Mommy, Will You Be There?

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“Mommy, can you ask your boss to let you come home early on my birthday next week?” my four-year-old daughter Lexi asked me last night. “I want you to have dinner with me.”

I was totally shocked by the question. I wasn’t surprised that she wanted to make sure that I would be home earlier than usual on a Tuesday night, but I was completely floored that she assumed I would have to ask my “boss” to make this happen.

I work at a public relations agency and yes, I have a supervisor, but I never refer to him as my “boss.” My flinching at the word probably stems from my irreverent nature. I inherently reject authority and that whole “Mad Men” retro era when the guys in the corner offices had the girls in the cubicles make and serve their Maxwell House coffee. (For the record, the younger “girls” in my office do still sit in cubicles and somehow office coffee does get made, although I think I’ve seen some of the guys making it.)

But I happen to adore the man I work with, thinking of him more as an “ office spouse” than a boss, which is probably why I voluntarily buy the Starbucks for both of us (he takes a Grande with two packets of sugar). So I’m thinking that Lexi must have picked up this boss thing from TV – although I don’t think there is a boss on iCarly. Doesn’t she run her own gig with her best friends? True Girl Power is about running your own business – go Carly!

Fortunately, I do have some control at my job to be able to come in a little late or leave a little early when I have a kid activity. Sadly, many parents do not. But now that spring has sprung there are so many end-of-the-year kid commitments, I keep threatening my husband that I’m going to have to quit my day job to keep up.

In the next two weeks, there are the spring sing-along-concert, Spirit Day, pre-school graduation, kindergarten orientation, two parent teacher conferences, ballet and tap recitals, Lexi’s school birthday party, annual check-ups (need immunization card filled out for camp too), and the list goes on.

Sitting on the train this morning, commuting into the city, my four friends and I were already stressing about how to get to all of these events – some of which begin at 2 p.m. on Thursdays. “I hate having to miss some of this stuff,” Lauren said. “My daughter still remembers me not coming to the camp show last year.” Ouch.

Many of us moms beat ourselves up for not getting to all of these events. It’s especially awful when our kids really want us there. So I’m shuffling my schedule, tag teaming with my husband and pushing off the dentist, the eye doctor follow up and the pediatricians’ visits to make room for pre-school graduation and the Spring Show.

It will be my fault if the kids wind up with cavities and the camp will just have to deal with getting its forms very late. But my four-year-old is graduating from pre-school and the theme of the spring sing-along this year is “love” – who could miss those?

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