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A DAY IN SHOES THAT DON'T FIT
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A Day in
Shoes That Don't Fit

By Marisa McClinton
 

 

Every day is a new adventure. The day begins with thanking God for yet another day to try to do it differently, then trying to decide whatís going to be the biggest motivator for getting out of bed. As the dog stares you in the face trying to figure out what your problem is, you stumble out of bed an hour and a half before the kids wake up so you can stumble into the bathroom where you can close the door and not be tempted to turn on the television. As you say your prayers and muster the strength that will sustain you for the rest of the day, you realize that there is stillness to the morning sunlight that only God can create. Spring has arrived, the birds are feeding their young, the squirrels are stealing my bird seed, the dew is clinging mightily to the windshield of my car and the moon refuses to let the sun have the whole sky for itself. The only time of day when the kids arenít driving by blasting some rapper who never seen a dictionary before, a time when the neighbors arenít fighting with their mates or stomping up the stairs like wild gorillas, and the only time of day when the kids arenít fighting over some half broken Barbie. For a few fleeting moments I am at peace until I remember that I got to get ready for work. Itís amazing how fast peace can transform into chaos when your bed is screaming at you to come back but you already got your shoes on.

Once the kids wake up itís a 30 minute war of pulling blankets, fighting off half asleep slapping, whining and making excuses. Some days are like straight out of movie with an expensive and well thought out script.

Those days I have no tears, no fights, breakfast is finished, the shoes are where they are supposed to be and teeth are really brushed.

For the other 5% of the time, itís the battle of the "wakie-wakies". What is a "wakie-wakie" you ask, well itís the moment right before you go into the kidsí room and recap over the battle that you went through yesterday morning at this time and how you had to run down the stairs because the baby threw her sneaker out of the window. That small moment when the voice in the back of your head reminds you of how many sick days you donít have left. All it takes is a small sigh and off you go. Into the land of temper tantrums and here, there is no security if things get out of hand. Once the first one is up, the other falls back asleep, then the first one whines because the other one is asleep, then the second one jumps up to punch the first one because they told on them while they were sleep. <sigh> so here comes the refusal, the ďI donít want to go!!!!Ē this is the moment 20 minutes before its time to leave that the first one is still rolling around without her shoes on and hair not done and the second one is crying because she doesnít ďwana go potty. ĒOkay, time for the snatch and goÖI pick the baby up and walk her into the bathroom kicking and screaming and place her on the toilet and leave her there until she realizes that I stopped caring. By now its 15 minutes before its time to go and I am 95% ready, the first is about 78% and the second is about 3%. The next 10 minutes are crucial, while the baby is on the toilet I get her to put on her socks, pants, sneakers and shirt then while the first one is brushing her teeth I am spraying just enough in her hair to get it to stay down long enough for me to walk into the other room. Once the baby is done with her Oscar winning performance, I am able to persuade the first one to get her snack, put her shoes on, get her book bag together and feed the dog. Great now I have just enough time to slap a wig on my head, throw on a shoe, spray some smell well, and trip over the dog as I follow the kids out of the door. Yes thatís right, we made it out the door looking like we spent hours on ourselves in only minutes, at the expense of my sanity. As I stumbled down the stairs with a purse, laptop case, car keys, cell phone, open soda, and a donut I have to figure out how I am going to get in the car without losing my car door before that bus starts flying around that corner like it always does. But wait, the baby needs me to carry all her toys because she needs to ďfocus on herselfĒ and the oldest has already gotten in the car with her nose in her DSI all thanks to her aunt who shall remain nameless. Wait! Whatís that noise?! O right I just started the car, yes I managed to get the baby in the car and get everything in the car before the bus came without spilling my soda or messing up my text message. While the baby is putting on her seat belt, the oldest reminds me of the note that I need to write and the permission slip that I have to sign TODAY, yes TODAY. Ok cool because once I get to the school, thereís nobody there yet so I have about 5 minutes to scribble on these papers and take an Advil for the headache that Is creeping up my back. Peace, a small gift from heaven until I hit the serious road. Then it begins, 2 other mothers arrive and the program director so I can throw the oldest out of the car and take off on the dusty trail. Ahhhhhh 1 down, 1 to go, here we go. Next, the highway, will I sit here for a month waiting for traffic to let me in or will it stay clear long enough for me to slam on the gas and take off?

Oh well Iím going and went I did and as I look back I see the wall of cars that were just released from the light a mile back. Racing down the highway amongst hundreds of other frustrated and half-awake motorists seems to be the worse part of the day. There is always one who has no idea whatís going on or that is an hour early for work so they figure if they go extra slow then they will eventually get there, little did they know that I am officially 30 minutes late for a meeting that I forgot I needed to be at. Here comes my favorite part, the dreaded toll both where the survival of the fittest will reign. ďpeople have your money handy or else your getting leftĒ, but then thereís always Susie ďbrand newĒ who breaks under the pressure and drops her quarter and will now need to spend 2 days looking for 2 dimes and a nickel because her passenger is the co-worker who makes a lot less than she does and can never cough up gas money let alone a dollar for the bridge and yes I am always the one stuck behind her.

