From Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work I Go—Not

Well, it seemed like a typical morning in the Davis household. The alarm sounded at its usual 5:00 AM, and of course, I responded as I usually do—by hitting the snooze button. Normally, whenever the snooze button is hit, the alarm would sound every five minutes, so I would lie in bed and calculate in my head the number of times it snoozed, and then I would get up around 5:30 AM.

This particular day, something was wrong with either the clock or my counting, because when I heard it go off again, it was 6:45 and not 5:30. I jumped out of bed, pulling rollers out of my head and at the same time trying to undress for the shower. After showering and brushing my teeth, I hurried to dress and comb my hair. I prayed that my four- and two-year-old would cooperate and get washed and dressed without incident. Luckily, I had prepared their clothes and the lunches the night before as most working mothers do. Surprisingly, my two-year-old son awakened by himself and didn’t put up much fuss when I washed him. Like most independent two-year-olds, he insisted on dressing himself without any help from me. As he dressed himself, I attempted to waken my four-year-old daughter. She wasn’t too happy about getting up.

She went through her daily ritual of saying the days of the week so she could see how close the weekend was. She kept singing, “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.” Suddenly she looked up at me and asked, “What day is today?”

I told her that it was Friday. She looked at me strangely and started singing the song again until I finally asked her to stop singing and go brush her teeth.

Because my husband normally fed them breakfast and dropped them off at the day-care facility, I figured that if I left the house by 7:45, I wouldn’t be too late for work. After combing my daughter’s hair and brushing my son’s, I was ready to leave. I didn’t even notice that my husband wasn’t home until I went downstairs and he was nowhere to be found. Angrily, I fed the kids breakfast and hurried them into the van so I could drop them off. My daughter started singing the days of the week again. After singing she asked me again what day it was. I was so concerned about getting them to day care and getting to work on time that I ignored her.

As I drove to the day-care center, I heard my daughter singing that song again. Feeling stressed and frustrated and tired of hearing her song, I decided to call my husband to find out why he wasn’t there to drop the children off. As soon as he answered the phone I started my inquiry, not giving him a chance to say anything. When he finally got my attention, he said something that surprised me. “Honey,” he said, “it’s Saturday. You don’t work on the weekends.”

I laughed so long and felt so foolish that I had no choice but to apologize to him. Out of the blue my wonderful four-year-old said, “Mommy, are you sure it’s Friday? Because yesterday you said it was Friday, and Friday can’t come two days in a week.” I laughed and told her that Mommy had made a mistake and that today was Saturday. She shook her head and said, “Silly Mommy. You must be tired.”

As I turned around to head home, I looked back at my two-year-old son; he sat there sucking on his two middle fingers, looking very confused. He finally asked, “Why are we going home.” I laughed as I listened to his sister tell him, “Because Mommy doesn’t know her days of the week.”

Crystal Davis

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