Take-Your-Kid-to-Work Day: A Conversation

The Peeshwank jumped in the car at the bus stop.  I could tell he was excited despite the absence of my purse in the passenger’s seat.  (The purse means we are going to Sonic for Happy Hour drinks.  No purse = No Sonic, which usually elicits extreme grumpiness from the end of the street to the house.)

Me: So, what’s up, P?

Peeshwank: Can I stay home tomorrow?

Me: Why?

Peeshwank: Because it’s Take Your Kid to Work Day and you work at home.

Oh crap.

I guess it was bound to happen eventually, but still.  Remember when it was just Take Your DAUGHTER to Work Day?  Yeah, those were good times.  I could send my little man off to school under the whole “Sorry-you’re-not-a-girl” guise.  Now what do I do?

So I told him he could stay home as long as he writes when I write.  When we’re done, we’d edit, revise, and rewrite.  Then we could track sales on our dashboard, do some Twittering to other authors, check out Publisher’s Weekly to make sure our work is still on trend in the market, and send off our entries to all the Spring writing contests.

He scoffed and said, “Never. Mind.”

Over dinner, we went into negotiations.  He agreed to chronicle his day shadowing me which will be featured as a guest blog here tomorrow.  Possibly.  If it’s not too incriminating.  If it is worthy of being read by the masses.

So, I’m going through my daily routine to see how I can make it an enriching experience for The Peeshwank and I think I’m going to have to rearrange things a bit.  You see, my current schedule looks like this:

6:00 – 6:21: Check Facebook/Email

6:21: Put boy on bus

6:25 – 7:00: Nap Write

7:00ish – 8:00ish: Run on treadmill while watching Sportscenter

8:00 – 8:30: Shower, dishes, laundry

8:30 – 11:00: Drink a pot of coffee while reading

11:00: Eat some wheat thins while reading

Noon: go to Sam’s/Wal-Mart and get irritated with all of humanity

2:00: Read some more while dozing off occasionally

3:30: Wine time

Drunk-thirty: LOTS OF WRITING

You see my dilemma?  I know, I know.  Taking the kid to Sam’s is like the LEAST enriching thing I could do tomorrow.

Can I get a re-do?

Today the Peeshwank started his first day of 6th grade.  A year from today I will need a support group… or a pitcher of margaritas… or both.  Junior high.  I’m just not ready for that yet.  But today, I’m happy.  He’s at a school where he’s happy and loved by all.  As soon as he saw the bus pull up this morning, he ran away without even giving me a goodbye kiss, just a quick, “See ya!”

I decided my first order of business should be to organize my writing studio (which is actually more of a nook within our library, but studio sounds… wait, I kinda like nook).  I opened a drawer and came across an email I sent to a dear friend of mine on Preston’s first day of kindergarten.  I thought I’d share this touching story with you…

(A little back story.  Preston and I were living on our own in an adorable apartment in which he spent most of his time trying to find new ways to lose our security deposit and terrorize the neighbors.  He also loved to shred crayons, bars of soap, and candles with his fingernails.  I still have a candle that he started to shred.  I knew when he got older he wouldn’t believe me, so I saved it to show him evidence of his weird obsession.)

Dearest B,

How was the first day of kindergarten, you ask?  Here’s a quick rundown of the morning.

I wake up at 6:00 to find that Preston and his full bladder have crawled in bed with me.  His bladder was no longer full.  The bed is soaked.  (He’s never done this before, so I have to assume it was nerves.)

I strip the sheets, the kid, the comforter and anything else that was contaminated and start a load of laundry.  The kid gets thrown in the bath.  He’s obviously been shredding a black crayon, so it looks like he’s been changing the oil in his imaginary ’65 Chevy, so I had him go to work trying to clean that up.

Hey!  Where are my work clothes?  Oh, that’s right, I put them in the dryer last night.  I open the dryer and they’re all wet.  The dryer’s heating element is broken.  I get out the iron and iron an outfit until it’s semi-dry.

I field a phone call from my sister.

I shower and put on my semi-dry clothes.

“Preston, come brush your teeth…”  He walks in and has apparently been shredding something green.  Back to square one.  Gotta clean the kid up… again.

“Mommy, I’m hungry.”  Well, of course he is.  He hasn’t had breakfast yet. 
“How do scrambled eggs sound?”
I start cracking eggs into the mixing bowl and the last one I crack is rotten.  (The eggs were not old.  I’m just that unlucky today.)  The smell from the eggs sends me into hurling convulsions, so I’m throwing up in the kitchen sink, all the while still holding the egg shell in my hand.  I look down and some of the rotten egg has dripped from the shell onto my pants.

I field a call from one of my employees.  (Why it is necessary to know how much PTO time you have at six in the morning I’ll never know.)

I get another wet outfit out of the dryer and start ironing it dry.

I field a call from P’s father who has insisted that we come by his place, so he can see P before school.

The second outfit is even less dry, but it’ll have to do since I’m out of options for breakfast so we’re going to have to go buy some somewhere and still try to make it to school on time.

I go to P’s hallway to check myself in his full length mirror and slip and almost kill myself.  P has emptied a large refill bottle of antibacterial hand soap on the carpet in hopes of creating an indoor slip-n-slide.  Fiddle-dee-dee, I’ll worry about that later.

We finally make it to the car and my “maintenance required” light comes on upon ignition.  Because, why wouldn’t it?

I decide to hit up McDonald’s.  I can get a sausage biscuit for the kiddo and a giant diet Coke for me.  I pull up to the window and hand Funquita my check and she drops it between the car door and the building.  I throw the car in park, squeeze my ass out of the door somehow and proceed to chase my check – which is now bounding gaily in the wind throughout the parking lot.  I finally catch it and hand it to Funquita again, who is telling my story to the people in the kitchen.  I pull up to the next window and not only are they laughing at me, they hand me a Sprite.  A friggin’ Sprite.  I say something about how I can’t imagine anyone could confuse Sprite with Diet Coke and they promptly pour me that sweet nectar of life.  They tell me to have a nice day through their laughter.  I fought the urge to flip them off.  I’m trying to be a good role model here.

I get to P’s dad’s house and he has decided he wants to tag along to walk P to his class.  He’s wearing a frat party shirt.  I comment on how inappropriate it is for an elementary school and he says… are you ready for this?

“Why are you being such a bitch today?”

Preston actually made it to school on time.  I cried most of the way to work.

So, how’s your day been?


Today is Preston’s 1069th day of school and his first day of kindergarten remains etched in our history as our worst start yet (that includes the day our house was hit by a tornado, so he ate breakfast at the counter looking out into the morning sky where our roof used to be).