Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mother of the Year

This morning I realized with dread that I may not be a good mother after all.

This morning was the Winter Program at Aiden's school. It was already a hectic morning, beginning at 5:30am, when it's rush, rush, rush until the last child is dropped off at school just before 8am, and I headed home to get Conor up and dressed. But the Winter Program was to begin at 8:30. So, no time to shower and primp beforehand. Oh well, I don't dress to impress the other mothers these days, and Aiden already knows what I look like (and what I could potentially look like, so that was no big deal---funny how I've evolved.) Sweats and no makeup it was.

Adam was up most of the night working, so he told me at 8:05 that he needed to sleep instead of come along. I was only marginally ruffled, but just for selfish reasons like realizing I would have to wrestle with Conor alone.

The school is only about a half mile away, but it was near freezing (seriously) and raining, so I drove anyway.

There was no parking spot anywhere. I ended up parking further away than had I just walked from home. Grumble, grumble.

I had to lug the 28lb. Conor, my purse, and the video camera uphill, in the rain, to the school's auditorium.

Which was already standing room only. And barely that. Crap, I thought. I hate these stupid programs. I admit I thought that too. I even thought, I hate soccer games and Back to School nights. Just let me stay home and read to my children and feed them cookies. Stop making me come to these ridiculous programs. You can see I was not my best self.

I pardon me'ed, excuse me'ed through the crowd and sat on the floor in the aisle so I could at least have a shot with the video camera. Conor didn't so much want to sit. He wanted to stand. And dance. And keep tipping into the woman sitting in front of us because of the slope of the floor.

I only had to hang in there for 3 groups. Aiden's class was third.

But they started late. Of course they did.

Conor drank milk from his sippy cup and swallowed wrong. He started coughing. The woman next to me (in the chair above me), started covering her baby as if Conor were spewing virus germs all around. She looked at me like an unfit mother, bringing my sick toddler out in the cold and the rain to hack illness all over these poor other babies. I almost told her he wasn't sick, he just swallowed wrong, but then I thought, "Aw, let her have her self-righteous mother moment. We're all entitled once in a while."

The first two numbers were by the kindergarten classes. Heaven help me. How we have morphed Christmas into this politically correct, culturally inclusive, non-Jesus holiday is moronic to me. Conor danced, so that was good. Except that he kept stepping on me, and tipping into that poor woman in front of us. I saw this one mother beaming with pride, mouthing the words to the song, and face-miming her daughter into a cheerful performance. Her daughter never even cracked a smile. Never sang a word. Wouldn't even lift her arms when every other kindergartner lifted her arms. She just stood there. Still that mother beamed. I actually thought to myself, "Why is she so happy when her kid is up there not even singing?!"

I told you I had reason to worry.

The Special Ed class sang a Spanish Hanukkah song.

And then several more. My nerves were fried with Conor's energy. My butt hurt from sitting on the hard floor. I was a little sick of having people step on my fingers. I watched with cynicism all these parents of children who shook sleigh bells and sang weird holiday songs and yet acted as if their child was supremely talented.

Just come on, already. Please, let's get this over with!

And then, in walked Mr. Aiden. Like a big boy. With his scarf. His cute scarf that he made in class as part of his Winter Wonderland costume. My boy! He beamed with confidence! He was in the back row, because he is tall. And they sang perfectly! I was video taping the whole thing. The singing, his cute face close up, the dancers in front. It was great! I had one of those stupid smiles on my face, and I think I even mouthed the words (darn it). It was by far the best performance up to that point. And it was a real holiday song. And he knew all the words, Aiden did.

What was I worried about? I turned into one of them as soon as my boy was up on that stage! I'm a good mother after all!

When it was over, I turned off the video camera and looked down to see that Conor had emptied the entire contents of my purse and wallet all over our few square inches of linoleum while I had been distracted. Argh, that boy.

I threw it all together, packed up squirming Conor under my free arm and excuse me'ed, pardon me'ed my way back up the aisle and through the crowd back out into the almost freezing cold, where it was raining harder, and trudged our way all the way back to the van. And drove a block home.

And now I'm exhausted.

But so proud of my Aiden. I can't wait to watch the tape.

And I'm so relieved I don't have to do this again until March.


Wonder Woman said...

Normal, normal, normal. Glad to know Jenna's just as normal as the rest of us

Don't hate me for enjoying your human side. =D

My oldest has his first ever school program tomorrow. I'm excited.

Luisa Perkins said...

You've crystallized your experience perfectly. I wish I'd been there to help with Conor, and I really wish I could see the tape!

Josi said...

I just hate them--really--every single one of them--except for the time my daughter did the napolean dynamite dance, that was awesome.

Annette Lyon said...

I'm with wonder woman. You are NORMAL. What a relief to the rest of us!

Angela said...

When you said "uphill, in the rain" - flashbacks of my mom saying "we walked uphill both ways in 4 ft of snow, freezing cold and we never complained!" Gotta love moms!

I agree with wonder woman and Annette.. you ARE such an amazing mom it is good to see you are normal!

SuZ said...

It's those little moments in life that make all the crappy moments disappear.

I hope you enjoy the video.