I had a plan. One random Tuesday, my plan was to stay home, have a quiet day with as few interruptions as possible and allow my toddler to be bored. I keep reading about this, how boredom is actually good for kids and how it helps them be creative and learn to play on their own or stick forks into the electrical outlets or start small fires in the upstairs bathroom (that was my middle daughter). Thankfully, she’s (mostly) outgrown this stage because Junior’s not far behind.
But let me rewind. My plan was to stay home and have a quiet day with a toddler? A kitten? I think I’m really getting delusional in my old age and maybe disillusioned, (you can add that to the list) because I’ll tell you, when my quiet, not-so-eventful day started with standing over the bathtub buck naked (sorry for the visual), trying to rinse a palm-full of Pantene from my hair with individual-sized bottles of Poland Spring, I knew I was off to a pleasurable start.
My older daughter walked in on me, “I sooo don’t want to know,” she said, averting her eyes.
“The water’s out,” I said through a mouthful of shampoo and “bubbles … eyes … towel,” I motioned and she reluctantly tossed it in my general direction.
“Just know when I go to college, I’m never coming back to this house to visit you, like ever, like we can meet in a coffee shop or on the side of the road if you want to see me but I’m so done here.”
Duly noted, I thought to myself.
My quiet, non-eventful day got more eventful from there, despite my secret longing to sit on the couch and indulge myself with a frothy cup of Nespresso and perhaps some quality time with my parasocial relationship. (Milo, if you’re reading this, I want you to know I’m just a girl, standing in front of an Instagram feed, asking you to love me.)
But his soulful gaze was interrupted, not by Junior, who was very much in demand of another Goodie Girl “kooka” (… so addictive, try the S’mores ones), but an email notification from — oh great source of my stress — school. I’ll give you the abbreviated version:
Dear Mrs. Kirschner,
A member of the staff was kind enough to bring your daughter’s medication to me. Students are not permitted to carry medicine in school. (Um, like “operation never.” WTF were you thinking?) If she needs medication in school, please have your doctor complete the appropriate form signed by you and the doctor. I will keep her medicine safe in the health office (while you turn 50 shades of f***ing stupid parent who sends her daughter to school with a full-on bottle of Benadryl with her name on it? Which she promptly loses, like, within the first 15 minutes of arriving at Middlebrook. Great job, Mom!)
Sincerely, School Nurse
The Middlebrook school nurse, whose name is eluding me right now but who I am very thankful was so nice about the whole thing because really, it was not cool on my part. But at the time, I was in such a panic about those bees that had been swarming all over the place and my daughter blowing up like Veruca Salt, that I just shoved those drugs into her hands as we literally slid into home on the final inning of that (hey, let’s have a tailgate party while we’re all waiting) drop-off line.
So I wrote a quick, “Sorry I’m such a screwup!” note to the nice nurse while I was living it up at the Wilton Laundromat later with loads-upon-loads of “looks like they were sandblasted with soil” laundry.
They’re so nice over there, they even put my stuff in the dryer for me because I was running so late by then. I had to take the itty bitty kitty to the vet for her not-so itty bitty and very shitty diarrhea that she proceeded to have all over the cat carrier, all over the back of the car, all while Junior was (thankfully) sleeping in his car seat next to her. Apparently, she just had some kind of parasite (delightful, I know), possibly from drinking out of the toilet or eating spare ribs someone (I’m not naming names) left out on the couch overnight.
You can’t plan for these things. I try to tell my girls this, that most of the time nothing in life goes “as planned.” Most of the time, I am rinsing my hair with bottled water, fielding antihistamine infractions from the authorities and hoping I won’t get asphyxiated from the smell of whatever the cat let out of the bag in the process. Most of the time, the plans change like the New England weather, and when it rains, it snows or hails or does some other spontaneously-spectacular spectacular to keep us all very much on our toes and guessing what other major catastrophe might need averting next.
I won’t turn on the waterworks. The water’s working. For now. And I got the go-ahead, signed on the fine line for my drug cartel-ling daughter for the pink stuff, so hey, things are looking up! I guess planned or unplanned, life just kinda, sorta, maybe happens while we think we are in control of things. We are very much not in control of one random Tuesday.
Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.