June 22, 2014

To do lists

Ah, summer!  After working every day while the kids were in school, I welcomed the last day of school as much as my kids did.  Of course even the summer months are chock full of places to be, things to do, and people to see.  In addition to organizing the house that has suffered through months of neglect, one of my summer goals is to relax at the local pool as often as possible.  Our pool membership insures my sanity is intact by the end of August.  The kids enjoy it, and if they suspect they won't see their friends there they are encouraged to bring a book or the giant checkers game.  Chatting with my friends while the kids are entertained is a bonus, and if my friends aren't there my book becomes my silent, yet awesome companion.  Top my visit to the pool off with my short siesta, and my kids are guaranteed a smiling mom who might even treat them to ice cream on the way home.  They would prefer I purchase a frozen dessert from the pool concession stand, but McDonald's 99 cent cones cannot be beat.  Fortunately my  kids are all strong, competitive swimmers, so I am able to relax and doze off for short stretches.  
Last Monday turned out to be a hot one.  I wished for rain, cloudiness, or at least a chill in the air.  No such luck.  Since the older boys caddy, I scheduled a dermatologist appointment and a dentist appointment for Laddie on Monday because the golf course was closed.  When I made his appointments, I couldn't predict such fine pool weather.  Once the Irish dancing summer schedule hit the air waves, I recognized that the day would be full but hoped it would also be doable.  
I made myself a list.  A rewrite was necessary, because I realized there were a few errands I could squish between the appointments and drop offs as long as I was out and headed in the right direction.  Sunday night arrived and my gut clenched up as I glanced at all that was squeezed into the itinerary.  Still, I kept my hopes high.  
The day went something like this:  Laddie woke me at 6 am so that I could have the pleasure of driving him to football camp.  I drove to swim team to drop off and pick up 3 different groups of kids, which translates to four round trips.  I ran 5 miles after the first drop off.  Between the 2nd and 3rd drives to the pool (which is in close proximity to our home -but crossing a busy road is necessary, so bike riding is limited), I got Reggie changed and dropped him off at the high school at 9:45 for his first day of a two week basketball camp.  By 10 I was back at the swim team practice to grab Curly and get her over to her orthodontist appointment.  The appointment wasn't until 10:45, but since it had been set a while back, I was unaware that I would be racing back to pick up Reggie from basketball camp.  Part of my master plan included arriving at the ortho early in order to scoot back for Reggie.  Fortunately I called the office while I wrapped Curly in her towel.  I loved the idea of getting in and out, but cringed to think of being stuck in the office waiting room.  My hands tied.  My outlined schedule included no waiting. 
The ortho informed me that they were a bit backed up.  Getting there prematurely would foil my plans, so I inserted an errand.  I ran to church to deliver a check to the youth minister for Laddie's mission trip next month.  Blocks from home, I stopped home and grabbed my book for the potential ortho office wait.  I also took a few minutes to throw together a lunch for the crew.  I tossed the cooler bag packed with lunch, bathing suits, and towels in the car.  Just as I was starting to lose patience, Curly was called back and moments later we were cruising back to the high school to pick up a pumped up Reggie.  Basketball lover that he is.  Chatted briefly at the high school with a friend I haven't seen in ages.  Laddie approached the car with Reggie.  Bummer.  Lad had promised to attempt to score a ride home after summer school ended, but that apparently hadn't happened.  He enjoyed checking out his little brother's progress at basketball camp while he waited for me.  On the way to the car, Reggie was invited over to his friend's house to swim.  So he happily ditched us.   Laddie drove home  while I chilled in the passenger seat, occasionally offering suggestions about how to change lanes.  Since he turns 16 this week, he is trying to gain needed experience behind the wheel.  He jumped out and I drove the remaining gang over to the pool for a quick dip.  I suppose it's worth mentioning that I was down a child.  Mini spent the night at my brother's house, so we were picking her up later on the way to dancing.  I had to drive Eddie over for Irish music lessons anyway.  Eddie (who I basically dragged to the pool kicking and screaming), Tetonka, and Curly and I ate our packed lunch while I kept my eye on the clock.  Laddie refused to visit the pool.  Too uncool.  I had to run home and pick him up before I could turn around and head in the opposite direction to his dermatologist appointment. 
