I woke up this morning like I usually do. Buttercup's arms around my neck, the dogs at my feet, and a vague memory of a good-bye kiss from The Husband before he left for work at 6 a.m. Normally I haul booty to get us both cleaned up and dressed (with the bath and the shower and the hour to decide between two different kinds of cereal) for the day before depositing her in front of the television for about twenty minutes while I answer emails and get my morning twitter fix. Then we grab her back pack and lunch box and make our way to preschool drop off at 11:15. But today, we were lazy. We stayed in bed until about 9 a.m., me on my iPhone and she on her hand-me-down iPod, while I decide if the 11 a.m. work call I accidentally scheduled is going to make it possible to get the girl-child to preschool on time. And because it won't unless I bribe the secretary with Starbucks lattes I don't have to watch Buttercup if I drop her off 20 minutes early, I decide to go with Plan B.
There are two friends I can text with kids at the preschool. Both live close enough to me that it's possible one of them may be able to adjust their morning to stop at my house to pick up my kid on the way. But the first is sick and her kids will be staying home because of it. The second is on her way to a doctor appointment on the other side of town and her husband is handling the morning school drop-off, which is going to be complicated enough without adding my own child into the mix.
It's on to Plan C. I email the teacher and let her know that Buttercup won't be in today because Mommy can't be in two places at once. They know I work from home and this isn't the first time this has happened so hey...might as well take advantage of the opportunity to make a choice like this while I can. Kindergarten, obviously, won't be as flexible.
We bathe, brush and floss, choose comfy stay-home clothes. I watch the time as I serve breakfast, which sounds much fancier than dumping cereal into a bowl because that's what actually happened, and proceed to set up my work station upstairs with my Macbook, phone, and a notebook with a pen I just made sure actually works. With thirty minutes left before my phone is scheduled to ring, I rush back downstairs and explain to Buttercup the importance of Not Interrupting Mommy While She's Working as I set her up with a DVD, a snack to tide her over until lunch, a drink in a sippy cup so I don't have to worry about Mommy I Just Spilled JOOOOOOOOSE being screamed up the stairs while I'm on my call, and let the dogs in and out so they can do their business before I get busy at my desk.
With ten minutes to spare, I kiss the kid, pour myself a cup of coffee, and go back upstairs to play on Facebook and Twitter until my phone rings. With five minutes to spare I double check that the pen still works and then double check that I have the right date and time. I'm ready.
But my phone doesn't ring. I check the date and time again, see that I am correct, and figure a few minutes is no big deal. But when an entire hour has passed, Buttercup's DVD has ended, and her understanding of how much time Mommy Needed To Work has morphed into Mommy Can Play Now Because She isn't Working, I find myself stuffing my phone into my bra to keep it close, getting her lunch ready, going back upstairs to my desk because surely the phone will ring now and MOMMY I JUST SPILLED MY JOOOOOOOOOSE AND THE GLASS BROKE ON THE FLOOR!!!!!!!!!!
Mercifully, the phone does not ring while I am sweeping and saying bad words inside of my head and serving more juice in a sippy cup because Mommy is a jackass and heading back upstairs to write a blog post while waiting to see if the phone will ring at all. It doesn't. So I head into my bathroom and turn on the faucet in the bathtub before pouring an obscene amount of bubbles into the stream. I let it run and bubble and go back to my MacBook to finish the blog post you are reading now before going downstairs to tell Buttercup she gets to swim mommy's giant tub full of bubbles.
"Can I stay in as long as I want?"
"Of course you can," I tell her. "Mommy isn't busy anymore today."
I take her hand and we go upstairs, her content with our lazy afternoon and me knowing that my phone would have rang at 11 a.m. on the fucking dot had I gotten us dressed and tried to get her to school.
Well played, Murphy and your stupid laws. Well played.