Midlife Mom, Interrupted.
Hey guys, remember three years ago when we did Back to School during a pandemic?
Hey guys, welcome to my first “bonus post” for paying subscribers. As FB so graciously reminded me, three years ago we were braving “back to school” with remote learning. I guess the general message is, if you think this back to school season is a shitshow, let’s not forget how deeply the odds were stacked against us three years ago! So today, I’m bringing you an essay I wrote in fall 2020 (featuring a whimsical and profane poem at the end!) about what life looked like three years ago, right now. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t pretty. Did I mention we were undergoing an ill-timed kitchen remodel at the same time? No? What a dumb idea that was.
Next week’s bonus post will be the aforementioned addendum to this week’s regular column: I Saw Taylor Swift and Tori Amos in One Week, and I Have Thoughts, fun!
Midlife Mommy, For Real is a reader-supported publication. Consider becoming a subscribing member to get access to bonus posts like this one, and the great karma of knowing you are supporting work you find meaningful and/or painfully relatable. xo
8:30 am, Week 8, morning 2 of remote learning. Your 14-year-old has already been “at school” in the basement for nearly an hour, typing on her Chromebook in her pajamas. You roll your 9-year-old off your body and out of your bed, urging her to get ready for the day. You say a prayer of gratitude that this process does not actually involve leaving the house, and hastily prepare a bagel for her to shovel in while completing her daily morning worksheets. She is in a foul mood, which is undoubtedly a foretaste of the rotten feast to come.
But you don't have time for that shit, for making coffee or helping with math facts, because all of a sudden your dog is barking ferociously, as there is a strange work truck parked in your driveway. This could be less surprising, because you are in fact in the middle of a kitchen remodel (actually, 7/10 of the way through it but who's counting at this point *maniacal laughter, dry heaving*) because you are certifiably insane and a glutton for pandemic punishment. But it is still a surprise, because in fact, nobody informed you that a delivery or installation was imminent.
You glance down at your attire—MTV pajama pants from Target, kitty cat slipper socks, and the kimono robe you purchased off a targeted FB ad. Well, that's embarrassing. You can't just shed your robe because you are in fact braless and your tank top is a thin piece of crap. Spotting your daughter's discarded hoodie, you toss it on, lower half of your body be damned, and greet the men with "Heyyyy I'm actually not sure who you are or why you're here?" In other words, the tagline of women who frequently appear on Dateline as idiotic victims of some sort of nefarious crime.
While standing in your driveway wearing a too-small mask one of your kids tossed on the floor, you beg the dudes for five minutes to move your child—still eating and grumpily completing worksheets—to the designated "Kitchen workers are here, hurry the hell up to your bedroom" learning area, contain the dog, and move all the kitchen crap that is in their way, but not before brewing yourself a motherloving cup of fucking espresso.
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