I wrote the following post last June, and never published it. I felt like it was too whiney. But reading it again now, I remember my frustration so clearly, juggling work and home, driving the kids all over town every morning and afternoon, trying to concentrate at work when all I could think about was all the crap I needed to do at home. (And then at home I would be thinking of all the crap I was behind on at work!) Not being able to spend time preparing the kind of meals I really wanted to prepare for my family… Running, literally running through the grocery store in an effort to speed up shopping trips… Cleaning on the weekends when I really just wanted to lie around with my family… Never having time to exercise unless I got up at the ass-crack of dawn…
This post reminded me why I am SO thankful to be a stay-at-home mom, and will now be my go-to post to read on days when I would rather slam my head into a brick wall than play one more scene of “My Little Pony” complete with accurate names, accents, magical abilities, and personalities (I’m really good guys, you should hear me). And I’m sending a big ol’ honkin’ pile o’ love to all you working mommas out there… You ladies ROCK!!!
Two kids, two locations, two lunchboxes. Every morning. Mar (age 2) goes to Aunt Nancy’s house, fifteen minutes across town. Lucas is in kindergarten, two blocks away. I pack Mar a bagel, a container of cream cheese, an unpeeled orange, and a homemade granola bar (once in a blue moon, I do supermom). Aunt Nancy doesn’t mind creamcheesing the bagel and cutting up the orange for Mar. Lucas gets a PB&J, a fruit cup, raisins, a homemade granola bar, and a juice box; things that are easy for a six-year-old with ADD to consume without assistance.
This morning they think it will be fun if they switch lunchboxes. Mar wants Lucas’s usual lunchbox, a Boring Blue Box. She normally brings a brown bag to Aunt Nancy’s so a real lunchbox makes her feel so important and grown up. Lucas wants to use his old Airplane lunchbox (because it’s shaped like an airplane, hello) which is really too small but I can squish stuff in there if I really try. “Aw, guys, that would be adorable,” I say about switching lunch boxes, because I’m just such a laid-back, easy-going mom like that.
Okay, I’m all done rolling around on the floor laughing my ass off.
Before we pull out of the garage, Mar drops her sippy-cup between her car-seat and the door, just out of reach, and says matter-of-factly, “Oh, DANGIT. I’m so frustrated about that right now.” This cracks me up. Do two-year-olds usually say such awesome stuff? She must be a genius.
I’m so taken with Mar’s brilliance that when I drop Lucas off at school, I give him the wrong lunchbox. (The one he usuallytakes – the Boring Blue Box – which has Mar’s lunch in it.) I don’t realize my mistake until I’m dropping Mar off at Aunt Nancy’s house. She is not supposed to have the Airplane. She doesn’t even like PB&J. I hate to think of food going to waste, and not just because I read Fifty Shades of Grey.
How can I bypass this stupid, stupid situation without missing an hour of work? Maybe Lucas will be okay with an un-cream-cheesed bagel-half, an un-peeled orange, and a water (which compared to a juicebox is like a broomstick compared to a horse). Could he get by on just the granola bar? It ishomemade…
I have to go to work; I have a meeting today. The lunchroom monitor could surely smear some cream-cheese on Lucas’s bagel and peel a frickin’ orange for him, right? But I’m grossed out at the thought of someone else touching his bagel; it would absorb the germs. She would probably cream-cheese his bagel right after wiping some other kid’s snot. The cream cheese will be all slimy and melty by lunchtime anyway.
And more to the point, everyone will notice Lucas’s crappy lunch and everyone will think I’m a horrible mother.
So I have to switch the lunches. Luckily, Aunt Nancy says don’t worry about bringing Mar’s rightful lunch; she will feed Mar what she has on hand. I pick up Lucas’s rightful lunch, the too-small Airplane, ready to head out the door. Mar begins to cry. She was thrilled to have the Airplane lunchbox instead of the boring blue box, she couldn’t believe her luck that somehow she ended up with the cool lunchbox, and now I’m stomping all over her happiness.
Aunt Nancy, do you have a bag? I secretly empty Lucas’s lunch from the Airplane lunchbox into a Publix shopping bag. (I can’t believe lunchboxes now take such precedence on my list of priorities!) I leave only the granola bar for Mar, since Lucas already has one in the Boring Blue Box. I worked hard on those damn granola bars, sort of. They took like twenty minutes and I made them while cooking dinner. I multi-tasked! So everyone will get their damn granola bar today, come hell or high water.
I call work and tell them I’m going to be late. It’s okay; my last day is in a week anyway, it’s not like they’re going to fire me. That would be ironic if they did, though. I could write a blog post about it.
On the way to Lucas’s school to switch the lunches I realize I have also forgotten to put out the trash, which is overflowing.
Mornings like this are why I only have two kids.