'You didn't even say hi', cried Saffron as she waited outside for her stepmother to come get her and her sister to whisk them off to ballet.
'There was no time', I snapped back which was followed by my daughter telling me something along the lines of my being the worse mother ever and her never wishing to see me again.
Though I knew we would be late, I started to drive to the ballet studio until Saffron talked back to me with and attitude and in a tone which was not acceptable for any child. It both saddened and angered me at the same time. I then turned around and wrote to their stepmother that this was too stressful a situation due to the time slot chosen for this class. She then asked if she should come get them and I agreed.
As they climbed into the car, I closed the garage door and went inside with Sage who stayed behind. He was calm and taking this all in as best he could.
I had a feeling that the scheduled ballet class would cause time issues as it takes close to 20 minutes to drive to the studio and gives the girls less than five minutes to change into their ballet clothes and buckle into their seats. Somehow there was no time for the usual 'hello' and 'how was your day'.
This situation was preceded by a day of writing lengthy emails to their father about his winter travel plans, my returning to work and needing child care, and his subsequent accounting of my time spent with the children at the end of last year.
It was exhausting to say the least and a great waste of time to sit at the computer and go through each month accounting for the days I spent with the children. His recollection was incorrect and I had to set the record straight as time consuming as the process was.
Back in the house, Sage and I worked on his reading and math homework before he sat down for a snack. He was hungry but I did not wish to feed him too much before his practice this afternoon. He ate a banana and 18 mini pretzels, as he pointed out to me. Then he proceeded to count down the pretzels one by one as he ate them.
We arrived early to practice due to a lack of communication. I kicked the soccer ball around with Sage whilst we waited for his coach and teammates to arrive. In the meantime, the girls arrived along with their stepbrothers and stepmother. Saffron walked up to me, hugged me, and apologised immediately for her behaviour.
For it being only his third practice, Sage did quite well. Watching his teammates, it was clear most of them have been playing soccer for at least a year if not longer. In any case, my son is enjoying the game and looks forward to his stepfather watching him play.
After practice, Sage and I returned home whilst the girls stayed with their stepmother. A day such as this comes along once in a while and is exhausting when you get hit from all sides at once. In the end, we all somehow learn to adjust to the inevitable changes and challenges of life.