I enrolled my oldest in Pre-K today. It was much more exciting than it sounds. I started by taking what I thought was the correct paperwork to the elementary school on my lunch break. I was informed that I was missing a few key components of my son’s packet, namely his birth certificate. Apparently those are important.

So, being the proactive OCD person I am I decided that there’s no time like the present. I went back to work and devised a plan. Got off at 2:45, made it to my children’s school by 3:15, FINALLY got them in the car and buckled in by 3:40. Now here’s where it gets fun.

The Civic Center in Santa Ana closes at 4:30. I am 20 minutes away (without traffic). No such luck in Orange County.

I Google Maped my way to the Civic Center (which conveniently has NO signage). Parked. Wrangled my boys out of the car. It was now 4:10.

Holding one wriggling two-year-old and dragging my four-year-old around the building (which is in a LOVELY part of downtown Santa Ana) we made it into the building.

I find the records office and get in line. It’s 4:17.

Then as I relax (as best I can while being kicked in the gut by Lincoln as he tries to escape my grasp) and look around the room my eyes land on a hand-written sign penned in Sharpie “No Credit or Debt accepted. Cash only”. Seriously?

I had six dollars in my wallet.

Deep, slow, frustrated breath. Eye roll. And, go!

I grab Nixon’s hand and tell him we get to go for a run. I sprint to the curb and look franticllay for anywhere where I could get cash. Bodega, nope. Laundry mat, nope. Boarded up scary looking abandoned building, probably not. Oh thank The Lord… Chase.

We run (I run holding them) across the street. The homeless man with no shoes in the middle of the crosswalk yells at me. I nod.

Inside the bank my boys wait until I’m at the ATM and then execute operation “Divide and Conquer”. They go in different directions. The machine is taking longer than normal, on-purpose. I hate the machine.

I grab Nixon mid deposit-slip throw. Lincoln is army crawling in a circle nearby.

It’s 4:25.

I scoop them up. Smile and wave at the people giving me “knowing” “amused” looks and bolt out the double doors.

Homeless / shoeless tells me that the windows are dirty in a very aggressive tone. I smile and say thank you as we clip through the crosswalk.

In the doors, to the office, and the clerk has started to latch the top (This office is closed) latch. We slide in like Indy before he reaches back and grabs his whip.

No joke 4:27.

The large angry looking man behind the glass says, “Hey man, we’re closing what did you need?”

I look at him exasperated, “A babysitter.”

He looks up from his paperwork, sees my face, sees Lincoln pulling my hair, laughs and says, “Me too brother. I only get one when my Moms in town. What can I get you?”

Bless you! Dad love! 10 minutes later I had two birth certificates in hand and was headed to the parking lot.

A day later Nixon would be enrolled. We celebrated with an In-N-Out feast. God is good ya’ll!

Oh, and a record of birth is seven dollars more expensive than a record of death. Go figure.

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