If you saw me out and about and caught sight of my concerned face buried into my iPhone screen, my fingers furiously typing away, you might think, daaaaang, that chick’s important.

She must have some major job. Maybe she’s negotiating a high-stakes merger between multimillion-dollar companies. Oh! Or maybe she’s coordinating a heart-lung transplant, such an important, delicate process that every last, minute detail must be worked out and perfectly timed.


What I’m doing is waaaaay more complicated and intricate and fraught with peril than either of those things: I am juggling carpools.

Ah, the carpool.

My best friend. My nightmare.

No, really, it is. Just the other night I dreamed that the entire family had slept in and we were scrambling around trying to get ready for school and work and I looked at the clock and it said 9:45 a.m., well past everyone’s start time. I stopped in my tracks. Wait a minute, what happened to No. 2’s morning carpool? They’re always so reliable. Did someone knock on the door, and we didn’t hear it because of the blow dryer? They took off? How could they do that?

I am not even kidding when I say I woke up completely rattled.

The Carpool Nightmare was way more disturbing than my usual anxiety dream in which each and every one of my orthodontically corrected, filling-free teeth falls out of my head as the day goes on.

Yes, I know exactly what this means: I have some serious issues. And no, I do not have time to go to therapy to work them out. I have a very full carpooling schedule.

Just to prove it, here’s an excerpt of one day’s texts. All names have been changed because if the other carpoolers suspect I am this close to forgetting their kids, I’ll get kicked out. This cannot happen. I will die.

Steve to me: “We’re all set for driving the girls to the post game sleepover. I’m also taking 2 other girls to the game. Glad to take R as well, if you’d like. Let me know.”

Me to Steve: “Great! I’ll check with Joe. We can pick P up from the sleepover Sat a.m.”

Me to Husband Joe: “Talked to Steve about Friday. He can take R to the game and give her a ride to the party, too.”

At least, I thought I texted my husband. Instead, it went to the mom I’d been coordinating with the day before. Phooey. Because my thumbs were getting tired, I voice texted a correction.

Me to Jane: “Boobs! Sorry! Thought I was texting my husband.”


Then I glance back at the screen. OMG! I said, Oops! OOPS! No, no, no, no, no! Now she’s going to think I was sexting my husband. Perviness will totally get you kicked out of a carpool.

I immediately followed up with a carefully typed text (stupid Siri), explaining I said “oops” and not “boobs.” Luckily, my textee thought the whole thing was funny.

Still, lesson learned: Do not rely on voice texting in highly important situations, like carpool negotiations.

Contact Kristen Cook at kcook@azstarnet.com or 573-4194.

Epilogue: While she was hammering out a detail-laden text the other night, Cook’s husband asked what she was doing.

“I am managing the carpools,” she told him, with a superior edge in her voice because she knows that he could never, in a million years, deal with this multi-layered parenting task. “Hey, if this were your job, how many kids do you think we’d be down to by now?”

He smirked. “One. And wouldn’t that make things easier?”

Huh. Good point.