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It’s Spring Concert week at Jake’s school, a week I actually like very much. The concerts at his school are fantastic. But it stresses me out that he has to wear a suit a couple of times during concert weeks – once during the school day and once for the evening concert.
An organized person would probably check a month before to see if the suit needed to be altered (since my son seems to be growing about an inch a week). Have the suit pressed. Make sure the shoes and shirt still fit. Find the belt and bow tie that haven’t been worn since the last concert.
I, of course, did none of those things.
As much as I would like to put it all on Jake, he’s twelve, so I’ve been trying to ease him into being responsible for adult clothes. In April he had to wear his suit for the band picture, then again for a concert at Carnegie Hall. After the band picture I showed him how to hang the pants up so that they wouldn’t get wrinkled. After the concert I told him to do it, and to come to me if he had any problem. He said nope, went great, hung them up the right way. And I believed him. Rookie mistake.
So today he puts on the pants, and they look like they’ve been stored in a mayonnaise jar.
Now, I love my morning routine. When both kids were at the same school and had to get out of the door at the same time, mornings were the opposite of relaxing: they were frantic, there was a lot of sibling fighting, and everything needed to be done at once.
Now, the kids never see each other in the morning, and it’s blissful. Jake showers, wakes me up, I make him breakfast, and he leaves. I then have a full hour to myself to make my own breakfast, mess around on Facebook, and relax. Then Fiona comes downstairs and I get her off to school.
But that was not going to happen today. I yelled at Jake to take his pants off.
“TAKE THEM OFF! NOW!” and I left him to eat breakfast in his underwear as I raced upstairs with his pants and a cloth napkin (the closest thing I have to a “pressing cloth”) and set up the ironing board.
Where the fuck is the iron???
The iron never moves. It stays on the same shelf in the laundry room always because I don’t iron. Why would I iron when I could just throw the clothes back into the dryer with a wet sock?
Ahh, RIGHT! I was in a scavenger hunt last weekend and one of the items on the list was “obsolete technology.” I’d initially grabbed the iron, but then ditched it for a disposable camera. Where did I ditch it?
I finally found it and did a quick ironing of the pants. Not great, but no longer horrendous. Of course, now it was too late for Jake to get himself to school. I told him I’d drive him, completely screwing myself up by losing my parking spot (now I have to move the car twice today for alternate side parking, even though I need to be home to wait for a tree trimmer and a window repair guy).
When I dropped him off at school I noticed there were no other guys in suits and no girls in black dresses. “Yeah, those aren’t band kids” he said, and left. I yelled out the window that I had a bad feeling. That I was going to get a call from him in a few minutes.
I took this picture. I was going to Instagram it when I got home, with the caption “Dropping James Bond off at school.”
I never got the chance. Before I got home, my phone rang, and it was Jake. And I knew exactly what he was going to say. Yup, no concert that day. Not for the Senior Band. “Can you come back and pick me up?”
I had to get back home to get Fiona off to school – my husband was about to leave for work, if he hadn’t already. And I had a lot of other shit to do, and I had already spent almost an hour on his pants and driving.
I told him he could come home on his own if he wanted to change, if the school would let him.
Shortly after I got home I got a call from an assistant principal, saying that once the kids are in the building they really don’t like to let them leave.
“Listen,” I told him, “frankly I think his punishment should be spending all day in school in a suit and bow tie for no reason. But if you want to let him come home, that’s up to you.”
Twenty minutes later he was home, getting a lecture from me about responsibility. And this weekend he’ll be doing what he hates the most in this world: working in the garden with me. And after tomorrow night’s concert, we’ll be having a long lesson in how to hang up suit pants, a skill every boy needs to know.
The calendar thing, well, he has me for a mom. His disorganization is genetic. He’s going to have to work hard to overcome it.