What To Do When You’re Just Totally Losing It At The End Of The School Year

The end of the school year is a crazy time of recitals, parties and graduations, and with those events come times, dates and rules. For me, it all got very overwhelming. I couldn’t get it together to the point where I was even starting to take “school announcements” personally:

*Please send your child to school in his/her purple concert t-shirt on Tuesday, June 10th. We plan to take an end-of-year class photo! Don’t forget like you did on Field Day, ROBYN. NICE GOING, ROBYN.

*The 1st Grade End-of-Year Party will take place on Wed, June 11th from 2:00-3:30 pm. We know you don’t like to be social, ROBYN, but it would be nice if you could come and support your kid!

*Friday is a half-day, A HALF DAY MEANS “HALF,“ ROBYN. Students will be dismissed at 12:05. Please do not forget to pick up your kid, again, ROBYN.

Clearly, I was losing it. Plus, I was being pummeled daily with bad news. It was raining bad news. I needed a break, from everything—and when that happens, there is only one thing to do:


I actually remembered to send the school an email that F (the 1st grader) would not be attending school on Skip Day. JJ, the 4 year old, didn’t have school that day, but we told her she did so she could also feel like a school skipping bad ass.

The beginning of Skip Day, for the girls, was a lazy morning of TV and dress-up while I did all the stuff that moms do and don’t get paid for, like cleaning. (I can pretty much guarantee I’m not the reason for the dried up grapes stuck to the floor underneath the dishwasher.)

About 10 minutes before I wanted to leave, I gave my kids the “heads up” to clean up their crap, and of course they didn’t. I took that opportunity to remind them of the last time they didn’t do what Mommy asked. (“Lincoln Log Basket” is all I’m saying, and if you read the post Shouldn’t Have Lied, you know of what I speak.)

My plan was to take them to lunch at one of our favorite quick places—but we couldn’t get to lunch because EVERY freakin’ parking space was taken up. I even went to the parking garage—which I hate—because I always get lost. This time though, while I was looking for a space, all I could think about was food, and somehow (I still don’t know what happened) I validated my ticket, exited the parking garage, and totally forgot to park.

And then we almost got into a huge accident. HUGE. I didn’t even see it coming. Some idiot came out of nowhere and decided the big, red STOP sign was not meant for him. I slammed on my brakes and I was shaking all over. It scared the crap out of me.

“Um, you guys–we almost just died.”

“Mommy! Tell her to stop hitting me!”

“SHE just punched ME in the face, Mommy!”

“Hello?!?? We almost just DIED! Well maybe not you guys, you probably would have been fine, but for sure me. MOMMY!! MOMMY GONE. …No one cares.”

“We care! How is Daddy going to find out so he can come get us?”

MOMMY IS DEAD and still, all they care about is Daddy.

We ended up at a burger place, but a really good burger place, totally old-school, kind of dark and sinister while, at the same time, very welcoming. Plus, it’s got a bar. A good bar. I’m not a drinker, but my dad was. My brother and I often sat at the bar with him when we were kids.

Sitting at the bar with little kids is like putting flamingos in the elephant cage. They don’t belong, but they brighten up the place—and they’re not going to ruin the vibe. You know why? Because kids don’t care. Kids only care about themselves so when the guy next to me slipped his wedding ring into his pocket (I totally saw him!) as the blonde took a seat next to him, JJ didn‘t care, she was too busy whining that that her sister “got more chair-wees in her Shirley Temple!”

That’s when it hit me. It was time to ignore Wedding Ring Guy because I had quite the opportunity in front of me:

Whenever we are at a restaurant, my kids look to me when they need something. But here’s the thing: I DON’T WORK THERE. I need them to start asking someone who works at the establishment for whatever it is that they need. And who’s the best person to start with? The bartender.

Unless your kid asks for Scotch, the bartender is not going to say “No.“ If he does, he’s like the WORST bartender EVER, but I don’t think are many bad bartenders. (Except me, I was terrible.)

If JJ wanted more “chair-wees,” she was going to have to ask for them herself. Once F saw that it worked for JJ, she also started asking for stuff—and not just cherries, but oranges and “little swords” too. They had that bartender wrapped! He would have let them flood the top of the bar and turn it into a Slip and Slide if that’s what they wanted.

And the girls, I couldn’t get them above a whisper when we first got there, but by the time we were ready to leave, they were playing Chicken on the barstools fighting over who got to the pay the check.

