Early last week Raquel was sent home with a notice to us (her parents) that she would be receiving a 'special award' at Friday's awards assembly. We were to keep it a secret so she could be surprised when they announced her name. Jose couldn't stand not knowing exactly what the award was so he found out by asking around (I would have preferred to be surprised). Her teacher invited us to the assembly which was to be at 10:20am Friday, October 30th. Already planned this day was the school's annual Halloween Parade at 1pm. Since the children were not permitted to wear their costumes to school in the morning, parents who could were allowed to arrive at 12:30pm to dress their children and apply makeup in the classroom. Raquel's costume was a clown with full facepaint and a wig. I was also in charge of bringing Halloween cupcakes to the after-parade party in the classroom. Jose was able to switch shifts at work so he might help me in the morning with everything but he wasn't able to stick around past noon. I am getting ahead of myself, hold on...
Friday morning I painted clown makeup on my own face, Jose dressed Maxine in her witch costume (which had been Raquel's 4 years ago) and I packed the truck with diaper bag, makeup case, bag of costume and accessories for Raquel and 3 containers of cupcakes. Jose got caught up with a business associate on the phone and I thought I would be late so I strapped Maxine into the truck and took off to the awards assembly (we were taking separate cars anyways since Jose would be leaving from the school to go to work). Confused yet? It gets worse. So, I'm driving on the 210 freeway hoping not to be late to the assembly when upon exitting the freeway Maxine got carsick all over her pretty costume. Her carseat was a complete mess. And since she hadn't gotten carsick in so long, I didn't bother to bring towels or extra clothing--assuming we were in the clear was a huge mistake. I must have uttered the F-word 20 times while parking the truck and wondering what my next move would be. I carefully took off the witch dress and threw it in the bed of the truck, leaving Maxine in her dampened undershirt and black tights and smelling like vomit. I smelled that good, too. We walked into the assembly and sat with my sister-in-law in the audience. I was in a terrible mood but Maxine was cheerful as could be.
Anywho, Raquel won an award for creativity. She really is the most creative child I have ever known. After the assembly we gathered outside to take pictures of the award winners with their teacher. That's when Jose showed up and boy was he mad. Apparently, he had left the keys to our other vehicle in the truck, which I had driven to school, obviously, leaving him at home without keys. I was so involved in getting to school on time and then cleaning up Maxine's puke that I didn't even notice him calling my cell phone. We were both very unhappy that morning to say the least.
Jose then took Maxine home and changed her into clean clothes and came back to school. In the meantime, I travelled back and forth from my truck to the classroom, dropping off the cupcakes and the Halloween costume bag and makeup case and then I sort of cleaned out whatever I could in the truck. Jose put the other carseat in the truck and I put the yucky one in the bed of the truck. Then Jose left for work and Maxine and I hung out at Raquel's school until we were allowed to enter the classroom to put her costume on. Maxine's bottle was empty by now and she was cranky. I was hurrying to do a decent job on Raquel's clown makeup. The classroom was hot, stuffy and crowded. Raquel's teacher was kind enough to carry Maxine around while I was busy with Raquel (she couldn't bare to hear her cry). I was sweating and anxious for this ordeal to be over. It was supposed to be fun and I wasn't having any fun. The parade seemed to go off without a hitch even though we stood outside a while in the sun and heat waiting for all the classrooms to get lined up. There was even a drum section from the middle school across the street, the drummers being mostly female, which all us mothers thought was so cool. Raquel looked cute and Maxine seemed to be entertained enough to forget she needed a nap and a bottle. She was pretty content in the Bjorn and even feel asleep for a few seconds to the beat of the marching band drums. Everything was OK from then on.
When we got home, I was beat. I don't know how single mothers do this day in and day out.