My husband just got a new job and has to spend some time in New York going through training. Because of my insane commute to work, it’s just better that I take vacation rather than contorting my day into a commuting pretzel to get the kids to pre-school care at the ass-crack of dawn….and race home to avoid the $1 per minute per kid penalty (a.k.a.: lame-late-parent-who-obviously-likes- her-job-more-than-her-kids fee).
So how do I spend my day off? Eating bon bons? Kicking my feet up?
Responding to that misguided restraining order I was served with? Uh, no. Instead, here’s how a day off goes for me…..
5:30am Wake to the HOT SOUNDS OF TODAY’S HIP ADULTS because my thoughtful husband didn’t turn off his backup alarm before he left.
5:31am Stagger to bathroom, stub toe on tub as I stumble to toilet. Say silent prayer thanking whatever responsible deity that it was the numb foot so I couldn’t feel it anyway. Curse same deity that my Vampy-painted toenail now has a nasty chip and it will be a full 3 days before I can get that fixed.
5:31:15am Assure the dog — who has trotted into the bathroom and is sitting at my feet — that I am peeing as fast as I can and that she will be let out in just a freakin’ minute.
5:45am Begin batch of cranberry bread for holiday baskets that I will take to some co-workers at the office tomorrow.
7:10am Wake boys so I can get them to school. Spend a full 10 minutes explaining to my son Nick why an orange shirt and red sweatpants aren’t going out the door on his body in that particular combination.
8:10am On the way to school, referee discussion between my sons about which Alex on the Capitals hockey team is the better player. Assure them both that if Cal Ripken Jr., were on the team it would be no contest. “Cal, who?” they ask. “Get out of my car” I say.
8:30am Stop at post office that — according to its hours of operation listing on usps.gov — was supposed to be open at 8:00am. Evidently they changed their opening time to 9:00am and haven’t alerted the webmaster. Stuff holiday gift to Uncle back into car and head home.
9:00am Start load of laundry. Ok, ok…truth be told…rewash load of laundry that was left in the washer the day before and totally forgotten about.
10:17am Chastize dog for her confusion that holiday “bark” is not for doggies, even if it is 1) under the tree, and 2) within snout’s reach. Feel bad and offer her compliments that she managed to tear into the box without making much of a mess.
10:17:01am – 5:00pm Nervously expect dog to “return” the holiday bark via one of two methods, the aftermath of either would involve me and our Bissell Little Green Machine. Lecture dog every 5 minutes about the obvious benefits of puking on kitchen laminate as opposed to hardwoods and expensive area rugs.
11:35am Stare at KitchenAid mixer for at least a full 5 minutes as I attempt to try and remember whether I put in the requisite 3 cups of flour — or only two — for the pumpkin whoopie cookies I am making. I curse my brain for not remembering and err on the side of adding one more cup of flour.
12:30pm Realize that the cookies taste a bit flour-y
12:30:01pm Realize cookies also do not taste at all pumpkin-y. My attempt at a semi-homemade shortcut by using pumpkin pie seasoned filling is not the same as adding plain pumpkin filling with the ground cloves, cinammon and ginger by the teaspoon full. Curse Sandra Lee and throw bland, flour-y cookies out back for the birds to eat.
12:31pm Audubon Society considers filing massive grievance against me for providing substandard food for our feathery brethern.
12:45pm Realize that my Macy’s Extra $10 off early-bird coupon is set to expire at 1:00pm. Calculate that trip to the Mall — for one of my husband’s Christmas gifts and birthday gift for my sister who lives in Canada and will be coming home for the holidays — will take me about 17 minutes. Curse pumpkin whoopies pie cookies again, because I need to blame the loss of the $10 savings on something. Other than myself, that is.
1:00pm Back at post office to mail that package. $5 for regular delivery to a location that is just 50 miles from us, but they won’t guarantee it will arrive within 3 days. Contemplate strength of familial relationship and decide there is no harm done if the post office can’t get it there before Christmas.
1:35pm Arrive at Macy’s checkout with 1) rolling garment bag for husband from housewares department, 2) one sweater top for sister from Misses section, 3) matching bracelet from jewelry department. Applaud my skill at 1) driving like a bat out of hell, 2) manuevering through the various departments so swiftly, 3) whining to the sales person in an unsuccessful effort to get the $10 off, and 4) using my Macy’s charge and getting an extra 10% off anyway. Retail score, baby!!
2:45pm Make sales rep Elvin wish that Best Buy offered commission to its sales people as I ring up a bounty of gifts for totally awesome husband (backup alarm mishap not withstanding). Purchase extended warranties to cover “dumb shit we might do like maybe drop it or something” (technically defined as “accidental damage coverage” when they ring up the warranty). Feel giddy when I find out that my total qualifies for 18 months free financing on my Best Buy card.
3:00pm Pass by Subway and drool over the thought of tuna on Italian bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and banana peppers. Shake it off and convince myself that peanut butter and honey on whole wheat at home makes more sense. And doesn’t require an 18 month free financing commitment.
3:15pm Decide that the call of the tuna is too strong. Peanut butter and honey is for sissies. Stop at the Subway closer to home.
4:00pm Stroll by washing machine on my way in the house and realize I will need to wash that load for a third time.
4:15pm Begin packaging up holiday snack boxes for staff and colleagues.
4:45pm Move very clean laundry to dryer. Whoops — remove laundry that was already in dryer and THEN move very clean laundry to dryer.
5:45pm Fold laundry
6:00pm Turn on Judge Judy
6:15pm Agree with Judge Judy that “just cuz he’s good at making babies, it does not mean he’s good at being a father. You should have thought about that when you decided to make babies with him, madam”. Amen, Judge Judy!
6:17pm Go pick up kids from afterschool care program that closes at 6:30pm. Pray there is no accident or slow moving farm machinery that will force the late fee to be invoked.
6:35pm Arrive back home and start to nuke chicken nuggets, which often substitutes as dinner in this house.
6:40pm Start next load of laundry.
7:00pm Go over homework with both boys.
7:30pm Head upstairs to get on treadmill.
8:15pm Get in shower
8:45pm Convince boys that a good night’s sleep is much more important than seeing whether or not the Washington Wizards basketball team get their asses handed to them yet again. Let me save you the suspense – I predict they will lose. Alert the Vegas odds-makers.
9:00pm Get in bed. Prepare to drift off when I realize I better set my alarm 5 minutes early to the HOT SOUNDS OF TODAY’S HIP ADULTS. I’m going need a few extra minutes before I leave in the morning to start the washer again for that damn load of laundry I forgot about.