Thursday, April 15, 2010

T.G.I.M. (Thank God It's Monday) -- by Gina

You’ve heard of T.G.I.F… the well-worn battle cry of the 9-to-5 crowd? Well, I actually found myself this Monday morning thinking, and actually saying out loud to my co-worker, “Thank God its Monday!”

Of course, I started the weekend off like any other Monday to Friday office worker, looking forward to the weekend.

Friday after work was a quick bite with my husband and daughter, then off to shop for shoes for Gianna. Her 3-year old body is outgrowing clothes and shoes at a stupefying rate. I had so many things to do that weekend I figured it best to squeeze it in Friday evening.

Three shoe stores later, we arrived home weary and exhausted, and way too late, even for a weekend night. My neck and back were killing me; I realized it was from bending over lacing and unlacing many pairs of size 9, 10 and 11 sneakers (including ultra-cool Hannah Montana extreme high-tops, which after all the lacing and unlacing – you guessed it - didn’t even fit!)

After pizza, and what I foolishly thought would be a quick stop in to Toys R Us (HA! Did I mention it was a “sale day” and the line was longer than it is on Black Friday?), we headed to my niece’s ice skating party. My husband (thankfully) picked up my 3-year old so I could be just “Aunt Gina” and not “Mommy” for the rest of the afternoon.

After fighting traffic and getting slightly lost, we arrived at the indoor skating rink, tired but excited. My sister had assured me that I did not need to ice skate; there were going to be instructors there for those kids who have never skated, and none of the parents were going to be skating. I laced her skates up, headed for the ice, then waved over a coach who said it was too busy for him to spend more than a minute with her. Alissa, brave as she was, stayed on the ice, clutching the side of the rink and inching her way slowly and carefully around, while I followed along with her on the other side of the plexiglass, bumping into metal bleachers, giving her a thumbs up, and shouting, “You’re doing great! I’m so proud of you!” In an angry voice, she yelled through the glass, “Why can’t you go get ice skates and come help me!?” How could I explain there was no way I was getting my 41-year old feet into ice skates? Especially as her friend Valerie’s mom, (a 20-something tall, thin, blond), went gliding over to Valerie, took her hand, and skated off with her. My niece was glaring at me as I blurted, “But your mom said the parents didn’t have to skate!”

Then I noticed the poor child’s frozen little hands (apparently everyone knows you have to wear gloves when you go ice skating.) Not only because its cold, but as another mom shared with me, “We went to a skating party where a kid got his finger sliced off.” Great – that’s all I needed to hear as I quickly ushered Alissa off the ice, consoling, “You did great for a first time! I think its time to go back to the party room for cake!”

By this time, my niece is crying that her feet hurt too much to walk the long walk back to the skate rental counter to get her shoes. I took her skates off and, feeling sorry for her, (and guilty that I hadn’t donned skates, jumped onto the ice and helped her), I carried her back to the skate rental piggy-back style (I don’t know which was worse: carrying a 50 pound child on my already sore back, or her frozen little hands crushing my windpipe as she clutched onto my neck.)

Arriving home exhausted, I rested briefly then got ready for our next “Moms Night Out”. It was supposed to take place at- get this – “adult skate” at the new roller rink (!) which I just couldn’t face – I convinced the moms to change the agenda to just dinner… it turned out all the moms were, like me, too tired for a Moms Night Out!

The next day, as I wearily arrived for a big family Sunday dinner (late), my sister cornered me, asking a favor… “Can you take my son to a party next week – I can’t make it – it’s at the Y – a pool party… but don’t worry, you don’t have to swim…” She must have seen my eyes glaze over at the thought of it getting in the pool with a bunch of 11 year old boys….

Good thing I have another party, far away, already scheduled for that day, so I got out of it. The best part? It’s at a nice, quiet, toddler puppet show!

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