Education of the Pickwickian Blessings · Out and About with Mrs Pickwick

Too Many Tuesdays

It was a perfectly normal Tuesday morning in October. Mrs Pickwick packed five perfectly normal blessings onto the perfectly normal bus and sat down to her perfectly normal coffee, with a sigh of relief that it was such a quiet day with nothing at all she had to remember. Suspicion slowly edged its way in, exponentially increasing with each sip.

“The dentist!!” It was not just any Tuesday, Mrs Pickwick suddenly remembered she had scheduled three blessings for dental checkups that very afternoon. The juggling began. Fr and Mrs Pickwick rapidly assembled their respective cases for not being the one to pick up 60% of their offspring early from school in another town and drive them to an even more other town, rehearsing the “yes of course we floss regularly” speech all the way to protesting dental appointees who most definitely had other plans this afternoon. And every afternoon for the foreseeable future, thank you very much. Mrs Pickwick insisted that she had Super Important Business today that simply could not be postponed. She pointed out how much nicer it would be to spend quality time with the children than be shut up in an office working for a living. She reminded Fr Pickwick how she felt about dentists, generally. In a fit of desperation she informed Fr Pickwick that he was the one who scheduled the appointment in the first place. A quiet triumph lurked in Fr Pickwick’s eye as he brought out the winning card: “That’s because I took them last time. And you can do today’s crossword later.”

You win some and you lose some. Smart couples don’t keep score, but they are also rather boring. And so Mrs P quickly began texting all the teachers, apologizing for forgetting to warn them that she would be picking up some little Pickwicks early- no, not all of them, just some of them, these particular ones, no sorry, not that one the other one, oh, you don’t have that one in your class this year, apologies then and congratulations, have a lovely semester- and that she also forgot to tell the children themselves, so if that could just be broken gently at some point before 1:15 pm, that would be lovely.

Mrs Pickwick then tackled the leviathan that is online dental history forms. She began clicking away and soon realized that not only was she was unable to remember which birthdays went with which names, or what password she may or may not have used last time, she was also fairly certain a robot stood a better chance of finding the third hidden motorcycle behind the traffic signal in the fourth square. Despite these minor setbacks, however, she was easily able to register half a child before locking herself out of the system and subsequently crashing the entire dental database for the whole state. Deciding she would plead “forgot to fill out the forms ahead of time,” again, she set off to collect the actual patients.

The sun was shining, the trees were reaching into the sky with flames in every shade, there were even birds singing. Mrs Pickwick hummed happily to herself as she thought everything was so beautiful and perfect she didn’t even mind being the dental parent today. Suspicion returned. It was too sunny and colorful and she wasn’t running late. Something was most certainly wrong. Suspicion solidified into the realization that October had more than one Tuesday.

And that is how Mrs Pickwick came to be texting all the teachers, three-quarters of the way to school, that she would in fact, not be picking the blessings up for dentist appointments after all. Not this Tuesday anyway. Some other Tuesday in October, pretty sure it would be this year. She carefully copied the text three times over and made sure everyone knew that the blessings could “ride the bus home as Israel.” Autocorrect has such a panache for ensuring that “oops, I am a dolt” confessions really hit home.

And so Mrs Pickwick turned around on this perfectly normal beautiful Tuesday and consoled herself that at least next time, it would be Fr Pickwick’s turn.

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