Dear Lady Who Yelled At Me This Morning,
I did everything I needed to do in order to make things run smoothly this morning.
I prepped a bunch of food yesterday so making lunches for the week would be easy, and we packed lunches yesterday.
I also got all the laundry done yesterday. I helped the kids put all their clothes away, and we picked out all of their outfits not only for today but for the whole week!
Today is Play Day for two of my kids at school. It’s also Jersey Day. You know, because we are in the middle of the 26 days of school left/alphabet/I want to fucking kill myself countdown.
And you know what?
Not only did I manage to remember what goddamn day it was, I managed to find a navy blue shirt (Number 6’s class shirt color for Play Day) that was also a jersey. Uh huh.
I mean, I know you never fuck up, but even for someone as faultless as you, this is still pretty impressive, right?
We even knew where shoes, backpacks, sweatshirts and brushes were!
And I did this all on Memorial Day weekend.
I know you are totally on top of things every day. Probably even the day after Halloween. I bet your kids don’t even eat candy because good moms don’t let their kids ever have that, right?
Anyway, here at my house it’s often a shitshow on the first school morning after a three day weekend.
But not today! Today I fucking nailed it!
I even got up at 5 a.m. and worked out before the kids got up so that was out of the way for the day, too.
And then I made bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. For everyone!
And I took a shower! Before the bus came.
I was so well prepared I had time to do that. And the kids cooperated with each other the whole time and only came into the bathroom once! I was dressed and my hair was dried with 5 minutes to spare before the bus was going to come.
I was literally on fire this morning.
All I had to do after I got dressed was brush Number 7’s hair and put it into a ponytail. She definitely needed a ponytail today because of Play Day. Number 7 does not fuck around when it comes to anything sport/game/fun related. Her hair needs to be contained.
So I went to the drawer in the kitchen where the ponytail holders usually are, and, as luck would have it, there were none in there.
Where the hell do those fuckers go?
I don’t know.
In your house I guess they are never misplaced. You know, since you clearly always have your kids ready for the bus on time and nothing ever fucking goes wrong in your house.
But in my house, ponytail holders are like ninjas. They appear and disappear without warning.
So I figured, Eh. No big deal. We’ll get one out of the car where I have a bunch of ponytail holders on the gearshift. I’ll brush her hair in the driveway.
Sometimes we do that while we wait for the bus.
I know. I know. If I were a good mom I’d have already done a waterfall braid in my daughter’s hair 45 minutes before the bus was coming like you probably did today and every other day.
So anyway, I walked out the front door with the kids and that’s when I remembered something.
My husband had taken my car to a job he’s working on this morning.
Because, you know, two weeks ago today he was wrongfully (and unlawfully) terminated from his job without warning. And when that happened, he lost the company car he’d been driving.
So we are sharing a vehicle for the time being.
But since you are the perfect mother, I’m sure you’re also the perfect wife who is married to the perfect husband.
And that kind of stuff would never happen to you. Or him.
So anyway, I ran inside to find a ponytail holder for Number 7. And as I was doing that, Number 5’s bus came. And it came about two minutes earlier than normal today. And Number 5 and I have this routine where we do kiss, hug, knuckles, high five every morning before she gets on the bus.
But Number 5 is also a rule-follower. And she doesn’t like to miss the bus. And so while I was inside looking for a goddamn ponytail holder, she climbed on the bus, sobbing because we didn’t do the usual kiss, hug, knuckles, high five.
When I emerged from the house (at least I had found not just one, but two ponytail holders) there was a long line of cars behind the bus.
You know that because you were in it.
And the bus driver had started driving away, but when she saw me come out the front door, she slowed down, opened the bus door, and said, “I have her, but she’s upset because she didn’t get to say her goodbye to you.”
I told her it was okay, apologized, thanked her for taking care of her, and then watched the bus drive away with an upset Number 5 sitting on the bus.
That’s when you were kind enough to yell at me. “GET YOUR F*&%ING KIDS READY FOR SCHOOL ON TIME!”
Thanks for doing that in front of my two kids!
Oh boy did I want to yell right back at you. I wanted to give you the finger and call you a Bitch and then tell you to go fuck yourself.
But instead, I took advantage of the opportunity you gave to me.
When my five-year-old asked me, “Mommy, why did that lady yell at you?” even though I really wanted to, I didn’t say because she’s an asshole.
First, I shrugged. And then I laughed.
Cause I want to teach my kids that those kinds of reactions aren’t really about them. They are about the person who is having them.
Then I said, “Maybe she’s having a bad morning. Maybe she couldn’t find her keys or she didn’t wake up early enough. Maybe she’s going to get in trouble if she’s late for her job, and she’s blaming it on us. But when we are late for the bus, whose fault is it? Is it that lady’s fault?”
“It’s our fault,” said Number 7. “That’s why we picked out all our clothes last night. So we aren’t late for the bus.”
YES. She gets it.
So, Lady Who Yelled At Me This Morning, even though I wanted to flip you the bird and tell you to go sit and spin, I didn’t.
Thank you for the opportunity to seize a teachable moment, to exercise self-control and to model empathy.
I’m not sure if this was your intention, but in yelling at me, you made me a better mom.
I’m sure you aren’t as much of a douche as you seemed to be this morning.
Maybe you are.
But maybe your kids pushed your every last button or maybe you got into a big fight with your husband. Maybe you just lost your job or maybe your house just went into foreclosure or maybe you just got some really bad news about your health or maybe you had one of those nights where you woke up at 2 a.m. and you just couldn’t get back to sleep.
I hope you have a better morning tomorrow.
I’ll try not to hold you up again.
But maybe rather than losing your shit on me in front of my kids, tomorrow you can plan in an extra 5 minutes on your drive just in case we have another ponytail disaster.
Just a thought.
Now I’m gonna go.
I don’t want to be late when Number 5 gets home.
I owe her a kiss, hug, knuckles, high five, and I’m gonna make sure it’s ready and waiting for her as soon as she steps foot off that bus.