I Was Late

Today I was a couple of minutes late to pick my daughter up from preschool. This wouldn’t be a big deal to most people. But it is to me.

When my Elby started school a few weeks ago, she had the easiest transition ever. The kid doesn’t even look back at me when I leave. Every morning she practically pulls me out the door to get there faster. I couldn’t be happier that she’s so happy, getting to play with other kids, doing those adorable little art projects which are already growing dust in my office and coming home singing songs I’ve never heard before. She’s like a different child already. She likes to clean up! She’s so secure. So unlike I was at her age. And I want her to stay that way. Which is why I felt like shit even getting to her school a few minutes late.

I was the kid whose mom was always late. All the other children would have been picked up by their smiling faced parents in their Jeep Wagoneers or Station Wagons while I would sit with the teacher waiting. I had daycare after nursery school but even at the late hour of five or six or whatever it was, I remember always having to wait. Looking out for my mom and growing tenser by the minute. Would she ever come? My heart would leap up when I saw her car pulling up and I’d be filled with relief, but I’m sure I was angry too. Angry that I was always last. Unimportant.

From that perspective, picking my daughter up late SUCKED. I pictured my baby waiting and wondering where I was. Of course, in reality, she was riding a tryke around the play yard. She gave the cutest little yelp when she saw me but went right back to focusing on her mission at hand.

Obviously I will be late many more times in her school career. It’s not the end of the world. But it does make you realize the baggage you bring to the table as a parent.

Today is day to of my trying to eat healthier. But listen, I may not be eating sugar but I am going to have some Splenda. If I can’t have Splenda, the terrorists have won.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 3, 2007 1:40 amUncategorized16 comments  


  1. momomax said,

    How funny. I’m writing a thing about my son loving day care. It was a fast transition from meltdowns to him pushing me out of the way to get to his girls.

    I have that same horrible memory of waiting for my mom to pick me up after violin lessons or rehearsals at a university that she was getting her masters from. I remember that fear of thinking she had given up on me. I was older, but under the age of 10. I’d wait for almost two hours sometimes. What a drag. I am constantly rushing home to not be late, but my husband, in the end, gets the fun part of picking him up most of the time since I’m usually too late to make it.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 3:11 am

  2. MereCat said,

    Have the splenda, baby! The terrorists can never win!

    Hope you are feeling ok. I’m thinking about you. Reading your posts, I’m remembering this journey I took just last year.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 4:00 am

  3. Swistle said,

    Ug, I know what you mean.

    Also ug about Splenda. I’m having some in my coffee this morning, and I don’t like the taste of it. It’s both too sweet and not sweet enough–how can that be?

    | October 3, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  4. gmcountrymama said,

    I was late to pick up T once or twice last year from preschool. I felt horrible as I drove faster than the speed of light trying to get there. Then I felt even worse when he would come out with this sad long face on and start crying.
    At least you realize how Elby might feel when you are late. Your mom probably never did.
    I don’t like splenda.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  5. Catwoman said,

    Oh I know exactly how that feels too. May we do it as little as possible and never forget what it feels like to be a kid.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

  6. MJ said,

    Sugar is better than Splenda. It’s a natural prodcut ergo good for you. Spenda, on the other hand, is evil.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

  7. Christine said,

    Ironically, I’m writing about a time when I was so late being picked up from preschool I went home with the janitor. Literally.

    (and just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you…arsenic is natural…go for the splenda!)

    | October 3, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

  8. margalit said,

    I once left my daughter at school all afternoon. I FORGOT it was a half day and just left her there. I felt so horrible. She was fine. They put her in the afterschool program until I got there and she loved it. I am a terrible mother.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

  9. Susan said,

    Is it possible that everyone now blogs because they were left at school/band practice/girl scouts too long? Is there anyone out there who was picked up promptly?

    I am always among the first to pick up my daughter (because of the sins of my parents). She hates it.

    | October 3, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  10. cry it out! said,

    I was a picked up late child, too! I swear I’ll never do the same to my daughter, unless something really good is on TV at the time.

    | October 4, 2007 @ 5:02 am

  11. sweatpantsmom said,

    Hey girl – I’ve been away. I’ve missed reading you. Put a big scoop of Splenda in a spoon and snort it. Don’t let the terrorists win.

    | October 4, 2007 @ 7:28 am

  12. surcie said,

    You’re really hard on yourself, just like I am. I’m not positive, but I suspect that having twins will force you to be a little easier on yourself. Any mom with three kids is going to be running late sometimes, especially if two of them are babies. I think most people will understand. And it sounds like Elby will handle it fine. She will grow up knowing that you’re conscientious, but more than that, she will be confident in your love for her. She already is!

    | October 4, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  13. Trenches of Mommyhood said,

    The ONE time my Hubby had pickup duty, he (of course) forgot and received a call from the preschool saying, “Umm…are you gonna come get your child?”

    I HARDLY rubbed it in that I would NEVER do something like that…

    | October 4, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

  14. Candace said,

    I was late because I was at the MALL! Real important life stuff. I’m more afraid of the nasty look from Teacher than anything.
    It is an awful feeling though even though the kid is fine. yesterday, I left my house to pick her up and halfway there I realized I was almost out of gas! I was freaking….
    stop for gas? be late? stop for gas? be late? get stuck on road with no gas and be really late???????

    | October 4, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

  15. Violet the Verbose said,

    I toooooooooootally feel you on this. My mom was always late too, and I hated it, yet I am frequently late to pick up my daughter. I have been late often enough that she said to me two weeks ago, “Mom, I want to know what it’s like to be the first kid picked up.” Of course, I have made big huge efforts to let her know how that feels, but on the rare occasions when I do get there early enough for her to know what that feels like, she’s not looking toward the door and still ends up leaving later just because she’s having too much fun to leave yet. LOL!

    | October 23, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  16. Haley-O said,

    I was late picking up my daughter from preschool a few weeks ago, and she doesn’t let me forget it: “Mama was at the gym and I WAIT!” Ahem. Yeah, I was held up at the gym…. Actually, it’s all her brother’s fault: he decided to take the biggest crap of his life right before I left the gym to pick her up….

    | March 16, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

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