Next up on our Skip Day Adventure: The library. NO THANKS. Not on Skip Day! We went to the toy store.

We went to a good toy store though. The toys are good, and also, not cheap. But I had gift cards! Two of them! One was only a year old but the other one, no joke, was six years old. What are my chances? They’re an independent, successful store—if I hadn’t been there in six years, clearly they didn’t need me.

But, they took them! They took both cards. I could feel Skip Day taking over and my luck beginning to change. For the first time in what seemed like awhile, I caught a break. Was the toy store the turning point? I don’t know, but I do know that I hardly ever buy my kids stuff just for the heck of it (I’m all about “earning” everything) so there’s a distinct possibility that my kids simultaneously crapped their pants when I held up my arms and yelled “GO CRAZY!!”

It was so great. I felt like such a shooter, but really I’m not. The people who got us the gift cards are. (Thanks! Can we get two more?)


(We got this and we’re calling it our Gay Pride Umbrella.)

 Last stop. Slurpees.


The girls love Slurpees (probably because their dad does). And if you want a Slurpee, you’re going to 7-11, so that‘s where we went. It soon became very clear to pretty much everyone in the store that I am not super familiar with Slurpees. I was struggling, and my kids were driving me nuts. Every flavor I gave them, they would take one sip only to declare it “yucky.”

I asked the girl at the register if she wanted me to pay for all the Slurpees because even though my kids were only getting one each, I had made about eight (maybe nine) and also, I was scared if I didn‘t mention all the Slurpee casualties, the bad karma would come back and our new rainbow umbrella wouldn’t be able to protect us.

Thankfully, she was really nice and told me we didn’t have to pay for them. Also, she looked like a meth head.

Meth heads FREAK me out, but I’m obsessed with them. Teeth and stuff. So gross. I had to tell someone so I texted one of my girlfriend, “Busy.”

OMG, I think I for real just saw a real live meth head. I’m not kidding.

Really? Do we know her?

We did not, but she was serious. And I laughed really hard because sometimes all you need is one good laugh and one really good Skip Day to remind you that even though things are completely and totally out of control, in the end it’s all going to be OK.


Thank you so much for being here!

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  1. Susan on June 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Totally A++

    Hilarious. I’ve had days like that. But not in Detroit. Never been there. But Jackson, TN? Got lost there once, and at 10 in the morning, mind you, there were HOOKERS. My daughter thought they were going to the Prom. Because they wore skin-tight dresses and HIGH HEELS.

    Yes, Baby. They are going to Prom.

    • Robyn on June 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Hookers!!! I love it!!! You got to see morning crew, apparently. Nice. The best part is that your daughter thought they were going to prom. PROM!!! I love her. You will always have that story and now I do too.

      Thank you so much, Susan. You’re awesome. 🙂

  2. Arden Rembert Brink on June 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I *love* that you left the parking garage and forgot to park! Keep it up, kid. I always look forward to reading.

  3. Robyn on June 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I’m so happy to have you, Arden. You know that. Thank you for always being so supportive. I’m trying, and it’s work, so your comments mean the world to me. Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you have fun. And I hope you find a good parking spot. 🙂

  4. ericka on June 15, 2014 at 11:17 am

    You are so funny! Had me laughing out loud with this one, especially the part about mommy being dead and how’s daddy gonna find us. I can just hear you through your writing, love it!! Sure missed seeing you this weekend. Matt said with the cold temps at night though it was a good thing we didn’t bring the baby. Here’s to seeing your face next summer!! xoxo

    • Robyn on June 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      HAHAHAHA!! Ericka!! I love that you liked that part. Those divas!!
      Next summer FOR SURE. You were so missed, you don’t even know. You do not know…
      XOXOXOXO Forever!!!

  5. Kiy on June 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Girl, I love you. You definitely get an A. Heck, I will go all out and give you an A+++++++++++++++++++. We’ve all been there. And yeah, I get the whole school pressure thing. And I’m so bleepity-bleep-bleep-bleep thankful that I am no longer dealing with it. With luck, until middle school, or high school. I’d love never, but I can’t get the hubs on board with that.

    BTW, my fav sentence on this post: “Jaye, my 4 year old, didn’t have school that day, but we told her she did so she could feel like a bad ass.”

    Really, I love you. Now I have to go and think of something to do for my chickee, so that she can think of herself as a bad ass too.

    • Robyn on June 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      I’m so happy!!! You made me smile BIG, Kiy! I’m so happy you liked it. This comment is so great. I’m keeping it forever!!! You are SO FREAKIN’ GREAT!!! I can’t deal.

