My Invisibility Hat.
As I walked into my daughter’s school in my “uniform,” which usually consists of workout pants and a t-shirt, I ran right into them. There they were, all dressed up and looking perfect. Perfectly thin and perfectly coiffed, with slight southern accents. Oh, shit. The PTA. They had a large table set up right when you walked into the school. With various yummy treats which I’m sure none of them ever ate, and huge canisters of coffee. There was no avoiding them.
I grabbed my daughter’s hand and cursed myself for not having worn my invisibility hat. Yes, I have an invisibility hat. It’s pretty amazing really. Sometimes I can get in and out of places without being noticed at all. But today I had left it at home. Along with my nice clothes and coiffed hair.
Objective: I just had to get Mini-Me in class and get myself out of the building undetected, but we were going to have to move fast. The problem with a three year old is they don’t give a shit about YOUR plans; they have plans of their own. La la la la…she took her sweet time walking in the door as if she was in on the whole thing. Then I heard it, “Heeeey there, make sure you come back and grab yourself a doughnut and a cup of coffee after you drop your little one off.” I just nodded, because now all of a sudden I was a mute.
I took Mini-Me to her classroom and as usual she did her best to hold on to my shirt for dear life until I could pry her away from my body. The teachers are wonderful with this part of the morning. They’re used to the ritual by now. They grab her by the waist and calmly tell her, “Say goodbye to your mommy.”
“NOOOOOOO!!” My daughter screamed as if I had just told her Barney had been killed in a horrible crash on the I-10 freeway.
“I love you,” I said.
“I’ll see you later sweetie.”
This kind of behavior may worry most moms. But not me, this is how my kid normally behaves. It usually takes me at least a half hour to get her dressed. The clothing can sometimes be a problem if she doesn’t approve of your wardrobe selections. Frilly, dressy, “girly” things are out. One time I tried to put her in a shirt that had a flower on it. She took it off, which is fine, but then she started screaming and stomping on it. I think she may have gone a little too far.
Shoes are the biggest problem. As you put on the right shoe, she takes off the left shoe. You put on the left, and she takes off the right. This can go on forever if you let it, so your best bet is to just take the shoes with you and deal with it when you get to school. The other day she couldn’t decide which shoes she wanted to wear so we wore one white shoe and one grey shoe and she was perfectly happy.
After getting dressed, it takes me anywhere from 15-20 minutes to get her in the car and into her car seat. Then we get on the road. She’s good once we’re on the road, and she stays good for the 10 minutes it takes to get to her school. But once she sees school she starts yelling.
“I don’t want Nina!”
Nina is her best friend at school.
“But honey, don’t you want to see your friends?”
“I don’t want friends. Bye-bye, friends.”
That’s when the waterworks start. Tears streaming down her face. If I’m lucky and we’re having a good day, I can unbuckle her car seat and she’ll get out of the car willingly. But most days, she gets away from me and runs around inside of the mini van. Yes, I drive a mini van. No, I don’t want to hear it, because: Yes. It rocks. But that’s another blog. I usually keep the back seats down in the van so I can load in groceries, tricycles, and various other things that Mini-Me can’t travel without. So when the back seats are down it’s twice as hard to catch her. There I am, looking like a total idiot running around the van with all the doors open, trying to catch a toddler. But I always catch her. Picking her up from school is the complete opposite. She doesn’t want to leave and I spend 15-20 minutes coaxing her out of the class room and back into the car where she talks about Nina the whole way home. Sometimes I dread the mornings.
So with Mini-Me in class, I have to go back out and face the PTA. I’m such an ass. I can’t believe I let myself walk into this. How did I not know? There were HUGE signs posted all over the school for the last two weeks about the PTA welcoming the parents, but as usual I’m in Stacyland and in Stacyland there are no rules and signs. Ohhhh, parent teacher meeting. Yeah, totally forgot about that. I’ll get you next time.
As I round the corner they are all in a big group and I’m thinking I could probably just walk past them and no one will notice. Just as my hand is almost on the door I hear a sweet southern drawl from behind me.
“Hey, would you like to join us for some coffee?”
And now this is where my awesome people skills come into play.
“Do you have any decaf?” I asked. I can’t drink regular coffee. Caffeine bad. Caffeine make Stacy jumpy. More jumpy than PTA’s.
“No…but we have some juice.”
“Oh, I’ll have some of that.”
“Would you like a doughnut?” She says.
“No thanks, I’m not hungry,” I reply. Nice try, lady. I see what you’re doing, don’t think I don’t. You’re, what – a size 3? I’m not falling for the old “I’ll stuff your face so I looker skinner” trick.
So I just stand there drinking my juice. All the mothers start talking to each other about how great little Bobby is, and how little Sally just got accepted into this great private school. And I’m trying to think about what I could say so that I could jump into the conversation. Your kid just learned how to speak Spanish? Well, my daughter just learned how to pick the lock on the bathroom door. So, maybe when your kid is a trilingual attorney, he’ll be able to help my future criminal find a Third World country where she can lay low and avoid extradition.
Without any openers, my apparent inability to speak continues. The other mothers are talking amongst themselves like I’m not even there. Ohhhhh. It just hit me. I’m not a member of the “IN” crowd. How did this happen? I thought I WAS the “IN” crowd. Did I miss the memo? After a few more moments of being politely ignored, I finished my juice and went to the bathroom to rinse out the cup. Because I’m sure they will want to reuse my disposable cup. I returned to the Cool Moms table where one of them slipped up and accidentally made eye contact with me. So I said the most intelligent thing that a mother has ever said.
“I… uh… I rinsed out my cup.”
I then turned around and headed for the front door. As soon as I got into the parking lot I immediately called my husband. When he answered the phone I told him, “I think I may be socially retarded,” and told him the whole story. Being the wonderful man he is, he assured me that I am NOT socially retarded, and that I just need to find more women like myself.
Next year I will be prepared. No, I will not be dressing up. No, I will not have my hair coiffed. I will, however, be wearing my invisible hat. As far as the kid goes, she doesn’t have one. So she’s on her own.