So, if you’re a parent out there (or really a roommate, partner, someone who helps care for someone else), when did you stop feeling like a total baller every time you successfully leave the house? Because my child is almost 13 months old, and I am still pretty damn pleased with myself if we both leave the house in one piece.
Yesterday was one of those days that I actually prepped for the night before (maybe something I should make a habit). I had everything ready by the front door: my backpack with my study materials + manuscript draft (I had a meeting with a professor with whom I’m doing research) + bioethics assignments; a diaper bag complete with extra diapers, change of clothes, sippy cup, afternoon snack, pajamas; a bag for daycare with the requested diaper cream; a bottle of wine and some cookies for my friend who was kind enough to sit for the little one after daycare so I could go to class. I even scrounged around for some old train tokens and threw them in my backpack.
Aurelia was up by six and we made it out of the house by seven. I even put on make-up and managed to pick up most of the oatmeal that she threw around the kitchen. The radio in the car said that there would be rain in the afternoon–an umbrella was already under my seat. I left Ari happily playing at daycare, sped off to the train station, and got to school 40 minutes later. Things were awesome. I was on top of my shit.
I stopped in a 7-eleven to use the ATM so I could buy train fare for the return trip. I opened up my backpack: no wallet. It would be in the diaper bag, parked at the train station. Hunh. And I was starting to get hungry.
Change of plan: went to Starbucks instead of the library so I could take advantage of the $6.11 I had on my Starbucks card app. Then I took advantage of the overly kind, overly generous Eric, who insisted on biking over to give me tokens + a little extra cash for safety. God, it’s good to be friend with kind people..
After my meeting, I rushed back in time to get Ari from daycare and swing her over to Steph’s house (her children said she was their adopted cousin–love!). Unfortunately, it was snack time at daycare, but I was already going to be late for class. As soon as I unclipped the table from Ari’s chair, she let out a tortured scream and did not relent until I gave her the special snack I had packed for her the night before. Not sure how the parenting fail and win balance out in this case. Luckily, she was completely back toward the angelic side of the spectrum by the time we reached Steph’s, and enjoyed being doted on by her three older “cousins.”
I trudged back into the city,
strolled clumsily jogged into class less than five minutes late. We were discussing portrayals of Alzheimer’s in television media.
On my way to pick up Ari, as I turned left onto Steph’s street, I felt a huge wave of appreciation: for the trouble some people will go to so that my day can simply resume as planned; for the many times families have welcomed my daughter into their homes with open arms so I can be a student; for starting to have friends in my neighborhood and having a life in the suburbs, as opposed to being isolated from my life in the city. My thanks was only magnified when I entered Steph’s house to find an exceedingly happy Ari, who was fed, bathed, and in her pajamas.
Getting ready for the day ahead: