Yesterday was a rough day for my big five year old. He stayed home from pre-school to hang out with Mommy, which always seems like a good idea at first, but which often unravels quickly. Keeping my boys home when I have plans to do something fun with them = well, fun for them and for me. Keeping them home when I have nothing fun planned but need them around for something like an appointment of some kind = no fun for anyone.
The morning went OK. My big five year happily played in the office while I worked. He sat at Daddy's desk, (don't touch anything!), contemplated climbing out the window to retrieve his lost baseball, (no, no, no, no, NO!), watched cartoons on TV, (turn that down!), and even managed to put on his own shoes, (no! not the pair with the holes in them!). Then we broke the spell and headed out to the dentist.
A cleft palate and poor nutrition early on in life can lead to unhealthy teeth, so the dentist is not always a fun experience for my guy. Yesterday though, not so bad. After that, though, straight down hill...
On the list of errands to run yesterday was one to the bus garage, to sign my big five year old up for busing for school. But more on that later. Before we could do that we needed to obtain a new birth certificate for my little guy, because I somehow managed to misplace the one I obtained a few months back to sign him up for kindergarten. Why the bus garage and the enrollment office can't speak to each other about this is beyond me. Now the SWCS district has two copies of my son's birth certificate, and he won't even be attending one of their schools....
So we head to Vital Statistics. I drove straight to the address I found online, not realizing it was, in fact, not the same location I went to last time. This time it was the health department. The HUGE health department. The HUGE health department that was having a farmer's market on the front lawn and so there were people and cars everywhere. Everywhere.While it didn' take long to get the birth certificate, thank God, I found myself spewing a constant string of words to my big five year old.
"No we cannot go to the farmer's market today. Because I have to work at some point today. Because Mommy helps to pay the bills. Because Daddy shouldn't have to pay all the bills. Because we need money for things like food. Yes, and toys. Yes, and trucks. No, we can't go to the farmer's market! Didn't I just say that? Because I don't have any money on me. No, I am sure they don't take credit cards. Because I never have any cash on me. Because that is just how Mommy and Daddy work. No, you can't hang your Wendy's kid's meal basketball hoop off the back of that door. Because that is the door to someones office. No, we can't go upstairs. No, I don't think they have toys up there. Yes, I see the pop machine up there. No, we are not getting any pop. Because we don't drink pop. Yes, I know Daddy drinks pop sometimes, we don't. We- you and me! No, we can't go upstairs! That sign says they have drug abuse counseling up there, it does not say they have toys up there. Please don't touch that! No, you can't use the bathroom by yourself. Because this is a big place and we have never been here before. Yes, I will turn around. No, I am not looking, just pee!"
Having finally obtained the birth certificate we headed off to the bus garage. Since I was told to report to the Transportation Department I was expecting an office, not an entire bus garage. You would think that all those buses would have been fun for him, but instead he carried on with his sad lament about how boring it was to hang out with mommy and run errands all day. Not to mention that all these errands were for him. And true to my son's nature, the minute it was our turn at the tiny little window he announced that he had to go to the bathroom. My son- he has peed in bathrooms all over town. "Can you please hold it?" "No! I really have to go!" I look around and see no bathrooms. So now I am thinking that he can't, he just can't pee his pants right now. How will they ever let him on a bus if he has a bathroom accident at the bus garage? A nice bus driver in line behind me points us to the men's room in the large break room. And then my big five year old waits for me to take him into the bathroom. "Go on, I say, pointing to the door." "But Mommy, you said I couldn't use the bathroom by myself in big places where we don't know anybody. We don't know these people. They might not be nice." I look around and see that we are surrounded by bus drives, all listening to our conversation about how "not nice" they might be. I smile at them, trying to speak to them with my eyes. "Oh, the funny things kids say, am I right?", my eyes say. "It's OK, honey, I'll be right out here. Just go on.", my lips to my ever truthful son.
I sit down at a table and begin to fill out the form that had been handed to be through the tiny window. I keep a watchful eye on the men's room door, but still my son managed to sneak out and find the large wall of bus keys. I look up, and there he is, standing in front of a large peg board full of keys, all numbered. And all I can think of is the Curious George book where George climbs up to the departures board at the train station and moves all the numbers around. Or the Curious George book where George tries on all the fire fighter's clothes and then no one can find their right boots when they need to leave for a fire. And I am picturing the first day of school, when all the buses are late and thousands of students are stranded thanks to my big five year old. Just a parking lot full of buses, not one running, while all the drivers swap keys over and over again.
I don't know if my son would have touched those keys or not. But I do know that I moved faster than I had all day to get out from behind that table and pull him back to me. My life is crazy enough, it doesn't need to be a Curious George story too!