Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the lazy days of summer are over

Although it's not Labor Day yet, yesterday was my personal End Of Summer. It was Lola's first day of pre-k, and my first day of Extreme Parental Busy-ness.

In the morning, my friend Joyce dropped off her two year-old, the Baby Violet. I owe Joyce a bunch of babysitting favors, so I had jumped at the chance to help her out while she was at some meetings. (But whether I'm evening up the balance of trade is debatable, since today I'm already leaving Iris Uber Alles with her for the afternoon. Iris is old enough, a seasoned eight, that she's not going to choke on any coins and doesn't need help with her pottying habits, but she CAN drive you insane with her constant yammering. "Do you believe in Satan? What's your favorite 'Simpsons' episode? On 'King of the Hill', do you think Peggy is like Marge? Where did you live outside the country? Did I live outside the country? Is Jesus God?" Just yesterday I fobbed her off on the local Comic Book Guy when she was hounding me as to why Hell Kid has horns and Hell Boy Jr. does not. "See that guy behind the register? He knows much more than Mommy does. Go ask him").

I fed the children breakfast, and since Lola's breakfast included a piece of Iris Uber Alles's birthday sour cream fudge cake, the Baby Violet decided to join in. This went well until Violet got over-excited gesturing and tipped over backwards. A good sport, she soon calmed down and got back to finishing her cake.

After breakfast, it was time for my shower and for everyone to get ready to go to Lola's swimming lesson. I had them all assembled at the door, fumbling for footwear, when the Baby Violet announced thoughtfully, "I have poopy diaper." It was just like old times. Just as I was ready to leave to take Iris Uber Alles to any activity, baby/toddler Lola always befouled herself at the last minute. After cleaning up Violet and washing my hands, I loaded the children into the car, but Lola freaked out that Violet was using HER carseat. Lola cried hysterically for about ten miles. Needless to say we were quite late to the thirty-minute swimming lesson, but I felt just getting there at all was victory enough. We would have been later, as Lola observed, if I hadn't told Iris and Lola to run ahead. (We all crossed the street together holding hands, but then I bade Iris and Lola to sprint ahead down the block and go in together, with Iris escorting Lola, who was already wearing her bathing suit, to the pool. I had a clear view of them as they ran down the block).

Then it was time to get Lola to pre-k. I had packed snacks for the car, and I had to break it to Lola that we had no time to stop at Starbuck's. Earlier I had put Iris in charge of helping Violet, and she did a wonderful job, including scolding Lola fiercely for making faces at the Baby Violet. (The Baby Violet's feelings weren't hurt, and indeed the Baby V. reportedly made faces right back at Lola, which, hypocritically enough, offended Lola, who complained to me). We got to pre-k just on time, but I had to double-park (the shame, the shame). Baby Violet behaved very well, but was completely puzzled by why we left Lola somewhere. "Where Lola? Where Lola?" she asked over and over again.

Iris and I delivered Violet to her mother, who was much more visibly excited at this reunion than the blase Violet. We hung out for an hour, and then we went to the pet supply store and the grocery store. Iris was dragging, having developed blisters from wearing her new birthday present shoes all day (these are extremely impractical strappy sandals, with a clear heel and a big rhinestoned flower on the toe strap, a beloved gift from a grandmother. Who knew they made stripper heels for eight year-olds?). Then it was time to pick up Lola from her big first day of pre-k. Tired and cranky, Lola refused to go into detail. "It was almost good." She reportedly made one friend, but declined to go into detail about this friend.

At home, Lola and Iris squabbled until Iris refused to be in the same room with her sister. "I need a break!" "You're telling me," I thought to myself. Around 7:00, I instructed Iris to call her father at work and tell him we needed him at home. We were all of us exhausted and cranky. It was definitely the end of our relaxing summer.


hughman said...

god, i'm exhausted just reading this.

Anonymous said...

good lord. i need a nap now. i will remind myself to read this whenever i feel like dropping out of law school and getting knocked up. thank you.

Joyce said...

I'm LMAO. I love reading about Violet when I am not around. "Where Lola? Where Lola?"

I'm so sorry putting V in Lola's carseat made her cry, that sounds really stressful and also FAMILIAR.

I also wondered about Iris' shoes. They did seem awfully stiff and uncomfortable. I liked the heel, actually, I used to have a cute (and uncomfortable) pair of shoes with a transparent heel and a little statue of liberty in the hell.