I should have mentioned before that Lucy arrived home around 6 pm. 6 pm. That's rather late from the 10:30 dismissal. Lucy's funny about how much information she discloses. Sometimes she will come home and tell us every. single. thing that happened at school. Sometimes she says nothing, and there's not much that can be done to squeeze any information out. On those days, I usually just wait and when she starts talking, I get plenty of information.
Well, the night when she got home, she was just matter of fact and aloof about the whole day. I said something about her being "stranded" on the road, in a bus. She said, "Mom, we weren't stranded. There was just a lot of traffic." Bless her. She had no clue that everyone was so worried. Her teachers are amazing. Kindergarten teachers, as a whole are amazing. Can I get an amen? Seriously, those people have so many starts in their crowns, they'll need a neck brace to hold their heads up. And they deserve every one. And then a couple.
As the story unfolded, or at least when Lucy started talking about the day, I found out that they actually stopped twice to use the restroom. Once in a pet store, or an animal training center or something. Lucy said that the first stop was for the kids that like cats and dogs (I'll go ahead and inform you that Lucy would rather use the restroom on the side of the road, in front of a busload of friends than walk into a building full of cats and dogs). And the second one was a truck stop/gas station. The teachers took the children inside 4 at a time. At the gas station, the bus driver brought out crackers for everyone "because it was her birthday." Oh, the warm fuzzy feeling. The sweet bus driver didn't want anyone to think they were not getting lunch, or to worry in any way.... so she told the children the crackers were a special treat for her birthday, not the reality which was that the children were not going to eat any time soon, and they were unsure about how long they would be on the bus. She's an angel, too, I tell you.
Anyway, Lucy said they were warm and having fun on the bus. She was completely oblivious to the danger and fear of the grown ups around her. *small pause, this reminds me of my first flight. I can't remember how old I was, but we were going to Dallas... it was so stormy. There was lightning all around us. Even the business travelers put their newspapers away and watched nervously. But my brother and I had no idea we were in danger.... we thought it was awesome. That's what this whole situation reminds me of.*
Well, that night, after Lucy and Shelby returned safely, we (Jenni, because I was still not functioning fully, for some reason, when I'm super stressed, I walk around aimlessly, having no clue what I've done or what needs to be done. Jenni, on the other hand, went into "just do something" mode and cooked some soup she found in the freezer and cleaned up the kitchen.... for that, I'm thankful) made some chicken nuggets and Jenni pulled apart 2 oranges (the only fresh fruit in the entire house) for the girls. Did I mention Tuesday was going to be grocery day? Yeah, we had no food.
The girls laughed and played and thought this sleep over was the biz.... until bedtime.
Jenni and I were done. Actually, here in Alabama, we would say "dun." I mean it. I was exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I was tired from worry, from stress, from fear, from walking in the snow, being in the car all day, and my feet hurt. A lot. They literally burned, like a sunburn from ice.
Jenni's back was hurting and she was away from her pain meds. All I had was tylenol and ibuprofen. That wasn't very helpful. So, we decided an early bedtime was in store for all.
That's when the meltdowns started. Caroline wanted her mommy. Nobody wanted to sleep where they were assigned. Seriously, nobody. Everyone was upset about the sleeping arrangements. And Jenni and I were not interested in anyone being up during the night, so we were trying to make sure that we kept siblings together and such. Everyone went to sleep pretty quickly, but they didn't stay that way for long. My girls were bunked up downstairs (because they wanted to sleep in sleeping bags, like Jenni's girls). Lucy was up and in my bed shortly after 11. Julianne was put back to bed a couple of times. Caroline was up at some point and hit her head on a doorknob. I still am not sure how that happened, but she was up for a couple of hours. Then everyone was up at 5:30. 5:30.
Normally, I have my alarm set for 5:30. That's not because I like getting up so early. Or because I get up and shower before everyone else (not anymore anyway). But it's because I like to wake up and drink my coffee before I see or talk to anyone. Anyone. Don't talk to me until I can see the bottom of my coffee cup. Twice.
Well, 5:30 everyone was up. And ready for breakfast. Caroline walked in as I was stumbling around fixing the coffee pot. She was as happy as she could be and acting like she'd had a full night of sleep. She said, "Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, Miss Tiffany, It's tiiiiiime for breakfast!!!" *This is where I might have growled. Sorry, Brooke. :) After growling, I told her I would get right on breakfast. After I started the coffee pot.
I started rummaging through the pantry/freezer for breakfast food. There wasn't much. I had a couple of frozen waffles, some french toast sticks, oatmeal and cereal. With no milk.
Needless to say, nobody wanted any of that for breakfast. Well, those are the options. I was met with, "I allllways drink milk for breakfast." Not today, kiddo. "I don't like dip." It's syrup... who doesn't like syrup. "I want milllllk!"
It was awesome. :)
I also didn't have any coffee creamer. Which is just about enough of a reason to walk 4 miles in the snow to Publix. I wish I was kidding.
Anyway, it was about this time that I was starting to really act bratty. I was bratty in my head before this point, but at this point it was no longer filtered through my "It's fine, we just have a houseful of kids and we're snowed in and Jason's at work, and I know that everyone would do this for me, and it's okay that we have no food and 25 kids here, and no clothes or mittens for anyone to go outside and play in, and they all want to watch a movie, but can't agree on one, and all I want to do is crawl back in bed and start over. With a cup of coffee..... but we're going to make the best of this" mindset.
No more filter. I'm pretty sure I sent Brooke a voxer message that sounded a little like, "I'm going to need you to walk to my house, barefoot if you have to, to retrieve your child."
It might not have actually sounded like that. But that's what was implied. I'm so sorry Brooke. I wish I could redo that whole day with another attitude. Actually, I don't want to redo that day at all, but I do wish that I had reacted better. Here's the deal. Jason wasn't coming home that day either. And I knew that. He was on call and couldn't leave the hospital. Adelaide was coming home. And there just wasn't a definite end to the "playdate." And that made me anxious. I don't mind having playdates. I really don't. I'm not, however, a fan of sleepovers. And I get really nervous when I have a child and their parents *literally* can't get to them. Like, what if they get sick. They're mine. What if something happens to them? My fault. Anyway, I was ugly. And I'm sorry.
And let's take a break for me to mention that Caroline is the sweetest, most well behaved child. She was so good. It's not like I had an awful, disobedient child to deal with. Not at all. There were just a lot of sweet children here. And they were all girls. And they were all young. And I was tired.
Anyway, they played and ate 3 bags of popcorn while "watching" a movie. I still had not showered at this point.... and was scared to leave anyone unattended to do so. Maebry was "fed" popcorn and I had to pull it from her mouth. Twice.
And by the time we cleaned up breakfast, the children were asking about lunch. The options for lunch were even more sparse than the options for breakfast. Lunch meat (no bread) ravioli, more chicken nuggets....
Guess what... nobody liked any of that.
I'll stop here for now..... and please don't judge me for my horrible attitude. I've acknowledged that I'm an awful caregiver. And a horrible human being.