You may be wondering where I've been all week. Or if you're like me, you're completely unaware a whole week has passed. Tuesday, I drove to Columbia to give a talk to the Greater Columbia Area Mothers of Twins. The next thing I knew, it was Friday morning. That's when I remembered I was supposed to send my son to preschool in his "silliest, Seussiest socks or shoes." My son is very silly, and very Seussy, but all his socks are white, and he has outgrown his obnoxious Thomas the Train boots and fuzzy Wiggles slippers. So I needed to buy or borrow something.
Two days earlier, I told myself not to forget. I told my husband to remind me not to forget. We both forgot. So Friday morning, I dragged my children out the door 30 minutes early to stop by Wal-Mart on the way to school. I went to the kid shoe section in search of some funny slippers, only to learn they were out of stock until the holidays.
As I was rethinking my plan, my son spotted a pair of Lightning McQueen tennis shoes. I didn't find them particularly silly or Seussy, but they would do. He was so excited about his new zippy shoes, he started running down the aisle.
"Stop running..." I could barely get the words out of my mouth. I saw what was happening but couldn't do a thing about it.
My son's face collided with a metal pole in the center of the aisle. He started screaming, and the baby joined the chorus. I pulled off his glasses and examined his forehead, watching the bruise form under his skin. A Wal-Mart employee heard the commotion and checked to see what had happened. Then, she insisted we fill out an incident report. We were now five minutes late to school. (I take whacks to the head very seriously, and despite all the drama, fortunately, it was a minor bump.)
On the way to the checkout line, we saw a pair of purple, polka-dotted socks. Very silly and very Seussy. My son's smile came back. We grabbed the socks. Now, we were 10 minutes late to school.
"Sorry, this lane is closed," the cashier said and pointed to the open lanes on the other side of the store.
I trekked across the store, made the purchase and grabbed the bag. Then the clerk said, "Oh, I forgot to ring up the socks." I grit my teeth and bit my tongue.
Once in the car, I dressed my son in his new purple polka-dotted socks and Lightning McQueen shoes. I rolled up his jeans to his knees for effect. He was happy, but I was unnerved.
We arrived at school 30 minutes late. I told the teacher about my son's face-to-face meeting with the pole and asked her to keep an eye on him. He was already showing off his purple-polka dotted socks.
I left asking myself questions that were ultimately pointless, because what's done is done. How could I forget? How did something that was supposed to be fun turn out to be, so, not?