My day started half an hour early when the dog woke me with her whining.
I figured she had to go to the bathroom, so I forced myself out of a deep REM sleep and stumbled downstairs. But as I stepped to open the back door, I hit a puddle.
A BIG puddle. Apparently she woke me to clean her mess, not to prevent it.
By the time I got it cleaned up, I was fully awake, and it was nearly time to rouse the children anyway. So much for that last thirty minutes of sleep.
We’ll skip the next hour or two. Suffice to say it was the usual scrambling to get the kids appropriately dressed and out the door in time to fight the traffic. And today was a typical Seattle day: gray, wet and gloomy, with a miserable cold rain. It reminded me that I don’t miss everything about Seattle.
Ignoring the rain, I piled the kids and the dog (she hates being left alone) into the van. We dropped Girly Girl at the high school and went on to the junior high …
Yes, yes, I know! I know you didn’t realize they were both back at school. I’m sorry. We moved a month ago, and it’s been a scramble. I rarely have any computer time.
I’ve been composing blog posts in my head for the past two weeks — one update and one very funny story about our neighbor — but I just haven’t had time to write them. Or email. Or Facebook. Or do much of anything except what I can do sitting in the van while I wait for my kids (which means I’m up to Level Oh-So-Embarrassing on Candy Crush).
I’m sorry. And I’ll get those two posts written ASAP.
Anyway, I had to go into the junior high school because The Animator lost his Agenda and needs a new one. I didn’t know how much they cost, and I wasn’t about to send him in with a twenty-dollar bill because I know I wouldn’t get any of it back. So I left the dog in the van and went inside with The Animator.
Unfortunately, the school office was closed. I sat on a chair right outside the door and cruised their website on the phone, trying to find out either what time the office opened or how much agendas cost. No such luck.
A staff member opened the door at one point, but he was just going out, not opening the office. He did tell us what time it opens though. When other students started hanging around the door, I made The Animator stand right in front of it, so we’d be first in line.
We’d been waiting fifteen minutes when a kid pushed past The Animator to try the door.
“What time does it open?” he asked.
“In five minutes,” I said. “That’s what we’re waiting for too.” Subtle hint, kiddo. We’re in line. Ahead of you.
He hung around next to the door The Animator was standing in front of, and when the secretary unlocked the door, he darted through and barged up to the counter.
I was furious! I sent him all sorts of glaring looks while he conducted his business. But he didn’t appear to notice, just bought his bus pass and left.
We bought the agenda (six dollars — glad I didn’t send in that twenty!). The Animator headed toward his locker, and I went out to the parking lot.
… only to find the dog had left a little surprise for me.
Remember I said she doesn’t like to be left alone? Apparently twenty minutes was too long. She made her displeasure clear, and I smelled it the moment I opened the van door.
Even worse, though we’ve got a couple of flattened boxes in the back to protect the floor, she chose the carpet instead. I guess dumping your crap on cardboard just doesn’t make the same statement.
I drove away fighting tears and vowing I was going back to bed.
The thing I was most mad about though? It was my stupid, passive-aggressive response.
I should have told the kid, firmly but politely, “Sorry. We’ve been waiting twenty minutes. It’s our turn first.”
But I didn’t. I said nothing, just sent waves of resentment and anger toward him. Then, after he was gone, I complained to the secretary. But it wasn’t her fault, and she didn’t deserve the tirade.
I left feeling pretty icky about myself.
The kid’s behavior was appalling. He knew we were in line, waiting. But he was probably focused on getting that bus pass, and not thinking about us.
It’s October 2, and he was at school, so his mother has already had to pay for three bus rides out of pocket — at $3.20 each. The monthly pass is fifty dollars, so his delay in buying his October pass has already increased his transportation costs by twenty percent. I imagine his mother is pretty pissed off. I suspect he was thinking about how mad she was, and how he didn’t want her to get even madder.
So I can excuse his behavior.
It’s much harder to excuse my own.