What to do with Curly?  I had hoped her pool-BFF would show up, so Curly could stay at the pool rather than be dragged to the skin doc, etc.  BFF wasn't there, but other friends were.  I hit them up with the favor of keeping Curly at the pool for a few hours.  No prob.  I sat down on a chair and called the restaurant that would be catering the Shenanigan's dinner that night.  Laddie's church youth group received some of the profits from whoever ordered that night.  We rarely dine out (and I don't do fast food if I can get away with it), so knowing our expense would help fund his mission trip, I ordered for all of us and asked that it be prepared by 3:45. Dinner, done.  Check.
Eddie's friend's mom spotted Eddie and instantly called her teenager who had refused to accompany her to the pool.  This friend lived close enough to the pool to walk down.  Now that he was assured his buddy was there, why not?  He still balked.  His head hurt, but why didn't Eddie come and hand out at his house.  Fine by me.  Time at the pool.  Check.
I bolted from the pool, drove a few blocks and dropped off Eddie.  At home, Tetonka  promised to be good while he was home alone for a bit.  Laddie hopped behind the wheel, and we were off to his back to back, possibly-scheduled-to close-together appointments.  The dermatologist's office is at the mall, so rather than witness Lad's first parking garage experiences, I urged him to throw it in park and jog ahead of me to the 4th floor office.  "I'll be up in a few."
I parked the car, and answered the phone.  My sis in law was requesting that I order her family dinner at the same restaurant that I had ordered for us.  I was headed there later to gather Molly and leave Eddie.  Why not?  Pleased to raise extra monies for Laddie's trip, I took her order.  My former Burger King days were flashing back. 
Phone rang again, just as I was hanging up with the restaurant to add to my order.  Tetonka.  He'd been invited to a friend's house.  'Great, have fun!  Ride your bike.  Wear your suit, they have a pool."  He hesitated but admitted he wasn't sure he could find their house.  We drive by it daily.  4 blocks away.  I ran through directions.  Good to go.
As I approached the professional building, I darted into the eye glasses store.  I dropped way too much money on a pair of glasses a few weeks prior.  My spectacles serve me from the 8 paces from the master bath to my side of the bed each night and again in the morning before and after I have inserted or removed my contact lenses.  That's it.  I swear there wasn't a cheap pair of glasses in the place.  It had been so long since I purchased new glasses, that when the old pair literally fell apart I almost did a dance.  Anyway, they were lopsided.  There will be a day that my contacts hurt, or God forbid I pick up pink eye.  These seldom seen in public specs will be seen at some point.  Crooked won't do.  In the store's defense, I barely sat down long enough for them to try them on before I ran for the door, so no shock that they leaned.  I quickly asked someone to adjust them.   No problem.  This is the day I learned that my one ear is lower than the other.  I was over this news before I got to the exit.  I patted myself on the back for remembering to shove my glasses casein my purse (OK, it's a Tiffany's case, but as I explained to Curly - every girl should have something from Tiffany's at some point in her life.  Is it sad that mine was glasses?  That I shopped for alone?  And purchased for myself?  Yes, of course.  Again, over it pretty quickly.  This is the life I chose).  Glasses adjusted.  Check.
With a spring in my step, I sprinted for the professional building.  Did I tell Laddie I was stopping in there first?  Couldn't remember.  Laddie wore a weird expression on his face in the waiting room.  Teenagers do that.  "They said I didn't have an appointment," he whispered.  He must have misunderstood.  The receptionist and I chatted.  Turns out that when I made the appointment a few weeks ago, the woman I spoke with didn't share our master plan with the computer.  Ugh!  Laddie had just been in before the end of the school year, because he had a painful spot on the bottom of his foot.  They set up an immediate appointment, but added the skin check up when I requested that too.  Swell.  (Oh yeah, the foot thing was freaky.  An additional doctor was called in to exam his foot.  After a series of questions I started to anticipate a conversation about amputation.  In fact it was a cold sore, and they were as confused as we were as to how it ended up on his foot.  Bazaar!)  They were kind enough to believe our story and they fit us in.  Thank heavens because I was on such a roll, I hated to see my master plan implode. 
