Moronic Mommy and the Memories She Tries To Make

Last night I bawled my eyes out because I felt like I have failed at creating good memories for my children.  Is that moronic or what?

Let me back up a bit…

We have made decorations but have failed to put them up because Mom couldn’t find the stuff to hang them.  Grandma even bought us a spool of invisible thread this past week and I could not for the life of me figure out where it went.  I found it, as I was scurrying around doing the costume thing.  So as of this morning, the decorations are still laying on the table.

I have gone back and forth and back and forth on how to put the light in The Professor’s Halloween costume.  This saga started about a month ago in Extreme Geekdom, Iron Man Style.  When the pocket idea came up, of course I waited until the last minute to sit down and start sewing.  The idea was simple-just sew a little pocket into the inside of the costume.  I decided to sew a little pillowcase type thing.  The only material I had was left over from my daughter’s cape last year, which was fine.  I spent a good portion of the afternoon hunched over sewing this cute little black pocket:

The pocket

One thing that I forgot to do before I started on this venture was to see if the light would actually shine through the material.  My son came home about the time I discovered that it, in fact, did not. The bad thing about this is that the library Halloween party was tonight, and his parent-teacher conference was at 4:30.  Therefore I had very little time to remedy this.  After I got both kids their snacks I sat down and tried to think quickly.  I came up with cutting out the front part of the pocket so the light could go through.  That works, right?  Not so much.  I finally put the light in a ziploc bag, and pulled the material around it and then sewed the whole dang thing together to the costume.  He thought it was awesome.

Iron Man strikes a pose. I wanted to get the gloves to go with it, but ran out of money.

Then off to his conference.  Then back.  A quick supper.  Then it got REALLY interesting.  There were three parties, one for Pre-K, then for K-2nd Grade, and then the big kids.  So I would have to take one child up and have my husband bring the other up a half hour later.  This would not be a huge deal except that when  I went out to start my car the battery was dead.  The drivers side door appeared shut but it wasn’t quite.  We live not too far from the library, but we were already running late.  So I stuck my head inside, told my husband what happened, that I would take his car, would be back for the Professor around 6:30, and took off with Princess Gimme.

Now here is where I choose my words very carefully, lest I offend anyone.  I love our library, I think they do a great job with their kids story times and have a wonderful selection of books for such a small town.  But this years’ party was, well, short.  VERY short.  Like one game and it was over short.  The costumes were cute.  The kids were cute.  But that’s all it was.  I’m sure there was a reason.  I know we went a few years ago and it was much longer and there were lots of different games.  We’ve missed the last two years due to other stuff going on.  So it was over and done in twenty minutes.  And then they took the older kids, ahead of schedule.  I being the one parent who as usual missed the boat, did not have my older child with me since he was still eating dinner.

Cutest black kitty ever. She’s a manx in this picture-her tail is in her treat bucket.

I jumped in the car with my daughter, drove home, ran into the house to grab my son and no one was there.  Not a soul. Not even the dog.  This means that my husband had to walk on his injured foot to take my son up there.  Meanwhile, my daughter had already removed her shoes and was starting to eat her tootsie pop.  I made her throw them back on, and we sped back to the library.  There sat my husband with the dog.  How we missed each other I’ll never know.

I made him take the car and the Princess, and I went in to meet up with my son, who incidentally had already forgotten that his costume lit up.  I walked up to him, and pushed his chest to turn it on.  All of the kids went nuts-they thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen.  The Professor, meanwhile, did not realize what I had done until about ten minutes after I turned it on (not sure what he thought all of his friends were raving about!)  He happened to look down later, see the arc reactor lit, and had a cow, “HEY IT WORKS!  IT WORKS”

It works! It works!

They played the same game that the preschoolers had played.  And then that was it.  Luckily, The Professor did not know what to expect, so he was very pleased.  We walked home, which took twice as long as it should have because he is distracted by streetlights that turn on and off by themselves.  He had to stop and ask questions each time we encountered one.  When we finally arrived home I gave him very specific instructions on what he needed to do.  He ended up taking the costume off, losing the hanger, and managed to take the light out and pull the pocket almost completely off.

This was when my head exploded due to all the work I had put in, my aching back, the scurrying around, the miscommunication with my husband, and the dead battery.  And oh yes, I got a call this evening to bring paper plates and napkins for The Professor’s school party in there somewhere in between the party and the pocket incident.  I will have money to get them tomorrow, but no way to go get them or get them to the school.  Therefore it will be plain paper plates and napkins instead of fun Halloween ones sent in my son’s backpack.  I feel so very, very bad about that.  There was just sort of an explosion of emotions from all of us.  I went upstairs, closed the door, and just had a nice little cry by myself.

