“As soon as I’m done giving Little L her asthma treatment and I’ve brushed C’s hair you guys can roll.” M just looks at me. “C’s lunch is in the fridge, ready to go. I put her change of clothes in there with it so you wouldn’t forget it.” He nods absentmindedly. I’m not sure he’s heard anything I said, he’s pretty engrossed in The Little Einsteins‘ adventures, so I stop my diatribe for a moment.
Little L’s nebulizer finally sputters, signaling that it’s done dispensing her medicine. I put her down and hand her a bottle of milk and turn my attention to C who has been lolling on the couch next to us for a while now.
“Baby’s hair first!” she protests, but relents when I threaten to turn off the TV. The credits are rolling; her favorite part. I pull out the brush, comb, and leave in conditioner and sigh when I see the tangled mess I have to deal with. A quick glance at the clock tells me I should hurry, but gently to limit the complaints.
“If you drop Little L off first do you leave C in the car?” M, asks, waking up a bit now that the show is over.
“Yes, but if you drop C off first you have to unload Little L and take her with you.”
Braids finally finished I hunt for Little L’s bottle and hand it to her. I do a surreptitious butt sniff – phew, no diaper change needed – and head to the kitchen in M’s wake. Now that they’re on the verge of leaving he’s changed gears. He’s ready, they’re moving, this is the moment he’s most likely to forget everything.
“Is C’s lunch in the fridge?”
“Yes.” I answer as he reaches in and grabs it.
“Why did you put her clothes in here?” He asks, looking at me like I’m a nut case. I don’t even answer, he has the clothes in hand, that’s all that matter. At least they aren’t languishing on the edge of the couch.
“M, listen, you can’t forget the clothes. They’ve been doing a lot of water play at school and she’ll be soaked all day if you forget to put them in her cubby.”
“And the doggy. Don’t forget the doggy.”
“What doggy? The car doggy?”
“Yes, if you leave with the doggy, she won’t be able to nap.”
“You can just leave it in the cubby, with her clothes. Oh, and don’t forget to sign her in. We get fined if we forget.”
“Her lunch box has to go in the fridge, because of her yogurt.”
“And you need to bring Little L’s bottle into the daycare. Don’t leave it in your car.” His eyes are glazing over. “Do you need a checklist? I think I should give you a check list.”
“No, no, it’s OK. I’ll forget something, but it’s going to be OK.” He smiles at me, clearly teasing.
“No!” I wail, “you can’t forget anything. If you forget the clothes C will be wet all day, and if you forget the doggy she won’t nap, and if you forget her lunch she’ll starve. And Little L needs her bottle.” But my wails go unheard, he’s already on the other side of the yard waving. I wave back and feel my shoulders relax. For once if something gets forgotten it won’t be my fault.