PAGE # 88
Morning Through Afternoon

I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  I was not supposed to be at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Not even close.  

It was Friday--the one day of the week that I have babysitting help--and I had planned to catch up on some chores, maybe even take a nap.  But Tom, who was supposedly off from work for the holidays, ran out for a business meeting early in the morning.  And my father-in-law, with no prior warning, decided that this very day would be the day when TJ got his driver's permit.  He appeared in my house even before I'd had my coffee and immediately dragged TJ out of bed.

"But Grandpa," TJ protested, "I haven't even studied yet."

"Study Shmuddy!  Who needs to study for a driver's permit?  You can study while we wait in line," my father-in-law told him.

"Wait!" I said.  "I can't do this today.  I have things I need to get done.  And I'm too tired for this right now."

"I'm taking him," my father-in-law said.  "You don't need to come."

"I doubt that," I replied.  "I don't think he can get a permit without a parent there."

"Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer.  Don't worry so much.  I am the grandfather.  They will deal with me.  Relax."

They left for the DMV, and within the hour, Tom texted me instructions to head to the DMV right away.  Of course a parent needed to be there.  And, I needed to bring my license and two utility bills for proof of address.

Oh, I was so mad!  I was exhausted from the new baby and the holidays.  I wanted to rest.  Instead, I spent hours at the DMV, waiting in lines and feeling totally annoyed at my father-in-law--who left upon my arrival so he could grab some lunch.

TJ and I were still waiting, when at 12:56 pm, I received this text message from Tom:
Nate and the whole clan are coming over around 2:30, after lunch.
Nate is one of Tom's best friends.  The "whole clan" referred to Nate, his wife, his two daughters, his two sisters and their respective husbands, as well as his parents and parents-in-law.  A grand total of twelve unexpected house guests. In addition, Tom's parents would attend the impromptu event, along with Tom's brother, his wife, and their two children, raising the head count to that of party status.  I wanted to punch my husband between the eyes, but since I was still stuck at the DMV (where Tom was not stuck), I sent him back this text message instead:
I'm still here at the DMV!  The whole clan is coming?  I need a fucking shower!  I'm going to kill your dad too!  I'm stuck here for hours like a moron!  On my special babysitter Friday!  I need to shower before they come.  Seriously.  I am disgusting.  I am gross.  Very gross.  
Tom did not empathize with my frustration.  All he wrote back was:
U have time.  No cursing.
I was livid.  All I wanted was a few hours to myself--already impossible--and now I had to prepare to entertain guests?  At the last minute?  

TJ failed the permit test.  When we returned home, he carried his despondent self straight to his room and slammed the door behind him.  

Tom, on the other hand, did not let the bad news about the permit test affect his mood:  he was beaming, looking radiant as he held Baby Lily in his arms. He was eager to show her off to his friend.  He smiled over at Sara, who was playing with the babysitter.

I ignored Tom when he said hello (maybe I gave him a dirty look), and ran straight toward our bathroom.  I wanted to check my email again (Kendra had still not replied to me), but noting the time, I hopped in the shower.

Weeks later, after Baby Lily was gone, I would remind myself of this day in an attempt to console myself.  I'd convince myself that having a third child was too much for me anyway.  I could barely handle a day at the DMV and some unexpected visitors that day--how could I handle a third child for the rest of my life?

To Be Continued... 

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