|Aaliyah with Mme. Sze|
find parking in the school's congested parking lot. But today I was not in the parking lot. Not even on my way to the school. I was home and I before I realized my mistake, I was a good 20 minutes late.
How did it happen? Well, it was Friday, Nasir's day off from work. Usually, he does the dropping and picking up duty on the days that he is off. Today was no exception. He dropped Aaliyah in the morning and around noon time left for his Friday prayer. I offered to drop Ayaan at his preschool and Nasir was going to pick up Aaliyah and Ayaan after his prayers. I came home after dropping Ayaan at his preschool and fixed myself some lunch as I was hungry. Nasir calls me and tells me that he stopped over at my brother-in law and sister's place and that they were planning on going to the mall. He wanted me to join them for lunch (my sister had made some nice khichdi) while he would go and pick up the kids. I said that I already had my lunch and added that I will pick up the kids and join them at the mall.
Since I still had about an hour to pick up Aaliyah, I started cleaning up the house, washed dishes and offered the Zuhr prayer. I still had about 1/2 hour left but I had forgotten about the change in plans. That I, instead of Nasir was to pick up the kids. So, I started browsing my Facebook, clicked on a DIY link to make a cupcake stand that a friend shared and that was it. I totally lost track of time and the world.
I called Nasir around 2:45pm to confirm that he was on his way to pick up Ayaan from his preschool at 3pm. Assuming that he had already picked up Aaliyah from her school at 2:35pm. He was taken aback. He questioned me back "Weren't you going to pick them up?" and I hung up. I sped out the door without a jacket with my hair undone and with my mind full of self accusations.
When I reached Aaliyah's school, she was the only one in the class with her teacher. The teacher said, "See Aaliyah, your Mommy did come to pick you up." Aaliyah probably told her that I was "never" going to pick her up. Aaliyah is using the never word quite often. Maybe due to some broken promises that I am unaware of. I have to be careful of what I say or promise next time. Anyway, she was relieved to see me. She asked me why I was late and I told her that I thought that her "Dadda" was going to pick her up and she seemed to understand. The only thing she asked me was if she could play with her friends on the swings. I would have let her play if I didn't have to pick up Ayaan. So, we left playing until next time and headed straight to Ayaan's preschool. At least for him, I still had just enough time to make it by 3pm and I wanted to be on time. Unlike Aaaliyah's school, the preschool charges a late fee if you pick up your child more than 15 minutes late. It's probably to prevent parent's from making mistakes like the one I made today.
Moral from today's story, when you're delegating, never assume. Always call the person picking up your children when making amendments to your regular pick-up routine. And if you offer to pick up your child, then no FB or even the internet around pick-up times. Mommy's can and do forget.
And a happy ending to this story, was a trip to the mall with Aaliyah's favorite cousin Zeba. We did the regular stuff shopping and eating at the food court. I was so much in guilt that I consciously let Aaliyah pick and choose everything. It was enough for Aaliyah to forget about Mommy's forgetfulness that day.