The Case of the Missing Books

So it’s a Friday morning in the recent past. My oldest, The Solicitor (TS), is zipping along, getting ready to ride his bike to school with some friends.  It’s also the Pink Goth’s birthday. (PG is my middle child, a girl. If you want to know why we call her that, read this post.)

Somehow we have set a standard of three cake events for birthdays. One at school (usually cupcakes), one at home that night (decorated by siblings) and one at the party (requiring licensed characters and/or creatures). I don’t know how this standard came to be. I only know that it is now sacred and deviating would be like the changes of Vatican II, only more contentious.

Once I get TS out the door, I’m planning on piling PG and Turbo (my little guy) into the car, dropping them at school, stopping by the store for cupcakes (I’m buying instead of baking this time. Sue me.), dropping off said cupcakes, then zipping over to TS’s school where I’m scheduled to serve pizza for lunch.

Good thing I’ve gotten all my movie reviews done early. I can afford to take the morning off.

I’m supermom. I can do it.

Of course, it’s never that easy. Disaster strikes. TS can’t find his tie, required for his uniform on Fridays. Together we tear the house upside down. No luck. I am looking in the most unlikely of places. Under my bed. Kitchen cabinets. Even the drawer where it goes. Nothing.

At T-minus three minutes till school starts, I tell TS to go without and take the fates the gods (or his teachers) send him.

He rides off and I rush the other kids to the car. But not before noticing another disaster. TS HAS LEFT HIS BOOKS AND HOMEWORK ON THE TABLE!!

I pick up his stack of books and work and shove them into his backpack. I have to get a forklift to do this. They weigh a lot.

I drive the younger two to school. Turbo, the little guy, complains. Something about his backpack. Blah blah. I don’t have time to check it. I have cupcakes to buy, kid!

I shoo them out and off to a day full of wonder, exploration, and learning.

I drive to TS’s school, on my mission to restore his books and homework. But the backpack bulging with his heavy books isn’t in the car. Nowhere. I swore I put it in. Two other moms watch me warily as I circle the car repeatedly, peering in windows. I’m new here. My reputation can’t afford unexplained car peering. I give a jaunty wave. A little laugh like I know what I’m doing.

I’ll just swing back by the house where it’s surely sitting by the door, after dropping off cupcakes, and circle back to the school. Again.

I rush to the store. TS calls me. “My teacher is MAKING me call even though I TOLD her MOM KNOWS that I’m not wearing a TIE.” I tell him see if he can borrow one. By the way, I’ll bring his books just as soon as I zip back home and get them.

“What books?” he says, “I have my books.”

The mystery deepens.

I drop off cupcakes, kiss my girl. I serve pizza and banter with TS’s class while trying not to embarrass him, a nearly impossible task, but I pull it off. I think.

After school, TS patiently explains, as you would to a very small child, that the books he’d left on the table weren’t needed at school that day. That’s why he left them. Duh. So much for mom to the rescue.

But it’s not until Turbo struggles into the car after school that all is revealed. He asks for help lifting his backpack into the car. The seams are straining.

Yep. You guessed it. I had shoved TS’s books into Turbo’s backpack and sent him to elementary school with 35 pounds of Jr. High work.

TS found this quite amusing. Turbo did not.

Mystery solved. The kids were all fine. It was mom who was creating problems.

Again.

Epilogue: We found TS’s tie in a pocket in his backpack. He’d had it with him at school the whole time. Isn’t irony delightful?

About Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a lead critic and editor of entertainment at Patheos. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey

  • Kathy Tuan-Maclean

    Thanks for the morning laugh! Your experience sounds all too familiar, but I do a lot more screaming at my kids through it all. . .

  • Christa

    Been there. Oh wait, I’m still there. And I am afraid I have to echo Kathy, that my story would involve much more yelling and heavy, disappointed sighs, but I’m working on it! I even had my bible study add “give Christa paitence” to our prayer list. I’ll let you know how its working.


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