Posted in Working Mom Life

Get Psyched for the Fucking Foam Party

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“Join us TONIGHT for our school-wide end of summer celebration!” the e-mail reads. “There’ll be food and music and a foam machine – and fun! The more the merrier, so feel free to invite family and friends.”

Fuck.

Tonight? TONIGHT?! Did I know about this?

“We didn’t know about this,” my husband assures me.

But my husband doesn’t get the e-mails. The e-mails come to me, mommy dearest, and I glance at them in between meetings and try to add reminders to our family calendar and then promptly forget the information they contained.

I click back through my inbox. Yep. There’s an e-mail from the school’s director about a month ago with the date and time. We knew about this, or we should have.

Maybe I can duck out early, I think. And then I check my schedule and no, even if I left after my last meeting, I’d only make it to the Once A Year Best Party Ever Did You Not Hear Me When I Said FOAM MACHINE?!?! Party at the very end anyway.

My husband can cover it, I tell myself. It’s no problem.

And this is technically true, because Jon was doing pick up at 5 anyway. But it strikes me that there are a few things wrong with this statement.

First, “cover it?” Like this is an assignment or something? “Don’t worry, Frank, Jon will cover the Foam Party project – we’re appropriately resourced.”

That. Blows.

This is a party. At our daughter’s school. She is three, she is our only child, she is our pride and joy, and we freaking LOVE THAT SCHOOL because they make our lives possible and they seem to actually care for our special snowflake, which we know from experience is not always the case, even at institutions that are paid to care for children.

We cover our bases. We cover our asses. I don’t want to cover this party. I want to go watch my kid dive into a giant area of playground covered in soap foam. I want to feed her pizza and sugary “juice” drinks and peel her bathing suit off her to bring her home in her tiny underwear, naked and filthy and hyper and happy. I want to be PSYCHED for the fucking foam party.

I decide to skip the meeting, but that’s not really the point, is it?

My second issue with all of this is that I know it’s me who dropped the ball here. And it IS a problem.

I’m not naturally organized. It’s something I have to force on myself, with lists and post-its and push notifications.

For instance, every Wednesday is spirit day at school, and Ella needs to wear a blue shirt. I have a recurring calendar appointment for Wednesday at 6am, labeled “Blue Shirt Day.” I get an alert two days in advance, and then again one day in advance, so that I can excavate the blue shirt from a pile somewhere, wash it, and lay it out on the changing table so I don’t forget it in the rush on Wednesday morning.

Maybe I read that initial GET PSYCHED FOR THE FOAM PARTY e-mail in a meeting, while someone else rambled on. Maybe I read it while I was stopped in traffic. Maybe I read it after settling Ella back to sleep at 3am. We’ll never know.

But we DO know that whenever I read it, I definitely did not Put the Information in the Family Calendar. I did not get a reminder, or an alert, or a little notification saying “The foam party is coming, please plan accordingly.” And now I am THISCLOSE to missing the fucking foam party.

This is the thing about being a working parent – and maybe about being a working mom, specifically. My life, our life as a family, often feels like it’s hanging on by a thread. Anywhere along the line, the whole system can fall apart. And because I’m the mom, defacto Chief Administrative Officer for the family, “somewhere along the line” usually means “at the moment when I drop the ball.”

Thankfully, this wasn’t a big ball to drop. But man, sometimes it feels like we are just juggling too many.

I write my boss an e-mail. “Very sorry, completely screwed up and didn’t realize my daughter’s end of summer party is tonight. OK to leave at 4:30 and reschedule?”

And because she’s a working mom, too, and she’s been there, she says, “Of course.”

Time to get psyched for the fucking foam party.

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Author:

A work in progress. A lover of burritos, trashy novels, and a terrifying range of music. Mommy to one small human and two small cats. Wife to one patient, unusual man. A recent transplant to the country.

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