I made a big boo-boo today. I was in a meeting and lost track of time until a co-worker asked me, "Don't you have to take your son to school?"
"Yes," I said. "At 12:15."
PANIC! Danger, Will Robinson! And then that crazy sqwaking alarm from "Emergency!" AAAh-oooh-EEEEE!
Then mama was slamming her feet into her shoes, jamming her arms into her sweater, and cramming her coat under her arm.
Clack, clack, clack, clack as I speedwalk through the student union so that I don't look like a complete dork in front of the entire student body, or at least the ones waiting in line for food service.
Stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp as I climb the steps of terror. You can see the ground in between the steps and I have a fear of heights, so it was a Major Accomplishment for me to haul up this staircase, right up the middle and without clinging to the handrail like it was a ski tow rope.
Click, click on the tile for the two steps until I hit the doors.
Then SPRINT! Mama's running across campus in heels. Mama's running downhill perilously fast in pumps. Mama gets to the car, does an illegal U-turn while buckling her seat belt, drives three blocks to the sitter's, where an anxiously waiting man-child greets me at the door.
"I'm-oh-so-sorry-I-was-in-a-meeting-and-am-so-sorry-I'm-late! Let's-get-in-the-car-fast!" He can get in the car fast because it is still runnning and his door is flung wide open. Like a good little rabbit, he scurries to the car and into his seat.
While I'm buckling him, he asks in a quivering voice, "How many minutes?" As in how many minutes before we're late.
"Umm..." I falter. He's self-conscious enough that telling him we're late will freak him out. "One minute!" I say.
"That's not much time, mom..."
"Nope. But we'll get there. It's only five blocks and when we're on time there are always kids getting there after we do."
"Yeah, but everyone's going to stare at me."
"No they won't! Look -- those kids are late, too!" I had spied a daycare provider with four kids in tow arriving only a moment before we parked. "we'll be just fine! I'll unzip your coat when I unbuckle your carseat and we can take it off before we get into your room. I'll even carry it and your backpack, so all we need to do is find you name over your hook and then you can play, okay?'
Thankfully, the plan worked and he was in his class a mere four minutes late (my co-worker's watch was three minutes fast). And me? Well... I'm not flushed and sweaty anymore and my feet aren't screaming with blisters, so I'll consider that a winning performance. Whew!