It’s late. And I meant to get up early. Quinn needs to get to school, I need to get wired up and ready to work and I have to log in and do some damage control from yesterday.
The trip to take Mom yesterday began with a migraine and went South – way South – from there. You can read about that adventure in hysterically stupid here, if you’re of the mind to.
One of the Southern detours came when I raced away from my truck in the parking garage with one of the doors wide open in a failed attempt to get my wheelchair bound Mom into the restroom quickly enough.
Of course, that was an open invitation. Please. Steal my money.
So someone did. Both the stack of singles in the console for tolls and the much larger sum in the glove box for the parking garage, lunch, dinner and anything else.
First debit card swipe came just to get us out of the parking garage for $22.00.
Ten minutes later the second one for a very, very late lunch.
Then 2 more back to back at an ATM for more toll money and a convenience store for coffee and smokes.
Four swipes before we ever pointed for home. Later there would be gas and dinner, too,
I was panicking a bit before I even started getting dressed. My unanticipated debit spree coupled with some poorly timed transactions on my husband’s part had left us with funds in the red. A lot in the red.
All the way through the morning cycle my brain was on repeat. How am ever going to cover all that? It’s only Wednesday.
“Quinn, come brush your teeth.” How am I gong to cover all that?
“Quinn, come on, we’re going to be late. Come get dressed.” It’s only Wednesday.
“Quinn, Let’s get your shoes on, it’s time to go.” How am going to cover all that? They’ll put those checks through again tomorrow. More bank fees.
By the time I had Quinn buckled into his car seat, I’d tried moving on to a new mantra. It’s ok. We’ll figure it out. We just can’t spend any money on anything.
I looked at the gas gauge. At least we had enough gas for the rest of the week. It’s ok. We have tons of bottles in the basement. We’ll take those back.
Quinn chatted all the way to school, but my mind was on bottle redemption and rolls of change. Maybe could pull it off. It’s ok.
By the time we got to school I’d fairly well stopped hyperventilating. It’s ok.
We managed to get into the lobby without incident. Off came Quinn’s coat, and in came one of his teachers.
“Did you get Miss Jen’s message?”
“About Quinn’s pictures? Yes.” I though this an odd inquiry, since it was just a blast email reminding parents when to order school pictures.
“No, not that one. The one about snack week.”
“Snack week? Noooooo. No message about that.”
Snack week is, I think, a product exclusive to the Montessori world. Every day, kids get snack time. To provide those snacks, each child has snack week – a week in which they are responsible for bringing in enough snack for the entire class, for the entire week.
Now early in the year, I had agonized about snack week. I couldn’t find a calendar online any newer than 2010. I combed through the paperwork sent home with Quinn. Then I stumbled upon a line mentioning that they try to time a child’s snack week with their birthday week. Phew. I probably had until January. Got to keep on top of that, though. I don’t want to be that Mom.
The one who blows snack week and leaves 25 kids staring forlornly at the kitchen, then accusingly at Quinn. Your Mom made this happen. Your Mom didn’t bring us snacks.
“”So we have snack week next week?” I was a little frustrated by the timing. Shelling out $60 bucks on snacks on the heels of the financial disaster I’d yet to solve. I tugged Quinn’s shoes off.
“No, no. This was your snack week.”
“What?” Shit! Today is Wednesday. That means they’ve already gone two days without snack. I am that Mom.
“We had some leftovers that we’ve been using, and that took care of the last two days, but we’re out of our stock. We need snack for today and the rest of the week.” I am sure that there is disapproval oozing from her. It’s cloying, even though I try to pretend it’s in my head.
Of course you do, because I have no money. “What time is snack time? I’ll go out, get something, and come back.”
“Ok. I’ll be back.”
I gave Quinn a quick kiss and bolted out the door. It was 8:15. Fifteen minutes home, grab the jar of change (mostly pennies) on the counter. Ten minutes back to town to haul the jar inter the grocery to a CoinStar sorting machine. Pour the money in. Nothing. Swear at machine, because that will always help. Kind clerk takes mercy on me and pushes the green “On” button on the touch screen that I hadn’t bothered reading in my rush. Plink, plink, plink, the change slowwwwly made its way through the slot, adding up one penny at a time until it capped out at 26.54.
Grab the slip, and off through the aisles. Pretzels. A buck a bag, times three. Baby carrots. Buy one, get one. Clementines. Goldfish crackers. With the $7 worth of coupons in my pocket, I should make this work.
Or not. Eighty-one cents over. Damn. Put one of the pretzel bags back and call it a done deal.
Back out to the parking lot. 8:50. I had a client at 9:00 Uh-oh. A quick look through my phone for their number and a small lie later, and I was on my way again.
Back at the school at 9:10, just in time.
Unpack the groceries while the little faces gather at the snack window. Miss Jen arrives, and makes light of the failure. I am not the only Mom to do this. They haven’t been good about early contact for snack week. She’s sweet, she’s trying, but I still know.
Despite my best intentions, I am that Mom.