Weekends seem to swallow me whole and then spit out a crumpled, tired and smelly version of me on Monday mornings. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to go. But I look forward to my quiet weekday mornings when the kids are out of the house and I can work in peace. Weekends are great but, man, they do me in. Here’s some highlights.
On Saturday, I drove all the way to Oshawa and back with the family (a place, by the way, that my phone is always trying to autocorrect to Ottawa because, “C’mon, lady, who ever goes to Oshawa for fun?”). Then, after unloading cranky, car-napping children from the car, I rushed upstairs to get changed for a job pinch-serving for a catering friend. And it was not even bad.
Actually, it was pretty great. I skipped out on dinner and bedtime and got to walk around (burning calories and not eating) for a few hours and I was still home by 10pm, a few dollars richer. If I did this once a week, at a real bar or restaurant, I could work up a healthy sweat and cover my child-care costs for the week in one fell swoop. Twitter agreed that I am a genius for thinking up that plan. Now, if only I could land a job working only once a week (and it would have to be Sunday because Saturday is too busy and Ed’s not home early enough on the weekdays) and it would have to be the right kind of place, and not too far, but not too close and they would have to find me because I don’t have time to job hunt with all these story pitches and query letters on my “to do” list. C’mon, who doesn’t want to hire a 34-year-old mother of three to work to work in their hipster bar so she can get out of the house? I’m sure I’ll be rolling in offers by tomorrow.
Irene had a birthday party Sunday afternoon and I eagerly volunteered to take her. It was at some indoor playground a 20 minute drive away, so I would just drop her off and then find a coffee shop to work in. Okay, fine, maybe I’d take a quick peek in that Winners over there just because I’m sure there’s something I’m not thinking about that we absolutely need. Except it turned out that nearly her entire junior kindergarten class was in attendance and most of the parents were staying. I chatted with some parents, hanging out by the door with my coat on, until I decided that with 20+ four year olds running amok I might as well stay to keep an eye on my kid. It was fine, but she’s on her own when she hits five.
Oh hey, good news! I bought a new outfit for Ed’s book launch on Thursday. (All are welcome, by the way. If you’re in Toronto, please come!) The bad news is I was shopping for pot pie, so … yeah. I decided to stop at a bakery for a delicious turkey pot pie for dinner, but that meant walking right past that Winners I was talking about. And by “right past” I mean, “Want to do some fun shopping with Mommy, Irene? Just you and me?” “What are we buying?” “I don’t know.”
I just wanted to browse the houseware section in case I saw a really good deal on something I forgot I needed, I swear! I didn’t really see anything but then Irene convinced me to buy her a 4.99 princess art set and a 2.99 Star Wars activity book for Colum and damned if I was going to stand in line to get the kids crap they don’t need without getting myself some crap that I don’t need too. So I got some cushions.
And then I swear I was walking directly to the check out line, and I didn’t even slow down, when a super cute shift dress caught my eye on the clearance rack. $16! That’s practically free! Sure, it’s a size small, but that’s okay because it will make a nice shirt until I manage to lose a few pounds and about 15 years worth of decency. (It’s really pretty short.)
Also, I see now how take out ends up being so much more expensive than you think it’s going to be.
Finally, we lined up for a coffee for the road on our way out of the mall. The middle aged woman in front of us glanced down at Irene and then turned away. She glanced down again. And again. Finally, she couldn’t resist saying something.
“Aren’t her boots on the wrong feet?”
“Yep!” I said, “That’s how we know she’s putting them on by herself.”
“But won’t that hurt her feet?”
“She hasn’t been wearing them for long. I’m not worried. Plus she has lots of room in them.”
“But her toes will start to rub.”
My smile hardened. “Well, she doesn’t always wear them on the wrong feet,” I said through clenched teeth.
She looked down again and shook her head, then moved forward with the line.
“She really didn’t want to change them,” I called out. “Sometimes we just have to pick our battles.”
This woman sure was worked up about a four year old wearing her boots on the wrong feet for someone wearing Birkenstocks with pantyhose in January.