After consulting about blemishes, Laddie and I thanked the doc and headed for the car.  He drove once again, while I consulted my list.  We pulled into doctor appointment #2  15 minutes ahead of time.  I reminded Lad to wait out on the front steps of the building, because my mom would be picking him up in about an hour.  Two doctor appointments, same kid.  Check.
The whole drive home, I debated what to do next.  I opted to stop at home and load the car for Irish dancing lessons and Irish music lessons.  I filled water bottles, grabbed shoe bags, selected a few workout outfits, and lugged everything including two instruments to the car.  I held the phone to my ear the entire time while I gave instructions to the store we rent Mini's fiddle from.   Mini needed a bigger size.  Have it pulled from the back so I could swap it with the smaller one along with a shoulder rest that I would be purchasing.  I would have limited time when I stopped on my way to my bro's house. 
This is where I became confused.  Unsure of which kid to pick up first, I chose Reggie.  He had been there super long, and they lived off the beaten path.  Thanked, grabbed, and ran.  Drove up to the restaurant.  Paid, picked up, struggled to get all the bags to the car.  Took off.  Phone rang.  Tetonka wanted to be picked up.  "Just ride your bike home," I instructed.  He admitted that his buddy's mom had come to get him.  "Walk out of the house towards the street.  I will be there in 10 seconds."  No joke.  I happened to be driving away from the restaurant on their street.  Bam.  Next kid picked up, and I didn't even have to wade into their pool to fish him out.  Fortunately they were getting ready to go to a ball game and needed to leave. 
Panting.  Ran in the house.  Found the two meals I needed to leave in the fridge for Coach and Laddie.  Stuck them in the fridge, note on the counter.  Back in car.  Texted friend at pool.  Will be there in a few to grab Curly.  Thanks for having her.  Longer than I thought.  Ran into pool.  Half dragged her to the car.  She wasn't resisting - she just wasn't feeling my time constraints.  They never really do at age 6.  Dialed house phone that Eddie was at.  "Walk to the corner and jump in."  I approached the corner and he was standing there.  Perfect.  But then, that's just the kind of day I was having. 
Next stop: fiddle store.  Swap, pay for shoulder thing.  Run to car.  Hand out dinners to necessary kids who need to eat.  Arrive at my bro's and carry in piles of Styrofoam meal containers.  Open and check everything.  Niece has the wrong thing.  Mini is displeased with what I ordered her.  Last time I rely on Curly to remind me of what Mini usually orders.  Two girls trade dinners, and everyone is happy.  Eddie and Tetonka settle in to eat and play with cousins, which will help my sis in law out as she teaches her music lessons.  On time for Eddie's music lesson.  Check.  Pick up Mini for Irish dancing.  Check. 
With three kids remaining in the car and the smell of yummy food, we headed up to Irish dancing lessons.  I recounted my day to anyone who would listen.  "Who is more awesome than your mom?" I asked.   They agreed I was awesome, but that was probably just the french fries talking. 
Despite a bit of traffic and a later departure time than I had initially planned for, we were on time for dancing.  I sat in the car during the hour and a half class and enjoyed a salad that I hadn't prepared (Aren't those the best kinds anyway?), wrote a bit on the laptop (impressed with myself that I remembered to grab it), and relaxed.  Of course I also delighted at how much I had accomplished in one day. 
After dancing we headed back to my brother Pat's house.  Mini took her fiddle lesson, and I filled out paperwork that I found in my purse for Laddie's mission trip.  By Tuesday morning, I was less absorbed with the to do list and more focused on a well deserved, relaxing day at the pool!  Tuesday, pool.  Check!

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