Wednesday, November 3, 2010
It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child
Or, say, six children. This is what my sister and I have come to know is true. We are both working mothers. She works full-time, but locally, whereas I work part-time an hour from home and an hour and a half from most of our doctors. (If, of course, you time the path I have to take if I have to come back through the hometown for a child pick-up for said doctors...)
My mom, Kim and I moved a couple of small mountains in order to meet at Gabriel Brothers yesterday after work for the annual toy sale. We spent a fair amount of money on Christmas gifts for the kids in our lives and then -- gasp! -- got to eat out, just the three of us at Olive Garden. Our conversation was nothing short of hilarious. It went a little something like this:
Me: Kim, I moved my 8:30 appointment in Athens, so Lily no longer needs to come to your house early to get on the bus with Jule.
Kim: Oh... well. That's good, because I forgot she was coming. Oh, but I need you to take Jud to Thursday School on Thursday because Cecilia will be out of town.
Me: Oh, sorry, I can't. We have that doctor's appointment for Max. But call Traci... Oh, wait, I think she goes to work for awhile first... Call.....
Kim: I'll just call Missy. (Calls Missy, leaves detailed message about Thursday School.)
Me: Oh! Missy! I need her cell phone number. She's a great one to have.
Mom: It really does take a village to raise a child...
A couple minutes later, Kim's cell phone rings....
Kim: Oh, Missy! I forgot. You guys don't even do Thursday School.... No, it's OK... No, really, I'll find someone else... No, really, I am so sorry. ....
Hangs up; all three of us burst into giggles.....
Me: I still have to leave early to pick up the kids and get to Marietta by 4 p.m. for dentist appointments tomorrow.
Kim: Oh, crap! That reminds me, Julia and I have dentist appointments tomorrow at 6 p.m.! I have to run all the way back home to pick her up and then back to town for the appointment.
Me: No way! Send a note to school for Jule to ride to Johnny's on the bus with Lily. I'll just pick her up and bring her when I come. It'll save you an hour of driving!
Kim: Do you think that would work??
Me: Totally. I'll call Rachel right now. She is so great.
Kim: What time are your appointments?
Me: 4 p.m.
Kim: So you'll be at the dentist's office at 4 p.m. with four kids? How are you going to get your teeth cleaned?
Me: Oh, well, you know what they say: It takes two near-seven-year-olds to raise a 17-month-old. Jul and Lil can take care of him!
Kim: Uh, I guess. I'll be there by about 4:45 p.m.
Me: OK. I'll just try to get Lily and Max in the chairs first....
The whole meal went like that. I swear, it was hilarious. We talked about how the details never stop. There are days kids need to wear tennis shoes, days they pack and days they eat lunch at school, money for this, money for that, meds for one kid, a canned good needed for another's charitable offering. There are spelling tests, field trips, diaper rashes that need that one kind of cream that works. The sitter is out of diapers, the sitter is off Thursday. This mom helps us make Tuesday work, while Thursday is possible because of another.
So, the dentist appointments? A train wreck!!! I tell ya! I felt like Mrs. Duggar there for awhile. NOTHING worked out very well. We arrived on time, after an hour and 45 minutes of calculated driving and pick-ups on my part. I was feeling good, great even! And then, Max was supposed to be here at 3 p.m. You and Lily have appointments at 4 p.m., but he was to be seen at 3.
Well. I didn't get that information. Luckily, they were able to work him in. (Thanks, Kayla, for doing such a great job with the kids!!)
Then, in spite of my hygienist putting Dora on the big screen in my exam room, the books, the crayons, the toothbrush and the groovy sunglasses, Colby would not stay put. He spent about 15 minutes on my six-month pregnant self as my hygienist tried to clean my teeth. At one point, he grabbed a full Dixie cup of mouthwash, which I promptly saved from his grasp... and spilled. Seriously! I spilled it... everywhere.
Kim finally came, took the baby from my hands and we finessed our way through the next 30 minutes of craziness at the dentist's office. I thanked everyone, including the dentist -- a sweet-as-he-is-adorable father of six -- for putting up with my circus. They were great.
But it all proves that, in spite of the best-laid plans, it takes a village to raise a child sometimes. Or at least a team of two amazing sisters.
Thanks, sis! I couldn't have done it without you. (And I hope we never do it again.)
p.s. A fond farewell to Governor Ted Strickland. The state's students should all be weeping today. You were amazing, and you will be sorely missed by those of us in the education sector.