  6. Kiy on June 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    P.S. You have the best commenters EVER. Now I have the hookers story too!

    • Robyn on June 15, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I mean, how good was that hooker story? I want to tag Susan in this comment but I don’t think I can do that. I have no idea. Maybe she’ll see it. That hooker story is really funny. SUSAN, WE THINK YOUR HOOKER STORY IS REALLY FUNNY. 🙂

      You rock, Kiy. You’re just all good, girl.

  7. Karin on June 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I love your friends text message: do we know her?
    It’s always a good question 🙂
    I think skip days are necessary… I think I need to make that happen soon too!
    As always. I enjoy your transparency And wit!
    Oh, and by the way, I “met” you back on china adopt forum… We left the line after 3 1/2 years… It would be SEVEN years wait in August and still 9 months if we stayed. Geesh…

    • Robyn on June 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

      OMG, Karin with an “I”??? It can’t be. You’re back!!! I’m so happy!!! I totally remember you! You guys did leave the line, I remember that. That was rough. I’m so happy that you didn’t leave me though. Your name was always such a breath of fresh air, and still is.

      I love that you laughed at the “Do we know her?” question. I mean…come on. And she was serious. I should have been like “Yes, she’s Frankie’s 1st grade teacher.”

      So happy to see you. You don’t even know!!! 🙂

  8. Michelle Wotruba on June 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    You totally crack me up! I’ve been following your blog for awhile even before you came up with a new blog then switched back – glad by the way its just easier for me to remember this one. I’m following you on instagram & also another dim sum & donuts because I spelled it wrong, she post a lot more than you by the way & is probably like why is this chick following me :), I’m not much of a facebooker so I missed some things cupcakes??? I totally get your day & have had a few myself…similar slurpee thing except mine was a milkshake machine on 4th of July my daughter pressed a million buttons & the machine practically exploaded finally they couldn’t get it to stop shaking & spuing & an employee had to rip the plug out of the wall. We couldn’t leave the crowded store because the kids had to go to the bathroom & were starving so we had to still by snacks before fireworks. I was petrified that I would have to by that machine (my debit card would of cried right along with me) but thank God the manager was on break or something. Its been a couple years since i went back I’m sure they have a new crew working now but I only went 1time & without kids just the other Mom we can laugh now but we stay away from the machines – anyway I think your daughters are about the same age as mine was then- just saying watch the buttons when you go out 🙂 thanks for all the smiles they always come at the perfect time! 🙂 Michelle

    • Robyn on June 16, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Hold up. There is another dim sum and doughnuts person? Stop it! For real? I have to check that out. I need to do more on instagram. Thank you for reminding me. I’m so bad at this stuff. Meanwhile, I am dying over your milkshake story. I can totally picture the chaos. I’m sure you had sweat running down your boobs. It’s stressful when that happens!!! I’m so happy that you stayed with me and that you’re still with me. You are the one that brought me a smile today so I guess we’re even. Come back soon, Michelle!!!! 🙂

  9. Liz on June 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    This was too funny! I mean, I’m sorry your skip day started out rough, but it sounds like it ended well, and you have such a good sence of humor about it! Do you know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a slurpy. I’m sure there’s someplace around here that sells them. I should look into that 🙂

    • Robyn on June 16, 2014 at 7:55 am

      HI Liz!! I love hearing from you. I’m sure you guys have Slurpees out there. They’re like frozen cokes but all kinds of different flavors. You probably have them at the movies. If you find one, you know you’ll be needing to tell me, right? I will crack up! (And so will you!!)

  10. Julie on June 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    An opportunity to grade? I’m on it.

    A for writing ability

    A++ for being a kick-ass mom that declares skip day

    C- for passing up the library (you know better, you’re a dedicated reader and a quick trip might reinforce that paper is good and digital is annoying)

    and lastly…

    TOTAL FREAKING FAIL for not being able to handle a Slurpee machine. You can blame Cody all you want but you had at least 20 solid years (ages 10 – 30) to get it before you met him. Even if you didn’t like them! “Slurpess at Sleven” are no less an institution than the Coney.

    • Robyn on June 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Epic fail on the slurpee machines. Agree. You would not have been happy with me. You would have distanced yourself, for sure. Thanks a lot, BTW.

      But really?? Library on Skip Day? Come on… it’s Skip Day, yo!
      🙂 🙂

      Great comment. Loved every word. Thank you.