I felt relaxed, for a moment.
Alex was watching TV with Gage. Payton was at a friend's ball game. It was quiet, however temporarily, and I planned on enjoying it, as I turned the jets on in the tub and put my toe in the steaming, lavender scented water, glass of wine in one hand, Kindle in the other.
I sat poised to read, but instead felt uneasy. Payton was at a friends ball game, and suddenly I wasn't sure that I liked that at all. I realized that I was feeling majorly stressed over it, for two main reasons:
1) Guilt that I hadn't signed Payton up for ball herself. Now she's the neighborhood tag along kid while her mother gets drunk in the tub. Although, in fairness, I did ask Payton if she wanted to play ball and she did say no. However, as it turns out, ALL of her friends are in it this year, which hey, how was I to know that? HOW???
Also, I wasn't planning on getting drunk in the tub. Just maybe slightly tipsy. I wonder if it's too late to call the coach and beg him to let Payton play. But then I remember that I still haven't done my taxes, so there's a slim to none chance that I'll actually get around to calling the ball coach before the end of ball season, being the short season that it is.
Now I'm feeling guilt about the taxes. And possibly panic.
And then a hideous realization hits me hard.
Oh God. I've become that mom.
I've gone from being the quintessential minivan equipped with Granola Bars and 30% less sugar fruit snack driving soccer mom to drinking Chardonnay in the tub at 6:30 pm mom while kid goes out with random neighborhood people.
Which brings me to point number 2.
2) The fact that Payton had become a near resident of the house across the street. It suddenly seemed ironic that if they were going to say babysit her for a few hours a day or even a week, I would have done my due diligence as a mother and done a background check, home interview and contacted references. OK I wouldn't have actually contacted the references, not strictly speaking. I would have asked if they had them, and then basically taken them at their word. But being the parents of other seven year old girl, I have given them carte blanche to take Payton on outings and even have her for sleepovers, after only brief encounters which consisted mainly of nodding and/or waving at each other from across the street. Although I did check out the mother on Facebook, and she does seem to be on the up and up, translation: She hadn't 'liked' any sketchy pictures of scantily clad kids or posted any threatening sounding status updates: in the vein of, for example: "Another home visit with Child Protective Services today, wish me luck!! Must remember to hide contraband this time."
So clearly, she's a good person. Also, she has nice, shiny, hair and if there's one thing I know about pedophiles and/or other members of the criminal element it's that they mostly all have stringy, clumpy hair.
And conversely, I am also worried that Payton might be harassing the nice neighbor people by popping by at random and inserting herself into their family outings. Must make myself more appealing so that Payton spends less time hanging off neighbor people.
I vow to myself as I get out of the tub that I will spend some serious--very serious, mother daughter quality time with her when she gets home, perhaps even doing a craft.
Yes. That will make me feel like alpha mom again, and will also be a good opportunity to chat with Payton AKA interrogate her to make sure that there's nothing hinky going on over at the neighbour house. I picture trying to weave "have they ever asked to look at your panties?" into a casual convo but then decide against it, at least for the time being. Although I will do the craft, at least, for sure.
Except that when she comes home, I am no longer in the mood for a craft at all, on account of watching Bridget Jone's Diary on TV.
Also: do not really have anything in the house that constitutes "craft supplies"
Except for possibly a tampon and peanut butter. Am thinking bird feeder but not really sure how to execute.
Also: might kill bird, traumatize kids, etc.
Just screw the alpha mom. She just annoys everyone else, anyways.