I am a scattered mom. Scattered to the point that am prone to run late while picking up my kids. Not always my fault, but am not one of those panicking ones, unless of course they are in a place that’s going to shut down. Or they were small, like really really toddler small.
Summers am even more laid back. No, am not saying I subscribe to IST (Indian Standard Time which is usually 30 minutes beyond the normal time the others in the time zone go by)
Munchkin is made of a completely different cloth than my other two. She is as much like me as she is not like me.
She hates being late.
She hates being picked up late.
She has to be on top of stuff.
She can get mad.
She can get very very mad and angry.
She can get scary.
So knowing the above, I try my hardest to stay on top of all things “munchkin” – until I forget and go gazing at some Instagram pictures or dreaming up my vacation to the Myconos, or plain let lethargy get to me, knowing that am an excellent driver and I can fly my way to pick her up even.
I indulged in one such moment today.
I was to pick her up at 2.30 pm, after dance class.
I had my eye on the clock and it was 2.17 and I was just winding down an article when the phone rang. It was her dance teacher. I knew at that moment that I was late. But how could I be? I still had 13 minutes left!
I answer, to be told that she was going to take munchkin home and that I could pick her up from there (instead of at the class)
I embarrassingly grin and thank the lord that the teacher was a friend and bolt out of the house.
I arrive and the teacher and I make small talk.
I wave to munchkin and she goes back in to pick up her bag. Marches past me to the front door. Ignores my hi and smile. I knew I was in trouble. She grabs the keys from me, opens the van door and plonks herself in buckled while I say my sorrys, thankus and goodbyes. In that order.
I try to make small talk. Stony silence. Conversation went like this:
Me: Hey, so how as class today.
Looking into the rear view, I see she has her lips drawn intoa straight line, and staring out the window.
I try again: Did you remember that dance you were supposed to look up and didnt?
She now looks at me. In the rear view mirror, and burns two scarring holes into my face.
Munchkin! tell me, I persist (asking for trouble)
She now nods. A cursory kind.
Oh, you remembered? That’s great.
She now breaks the barrier and snaps “ I did not ok?”
Oh. Is that why you are upset.
She gives me a “are you crazy look” and decides to clarify with a monosyllable. A sharp clear and no nonsense “No” pops out and then the communication has ended.
I give up and we drive home with the 99.5 FM.
Once inside the garage, she stomps off the van and marches upstairs.
I call out to her to ask if she needed a snack, but by then she was out of e ar shot.
I Make myself a cup of tea and settle down to write.
In about 10 minutes, I hear frantic running steps rushing down. I think it’s my son for a moment. He tends to draw attention like that. He is a high school kid. They are strange that way.
So out pops munchkin from behind, stands in front of me with a shy smile, spreads her arms out wide and declares in a bright yet soft voice
“I forgive you!”
..before she plonks into my arms .
I laugh. She laughs. We hug.
Thanks for forgiving me. Am sorry I was late.
Flips over to the empty side of the couch and looks up at me with a sense of urgency and says “what’s there to eat?” – all but hiding the brat within her.
Ahem, is this why you forgave me? Coz you were hungry?
You always come late, am used to it. I get angry, but right now, am HUNGRY!
Gotta love them daughters. Especially ones who are little replicas of oneself. Ones who go cuckoo and nutty when they get hungry. Like their moms.
It takes a bigger heart and mind to forgive than to apologize. That’s why it’s easier to forgive as a child and as an elder. The rest of us in the middle, we such dimwits I tell you.