Monday, 4 June 2012

Three mornings

This morning when Deaglan told me he was feeling sick and needed to stay home, I stopped ironing my shirt, crouched down to look him in the eye,  and said this,

“You’re not sick, you're going to school.”

When he insisted that his tummy hurt, I told him it would pass. After a little back and forth, he reluctantly climbed back downstairs. A few minutes later when I could hear him all chirpy and fine, I ran down to confront him. “See? You feel fine now don’t you?” As if caught red-handed, he admitted that yes he did feel better but his tummy really did hurt a few minutes before.

“Okay, well this is how it will work at school today,” I explained, “you’ll have a tummy ache for a few minutes and when you do you’ll have to tell yourself, I’m going to feel better soon – you might even have to take a break in the Quiet Cubby. And before you know it, you’ll feel better again. Okay?”

Sadly, this is what a winter filled with work-from-home days to tend to my sick kids has come to. 
Tough love. 
Psychological affirmations. You are not sick. You can go to school.

Last Friday morning at the last minute before heading to work, I realized that I was leaving Shaune's folks without wipes for the entire day they'd be looking after the kids. I ran to Shopper's Drugmart despite Shaune's Mom's insistence that she'd be fine without them, could use a washcloth if need be. I grabbed an umbrella too since it was downpouring - I didn't want to leave my inlaws without one should they take the kids out.

In line, the cashier rang up the man in front of me. Made pleasant conversation about the weather. Asked him if he'd like a bag - most places around here charge for bags now in an effort to save on plastic.

When it was my turn, the cashier's tone changed. She didn't respond to my sing-song hi, bluntly asked me if I was buying two umbrellas. Confused I looked at the packaged one in my basket and the soaking wet one in my hand.

"Just one," I answered.

She took the baby wipes and umbrella, placed them in a bag and curtly told me my total. Without any further communication we finished the transaction. I hesitated at the door to hear the exchange with the next customer, resisted the urge to confront her for charging me for a bag without asking.  Again she was cheerful as she'd been with the man in front of me. She asked the young woman how her morning was going, if she'd like a bag for her purchases and made idle chit chat while waiting for the debit machine to approve the transaction.

I thought about the man that had been in front of me. Looked back at the young woman finishing up behind me. It was hard not to notice the only difference between them and me was the colour of my skin.

Lately when I get to work in the mornings I can't remember locking the house or the van. A few times last month I had to drive home after dropping Deaglan off at school to make sure I locked the front door. Last Thursday I had to turn around and battle the downtown traffic all the way back home to double check that I'd turned the oven off. I had.

This kid will not stay off the kitchen table. He often has to be coaxed down. When all else fails and I have to get firm, this is what I get. He's lucky he's beyond adorable still.

I fiddled around with the spacing on this post for a good 15 minutes. I couldn't get it quite right - I'm blaming Blogger.


  1. I am sad the grocery clerk treated you differently. Sad such things still go on.

    By the way, I always think I've left the garage door opened and often turn around to check. Never once have I but I always feel the need to check. Mom brain I say.

  2. Ugh...those are some tough mornings. Not a great way to start the day.
    I'm sorry.

  3. Shame on the clerk for treating you that way! And...for me it's my curling iron or straightener...almost every morning I ask my son if he noticed whether it was unplugged...normally it is, but I know the one time I don't go back to check, I'll have left it on. Ugh!

  4. Those are some rough mornings. The cashier story made me mad/sad at the same time. Sadly, I know all to well what that feels like. And I also worry about the house and things I've left on, but never go back. Sadly, I've left the coffee pot on way too many times to count, and I really think that more things need to come with an automatic shut-off function.

  5. Shame on that clerk. :-(

    I hope you have some better mornings soon.

  6. Wow, Day 1...awesome Mama.
    Day 2...It sucks, sucks, know I feel your pain. It just sucks.
    Day 3 He's adorable and he will eventually stay off the table.
    Hugs and Kisses my friend!

  7. I have started to dread mornings. I'm always forgetting something I was supposed send to my daughter's school. I can so relate to your experience with the cashier. It happens to me from time to time and it stings badly.

  8. You'd think in this day and age people wouldn't notice skin color so much. That was appallingly rude.

  9. That clerk is despicable! Reading about the way she acted is an embarrassment to every decent person out there. I'm so sorry Kim.

    With me-it's the darn coffee maker:)

    Beyond adorable-so true!!!

  10. Wow about the clerk. That's appalling. It'd warrant a complaint ot her manager, I'd think.


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