Family / Kids

Who’s On First: Two Moms Edition

IMG_0322It’s the end of the school year and there are roughly 139 activities going on (give or take one or two). There are choir concerts and school plays on top of the usual things like soccer practice and less important stuff like eating and showering. As the parents of two busy kids, my partner, Luisa, and I are clutching our iPhone calendars in our hot little hands everywhere we go and hoping that each child is picked up and deposited in the appropriate place without incident.

Last Thursday, our son had a choir concert and – miracle of miracles – our daughter, Zeca, had no activities that night. As the younger of the two, we don’t leave her home alone for big chunks of time and she didn’t want to go to the choir concert so Luisa planned to attend the concert and then take our son to soccer practice while I planned to pick our Zeca up from school and take her home to feed and water her like a really sassy house plant.

We drove to school separately and Luisa went inside for the concert while I parked in the pick up line and waited for Zeca. I waited. All the other children filed by and still I waited. Sometimes, she’s one of the last ones. She ambles. But when the last family had driven away and the assistant principal returned to the school, I realized she wasn’t coming.

I called Luisa. Me: “Is Zeca with you?”

Marietta Luisa: “No, you are supposed to pick her up.”

Me: “I know that! I have another call. I’ll call you back.”

I switched over and said “hello.”

Zeca: “Mama, where are you?”

Me: “I am waiting at pick up.”

Zeca: “I thought you were waiting for me in the cafeteria but you weren’t there.”

Me: “Why would you go to the cafeteria? Did you see Mãe* there?”

Zeca: “She told me to meet you outside so I waited in the parking lot and now I’m in the office.”

Me: “Ok. I’ll be right there.”

I dialed Luisa’s number and I have to say punching a touchscreen angrily will never be as satisfying as hitting the raised buttons on the phones of yesterday.

Luisa answered and I immediately said, “Why did you tell Zeca to meet you in the cafeteria?! Now, I have to pull around and park two blocks away!”

Luisa: “I didn’t tell her you were in the cafeteria.”

Me: “Whatever. This is so annoying.”

Luisa: “I’m sorry. I don’t know how she got confused.”

I parked two blocks from school and walked through a construction zone to get to school. I grabbed Zeca from the office and started heading back to the car.

Me: “Why didn’t you go to pick up?”

Zeca: “I asked my teacher if he’d seen my mom and he said she was in the cafeteria so I went to the cafeteria but you weren’t there and then I asked Mãe and she told me to wait outside and I got confused.”

Me: “Wait. Your teacher said your mom was in the cafeteria?”

Zeca: “Yes.”

And then I understood…

Me: “Well, honey. Your mom was in the cafeteria – just the wrong mom.”

I guess too many moms spoil the pick up.


*Mãe is the Portuguese word for mother and since my partner is from Portugal, that is what our kids call her.


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  1. Chickens with their heads cut off!

  2. GrandeMocha says:

    Very who’s on first! Thanks for the laugh.

  3. Jan Kaminsky says:

    Oh my god this is such a familiar kind of conversation! We’re almost there! 9 days of school left here!

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