I’m always 5-10 minutes late. No matter what time I leave the house, the universe fast forwards me. Either that or aliens briefly abduct me on a daily basis.
Having a child has only exacerbated the matter:
“Junior, we need to leave. Let’s put your shoes on. Help me find your shoes. Can you come here so I can put your shoes on? Please come over here so I can put your shoes on. Don’t throw your shoe! If you want to put your shoe on by yourself please use your words and tell me you want to put it on yourself. You’re a big boy. Use your words. Junior, you did put your shoe on all by yourself. Why did you throw your other shoe? We don’t throw things. If you don’t sit down right now and put your other shoe on there will be no stories at bedtime. I mean it. I’m going to count to five. One...two...you better come over here. And bring your shoe. Three...four...I mean it. Good. Now sit down please so we can PUT YOUR OTHER SHOE ON. Wait, why is it sticky and wet? Junior, did you pour orange juice into your shoe?”
Needless to say my 5-10 minute window has ballooned into 15-30 minutes, especially on days when I drop off Junior at pre-school. Drop-off is getting better, but it's still not smooth sailing.
My new boss, who is also a mother, understands. She knows that I skip my lunch on days I am late or that I bring work home with me.
It’s a wonderful thing, an understanding boss.
What’s not wonderful are coworkers who mistakenly believe that being a working parent is like having a golden ticket to ride the gravy train. Case in point, last Wednesday. I was late to work because of Junior’s tearful drop-off. I didn’t have a meeting scheduled, so I didn’t stress about it. As usual, I skipped lunch and got ready to head out at five. My coworker Amber, whose office is next to mine, gave me a syrupy smile on the way out.
“Do they have doggie daycares?” she asked me sweetly.
“I think so—”
“I’m going to enroll my dog in doggie daycare. That way I can be late to work and leave on time too.” She picked up her phone and dialed, then gave me a beauty pageant wave goodbye.
That douche. Not only had she verbally body slammed me, she’d strategically thwarted me from confronting her. The bitch was good. Real good.
I seethed on the way home. During dinner. During dishes. During teeth brushing. I seethed so much I sprung a leak. As I seethed, I ran through possible comeback lines like “Oh yah?! I hope your dog chokes on a Milkbone!” and “Oh yah?! Well, you should!”
Myah, pretty pathetic stuff.
Now it’s been a week. Now it seems stupid to say something. Now I feel like the ass because I’m the one hanging on to my anger when really, I should just let it go.
Except I can’t. And I don’t know what to do about it.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.