The Marley Meltdown

April 28, 2011

Today is a special day. Dave is taking Sam to “Take your kid to work” day and Sam is wearing his finest suit and tie for the occasion. He prepared all night coloring pictures to present to Dave’s clients. Sam is serious about this and is looking forward to a fun day in San Francisco with his Pops. He even decided to forgo his usual nighttime bath so he could shower in the morning – Just. Like. Dad.  After their adventures in the city, they plan to head to the gym for a nice swim – the perfect way to end a busy day.

I thought this would also be a special day for me and little Miss Marley. We could spend a nice morning together, enjoy breakfast, get ready for school, without the rush or frenzy that generally occurs when getting 2 kids prepared for school. Sam was out the door before Mar even awoke, so I was looking forward to the calm. Ha – was I wrong!

When Mar woke up everything seemed to be fine. She asked for her brother and I explained he went with daddy and it was just a special morning for her with mommy. I had her pick out her outfit for school, hooked her up with some reading material, and I got ready for the day. I went into her room to get her dressed and she decided she did not want to wear what she picked out, so we went to the closet and started again. This was meltdown #1 – the “I do NOT want to wear that, or that, or that” meltdown. I finally chose 2 outfits and said you have the choice between Beautiful Dress, #1 or Beautiful Dress, #2. and I left the room. 30 seconds later I returned and she (while sobbing) made her selection. Okay..this is progress. I got her dressed and we headed downstairs for breakfast.

Breakfast was smooooth, which is not too surprising, because as we know from previous posts Marley LOVES FOOD! She even let me comb her hair, put on her sweater (she never does this) and we had a few minutes to spare. Awesome! So I did not anticipate what was about to happen next,  meltdown #2 which was the “WHY ARE WE TAKING DAD’S CAR TO SCHOOL” meltdown. Oh damn – I loaded the car and navigated around her while she had her moment and eventually strapped her in the car. I should also mention the straps on the car seat in Dave’s car are on the dangerously loose side, so I always have to tighten them when I put her in Dave’s car, which in turn pissed her off again. But thanks to quick mommy thinking, I performed a” fake loosing of the straps” manuever and she chilled out.

Unfortunately, my expectations of a glorious morning just mom and daughter, fell short. This is terrible to admit, but at this point I was excited about the thought of dropping her off at school so she could be someone else’s problem. Our drive to la escuela was actually really pleasant. Dave always has his car programmed to Howard Stern and I have a history of breaking things in his car, so rather than change the channel to something more appropriate, I just played it safe and turned off the radio. Marley and I talked the entire way to school, she sang all the songs in her repertoire, including “5 little speckled frogs” which, when she sings it sounds more like “5 little fuckin’ frogs”.  Phew…the morning just got upgraded to mildly pleasant. 

It was all good until we got to the parking lot of the school which initiated Meltdown #3  the “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL” meltdown. I was able to score a front row parking spot which was great because at this point it has become very strategic. I must. have. a plan.   I calmly grabbed her things and went to get her out of the car. She resisted the entire way – funny how only minutes before the straps of the car seat were straps of death, now only to become her very best friend. As we make our way to the front door (note: only a few steps, what could possibly go wrong?) Mar Mar grabs my car key and throws it – the key breaks open- the battery flies out and I am left with three little pieces. A very nice dad with his well-behaved angel finds all the pieces and starts to put it back together only to become totally confused, gives up, hands it all back and apologizes. Great, if he can’t fix it, how will I? I decide to forget about the key and get Marley to her classroom. She is crying, holding onto to my neck and I can barely walk. She has never done this before and she usually loves school. By the time I make it to the classroom, mere steps from my car, I am a disheveled sweaty mess, hair attached to my lip gloss and all. Everybody is staring and I am nodding my head like a homeless man on crack. What. Just. Happened? I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it. The sweet, lovely teacher that returned today from her honeymoon, lovingly grabbed Miss Marley (ha, welcome back) and I darted out of the room, never to look back.

Of course I looked back. Through the safety of the front desk computer via in- classroom cameras. I think this is why I pay so much for preschool. Of course the little lady “played” me. By the time the director brought up the cameras Marley was standing by her teacher with the clipboard checking kids off on the roll sheet. That’s my girl. I have heard so many seasoned parents tell me that all they ever wished for was that their children were well-behaved when other people were watching them. Yeah, I get it. But it does not come without a price,  the wrinkles on my face clearly had a victory today. Next stop – Botox.

3 Responses to “The Marley Meltdown”

  1. casey Says:

    Oh nelly, can’t wait for days like this! Ha!

  2. Kristin Says:

    So what did happen with the key? Valerie, you crack me up! Looking forward to seeing you Saturday! xo

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