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(A subject line that will mean nothing to you unless you've read cynthialord's recent post:

Email: From me to my boss
Date: About a week ago
Subject line: Mental health day

The single parent gig is busting my a**.

Can I take a day off next week? Thursday would work best for me … Cole is in a play at school that day.

Email: From my boss to me
Date: About a week ago
Subject line: Re: Mental health day

Thursday is fine by me.

How much longer is DH in the Dalles?

Email: From me to my boss
Date: About a week ago
Subject line: Re: Mental health day

The company is saying through the end of October. (!!!)

Email: From my boss to me
Date: About a week ago
Subject line: Re: Mental health day

Ack! Why don’t you use that gift certificate I gave you and get a massage on your day off?

My day yesterday:

5:30 a.m. Wake up happy. Today is Mental Health and MASSAGE Day!

6:30 a.m. Wake up boy. Remind him today is the day of his play!

“Mom, will you come to my play?”
“Yes, honey, I told you I’d be there. In fact, I took the whole day off today!”

8:00 a.m. Help other moms assemble and deliver fruit baskets to teachers as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

9:15 – 10:15 Enjoy three “fractured fairy tale” performances by adorable and brilliant children aged 5 – 8.

10:30 – 11:10 Scarf down a couple of oatmeal carmelitas and a glass of iced tea, so as not to be ravenous during MASSAGE. Check email and return two phone calls.

11:12 Gather purse, gift certificate, sunglasses and cell phone in preparation for leaving to get MASSAGE.

11:14 Phone rings. (Cue “Jaws” music shark attack scene, plus music from shower scene of “Psycho.”) It’s the school secretary. Cole’s “stomach hurts.”

11:15 Seriously consider saying, “Gah!! If he’s not barfing, I don’t want him. I’ve got a MASSAGE!!”

11:20 Sit in hallway with Cole, asking him if he really feels sick, or might just be hungry. Receive “100 per cent” assurance that his “stomach hurts.” Watch him walk to car, slightly stooped over, with hand on stomach, in preparation for career as actor.

11:25 Send him to bed.

11:30 Cancel MASSAGE, trembling over policy that “you will be charged for services cancelled less than 48 hours in advance.” Dissolve in relief over sympathetic mom receptionist. Re-schedule massage for a Saturday when DH can function as back-up to fake illness.

12 Noon “Mom, can I have some lunch?” Serve remarkably recovering child bland noodle-chicken broth soup, all the while knowing that at this moment, you would be lying facedown on massage table getting a MASSAGE if you had left the house five minutes earlier. And forgotten your cell phone.

12:15 Send child back to bed. Do laundry, do dishes, start boring paperwork project. Child is sitting at his desk, reading comic books and writing a story. Seethe.

“Mom, you know what? My stomach feels okay now! I think I can go back to school.”
“Nope. School is almost over.”
“Oh. Well, I could go to after-school care.” (He loves it there.)
“Nope. You went home sick. You can’t go back.”
Comically disappointed expression on child’s face. Or would be comical if not for complete f*#$-up of day.

“Cole, since you feel okay now, we’ve got some errands to run.”
Drive to drycleaner’s, and two garden centers. Stop for gas, nearly fainting at the cost.

4:00 Make scantily buttered toast for child when he says he’s hungry.

4:20 Pick up child’s friend, as pre-arranged.
“M, would you like a snack before the game?”
Child perks up, until he realizes he’s not going to get a snack. “But I’m hungry!”
“You had three pieces of toast. You’re good.”

4:45 Drive boys to baseball game. Instruct child to sit on the bench and support teammates, but he’s not allowed to play, because he’s sick. Inform coach of situation, who helps by saying, “How you doing, Cole? I hear you don’t feel too good. Thanks for coming to watch. I was going to have you pitch today! Get better so you can play on Saturday.”

5:00 – 7:15 Hang out during typical loooooong game. Watch child toss water bottle up and down, cavort with teammates, hang off the chain link fence gazing at baseball game like a rueful inmate, and remind him repeatedly to sit down, because of his “stomach hurting.”

7:30 No snack after the game. Chicken soup. Then homework and bed.

8:30 Job of providing the dullest day in child's entire life comes to a close. I hope that he thinks twice before pulling a stunt like this again. Email and “Gilmore Girls.”

No jaunt to Trader Joe’s, no digging in the garden plot, and no writing.

No time alone.

This Mother’s Day, I think I will celebrate by leaving the house at 6 a.m. and returning at 6 p.m.

(Not really.)

But I will insist on 2 – 3 hours of “me-time.”

Happy Mother’s Day, LJ mom-friends.

Isn’t it an adventure?


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May. 12th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
I admire your cleverness and tenacity. Enjoy your massage tomorrow!
May. 12th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, Kelly. If only! It's scheduled for two weeks from tomorrow!
May. 12th, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. And not for the 'hurting' stomach but for your missing a much-desserved mental health day. Hang in there!
May. 12th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)

I guess the little bugger felt like HE needed a mental health day, too.
May. 12th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
These psychosomatic illnesses are so hard to deal with. I learned my lesson in first grade. I woke up tired one day and played sick to my sympathetic mom, who let me stay home. I dozed off, woke up a little later, watched tv, and then remembered..."mom! Is it before 10:30?" It wasn't. I felt like crying. It was the day my class "hosted" a class of kindergartners to the "big building" (the Ks were in their own separate building across the playground) and I was supposed to read a book to them. I had been really looking forward to it, although obviously not enough to remember at 7:30 in the morning that it was on my schedule. I was in junior high before I tried blowing off school again.
May. 12th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
Ah, a painful and effective lesson!
May. 13th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
And 30-odd years later I still remember it! :)

(Deleted comment)
May. 12th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
Don't you mean wily-children-who-know-their-moms-have-the-day-off are the devil?
May. 12th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Sounds like you could use a few hours alone - any chance you can get your massage then?

Sorry your plans were ruined - especially when they didn't have to be - but I have a feeling your son won't be pulling that again.
May. 12th, 2006 11:00 pm (UTC)

I hope he thinks "toast" and "errands" and "missing all the fun" next time he's tempted!
May. 12th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
I can SO relate!

And I know what you mean about "me time" on Mother's Day. I don't want to be mean, but that time alone is just HEAVEN.
(Deleted comment)
May. 13th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)

send this somewhere to be published!
May. 13th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC)
Um, like the Dull Mother's Diatribe?
May. 13th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Oh, this is so funny!! I'm sorry to laugh, but I loved your account, and I can just see this little munchkin all hunched over on the way to the car. Have a wonderful Mother's Day, and at least now you have that MASSAGE to look forward to. Nothing like delayed gratification, you know. mb
May. 13th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
you're better at sticking to the "you're-sick-so-you-have-to-follow-the-sickie-routine" rules. If B misses school, he has to lay on the couch, but he can watch TV. After lunch he has to work on his homework. But by the time 3pm comes, I'm usually caving in to anything except going outside.

Did I ever mention B takes his temperature almost every morning in an attempt to get out of school? Luckily for he he hasn't discovered the "put-the-thermometer-on-the-lightbulb" trick.
May. 13th, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)
Better keep him away from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"!
May. 14th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
“You had three pieces of toast. You’re good.”

Yes!!!!! For the win!

In the age of overindulgence, you give me hope.

Although I should probably feel guilty for enjoying your misery so much. ;)

I hope your Mother's Day is much better.
May. 14th, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)
It was easy to feel hard-hearted. Maybe ... (Vincent Price voice) ... too easy.
May. 14th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
"Job of providing the dullest day in child's entire life comes to a close."

This made me smile! Hope you're getting your me-time today. :)

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