A few days ago an issue came up within the comment section of a post that I wanted to take further. Parents who are always late for events. That would be the OA and I, thank you. And let me not kid you, it irks us hugely as well.
We’re rarely late because the baby needed her sleep. No sirree. We’re mostly late because we left well in time and about half way down the highway the baby threw up and we had to pull over and clean up. Or because we stopped to get a pot of mishti doi for our hosts and the Brat got his hands on it and opened it up all over the backseat. And if you’re done laughing, let me tell you that my kids did both of these within 20 minutes of each other, barely two months ago. We reached our hosts’ home an hour late, exhausted, covered in white matter that could be either puke or mishti doi, and ready to kill our offspring and feed them to vultures.
I don’t believe in making kids our excuse every time we’re tardy. But until a fortnight ago, we were both employed in high pressure jobs that called us at odd hours and kept us up nights at times. So depending on who the friend is, that you’re cursing, do try to take their entire lifestyle into consideration. What hours do they work? How old are their kids? Do they have family that they can leave the kids with? How many kids do they have? Is it convenient to them to attend your mid-noon party on a working day? If they’re hauling their sorry arses to your place anyway, after having lost one of their precious half days on your party, could you appreciate that instead of noticing that they’re a half hour late?
It’s been a tough two years for us with the OA travelling, me working, endless homework for both the kids, a high attrition rate of maids, a hectic social life and a lot happening on the family front. But we’ve made it to every social occasion even if it kills us. I feel that often its not appreciated enough.
I’ve seen people say they can’t make it because they have a something or the other scheduled for that day. I’ve even had friends call up and honestly admit that they’re just too exhausted after a long day to step out again for a party. Why then is it so hard to accept that your friend has her child’s nap scheduled at that hour? Sure, personally I’d drag a kid along and let them sleep in the car, but hey, whatever floats their boat. I spent the better part of the day debating the other side on my last post. Because I don’t think kiddie timings are sacrosanct. But that said, I also wish people who don’t have kids would appreciate what their friends are doing. You’d be okay with me coming late after a meeting, but not if my child wasn’t back from his karate class? Not fair. What makes his plans less important than your plans?
Anyhow, this is not to say that coming late anywhere is acceptable. If plans are made around only 2 couples, the OA and I make it on time, even if our butts catch fire. If its a party of 30 people and we’re not holding up dinner, we try to get back from work, get the kids settled, definitely, definitely inform the host we’ll be a little late and come in maybe 30 minutes late. If we’re stuck in traffic we always inform the host that we’re running late.
I got two nice forwards from friends and even though I don’t really like to use forwards as posts, I’m putting both up here for your reading pleasure.
The first is Carolyn Hax’s column from the Washington Post. You can read the original here.
And the other is A Mother’s Prayer at Night.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my mind.
I pray I find a little quiet —
Far from the daily family riot.
May I lie back – not have to think,
About what they’re stuffing down the sink.
Or who they’re with, or where they’re at,
And what they’re doing to the cat.
I pray for time all to myself —
Did something just fall off a shelf?
To cuddle in my nice, soft bed —
Oh no! Another goldfish – dead!
Some silent moments for goodness sake —
Did I just hear a window break?
And that I need not cook or clean —
Well heck, I’ve got the right to dream.
Yes, now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know —
I must have lost them long ago!