Sent an email to The Philosopher explaining that I have a play to review for work on Saturday, February 2, and that I’d be picking Renegade up at 12:30pm for such purposes and would pick Rebel up after the play (around 4pm) since it’s for ages 12 and up (i.e., inappropriate for five-year-olds, even five-year-olds smart and sophisticated enough to be in second grade).
One week ago:
Sent an email to The Philosopher reminding him about the play and the timing, including as it relates to Renegade and Rebel.
Had detailed conversations with (a) Renegade about the timing for today and (b) The Philosopher, reminding him of the timing for today. Both nodded their heads and said Yes, yes, shut up already, I’ll remember! when I asked them if they were listening.
In a voicemail, The Philosopher says, Renegade tells me you are picking him and Rebel up to take him to a play, but I have a vague recollection that you told me something different but I took his word for it and I don’t really know anything about any of this, so call me back right away to let me know what’s going on, because I made plans without the kids.
The following conversation ensues:
Me: This is why you need to NOT listen to Renegade.
The Philosopher: Oh, so you’re not taking both kids?
Me: No, the play is for kids ages 12 and up, so I’m already pushing it with Renegade.
TP: So what time would you be back to get Rebel?
Me: The play starts at 2pm and is 90 minutes long.
TP: So you’d be back around 3pm?
Me: 90 minutes means it would end at 3:30pm.
TP: Oh. Well, can I drop Rebel off with you at 6pm? That’s when I’ll be back from what I’m doing with The (Maybe) Crazy Girlfriend.
Me: Can you drop him off at Slavegirl’s house? We’re having a sleepover again tonight.
TP: I don’t know if I want to, because last time you didn’t listen to me about his bedtime.
Me: Just drop him off there, ok?
TP: Sure, but in the future can you let me know about these things in advance rather than the day it’s happening so I don’t make plans?
Me: If you check your email you’ll see I did.
I am not kidding when I say this happens AT LEAST once a week. And if I didn’t have the email messages in my “sent” folder I might think I was losing my mind. But then…
A voicemail from Renegade, in which he says, Mom, if you haven’t left yet, then call me back because I don’t want to go to the play with you because what Pop is doing is much cooler.
The following conversation ensues:
Me: So what’s the deal?
Renegade: What is it that you’re taking me to again?
Me: The play at that place where they have those workshops you like.
Renegade: Because I don’t want to go. I want to go to Chinese New Year at Navy Pier with Pop.
Me: Well, uh, they’ve had these reservations for us for a month.
Renegade: Can’t you go by yourself?
Renegade: Or are you going to force me and I can build up resentment toward you in a big-time way?
And then my cat hears the sound of my heart sinking and/or breaking, and I just tell him to go, and to make sure The Philosopher packs overnight bags for them both.
Realize this is what happens when I have a child with someone who’s been this way since the moment I met him, which was two years — and two breakups and one extended separation — before I got knocked up with his kid. Though I’m not exactly thrilled with the idea of my kids spending a day with The Philosopher and The (Maybe) Crazy Girlfriend when the kiddos were supposed to be with me, this is just what it is… and I’ve canceled going to the play so I can do what I should be doing anyhow: working and eating chocolate. Yes, chocolate is a necessary ingredient in today’s recipe for serenity. And I’m okay with that.