Friday, January 21, 2005

Forgetting Sweetie Boo

Get this: Smartmom promised Mrs. Cleavage that she would pick Sweetie Boo up from afterschool today and she plum forgot.


Sweetie Boo had to wait in the principal's office until Smartmom and OSFO finally got him. He was sitting there for thirty minutes, the poor thing. THIRTY MINUTES. Needless to say, Smartmom felt like quite a cad.

Here's how it happened:

Last week Smartmom told Mrs. Cleavage that she'd be happy to pick up Sweetie Boo on Thursdays from afterschool. OSFO is in afterschool too. No problem at all. "I'll just swoop them both up and take them back to Third Street," said Smartmom sounding like the very model of a reliable friend. Mrs. Cleavage thanked Smartmom for her willingness to do it. And all was good.

Smartmom dutifully put "Pick up Sweetie Boo" on the calendar and made a mental note to herself. But then she put it out of her mind - misplaced that mental note. Completely.

Today was the first Thursday of their plan. It was also one of those days that kept taking unexpected twists and turns. Smartmom was all set to pick OSFO up at 4:15. But at 4 p.m. she, unexpectedly, had to wait around for a work-related phone call in her office. So she asked Beautiful Smile to walk over to the school to get OSFO. She never once said anything to Beautiful Smile about picking up the young lad.

Smartmom finally left her office at 4:30 and met up with OSFO and Beautiful Smile at the Mojo Cafe. Before she even said hello, OSFO blurted out: "Weren't we supposed to pick up Sweetie Boo?" At which point, Smartmom REMEMBERED!

"Oh my God," said Smartmom. She ran out the door of the Mojo and raced toward the school in a state of total panic. OSFO came running behind her. When they got to the door of the school, it was locked. A custodian was vacuuming the lobby floor. They banged on the glass door loudly. "Please let us in," they screamed. When she finally turned off the vacuume cleaner, she was able to hear them and opened the door. "We're here to pick up a child," The custodian looked at them funny as Smartmom and OSFO ran into the office.

And there he was sitting quietly on the chair looking uncomfortable with his coat and his backpack on. Sweetie Boo's afterschool teacher was in the office. She said that she'd tried to reach Mrs. Cleavage but there was no answer. Then she called Mrs. Kravitz who was now on her way to pick up Sweetie Boo.

The Judge was in the office too. Completely invisible to all but Smartmom, he was sitting at one of the Office Ladies' desks acting really smug: "How could you forget to pick up this child?" said The Judge. "Don't you write things down?"

Smartmom studiously avoided making eye contact with The Judge and thanked the incredibly nice teacher for watching after Sweetie Boo while he waited to be picked up.

Smartmom rubbed Sweetie Boo's back and asked him if he was scared. He looked sheepish and shy and nodded his head yes. "Did you think he was going to enjoy being abandoned?" The Judge asked, rubbing it in even more. She bit her lip and took Sweetie Boo's hand.

Smartmom, OSFO and Sweetie Boo ran into Mrs. Kravitz and Dynamic Duo turning the Third Street corner. At this point, Smartmom felt like such a terrible person that her need to make excuses went into overdrive. "It was one of those days" she said to Mrs. Kravitz. "I can't believe I forgot. He was in good hands in the office. The school is very good about things like this..."

Mrs. Kravitz seemed to understand.

The Judge didn't. He was sitting on the bench outside the Mojo nodding his head. "Everyone's gonna find out that you're completely irresponsible."

Smartmom saw Beautiful Smile, the Goddess of Stability and Unconditional Love, waiting in the Mojo. The Judge disappeared; he rarely shows up when Beautiful Smile is around. She has special powers.

"It was a good thing OSFO remembered when she did," Smartmom said to Beautiful Smile. "Otherwise Sweetie Boo would still be sitting in the office." Beautiful Smile gave Smartmom a nice big hug. As they walked together down Third Street Smartmom said, "Oh by the way, we're picking up Sweetie Boo. On Thursdays. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you."

Smartmom hasn't spoken to Mrs. Cleavage yet. She will. Tomorrow. She knows she'll understand. She'll probably still want Smartmom to pick up Sweetie Boo. Mrs. Cleavage is nothing if not a realist: What are the chances Smartmom will forget him again?

Not very likely. Not very likely at all.

Note: For those who are confused, The Judge is a figment of Smartom's mind. See the post: Cast of Characters (dated January 17. 2005).


At 5:56 AM, Blogger Savtadotty said...

[Note: I've been trying to post this for THREE DAYS, but Blogger didn't want me to.]

This comment is addressed to The Judge:
Hi there! I know you. You're the one who follows me around too, and pushes me to do it better. The one who says: "99% isn't good enough, it's got to be 100%." And you know what? Sometimes you're right. You got me partway to where I am today. But, and here's the ToughLove part, we both know I'm the one who gets to decide when to listen to you and when to turn your volume to the Off setting! So there! Nyah nyah nyah!

And back off a bit when Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn wants to cut herself a little slack. There are plenty others who need you more.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger red eft said...

SM, I love when you said "Out of my way, Asshole!" OK, that was when the Judge showed up at breakfast but I'm putting it here. I love both stories. Glad they took good care of Sweetie Boo. Something that could happen to any of us, these head-slapping moments.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Little Light said...

I am sure that one of my blood relatives forgot to pick me up more than once and I've grown into a fairly well-adjusted (and independent) adult. Don't fret.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

I had a feeling that judge was going to show up right around the time you remembered to pick up Sweetie Boo. Poor Smart Mom - I loved your piece about The Judge. Apparently, it has resonated with many people. Love, MIW

At 8:07 AM, Blogger jonesy said...

Sweetie Boo will survive and become a well adjusted adult. However, I must add that I remember not being picked up once at school - total oversight. And well, let's just say I still remember it!


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