Tomorrow I have my regular Thursday morning rat race to run. With Hattie in a new school only on Tuesdays and Thursdays now, my Thursday mornings have become "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," as one of Charlotte's teachers so aptly put it.
Charlotte doesn't ride the bus in to school on Thursdays because she has therapy (OT and speech) at 9 a.m. about 10 miles north of us. It took me 6 months to get that time slot so it wouldn't interfere with the rest of her school week. This schedule was fine while Hattie was in school on M, W, F, because then Hattie just rode along.
Now, however, I'm reduced to leaving the house at 8:15 so as to avoid any possible traffic cluster- you-know-whats (like the first time I tried this, when all the stoplights on a major thoroughfare that I had to use for several miles were out). So I drive to therapy, slow the car down a little and boot Charlotte out for her session. (Well, not really, but kinda.)
Then Hattie and I race back the way we just came, plus an additional few miles, to get her to school at 9:30. I sit in the line with the other moms in minivans feeling my blood pressure rise until I can dump Hattie out and zoom back to therapy to pick Charlotte up at 9:50, so I can take her to school, which is about 2 minutes from our house.
The first time I tried this, in addition to the stoplight issue mentioned above, I took a wrong turn on the way to Hattie's school, which extended our journey just the right amount to transgress Hattie's car riding limit. So she got sick. And once I got there, I couldn't find the carpool line and had to take her in, on the second day she'd ever been there, and there was much separation anxiety, including wailing and clawing (on Hattie's part), and sympathy (on my part), but no time really to deal with it. When I finally got back on the road, I got behind a garbage truck, whose driver was no doubt wondering who the crazy road-rage lady was behind him, banging her head against the steering wheel every time he stopped.
I got back to therapy about 15-20 minutes late, where Charlotte had been wondering where I was. Horrible.
So last week I left early, fairly confident that I could do everything in time now that I knew the drill, except that when I got to Hattie's school and the teachers were taking her out of the car, we discovered that I had forgotten to bring her bag, which contained her lunch, her blood sugar monitor, and (most importantly) (to her) the show-and-tell item.
Accordingly I spent three hours straight in the car last Thursday, 8:15 to 11:15, and the only time I got out of the car was to grab or drop off something or someone. My route that day looked like something from Spirograph -- home, to therapy, to Hattie's school, to therapy, to my house, to Hattie's school, to my house. All in Atlanta traffic on surface streets, complete with unsynchronized stoplights and old ladies in Lincolns who would explode if they went faster than 20 mph under the posted speed limit.
But at the risk of jinxing things, I might finally have my act together tomorrow. Sheesh.