Last month when we were all still enjoying it getting cozy and dark shortly after lunch, I hopped in Mr. Wonderful’s truck, a vehicle I don’t normally drive, to take our daughter and her friend swimming at the local inn.
It was the kind of “Mom’s Taxi” weekend I’ve come to know and love. The girls would swim and then I would retrieve our son from another friend’s home at 8 p.m.
The girls enjoyed their swim and were buckling in to the truck when I looked at the dash and very nearly screamed. The clock said 8:08! I had completely forgotten to pick up my son!
I am “that mom.”
I barked at the girls to dial my phone (cheap version of hands-free). I was in full panic mode. I called a good friend since we had discussed his bringing the boys home.
When he answered and said, not nearly as panicked as I would have preferred, “Yeah I was thinking of picking them up,” I was appalled. He was just now “thinking about” it?”
“They were to be picked up at EIGHT!” said I. Still unfazed he said only “yeah.”
Disgusted with his apathy, I barked “I’m already out. I’ll get them,” and hung up.
I wheeled out of the parking lot like Bo Duke — if Bo drove hunched over the steering wheel and reached speeds of almost 25 whole miles per hour (village speed limit).
We finally reached my son’s friend’s house and pulled into the driveway to find the property pitch black. Being me, I took the opportunity to be all huffy and indignant: “They KNOW people are coming to pick up their kids and they can’t turn on a porch light?”
We picked our way through inky blackness to the front door, me basking in the superior glow of their dark yard.
Knocking, we caught the mother of the house relaxing on her sofa. She hopped up to answer the door, clearly confused yet graciously invited us in. She further explained that she had no idea where the boys were but would call them inside.
I was at this point completely annoyed that our son was making my tardiness that much more apparent as we loitered in this lovely woman’s foyer.
I was getting more irritated by the second. I hold the standard that when I say I am coming to get you at 8, you better be standing ready at 8. I am not a woman who waits on children.
The bonus here is that I can now deflect all responsibility for my own lack of punctuality on to a child. Speaking of which, I am now working myself into a high dither.
That boy is so going to get it when he finally appears. Why is he not ready to leave? I pulled out my phone to call him again. At that moment I see that my phone says, very prominently, 7:24 p.m.
Why is my cell phone wrong?
Wait. Oh. What???
Timed. At that very moment our son appears at the back door, mighty aggrieved at having been pulled away from the party EARLY. It is only 7:24 p.m. Not well after 8. Yes, friends, I had sped across town, berated a good friend, and showed up at the host’s door all well in advance of any need to.
This explained everything from the lack of concern on the part of our friend who might have retrieved the boys to the confused reaction of the host’s mother. Better yet, the girls, my two darling Honor Roll students riding around in the backseat, picked that exact moment to say, “Well that DID seem odd. I mean the hotel lobby clock said 7-something and then we walked out to the truck and it was 8?” Thanks for sharing girls.
That’s right. There were at least three points when someone might have alerted me that I had the time wrong. None did.
I really thought that sort of thing only happened on sitcoms. I slunk out of the host’s home muttering and waving “Forget this happened. I’m not here” with the host’s laughter (at me not with me) ringing behind me.
Our son will probably never be invited back there again (“Nice kid but his mom is WEIRD”).
When he heard of this — and you KNOW he did — Mr. Wonderful chimed in cheerfully “Oh yeah, the clock in the truck is an hour fast. I never set it after the last time change. It got me the other day too.”
Lord he’s lucky he’s cute.
Does anybody really know what time it is? If they live with MY family, the answer is “No.”
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is rarely on time.)