Wednesday, September 12

Ups and Downs

Monday was Teacher’s Day.  Why, oh why, is there not a school calendar?  As soon as I arrived at the school gate in the afternoon, vaguely wondering why there seemed to be so many flowers around, the girls accosted me, notified me of the holiday, and demanded to know why they had not been prepared with gifts for their teachers, as their friends had been.

One of my problems as a mom is that I lack the ability to formulate a plan and not tell the girls about it, which then means, that, as far as they are concerned, said plan is etched in stone.  The other problem is that I so readily come up with unrealistic plans.  And so, while trying to simultaneously shoulder the Rooster’s backpack, make sure the Princess wasn’t lacerating ankles with her rolling bag, field the girls’ clamor for a snack, and navigate the crush of grandma’s, parents, SUV’s and motor-scooters that surround the school gate at pick-up time, I muttered something about how maybe we could make brownies that night and the girls could belatedly hand them out in the morning.

It’s not even worth going through the number of things I had to forget to make that plan seem reasonable, if only for an instant.  Suffice it to say that, after cajoling and pleading my way through the three solid hours of homework that I’ve come to know as the Monday Special (during which time I barely allowed the girls to stop long enough to enjoy the fresh pork-buns the ayi had made at the Princess’ request), making cocoa substitute for baking chocolate and caffeine for sleep, the morning found me tying silver ribbon around little saran wrapped brownies, the dainty packages kind of losing their charm when squeezed amid elbowed-aside dirty dishes and set to a soundtrack of me shrieking ablution instructions (“don’t forget your Coochie and Booteeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy!”). 

I was still naked in my room when I told the girls to push the elevator button, which is why they were