When I was in Dr. Desmond's car, I checked my phone and it was noon, a full half hour after I was to be at the school for pick-up.
The Pre-K and K have half days the first week. I knew this, and had told everyone this, but I got very caught up in a big event. I had no idea it would take so long, or that my brain would temporarily shut off.
As soon as I realized it, I called the school. Because I was not the one driving, and we were on the top floor of a crowded parking deck, I had plenty of time to make phone calls.
First, I called the school. The buzzed the teacher who confirmed that, yes, AJ was still there. I told them I was on my way. I then called Ben. I told him, but he was baffled as to why I was calling him if I was going to get her anyway. I called my parents' house, too, but my dad basically said the same thing. I would have let either of them pick her up, but I needed to take her to Liz and Patrick's house and, at that point, I just needed to see Anna June. I sent a text to Liz and I was so frantic, I didn't even use punctuation. As further punishment, Wesley would be asleep by the time I got there, so there would be no consolation with slobbery baby kisses, either.
I just needed to hold Anna June in my arms and apologize. I didn't really forget her, you see, but I just got tied up in a huge thing at work. Where I work, to do good in the world. But I didn't feel particularly triumphant at that moment - I felt more like gum on the bottom of a shoe.
Evidently, every parent goes through this at least once. I told an abbreviated version of the story on Facebook, and friends all had a story about forgetting or being forgotten. Drew even remembered the time when I mistakenly told our ride he had Scouts after school and wouldn't need a ride. So, evidently, I've done this before. All friends mentioned that they and their kids survived.
Mrs. B was not mad when I picked up AJ. She had gotten the message 17 minutes ago, and of course, sees this sort of thing all the time. They hadn't even tried to call. (How long do they wait? 30 minutes seems long for a 5 year old)
The good news is that there aren't more half days for a long while. AJ goes to after school care on the regular days, and we pick her up after work, just as we have been doing since she was 2 months old. We're back in the groove and everything seems to be going alright.
On the way to Liz and Patrick's house, AJ complained of not feeling well. She does this every day, when she is tired or hungry. I told her it was impossible to feel worse than I did at that moment. She didn't understand.
I was able to wait until I dropped AJ off to cry. I was pretty much a basket case the rest of the day. Everything had been temporarily discombobulated, with the boxes everywhere at home from the redone floors, to my computer at work being installed, to being out of the office he day before. Things have settled down. AJ and Liz made me some banana nut muffins, and I began to feel better. If she was going to get left, getting left on a day that school was still in session for the big kids and all the staff were there was a pretty good choice.