This morning, Audrey asked me if I could take William and Alex to pre-school while she took Benjamin to an appointment.
“Of course,” was pretty much my answer. So off I headed to Audrey’s at around 8:15, knowing that I should leave her home at around 8:45 in order to get them to pre-school for the 9:00 start.
This did not happen.
I did arrive at Audrey’s at 8:15, but stuff happened. You know. William couldn’t find one of his sneakers. Alex wanted the raincoat with the camouflage, like Uncle Dimi. William had no hood on his jacket and needed to find his umbrella. Benjamin had a last-minute diaper emergency. And then there was Henry. Who was going to take Henry?
I am a punctual person, so I had a keen eye on the clock. I kept saying things like, “Come on, guys. We’re going to be late for school.” You know. Grandmother things. And I came up with the idea for me to take Henry, pick up Auntie Janie along the way, and she could entertain Henry in the car while I got William and Alex all settled into school.
Finally, my 3 guys were safely in their car seats, and Audrey and Benjamin were on their way to the appointment. Within a few minutes, we had stopped by my home and Janie had hopped into the car with us.
William, from the 3rd seat, now had his keen eye on the clock. “Oh, man,” he said, “we’re going to be late for school.”
Jane asked, “How do you know you’re going to be late?”
William answered, “Because I see the clock. It is 8 – 5 -6. That’s 8:56. School starts at 9 – 0- 0. That’s 9:00.”
“Yeah,” Alex interjected, “Daddy taught William time.”
Well, that answered Janie’s question. And William rather impatiently updated us each time the clock advanced another minute.
Finally, I said, “Well, guys. When Mommy was asking you to get ready, you two dilly-dallied. And that makes people late.”
And then I whispered to Jane, “And we’ve hit every flippin’ red light.”
One thing I must remember about kids from my own child-rearing days is that kids hear everything. And soon enough, Alex admonished me about the bad word.
“What bad word? I asked.
“You know,” he said. “And what’s dilly-dally?”
And all the while, William was giving me a specific time update.
I was thinking… “I am having a conversation with a 3-year old about the words flippin’ and dilly-dally while being reminded about time by a 4-year old.”
I explained to Alex that the word flippin‘ is not really a bad word, but maybe I should not have used it because it sounds like a bad word. And dilly-dally means to waste time.
Oh-oh. There was that time word again as William let me know that is was 9 – 0 – 7.
Finally, we pulled into the school parking lot and I quickly got William and Alex out of the car and into their school… while Jane entertained Henry in the car.
But guess what? I forgot their back packs. I forgot William’s umbrella. I forgot Henry’s bottle for the trip back home.
I was thinking, “It’s only 9 – 1- 5. And look what trouble I’ve already managed to cause!”
Ah. Grandparenthood. Wouldn’t trade this time for flippin‘anything!