Wednesday, July 22, 2015

update: i'm still a judgy B

I was late to pick up the kids yesterday. This hasn't happened in almost a year but it still makes me feel like nearly 5 years of motherhood is reduced to the 7 minutes late that I am. The kids seemed mostly unfazed though. I said, "I'm SO SORRY guys." And Colby replied, "Sowwy for what, Mama?" So it's not like they were locking this terrible memory away to be shared with therapists twenty years down the road. Or at least, Colby wasn't.

Jack: Mommy, I wish you and daddy didn't have to work on the other side of da fweeway. Den you wouldn't get stuck in twaffic jams. Wouldn't dat be so nice for you?
Me: Yes buddy. That would be amazing. Daddy and I would like nothing more than to live and work right here so we didn't have to get stuck in traffic jams. 
J: It would also be gweat if you guys could just have work but no meetings. Den you could finish your work faster and den me and Cowby could be da fuhst ones to get picked up instead of being da last ones all da time. :(((

And just to seal those gems into my Mother of the Year crown:

Text to DM: 6:07. It's gonna cost us some scarred psyches and $30 bucks. And now I am going to buy them In-N-Out and send them to bed bathed in french fry grease.
DM: Sounds like what I would do.
Me: Well, parental continuity is very important for children.

Anyway, this post is not really about that. It's about how I think I'm a nice person and a reformed judger but I'm not, I'll always be "in recovery."

So, as I pulled up to the school at 6:07pm, another car screeched into the spot next to me. She started running to the door but I was closer so I got there first. As I repeatedly tried to open the door with my fob, she angrily complained, "Oh my GOD, c'mon!" I told her she was welcome to try her hand at it, so she shoved herself in front of me and started jabbing her keys at the fob-reader thing, unsuccessfully. Apparently, it doesn't work after 6pm. One of the preschool teachers walks over and lets us in and this woman just brushes past everyone and grabs her daughter, saying (to whom?) "I have two other kids to pick up! We have to go!"

Apparently this was her first rodeo because she didn't realize that if you arrive even one second after 5:59:59, you start paying by the minute, and you have to sign the "consent to charge me for sucking at motherhood" form, in triplicate, before they will let you leave. (But, you get to keep the yellow copy to put in your Shitty Mom scrapbook!) This lady was huffing and puffing and getting seven sorts of pissy and I was having extremely unsympathetic thoughts toward her during this interlude. She was wearing riding pants and boots that had obviously just been used for their intended purpose, and I thought to myself, "Woman, you need to chill. Why are your jodhpurs in a bunch, anyway?! Because your riding lesson on your faithful steed at your fancy stable in Del Mar ran long? Puh-lease."

Then, this woman's face crumbled...  it just folded into itself, on no volition of its owner. And she began to cry. She scribbled her name on the charge slip, choked out "I just hate this!" and ran out the wrong door, dragging her daughter behind her, setting off the fire alarm in the process.

And I felt like a giant dick.

Why is my lateness any more righteous than hers? Who cares if she was getting a luxurious spa treatment and I was stuck in rush hour traffic after working all day? The truth of the matter is, I chose to be late. Or at least, I allowed that to be a possibility. Don't get me wrong, sometimes shit happens that is beyond our control and we're late and that sucks. But usually it's because we know good and damn well we're probably not going to make it in time, and we decide that whatever we're doing right now is worth the risk of tardiness. Yesterday, I looked at Google Maps. I saw that traffic was atrocious (because of the goddamn horses at Del Mar, incidentally). But two of my bosses came in to talk to me at 4:51 and 4:59, respectively, and I made the conscientious decision that the chance of disappointing my kids by being a few minutes late was a lesser evil than disappointing two senior partners in one fell swoop. Because I feel like as soon as I open my mouth to explain, 'Yes, I have been staying later but today I can't because my husband had a hearing in LA and my kids have to be picked up by 6 and traffic sucks balls because of the races and this CRAZY ASS weather and by the way WHY are So-Cal people fundamentally incapable of driving in the rain?! Even like, mist totally fucks them up..." I'm dead in the water. Just stamp "MOM" across my forehead, stuff some sticky used tissues and Hot Wheels in my purse and call it a day. And ultimately, it doesn't matter who/what/when/where/why. I let my kids down. So did she. We both lose.

But, the good news is, they'll probably survive. And, again, life is life and we have to make tough decisions and do our best to navigate these shark infested waters...

Wait. Dude. Sharks. Holy fuck.

Also this:

Sharkaphobia solution for our upcoming vacation to the Outer Banks.
Okay. Sorry. Got sidetracked for a minute there.

ANYWAY. My point is, I am a recovering a$$hole. And you and me and she and we are not so very different from one another. Do you ever blow it, as a parent, partner, employee, whatever? And you just feel so ridiculous and ashamed, and then that makes you feel defensive and angry, and all of these feelings are just fighting in your face and then it implodes and these dumb embarrassing tears and weird choking seal sounds come out of your head and everything is terrible? Ten times more so because everyone is LOOKING AT YOU like, "Uhhh, is everything alright?" And/or, "Do you need immediate medical attention?" Well, I at least know one other person with whom I share this unfortunate tendency. And I can tell you from experience she is judging herself harshly enough, she does not need that shit from me or anyone else.

Practice makes perfect :)

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