Yesterday kid pick-up could not have been more frustrating. Thursdays the kids have church choir so I leave the office early to get them from their after-school program and walk them the one block to church. When I arrived on campus, I had no idea where the kids might be, since they are at various clubs this early in the afternoon and are not waiting for me in their home rooms. I had to go to three different places to find Aaron, and then found out he had lost his mittens - again! - less than a week after I brought him to tears with a tirade after he had lost his other pair of mittens.
Finding Jada was even more maddening. Not only did I also have to look three different places before I could located her, but once I located her, I couldn't get to her. She could be seen through two sets of windows, but I had no idea how to actually get to that room. I walked through the toddler area, tried two sets of doors that ended up being locked, and then, exasperated, ended up in a third area, pointing frantically to the floor while panting to the poor teacher that was trying to teach her kids something, "isn't there a floor below this floor?" (Yes, it sounded as ridiculous then as it seems, writing it now.)
Finally, I got to the room where Jada was, only to find out that, several minutes before, her teacher had let her outside to where I was. So let's see: my daughter has been outside, in the dark, for several minutes, and now I can't find her. Panic. Seconds later, she appeared, running up from who knows where, but not before I died several deaths inside.
We ended up at church way late, and then I stormed home to work on something that needed to go out that night. When I got home and opened up my bag to get started, I saw a bag of salad that I had dutifully prepared the night before, made sure to fish out of our fridge that morning and bring to work, and made sure to not forget before I left the office, so that I could make our family's expected contribution to the potluck dinner that follows choir practice. In other words, after all that, the salad was with me and not at the church where it was supposed to be. Mercifully, Amy came home, and despite being even more tired than I and ready to crawl into bed, offered to bring the salad to church and eat dinner there with the kids so I could finish my work assignment.
My kids are at a golden age: no diapers and no teenage worries. I looked ahead, and will eventually look back, at this stage in their lives as one of the easier ones, stress-wise and logistics-wise. And yet some days it is maddeningly frustrating. Like yesterday.