October of 2013 may go down in my parenting story as one of the worst months of all time since the history of forever. Cavemoms didn’t have it this bad. Oh, you lost a hand to a sabertooth? Child’s play compared to my month, lady! Why don’t you go cry about it into your cave urinal.
There have been false abduction claims, severed squirrel tails, playing in feces infested sand boxes, a prolonged case of assholeitis and so much more. If bad parenting were an art form, well, call me Picasso.
The hits keep on coming and so, this Friday, not to let a full week go by without something truly despicable happening, we had what my kids have been referring to as, “That time mom turned green, her pants exploded into ill-fitting short-shorts and then she drove us really slowly past an orphanage and a prison.”
It was my finest 15 minutes. If you want time to stand still, completely lose your shit. It’s amazing how quickly your children will freeze into a combination of an Olympic level game of freeze-tag and, “I heard that if you are really quiet and still, wild animals don’t attack.”
It was 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Everyone was in the middle of “the bitching hours”, the insanity of 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that curses every household everywhere. I was picking up eldest from her drama class because I needed to pay people to help her be more dramatic. During the chaos of pick-up and extended (see: dramatic) goodbyes to classmates she would see in 4 minutes in the parking lot, my son took off around the corner. No big deal, it’s not that large of a building. We would meet him in the lobby.
Except, he wasn’t in the lobby. Ruh-roh. And, he wasn’t in the office. And, he wasn’t in the theatre. And, he wasn’t anywhere.
After two minutes of calm, organized search, I became frantic. I ran outside. Not in the parking lot. I ran back inside. He still had not magically appeared. I then did the universal “I can’t find my kid!” call: The shrieking of his full name at a decibel that makes glass break and small children leave their hiding spaces. Still, no son.
At this point, a woman walked up asking if I was looking for a little boy. A hilarious inquiry considering I was the only person running through the building screeching like a hawk. “Your son is hiding under the bench in front of the youth theatre.”
“Oh, is he now? Thank you.”
Screaming mom was gone. Silent rage mom was now in the building. As I stomped toward the front door, he saw me coming and took those small, wooden blocks meant to hold doors open and tried to shove them under the door to keep me from coming out.
Oh no he didn’t.
At this point, not even Chuck Norris could have kept me from getting out of that door. I threw my whole body against the door and it flung open. Think, old saloon doors swinging open to announce a gunslinger.
I didn’t blame him for running. I can only imagine my face.
Silent rage mom was gone. Mom-full-on-lost-her-shit mom was now in the building. The low, exorcist sounding voice that came out of my body surprised even me. “GET OVER HERE NOW!” and, he stopped. Wait, he stopped? I should become possessed more often.
“GET IN THE CAR NOW!” and all four of them filed in the car like the damn Von Trapp family in matching lederhosen.
I drove home in a fever daze yelling a string of words so long and intense it sounded like another language. The kids sat in stunned silence. The passengers in the other cars stared, clearly enjoying my rage inspired interpretative car dance. Visceral pain visible on my face while my arms flailed like a muppet.
I pulled in the driveway. I sat there for a few minutes. I needed to catch my breath and allow the cleansing of the poltergeist from my body.
“Mama, I’m sorry.”
“What did you say?”
“I’m sorry I was so naughty. I won’t ever do that again.”
After all of this time, all I had to do was completely lose my mind.
I put my head on the steering wheel. I felt terrible. I should apologize. Wait, I should do no such thing. I was going to take this moment. This horrible moment produced an authentic apology. Maybe my kids just needed a full on freak out to answer their question: Who’s the boss?
Guess what, it’s not Tony Danza.