The hall light blasted into our room and our 7-year-old grandson stood in the doorway crying, “I can’t sleep.” I buried my face in the pillow, thinking this was a nightmare, but the loud wailing continued.
Finally, I stumbled out into the hallway. “You’ll wake your brother. Please, it’s the middle of the night. Can I tuck you back into your bed?”
Ed and I were staying with our two grandsons, 7 and 10, while their parents were gone for four days. We were in the midst of moving into a new townhouse nearby so we tried to spend as much time as possible at our home during the day getting things unpacked, but we spent nights at their house because of their barely-weaned puppy.
“I wanna sleep in your bed,” he cried. His big blue irresistible eyes were filled with tears. “OK, come with me. I’ll heiya you in your bed until you go back to sleep.” Heiya in our family means lightly stroking the back and arms.
The hall lights were back on and 7 was at our bed. “OK, come in here beside me,” I whispered, trying not to awaken Ed.
“Alright, wiggle worm, let’s get up and let the dog out to pee, and then get breakfast and get ready for school,” I groaned, pulling my sleep-deprived head out from under the pillow.
“Nani, my throat hurts. I can’t go to school today.” This from 10.
“I won’t wear leggings. It’s hot out,” 7 shouted from upstairs.
“It’s 50 degrees out there. You can wear long pants or leggings under your shorts. You choose.”
“I’m not wearing long pants or leggings. It’s hot!” Fifteen more minutes of loud wails.
As the school bus rolled to a stop, 7 asked for the third time that morning, “Am I taking the bus home from school this afternoon?”
“Yes, you’re taking the bus home.” High-five. “Have a really good day.”
A text popped in from my daughter. “Mom, I just saw an e-mail from the teacher saying that today is a special day. The kids are all supposed to come in pajamas to school and bring an iPad and their favorite stuffed animal. Can you run by the house and take those to school for him?”
“I’m bored. Can you get me a show to watch, Nani?” From 10, lying on our sofa, watching us unpack.
“Sorry, ma’am,” said the window coverings installer. “I know you have company coming this weekend, but the blinds in your guest room don’t fit and I need to return them to the factory.”
“How can that be?” I snapped at him.
I took the puppy out to pee, getting back to our townhouse in time to receive the delivery of our glass dining room tabletop.
The glass was shattered. Tears stung my eyes. Yes, really, tears about a stupid tabletop!
“Nani, I’m bored,” said 10.
The bus stopped and the door opened. “Your grandson’s not on the bus,” the tight-lipped, unsmiling bus driver said.
“Where is he?”
“He must be at school.” The door closed.
Oh no!!! I came without my phone. 7 will be scared. The principal’s office will think he’s been abandoned…
I banged on neighbor Greg’s door. No answer. Harriett, the little old lady across the street has only a landline and we couldn’t find Adams Elementary in the phone book. I ran across the street. “Mary, thank goodness you’re home. I need to call Adams… Can I use your phone?”
“He’s sitting right here beside me,” said the lady who answered the phone.
“I’m on my way,” I said breathlessly.
When I arrived at Adams, Ed was in front of the school with 7. “How’d you get here?” I asked him.
“They called your phone and I answered it. I huffed it at high speed to get here,” he said.
“Will I be late for my soccer practice?” 7 said with a grin.
“No, you won’t be late,” I said, trying to smile.
My head was beginning to throb.
As he got into the car, 7 said, “Why’d you bring pajamas and my stuffed animal to my school, Nani? It was technology day. Nobody had jammies and stuffed animals. That’s for babies.”
“Sorry. I didn’t know,” I mumbled.
“I’m bored, Nani.”
Ed called. “Hey love, we waited here on the soccer field for a half hour and there’s no one else here, so I called and found out that the practice is tomorrow, not today. We had it all wrong in our notes. We’re coming home.”
“I’m hungry, Nani.”
“I’m bored, Nani.”
I was too exhausted to eat.
Here’s the thing. I didn’t manage yesterday very well at all. Some days I stay much more in the present moment and roll with the punches. Yesterday wasn’t one of them.
How do you manage yourself when you have days like this? Do you have any suggestions for the rest of us?