As usual, the time change last week completely screwed with the pace of our daily schedule, and by mid-week when I thought we were nearing the end of the transition Leta fell asleep in the car on the way to the grocery store. At 5:30 PM. For those of you who have children I probably don’t need to go into too much detail about what that did to her bedtime, and what that delayed bedtime then did to the mood she was in for the next… oh wait, she’s still upset about it. For those of you who have never had to worry about the sleep schedule of an incorrigible, three-foot-tall shin-kicker, let’s just put it this way: this time change? It’s like running at full-speed on a treadmill while balancing an egg on the end of spoon that you’ve got clutched between your teeth. And if you drop that egg? Everyone dies.
One afternoon last week when I arrived at Leta’s preschool to pick her up, I walked in to find every single kid dead asleep on their individual cots. Usually no one is asleep, especially Leta who is normally sitting at the snack table eating pudding and then using the end of her ponytail to wipe her face. I’m thinking this is how she winds up pooping entire strands of hair, and why we’ve had to have a particular discussion over and over again, the one that goes, “Leta, what happens when you eat hair?” and she goes, “It comes out of my bum.”
Don’t want hair to come out of your butt? THEN STOP PUTTING IT IN YOUR MOUTH AND SWALLOWING IT. How can I be more clear than this? Do I need to draw a diagram? Here, let me demonstrate: eat this bowl of corn.
I motioned to the sea of sleeping children, and the teacher said something about how this time change never fails to mess up every kid’s schedule, makes them crazy and tired and in need of Toddler Valium. I nodded as I crossed the room to rouse my child who was noisily sucking her thumb. A few other parents showed up as I softly patted Leta on the back, and just then a girl Leta’s age hopped up, walked over to her little sister and violently jerked her off her cot. The teacher immediately took her by the arm before she sat on her little sister and demanded to know what she was thinking.
“It’s just… I’m so cracked out!” she shouted.
The teacher bit her mouth shut so she wouldn’t laugh, and the room was completely silent as I glanced at the other parents in the room to judge what would be the right reaction. That’s when a father of one of the boys in the room looked directly at me and said, “Aren’t you glad you were here to witness that?”
Absolutely, yes, but more relieved that it wasn’t Leta asking for “a goddamn drink of water.”