. But I'm alive, I'm healthy, I have a house to live in and food to eat. Most importantly, I am surrounded by people I love and who love me back - who remind me that tomorrow is another day, when I need reminding. What would I do without them all?
So it was not the Worst. Day. Ever. Just almost. ;)
Martin Luther King Day
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