After that well deserved cry I felt better, and talked to my son about his costume.  I have theorized that the pocket coming out was an accident when he took the costume off, because I’m sure he just stripped it off and tossed it.  I’ll never really know, because all I saw was him holding the light two inches from his face, walking into the living room (it wasn’t on, because then he would be blind-that thing is BRIGHT!)  Even though my husband swore up and down that his costume would not be fixed, I think I can fix it pretty easily.   Memories, dammit, we’re gonna make some great memories-because I’m the Mom and I say so.  Tonight is Trick or Treating.  Hopefully that will go much more smoothly.  And dammit, I’m going to have a Coke today.  Because I deserve it.  That will make everything go better.

And the car battery?  Oh it’s terminal, which I think is a pretty funny joke if you ask me.  Get it?

And Now An Unfunny Post About A Truly Unfunny Day

Eleven years ago today I thought the world was ending.

At the time, I was working at a daycare center.  It was on a university campus, and rather than being all in one building, each age group was in a separate little building.  I worked in the toddler room.  I spent the days chasing little ones around, singing songs, changing diapers, and preventing kids from being bitten by one little girl we dubbed “JAWS”.  This particular day didn’t seem any different than any other.  I came to work and everything seemed to be business as usual.

I left the building to walk across to the main office, probably to get dishes from the kitchen. A coworker came out of a nearby building and called to me across the parking lot “Did you hear about the planes?”  That that got my attention.  “WHAT planes?”  I hollered back.  “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.”  Huh?  “Wow, that is a horrible accident.”  She had a strange look on her face, “You might want to go turn on the radio in your building.  It’s no accident.”

I went on my way to do whatever it was I was going to do, and returned to my building.  I relayed the information to the other teacher, who immediately turned it on.  At first I wasn’t convinced it was much of anything.  I knew how the media sensationalizes stuff.  I was wrong.

As it began to sink in just what was happening, a coworker almost completely lost her mind and had to be sent home.  Some parents came to get their children and took them home, unsure of just what had happened would mean.  Everything was weird, surreal.  Even the toddlers seemed to understand that something was going on, they were oddly calm that day.  The remaining teachers and I talked in hushed voices about what had happened, and the consequences of it.  What would happen to our country?  We had been attacked?  Would we retaliate?  Would there be nuclear war?  How would we in Iowa be affected?  Would there be more attacks on other places?

For whatever reason, I got off of work early that day.  I can’t remember why.  I do remember stopping at Kmart before heading home to pick up something we needed.  The parking lot was virtually empty-for a moment I wondered if it was open.  It was, but there was not a soul in there other than the service desk person and a cashier.  They too talked in hushed voices.  There was no laughter, no smiling.  Everything was somber.  I really wanted to talk to my husband.  This was before we really had a cell phone.  He worked at a factory and went to school-it wasn’t like I could really get a hold of him if I wanted to.  But I wanted to, because as the day went on I began to wonder if this was our last day on earth.

I don’t really remember much else about that day beyond the morning.  I do remember coming home and watching TV.  I couldn’t stop watching the planes crash into the World Trade Center over and over, listening to people recount what had happened and analyze it and what might come of it.  I remember feeling like it was a really bad dream.  None of it seemed real.  Would I even see tomorrow?  Was the world ending?

In a way, it was, at least how we knew it.

As the week went on, as the months went on, even as that year came and went, fear ruled our lives.  We worried about further attacks, not just with weapons, but with things like public transportation and ordinary things that we used everyday being turned into something to hurt and kill others with.  It was unsettling trying to understand how someone could hate our people and our country so much that they would be willing to die.

Yet for us life went on.  We got out of bed in the morning, we went to work, went to school, went to sleep at night.  In that space where the towers once stood was a metaphor for how we as a country felt in our heart.

My life has changed considerably from that day.  Instead of spending long days in a room full of young children I spend all day with my own.  I no longer live in the same house or drive the same car.  As I rub the crunchy, sticky remnants of my daughter’s ring pop off of the bottom of my foot, I set out to try to record my memories of that day that we all wish had never happened.  I think it is very important that we never forget what happened that day.  I have to remember that even when I am having a bad day, that the people that died, the people that were injured, the people that lost family and friends, the people that were there and had to experience all that happened there that day-it could be far, far worse.