Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Monday, September 27, 2010


Laying on the wet pavement, it occurred to me that Sophia might have good reason to ban me from attending her school field trip.  

1st Day of School 2010

The two weeks since preschool orientation in which the field trip was announced and parent participation requested, she emphatically asserted that my presence was not wanted during her class trip to the apple orchard.  If I came, she would not sit with me on the bus as she had plans to sit with her friends.  In fact, she intended to avoid talking to me altogether. By the day of the field trip, my forecasted attendance had so popped her bubble of hoped for independence that she told me "if you are going then I'm STAYING HOME!"

I was in a pickle.  Ella is in Sophia's class, and Ella wanted me to come. I can remember times that I wanted my mom to attend my school functions but instead I had only her empty seat to look upon, as Kelli's behavioral needs did not mesh with whatever I had going on. I didn't want Ella to experience a mom who couldn't be there.  

So I stuck with my promise to Ella and as for Sophia, I crossed my heart, swore and promised on a daily basis for two weeks to stay away from Sophia on the trip.  The teachers agreed to place Sophia in a group separate from Ella and me.  When the morning of the trip came, and with firm instructions from Sophia "not to talk to" her -- we boarded the bus and Sophia sat with her partner.  I snuck a look at her, and she was grinning and seemed happy.

I was glad for Sophie to seek independence.  It didn't matter to me that Ella was the only one of my children who would acknowledge my existence -- even after I had fallen flat on the ground days earlier.  

Exiting the girls' school I had walked swiftly to the car.  A lone rock lay on the sidewalk. Stepping on it, my foot rolled, my ankle gave out and -- Andi still in my arms -- I suddenly found myself laying on the wet, cold pavement.  Laying just outside the windows of the preschool, and with cars pulling up next to the sidewalk I was planted on, I hopped up, "I'm okay!" 

Picking the girls up from preschool that same day, I shared with them my story of my graceful exit from their classroom that very morning at drop-off.  "Did you all see me fall?"  No. They had not.

"Well, let me tell you about it."  Sophia looked embarassed, yet intrigued as I told the story.  She turned red for me.  Ella was curious and had a lot of questions about the specifics of my landing, just where the fall had occurred, how wet and dirty my knees were, was there any blood loss, did anyone laugh at me...that sort of thing.

During the field trip, Ella and I stuck together, and it seemed very odd to me -- just having one child to dote my attention upon.  This was probably a good set-up for Ella, whose quiet demeanor usually falls by the wayside of Sophia's sparkling, yet demanding personality.

Loading onto the bus at the end of the field trip, I saw Sophia get on.  I couldn't help myself and I smiled and waved.  The enthusiasm was not returned, however.  Eyeing me sitting in the back of the bus with Ella, she broke loose from her chaperones and marched up to me. 


The other moms on the back of the bus watched, wide-eyed and curious.  I explained, after attempting to soothe Sophia, that the girls were twins and Sophia had not wanted me there.  Their eyes all said they understood, a couple of them sympathized saying that their older children had banished them from associating with them at school functions. 

Two days after the field trip and waiting in line with all the other parents outside the preschool classroom, small-talk bloomed as we awaited the children's dismissal.  A mom said to me "Oh...Are you the mom of the twins?"  I told her I was and she explained that she and her husband had been in charge of Sophia the day of the field trip and that Sophia was constantly looking for and asking for her mom.  
"We didn't know if her mom was there...or what to do."

I explained Sophia's explicit instructions that I disown her for the 1-1/2 hour long field trip.  

"Well, that is not the tune she was singing while we had her."

I thanked the woman for tolerating Sophia's change of heart. 

"We just kept talking to her and asking her questions.  She was really quiet. She wanted her mom."

I apologized that Sophia was a boob the entire time, and again thanked them for acting as her chaperon, and acknowledged that -- yes -- Sophia changed her mind.

"She was not happy.  She kept looking for you.  We didn't know you were there.  We just kept talking to her and tried to get her to talk.  She sang a whole other tune that day."

Oh dear, I had said, turning around, hopeful that dismissal was imminent.  

Still the mom went on  -- talking to my back now -- "She was really unhappy. So quiet.  She just wanted you."

OK. I fucking get it lady!  Really. I do. And seriously, you signed up for it, so let it go.  What are you trying to do? Get me back for Sophia's perseveration by perseverating on her perseveration? I mean. Good God woman and holy crap.  I mean, and maybe this is why I have no friends, but this chick wore out her welcome to speak with me and I was done with our conversation. Thank goodness I was next in line to have my children dismissed so I could leave Ms. Perseverator and act as if I was eagerly awaiting the twins return to my arms.


  1. She's not going to win any subtlety contests. Think of her poor husband. "I was just wondering if you were going to take out the garbage. Tomorrow? Oh...okay. I know we talked about it yesterday. I was just thinking maybe today would be a good day to do it. Because the garbage is pretty full. I guess it could wait a day, but, I was just thiking, 'If you took it out today, then you wouldn't have to tomorrow.' Where are you going?"

  2. Thank you for giving me an unexpected laugh today Tom. I needed it. Desperately.