Waking up this morning to a little voice saying “mama I want you” over and over again I finally rolled over, grabbed two pudgy brown arms and pulled my three year old up into the bed with me. Giggling he rolled around smacking my various body parts so happy to be with mom. Groaning I squinted at the clock and saw it wasn’t quite seven o’clock. It was a mystery to me how he had gotten out of his crib but I had my suspicions that Little Brown Eyes had released him from his captivity. I knew I had to get up since I had put off making lunches the night before and soon I would be driving my other kids around to three different schools to start the day. Swinging my legs over the side of my bed I was acutely aware that neither my body nor my mind had adjusted from our summer schedule to the new fall school one. Mentally checking off my day I smiled faintly to myself that today was the day I would take Little Z to story time at the library. I was positive he would love it.
Putting on a tired but positive attitude it wasn’t long before lunches were made, backpacks were gathered, shoes were on feet and bodies were out the door. Blowing kisses to my little ones as they hurried into school I ran back home to pick up my son. He was waiting with a “surprise” for me. Shuffling me into the kitchen he had made me eggs and toast and offered me something to drink. Touched by his actions I thanked him and silently wondered why I hadn’t adopted him sooner. He proclaimed that I deserved breakfast because I had signed a billion forms and filled out hour’s worth of paperwork all in the name of school. Looking down at my breakfast I did have to smile because instead of butter on my toast he had applied peanut butter and the eggs were mostly done but actually quite runny. I didn’t care. I ate it anyway. Who was I to reject a meal that I didn’t have to cook.
Rushing out the door a few minutes later I reminded my twelve year old son that he had his first football practice after school and tried to be cool and not wave like a crazy woman as he sauntered up the steps. Before I knew it I was back home where my daughter was watching the new Shakira video critiquing her unoriginal dance moves and how her last album was so much better. Staring at the blonde singer I agreed that her music did nothing for me and then scooped up Little Z in my arms for our final drop-off of the morning. Zipping through morning traffic I listened as my daughter was trying not to admit she liked school lest her positive confession cause something unsavory to come of her day. Spotting a friend she jumped out of the van with her new dark grey Converse on that had given her blisters yesterday and hurried off to catch up. Sighing I glanced back in the mirror at my son as we headed home. Now it was just me and Z.
After getting home, grabbing a quick shower and gabbing for a few minutes on the phone with a friend we were ready once again for a trip in the van. Today was story time at the library and since Little Z wouldn’t be in pre-school for the fall I was trying to find creative free ways to expose him to school like activities. Parking and unloading we followed the signs that declared the existence of story time. Entering a big room I glanced around at the arriving parents and children. A few men dotted the room with their children sticking out like a sore thumb while mommy after mommy filed in and sat on the floor with their child. Grabbing a seat toward the back I was wedged in between a lovely African woman and a very friendly Hispanic woman. I noticed Barbie Mommy to my left with her three little perfectly coifed Skipper’s and stared down at my own wild haired, peanut butter faced, banged up kneed boy. He was certainly no Ken…perhaps G.I. Joe, one of the X-Men, or even perhaps a naughtier version of Diego but he was not Ken. How come I always ended up in the groups with the perfectly manicured mommy’s and their absolutely obedient children?
Finally a slightly built brown haired lady in her 60’s came to the front of the room to start story time. Straining forward to hear I found myself smirking to myself. The lady had the voice of a mouse and there were at least 40 children milling about, falling down, standing up, calling for snack, crying, wrestling, slapping, and laughing. Out came her frog puppet which caught Z’s attention and with that I sat back to read lips. I couldn’t help but laugh quietly to myself at the African lady sitting next to me. She shouted the whole time in her native tongue to her two little girls who had moved to the front of the room. Between the 40 milling about children and the African lady shouting to her girls I couldn’t help but wonder if we were secretly being taped.
Next she pulled out the large duck puppet which brought on ten children accosting the poor grandma and her duck. I could read her lips as she said “sit down please” about twenty times. Finally she put down the puppet and pulled out a book which we couldn’t see because of the children standing, shoving, and squirming and the duck puppet swaying in front that had the unfortunate experience of landing in the hands of a three year old girl with pig tails. Didn’t this lady know that her duck would end up violated and thrashed about? When I almost couldn’t take it anymore the little slightly built brown haired lady with the voice as loud as a mouse attempted to do a flannel board with ducks. That was it for me. By this time Barbie Mommy had flown the coop with her three little Skippers and one of the two daddies had quietly excused himself while the other leaned against the wall with his Blackberry.
Whispering in Little Z’s ear I headed out to the main library to pick up a few books and found it swarming with story time mommies. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t take it and made the mass exodus. After checking out my books I loaded little Z up and placed “The Berenstain Bears” in his little hands to read on the way home. It looked like today story time would be in the van and that was quite alright with me.