Parenting, Thing 1, Unpublished

How to lose your shit – Gracefully.

MrZoot and I were leaving at 6am Friday morning to pick up LilZoot from camp. From what I could remember, it took about 2 hrs to get there. We would need to get up around 5am, no biggie, that’s what time we would normally get up on Fridays anyway – for work.

Well – Junkie and Ariel came in town Thursday night, so of course Junkie and I stayed up until 1am catching up. (Talking about poopy problems, what is wrong with me? Poop surrounds my life!). Obviously, I thought I could still get up at 5am with the alarm, no problem. I mean – I was excited about seeing LilZoot, so I wouldn’t oversleep.

Fast forward to 6:20am Saturday morning. I woke up and thought It sure is sunny. Wait. It’s SUNNY. What time is it? 6:20! Shit!

ME:MrZoot get up NOW! Its 6:20, we were supposed to be on the road twenty minutes ago. We just need to jump in the car and go, now. SHIT. I haven’t printed the maps or made coffee yet. SHIT. You’ll have to shower and eat breakfast. SHIT. We also have to walk the dogs. SHIT. We are leaving in at 7am, on the dot, so Get up NOW!

Isnt that a glorious way to way up on a day off. Your wife screaming in your ear. Well, we hit the road at 5 ’til 7am. We decided we would still be there by 9am, and in reality – it takes forever for the campers to get going on closing day, so its not like LilZoot will be there alone. Parents like to wander around aimlessly for a while, so we should be okay. Right? Right.

ME: We get off at exit 245*. That’s in 67 miles. I’d like to hit that in an hour because then we are still 45 minutes from camp, okay? We take highway 245 all the way to the camp almost.

I said variations of that sentence 9 million times on the road, counting down the trip as we went along. It helped me not think about the fact that I was going to be an hour late to pick up my child from camp.

ME: Wow. Exit 235, 10 more miles, we WILL make it by 9am. If parents starting getting kids a little after 8am, there will still be a bunch of kids still there by 9am. LilZoot wont hate me.

Then – we passed Exit 248 and I hit panic mode. Level Yellow. Time? About 8:30am.

ME: Exit 248? Where was 245? We passed it. How the hell did we pass it?
MrZoot:There is no way we passed it, there was no exit 245, what highway did we need?
Me: panic mode. Level Orange. There had to be an exit 245. It says ‘Take highway 245 off exit 275….’ SHIT! Dammit! SHIT! I am such a damn idiot. Exit 275. That’s 30 miles in the opposite direction. SHIT. I got my exit number and highway number mixed up. SHIT. We would have been there by now. SHIT.

So. MrZoot turned around and achieved new levels of sainthood as he dealt we my rant and me for the next 20 minutes.

ME: I’m an idiot. I am a damn glorious idiot. What the hell? I am a freakin’ dumbass. I thought I quit doing shit that stupid years ago. Turns out the idiot in me was just dormant all this time, waiting for the right conditions to emerge from the cocoon of fake intelligence. I’m a MORON.”
MrZoot: Honey, its a common mistake…”
ME: officially hitting panic Level RED OH MY GOD. The normal person? Yes � a mistake that’s easy to make. The highway number and exit number are close enough that they could be mistaken. You are right. Here are the reasons why this mistakes makes ME a Friggin’ Idiot:

1) One of my job descriptions and professional skills is MAP MAKING. I should know how to read a map.
2) I drive this SAME interstate every other weekend to meet my Ex. I’ve driven past these exits over a hundred times in the last three years. I KNOW what exit 245 is – its NOTHING.
3) I make MAPS dammit. I should know better.
4) I said exit 245 and highway 245 a million times since we hit the road. And it didn’t occur to me ONCE that it was ODD that they were the SAME??
5) Cartography = Map Making. I’m a cartographer. Have I mentioned that?
6) I made this trip last year. Not from Huntsville, but still… Hello?

An hour later, 9:30 – we found ourselves rolling into camp. There was still plenty of life around (of course, MrZoot said there would be, he’s the smart one). I jumped out of the car, leaving MrZ to park, and walked up the trail to the boys cabins to find my son, worried he’d be in a fetal position crying because his momma didn’t love him.

Do you know where I found him? In a circle of FOUR gorgeous teenage girls, 15-18 years old. Him and 4 older women. He was just chatting away with them and he had them GIGGLING. Yeah – so when he saw me? We did the slow motion Run-N-HugTM of course, and I cried, and swung him around, but he was FINE. He was thrilled to see me and start telling me about camp. He had no hatred for me or even disappointment. Yeah – no suprise there for MrZoot that I was worried for nothing. And those girls? Were going on and on about how much they loved him. And you know what else? The camp was quiet so we could take our time walking around and taking pictures. It was nice. In July? For his next session? I think we’ll aim for 9:30am. And MrZoot will do the navigating.

12 thoughts on “How to lose your shit – Gracefully.”

  1. You just made me feel so good. I am geographically challenged. Yes, not many people are aware of this affliction, but it can cause great pain and torment both to me and to others. Among the THOUSANDS of examples of this directional disability, let me just say I once drove NORTH on RTE 89 for 2 hours before I thought it was strange there was snow on the ground in Massachusetts–I had failed to exit onto 91 South. Anyway, the reason you made me feel so good is you are a CARTOGRAPHER, you make MAPS– and even you confused your written directions (something that is a regular occurence in my geographically challenged life)– so I say, thank you. You made someone happy today.

  2. *point of clarification– 2 hours north on 89 had me deep in northern Vermont on my way to Canada when my destination was Western Massachusetts.

  3. Oh my, what a morning you had. I’m not laughing. Honest. Well maybe just a little. Glad it worked out okay. 😉

  4. Oh, well I don’t profess to make maps for a living, but one day I will entertain you with Oliquig’s “I don’t know where the road went” stories.

  5. I thought for sure I would find a review of Harry Potter and not a story about a dyslexic cartographer.

    Truth is we all do this at some point, I guess it’s just heightened emotion if it’s a mapmaker. But all turned out ok and now you know Lilzoot’s a babemagnet. kudos to him.

  6. I’m so glad you made it! I am the same way, i go into panic mode if I get lost and think we are going to be late. Especially when the kids are involved. Glad it worked out okay!

  7. It just shows how freaking excited you were to have your lil man back!

    Btw? Feel better. I do the books for a major big-time foundation and I cannot cannot cannot get myself out of debt or add in my head.

  8. Ah, the truth comes out! So you’re a cartographer “in real life,” huh? That’s pretty interesting…I’ve never known a cartographer before. 🙂 You have a degree in biology, don’t you? Sounds like kind of a stretch!

    You just have the smarts to take you through multiple industries and career paths, that’s what it is. 🙂

  9. Wow–a cartographer, huh? I’m an Army Engineer and have a pretty extensive Topographic background…how do you like your job? How did you get into it? I’m sorry, I know this entry is outdated, but I stumbled on your website (NOT through a search engine with the word “poop”!) and I got sucked in, so I’m reading back through all your archives. Anywho! Nice meeting you!

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