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This is what you do when you’re running a meeting at work and your kid’s school nurse calls you on your cell phone

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1.   Curse yourself for forgetting to put your cell phone on silent during a meeting that you scheduled and are in the middle of facilitating.  Silence it immediately and mumble apologies to the folks in the room for your lack of professionalism.  NOTHING is more important than this specific meeting of the minds.  NOTHING.

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2.  Glance at your phone screen while it’s still ringing, just out of curiosity because who the hell would have the audacity to call you in the middle of this exceptionally important meeting?  Who?  Didn’t s/he check your calendar?  That IS why you made it public to the world, is it not?  So these assholes would know when your available and judge call times appropriately?  (And these by assholes, I mean George from Mailboxes on 5th who calls to tell me when my new dress from the J Crew outlet has arrived, Teddy’s mom who incessantly tries to arrange play dates at the most inopportune moments, and CVS who’s constantly reminding me to refill prescriptions or pick up prescriptions or OD on prescriptions.  These are the only people who call me.  HAVEN’T YOU HEARD OF EMAIL, PEOPLE?)

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3.  Stop internally cursing random people out, people who are when you think about it are really just doing their jobs. (Except for Teddy’s mom.  Fuck her.). Notice that it’s the school nurse who’s had the nerve to attempt to reach you during this crucial meeting.  You know it’s the nurse because you’ve expressly coded that number in your contacts as SCHOOL NURSE – PICK UP THE FUCKING PHONE, KAM in an effort to avoid going down the dark road you already seem to be heading down.

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4.  PICK UP THE FUCKING PHONE, KAM.  And don’t forget to quickly excuse yourself from the meeting as you do so.  Cross your fingers and pray that this is a just “for your information” call and not a “you better come get your kid call.”  You are, after all, leading this very important meeting.

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5.  With the nurse still on the phone, process that she has said, in no uncertain terms, that you better go get your kid. You can ask her again, to be sure, but begin to mentally prepare to extricate yourself from your own meeting.  And quickly.  Your kid IS bleeding, and all.  Tell the nurse you’ll be there within the hour and just know that the fact that she’s horrified has everything to do with you being a working mom in the big city as opposed to one who’s mostly at yoga classes within a two block radius of school at all times.  Her outrage is not personal.

6.  Extricate yourself from your own meeting without making a scene and trust that your second in command will not mind.  That much. (Second in commands don’t always have kids themselves and so this kind of thing can get sticky, but fuck it.  The school nurse said, “jump,” right?)

7.  Go outside and hail a cab.  Mostly so you can make phone calls (like to your husband) and deal with work stuff while en route, but also to prove to the damned school nurse that you were overestimating when you said it would take you an hour.  Manhattan and Brooklyn are not nations away from each other, people.

8.  Arrive at school, note that your kid seemed fine before he saw you and is now a puddle on the floor.  Take him to the ER.

9.  Get confirmation from pediatric triage that your kid needs stitches.  Feel good about leaving your very important meeting.  This was not a ploy for ice cream or more Rainbow Loom paraphernalia.  Lie down with him in the hospital bed and watch Looney Tunes together – for 4 hours – until the plastic surgeon shows up.  Feel free to text and email to make sure the meeting you left is going well without you.  Do this until your phone dies (fucking new battery-power-eating-operating-system) at which point devote your attention entirely to Bugs Bunny, and of course, your son, who’s thrilled because he never gets to watch TV (yes, you are THAT kind of mom).

10.  Get the kid some ice cream.  Give him unlimited hugs and kisses.  Promise him that we will put up Halloween decorations when we get home.  Pick up his brother so he has someone to play with.  Hold his hand and rub his back and check in with him every five seconds to make sure he’s ok.  Tell him over and over how brave he was when he got his four stitches.  Love him and squeeze him and be all the mommy that he needs.  Aaaand…aggregate all the feedback forms from the meeting you left to make sure that next time, things will be better.

5 Responses to This is what you do when you’re running a meeting at work and your kid’s school nurse calls you on your cell phone
  1. Alice
    October 4, 2013 | 6:39 pm

    I think you’re the new Erma Bombeck – only more gritty reality! I love your blog. And just to let you know, you’re kids will turn out fine and some day you’ll leave the rat race and look back on this and laugh (I hope!)

  2. Shun
    October 4, 2013 | 9:59 pm

    I recently had my second kid and I am on week 2 of my maternity leave and some how I am already thinking about how I will balance 2 kids and a demanding job even though I still have 10 more weeks to enjoy being at home…..sigh….not sure why I’m thinking about work. Anywho I appreciate your blog soooo much and this was just what I needed to read because even though I don’t look forward to either kid being sick it’s great to see someone else who feels my pain of trying to climb the corportate latter and be an awesome wife and mom at the same damn time! Whew love the post! Thanks

  3. Shun
    October 4, 2013 | 9:59 pm

    * ladder

  4. Hello Ladies
    October 14, 2013 | 7:02 am

    Hope he’s feeling better.

  5. Suzanne
    November 4, 2013 | 2:30 pm

    #5 describes my conversations with the school nurse right down to the one hour commute. I’ve actually said if it’s that bad and you can’t wait an hour call an ambulance. That usually snaps everyone back into reality real quickly. But yeah they think we’re just playing tennis all day. Which is partly true because I am convinced that every mom in my Long Island town stays within a quarter mile of home day in and day out.

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