Finally in Dutchess county!! Where the roads have 3 lanes and the school buses donít stop every 13 feet. Finally dropping off the baby she decides to become attached to me and fight me all the way inside the daycare, then at the door she decides that she doesnít like her shirt and needs to change it now!! Well you know how I feel about thatÖ.I waved in my rear view mirror as I made the turn back to the highway.

Twenty minutes before I need to punch inÖmore peaceÖ.this is the time that matters because I can see the faces of the people I work with and since they see my car they think itís okay to come over and start talking about what I missed after I left yesterdayÖas I refuse to roll down my window I ask myself if driving off right now would be an act in bad measure, I still havenít gotten an answer to that question; BUT I must go inside, not to earn a dayís wage, but because the boss just seen my car and itís now too late to call out. So here I go, the jungle, where the phone calls are completely thoughtless and the vendors are about as clueless as the companies they work for.

My 8 hour shift consists of hundreds of different personalities and attitudes in which I can just shake my head at. No matter what day it was or who was working I was always busy and always going above and beyond the call of my duty. By the time lunch comes around Iím too tired, hot, thirsty and hungry to even care I get to sit down for an hour. By this point I figure my stupid question to going over the edge ratio is about a 1:1 and its only 1:30pm. Just to add a little positivity to the salad, my day isnít even 45% done yet.

5:00!!! Finally, but wait its 75 degrees outside and Iím wearing all black and I havenít had anything to drink all day. So I make my way to the day care to pick up munchkin #1, O yea thatís right, everybody and their grandmother is getting off of work right now and the arterial looks like the presidents in town and I am off coarse not in the mood for any of it. Picking up the baby goes off without a hitch, but then comes the migration across the bridge like a dying herd of elephants, I say dying because how fast could a dying elephant really move? Exactly! So here we go, it is now 25 minutes after I left work and I am still in Poughkeepsie when my house is 10 minutes away from the store. So beyond that lets tune into the rodeo we call the mid-Hudson bridge at rush hour. 3 lanes of motorists that have no idea what they are doing or where they are going, trying to migrate in the opposite direction with a state trooper in the middle. This is like some twisted game of duck- duck- goose and I got a feeling that I and the guys behind me are going to lose big time. So while Sally 2 handed steering wheel in front of me finally gets the nerve to pull in front of that truck, I am able to take off just to be stuck behind the traffic light before my house. If it wasnít for frustration I donít think I would ever laugh. So now I am ready to pick up munchkin #2, past my house and too the school where I got to fit through the other parents to get our kids and all their stuff. Itís a process that I am not sure is as effective as having a drive thru but nobody sees my vision. Well once the kids are in the car, you would think that I was on my way to victory, but wait, getting home is a different story. At the house I got to shuffle upstairs and beat the dog for tearing up the house while we were gone.

AHHHH home!!! Where the beds are soft and the water is cold. So now starts my second job, MOM, third job, STUDENT and second life BUSY; this is where I will spend the next 2 hours getting the kids to clean up their room and pick up their clothes off the floor. The third job of student where I have to spend 2 hours in each class, while answering a constantly ringing phone, helping the kids with their homework, chasing the dog, cooking dinner, dealing with someoneís snide comments, holding onto faith and staring at a stack of bills not going anywhere. How long can I stare at a blinking cursor on the laptop screen before I actually answer these questions? Something I ask myself every day, and still no answer. Well as I burn dinner yet again and have to cook something else while cleaning up the house and yelling at the kids for fighting each other,

I realize that itís only Monday <sigh>

So as the sun goes down on a typical day I realize that it is already 1 am and the next day has already begun and I havenít even finished the first yet. Tomorrow I can look forward to a huge truck to unload, searing back pain and day 2 without sleep. As a single parent I am often exhausted and tired of the routine of having to be the train that pulls the entire load across the world. On top of the typical week day, I have the underlying hum of the men that try to get into my life who donít care to understand what I am going through and just want my attention. Honestly, a relationship would be nice but if I donít even have the time for sleep, when will I have the time to ďĒhang outĒ? Spare meÖ even now as I sit and write this I realize that I have a sink full of dishes and 2 bags of laundry to do with only $3 in my pocket. Itís the situations that I deal with daily and the conversations that I have with myself that make me realize that the world is on my shoulders. To feel the glow of a breakthrough only steps away and to be going through the pain that I do on a daily basis, is like pulling out each adult tooth with a pair of rusty pliers. Hanging on for dear life to the notion that the rain will stop and the clouds will give way to the warm sun where the bees will be able to pollinate the field that once was vibrant and plush but now stands barren and dead under the weight of the storm. It takes trial and exhaustion to kill the foolishness that ignorance sews into our veins. My typical day may feel like death to my bones but when I look back on this, every wrinkle on my face will be proof of a battle won.

 

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