I cried this morning on the bus. Yep, I cried. I couldn't fight it. Thank God (and Dior) for my giant, black, "Jackie-O" sunglasses to shade my tears from the person sitting across the aisle from me. Why did I cry? Because today, by 8:00 AM, life was too hard. At 6:30 AM, when I was already considered late, my three year old decided to wake up and come into my room whining for me to come and cuddle him in his bed. You see, at 9:35 PM the night before, I was already laying in his bed with him, reading as many books as possible and trying to get him to sleep all while trying to keep my own eyelids open. I'm pretty sure around 10:00 PM I passed out and he quickly followed suit. And then, he started to toss and turn, and he started mumbling. He moved around so much, he woke me up. "Oh no," I thought, "he's waking up." I looked at my phone, dreading to see what time it was this time: 2:45 AM? 1:30 AM? Maybe I'll be lucky and it'll only be just passed midnight. Holy sh*t, it's 11:30 PM?? You mean, my husband and I might ACTUALLY get to cuddle up on the couch and pass out to a two-week old episode of Archer together?! Big, Fat, NOPE! Husband already passed out in bed, fully clothed, lights on. He had the pleasure of putting the 10 month old to bed. I sneak downstairs and the lights are all on. The dishwasher needs to be run. There is stuff symbolizing life from ages Baby-Toddler strewn all over the kitchen, dining room and living room. Yeah, one day our house will be neat, but there will be no kids and we'll be sad. I know, I get that. I should really fill the dishwasher and unload the diaper bag. And like that, I fall asleep standing up. Oook, go lie down and wake up early to do all of that.
Fast Forward to 5:30 AM... my work out alarm goes off. Yeah, right. That's not happening today (or any other day, but I keep on trying. I am such an optimist!). Before we know it, we are here, at 6:30 AM, should have been up at least a half hour ago and the short one is in our doorway, whining, "Mama, come cuddle me in my bed. I wanna cuddle in my bed." "No honey," I say, "come up here and cuddle with Mommy and Daddy for a little bit before I hop in the shower." HOLY. SH*T. Come on Mom, what are you, new? You know better than to suggest otherwise. He made his demands clear. And for the next 10 minutes we hear the incessant whine of "I wanna cuddle in my bed. I wanna cuddle in my bed." Over and over again. That's it, I'm awake, I'm going on Facebook. "Don't give in!" Husband says. "If you don't stop, you'll be in trouble," he says to our son. Care to take a guess if he stopped? You betcha he got in trouble. And here comes the meltdown. Alright, there goes any hope of a restful rising this morning. Let's get in the shower.
Husband leaves for work, I battle with the 10 month old turning into the Incredibles baby because I won't pick him up, and the 3yo resisting getting dress. Lately, I've been telling him I have to leave him at home if he doesn't get dressed. Is it great to say that? Hell No! Does it light a fire under his butt and let me get him dressed in the shortest time possible? You betcha. Hey, you do what you gotta do. Don't worry, I'll help pay for your therapy bills when you're older. You'll actually enjoy it!
After going up and down the stairs at least 4 or 5, times because I forgot--yet again--another item for the baby, we finally make it out the door. First though, I'd like to acknowledge that DS the toddler successfully put his Kitty and Blanket in his backpack, all my himself! Hooray, go bud!!!
Ok, so now I'm officially late for the 236th day in a row, but we are on our way. I JUST might make the last bus that gets me in at least before 9:30 AM. I take the turn onto the big street before the sitters. WTF!!!!! PAVING?!?! You're paving?!? Right now?! During rush hour. Seriously, bros? You couldn't have waited another hour for everyone to be at school or work? GAHHHH!!!! I pull up to the worker yelling at me to keep moving and tell him "I have to get onto that street!" You know, the one you're so inconveniently blocking. With a Cigarette hanging from his mouth and his glaring Oakleys shining right in my face he replies, "you gotta go around Lady." I look for the next side street: they are all blocked off. And here is where I lose it, "you have GOT to be kidding me!!!" "Mommy, don't say kidding; that's a bad word," the toddler chimes in from the backseat. What?! Who told him that?! Well, as my husband always tells me, "he who hesitates is lost." And since I seem to always make the wrong decision (it's not a bad one, just always seems to be the wrong one in situations like these), I figure "f*ck it, I'm going." And I just drive right through the cones blocking off the next street over.
We finally make it to the sitters. Everyone is dropped off and good. The sitter and I both agree they pick the worst times possible to do this kind of work. I go to leave and even get an extra hug and kiss from the toddler (of course, I sneak an extra to the baby, too). I leave by the way I come in and right as I pull up to the stop, a cop car tries to block me. "Oh, haayylllll no!" I say in my most diva voice possible. He sees the look on my face and slowly creeps his cruiser up so I can zip right past. That's right Officer "Blocks Shit I Shouldn't When Folks Are Trying to Commute." You just spared yourself the wrath of the Sicilian Shorty. Ain't nobody got time for that kind of wrath this morning.
