What is it about summer that makes me want to self-medicate at the Valley of the Dolls level?
Oh yeah. The driving.
When I call myself Uber Mom these days, I am not referring to my superlative worthy skills as a mother. I am referring to the fact that I am an Uber taxi.
Ezra and Maxon are never at the same camp at the same time. Their competing interests are on opposite sides of the city (to wit: West Philly to Chestnut Hill College) with no simple, direct routes, and the schedule changes week to week, with —
Sorry. Had to stop that sentence because it was time to get Maxon an hour early from parkour camp at the corner of Aramingo and I'm-not-sure-you-can-get-away-with-calling-this-Fishtown, before grabbing Ezra at Penn Charter's sports camp in East Falls to make it on time for their 4 p.m. music lesson on 4th and Lombard Streets.
I spend between two-and-a-half and three hours in the car every day shuttling the kids back and forth to camps. I went though a half a tank of gas in a little less than three days. Here is a brief sample of yesterday's schedule and round trip routes, brought to you by Waze – eating up my data plan one musical left turn at a time:
Drive Ezra to East Falls for sports camp, drop off at 9.
Feel defeated at sight of dishes in sink and laundry pile. Clean up and then work on blog post.
Drive Maxon to parkour camp, which starts at 1 p.m.
Shake milk carton to see if grocery run really necessary. Skip groceries to try and finish blog.
Drive to East Falls to pick up Ezra by 3:30 p.m.
Drive from East Falls to pick up Maxon at parkour camp in let's-call-it-Kensington, which ends at 4 p.m.
Feed children healthy snacks they kvetch about. Try and locate Ezra's missing baseball bat, spend 15 minutes on responsibility lecture.
Get back in car to drive Ezra to baseball practice at the batting cages on 5th and Girard by 6 p.m.
When I described my schedule to my sister while sitting in traffic on 676 on the way to pickup number one, she asked, "When do you pick up your sanity?"
I don't. It occurred to me today, when I shed tears at my husband's texted suggestion of once again driving Ezra to the batting cages during rush hour, that I am unravelling. The kids are having a blast and I am grouchy and spent. And I did this to myself.
I used to send them to a standard day camp with a bus that did all this driving for me. They hated it. Maxon begged not to go back.
So I asked the kids what kinds of camps they wanted to do. I encouraged them to explore their interests.
Tennis camp for a week in West Philly? Sure! Rock and Roll camp more than a half hour away? Why not? Basketball camp at Temple? Absolutely! Parkour? I love that you are trying something new! You want to go to day camp for a week with your friend in Plymouth Meeting? Of course!
I can't even think about that week yet. The one that goes: Plymouth Meeting-East Falls-home-East Falls-Plymouth Meeting-home. Kin ahora.
I have learned my driving lesson. Next summer, it's not going down like this. Next summer, you get one camp. And it better have a bus.