1. At least not if they’re only a temporary mom, helping to feed and organize two school children for a week while the said schoolchildren’s parents are out of town. Acting as a pseudo mom may go along swimmingly for a while, but will be likely to cause chaos and heartburn under certain circumstances.
2. Such a circumstance might occur on the final Monday morning, when as usual on a Monday after a late night of socializing, the schoolteacher doesn’t feel quite ready to start the day. She may linger too long in her bedroom and rush out to get her two charges up and going at 8:05, only fifty-five minutes before school actually starts.
3. She may reason that this is plenty of time since the school is only a minute’s drive away by car.
4. But she will have grossly underestimated the time that it will take to drive the oldest boy, Jonny, to his parent’s house five minutes away, where he is supposed to restock the wood furnace to keep the fire going. She will, probably, drive him over there with her hair still hanging, stuffed under her coat hood, figuring that this whole deal will take about fifteen minutes, max.
5. And she will naively believe Jonny when he tells her that she can expect to wait a while, because he has to get a skid steer load of wood…but that he should be done in ten or fifteen minutes.
6. And she will think, “Wow, this is gonna be tighter than I realized, but I guess it’s not worth going home to get ready awhile, because about that time I’ll have to turn around and come back,” and she will wait, and daydream, and let out the dog, and finally check the clock and realize in a sort of dumbfounded, Monday-drugged stupor, that half an hour has passed while she was waiting, and it is now ten minutes till nine.
7. And feeling half-awake and half-witted and frantic, all at once, she will drive home, humming to keep herself calm, shake the youngest child, Kaitlyn, out of bed, and tell her to get dressed as fast as she can.
8. She will put up her own hair and then braid Kaitlyn’s, give Jonny terse instructions in lunch-packing, grab her backpack and the school books and Kaitlyn’s socks and shoes, and herd everyone out the door. Kaitlyn will still be in her bare feet on the frosted gravel drive, according to her schoolteacher’s instructions to “put on your shoes and socks in the car.”
9. The schoolteacher will drive the minute to school, still humming as a sign of her calmness, and rush in with Jonny close behind her at exactly 9:15. Kaitlyn will trail after them, carrying her shoes and wearing one sock, the other foot still bare.
10. At first recess, the schoolteacher’s conscience will smite her because her charges haven’t had any breakfast and she will leave all four schoolchildren to play on their own while she rushes back home and slaps together some grilled cheese sandwiches, which the children eat at their desks after she’s returned, with water in Styrofoam cups to wash it down.
11. Unfortunately, the heavy cheese sandwich on a mid-morning’s empty stomach won’t agree well with Jonny’s constitution, and he will spend the rest of the school day feeling nauseous. The schoolteacher won’t feel so great herself and will spend most of the day moping through the necessary agendas and counting the hours until school is out.
12. Sound like a bad dream? It’s hard to believe, not to mention embarrassing, that I could have bumbled through a morning so badly. But truth is stranger than dream worlds. And schoolteachers shouldn’t attempt to be moms unless they’ve had proper training in the art.