I look at the clock: oh my freaking God. I JUST might make that last bus. My detour isn't so bad. But that may be because I was speeding. Maybe. I cruise across town, praying to my dad in Heaven to please help me find the strength to get my shit together (he made it look so damn easy and he had FOUR of us). I get onto my street, I'm heading for the bus stop--wait, did I just pass my husband in the work van? WTF is he is doing here? I thought he left? Whatever, I don't have time to get pissed off about that; I still have to send him a text asking him nicely to please get our son dressed first before emptying the dishwasher. I can't throw clean dishes into the car and race to the sitters, ya know? I’m now on the main road and can see the bus stop. Red light. Crap. “It’s ok! It’s ok! I can make it. I can make it,” I tell myself over and over again. All I have to do is make the left, park the car and run across the street and I’m golden. I can do this. And right as think there’s a chance, a lady turns and crosses right in front of me and comes to a dead stop. What in the…. Are you freaking kidding me?? I’m staring at the bus stop. The bus will come at any minute. If this wasn’t our only car, I would jump out and leave it right there in the middle of the road. Just ditch the bitch; who needs a damn car, anyway! Ugh, I’m forced to sit there while this lady sips on her giant, iced, frappacino-mochachino-macchiatto-latte, and grows a pair to cross two lanes of “traffic.” Finally, she pulls ahead and gets where she needs to be. Good for you, lady. I am happy for you….
The light turns green and I manage to parallel park in the first spot I see, and quickly. Go ME! I run across the street and standing there are two men. They smile and say “Good Morning” to me, and I give a little smile back. Ok, now for that text I have to send DH being nice and polite and trying my hardest not to come off as totally bitchy. The bus pulls up. It’s the 8:15 AM driver, and it’s 8:22 AM, he must be running late too. I wonder if he has a totally irrational threenager at home too. Probably not. I find an empty row and plop down. And I start to cry…. It all catches up to me. I look around and the guy across the aisle from me has no clue. Thank God. I’m just so tired and frustrated. I know I’m not a bad mom. I know I am trying my best and my husband is trying his best. I mean, aren’t we all? It’s just that raising a family is serious hard work. It can be grueling and not in a “let’s tear down and rebuild this retaining wall by hand,” kind of way. Sometimes, you just need to let it out. I’m not ashamed. I cry. I cry because I am human. It doesn’t make me weak, or bad, or less of a person. It does help me get out the frustration and anger and sometimes down-right confusion. Ok, we had a good cry. I’m on the bus; I’m on my way to the big city and should be there before 9:30, pending no major issues between now and the tunnel. I pull out my copy of the highly recommended book from my bag--- you know, the one that’s supposed to 'help you figure this all out and ‘voila!’ your life is all in order book’--- and I pass out…
Lights on, we’re here at Port Authority and start de-boarding the bus. Let's see, how far did I get in the book… oh, one paragraph. Improvement! Yesterday it was two sentences. I look up at the clock above the escalators and t’s 9:08 AM. I’ll make it well before 9:30 AM. Yesss!!! Let the rat race begin! I make my way down the escalators, whip through the turnstiles and am heading down to the subway platform. There’s a C train ready to go, but I need the E. Phew! As all city folks know, there’s nothing worse than seeing your train pull away as you get to the platform. I speed walk to my usual spot at the front of the train. I pull out my phone to check the time once again. I feel a tap on my shoulder. What now? Who could I know at this hour in the morning on the E platform?! Oh, it’s a nice young man letting me know something fell out of my pocket. Oops. Oh, it’s just the appointment card for my next visit with my therapist. Yes, I have a therapist, and you would too if you had the Hell of Year I just had…and anyone passing judgment right now probably needs a therapist the most. Just sayin’. The E pulls up and I mosey on with everyone else. Someone hits my backpack and I nearly spin a 360°. Typical. I come out from underground and book a right towards my destination. The sun is shining, the weather is nice and cool and I’m on my way. It’s a good feeling. Oh hey, is that Bowman?! I think I see my former co-worker. Oh wait, no, it’s not Bowman. Damn MJ, come on!! Not every tall, sharp-dressed black guy with a shaved head and Clark Kent glasses is Bowman. You’re better than this. “But he fools me every time!” my subconscious says.
I’m stopped at 54th Street; only 3 blocks to go! I glance down and my phone says it’s 9:23 AM. I’m good! We get the walk symbol and I go to move my feet and STOP! WHAT THE HELL?!?!? Lady, why aren’t you moving?? Ohhhh… you’re busy on your cell phone. That’s ok, I’ll walk around you. Ugh, people. Whatever, I keep going on my way and try not to let it bother me. I’m approaching the corner of 57th and see the countdown clock start. MAN, I manage to NEVER make the crosswalk countdown every time I try to cross 57th Str… NOT TODAY.. I’m going for it. I know it says “3, 2…” I’m going. I hike my backup up with both hands and make a run for it. Please don’t run me over taxi cab, delivery van and green-conscious person on your Citibike, I need to get to work by 9:30!!!! Phewww… I made it. I’m across the street in one piece and no one honked at me! NYC win. I walk through the front door, pass security—Oh, Hi Travis!—and get into the elevator. I have to listen to a couple of women talk about something I have no clue about, but after a couple of stops I’m there: I’ve made it to the 17th FL. Cue the angels singing. I don’t even have to take out my badge as someone is already at the door and oh-so politely opens it for me. Another win. I get to my desk, I plop down my bag, I take a deep breath. I look at my phone: 9:30. On. The. Dot. Go-friggin-Me. I did it. I sit down, I boot up the computer and close my eyes. I say to myself, “You made it. You’re good. Now relax.” All of a sudden my silence is interrupted with a shout, “MJ! Something’s wrong with the printer!” Son of a B----bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
*Photo © Jill Greenberg's "End Times"