The first day of school dawned bright and beautiful as I lovingly packed lunches, woke up sleepy yet excited children and prepared to enjoy my day home alone. Then I realized that was my alarm going off, and I actually needed to get up and get these hoodlums ready for school. Packing their lunches? I haven’t packed lunches for the girls in years. As soon as they were old enough to reach the pantry shelves, they were responsible for making their school lunches. My 16-year-old daughter’s good friend pointed out the other day that her mother still packed her lunches, cleaned her room, did her laundry…
daughter: yeah, mom…did you hear that?!
me: Yes, and she will suck at life and still be living at home when she’s 30. Some day you will thank me.
My daughter’s friend laughed…like I was joking. I wasn’t.
I still pack man-child’s lunch because if I didn’t, he’d go to school armed with cookies, cheez-its and soda, and I’d be the mom that feeds her child processed foods and sugary beverages. Which of course I don’t. In public.
There was one major back to school incident that occurred with one of my daughters. It’s still a bit of a hotspot, so we won’t poke this wound today, maybe tomorrow. Suffice it to say, a hanky posing as a skirt, a great deal of yelling and crying, and an instrument were involved. Everyone got out alive.
I baked some cookies and planned this dinner from a recipe I got off Pinterest. I made a Breaded Parmesan Chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. I should admit the mashed potatoes were courtesy of Country Crock. I’m a terrible cook. I really am. I try, and sometimes I hit a home run, but the problem is I don’t enjoy it. I blame these children. They hate everything. I will swear I have the pickiest eaters on the planet. How many times a week can you do grilled chicken or pasta? I mean, my palate is DYING. My parents would find all this amusing, because I’m pretty sure I invented the word picky eater. But whatever, that was then, this is now and I NEED MORE VARIETY! While my chicken is cooking, my oldest daughter comes down (weak with hunger) and starts raving about what an amazing cook her friend’s mom is and how she made the most amazing dinner in the history of dinners. As she is listing off these culinary masterpieces, I am completely dumbfounded. NEVER and I mean NEVER would my daughter have eaten any of those things if I had fixed them, even if I was an excellent cook. Then my meal comes out, and she sniffs at it (actually sniffs it) and says “this looks like something I should Instagram”. Not because it was a beautiful work of culinary art but because all of her hundreds of Instagram followers deserve the right to know the horrendous food choices forced upon her. I mean she could tell this story later about how I tortured her with bad food, but wouldn’t it be a better story if it came with a picture. Apparently, my cooking should be used as a Survivor or Fear Factor challenge. Ingrates.
Oh, and I forgot to take 1st day of school pics. <ugh> I’m ready for this day to end.
Enter Tuesday. I get up, head to work. My workday is hectic, pretty typical after being out for 7 days. I decide to leave a little early, so I can buy school supplies on the way home. Naturally, they need these supplies ASAP. Now, I need to veer off just a bit here, and talk about my car. We haven’t been able to use the air conditioning because it makes this horrible sound, but since I’ve been off work, I haven’t really thought about it. Today, when I leave work, I get in my car and it’s at minimum 1,000 degrees inside of it. I roll down the windows, but I’m already melting.
Enter rainstorm. It is now 999 degrees inside my car, and I am faced with the mother of all choices. Either get soaked by rain or sit in a bath of my own sweat. Awesome. Our oldest daughter drives the “good car”. Sadly, the “good car” is held together by duct tape and zip ties, but it runs great and the air conditioning works. I’m not driving the “good car” today. For your listening pleasure, I actually videotaped the dulcet tones emitted by my lovely car. In the first 18 seconds of the video, you just hear the normal squeaks my car makes without the air on. Be grateful, my windows were up while I was filming this, so the sounds are somewhat muted. The sound you hear at about 20 seconds, that’s not a turbo jet engine on the tarmac of an airport, no that’s my baby with the air on. Lovely, wouldn’t you say? You might even catch a glimpse of the crack in my windshield. That just gives my baby street cred. She’s got buck, lots of it. In a street fight, hand to hand combat, my car wins. Every freaking time. Make sure you turn up the volume. This is great and you don’t want to miss a second of it!
So, now that I’ve impressed you all…let us move on. Finally the rain stops, I arrive at Target (normally my happy place, but today it becomes the tenth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno). I am armed with the school supply list, let’s do this!
Couple of thoughts for you. The GIANT pencils you have hanging from the ceiling which read “we have it all”, yeah…you might want to take those down. I realize you have Christmas decorations to put up and whatnot, but when I enter a store which promises to have it all, I kinda expect you to have it all. Just sayin’. The sign doesn’t say “we have it all until the first day of school and then good luck even finding a pencil unless your kid can write with the one hanging from the ceiling”. Also, in the future, can you separate the 5 star 5 subject notebooks from the Mead 5 subject notebooks because apparently schools are brand specific now. While I am hugely impressed by your ginormous display of pens made up of recyclable materials, I have 4 kids and spending $4 per pen is a bit ridiculous, so if you could keep a few Bics lying around that’d be great. If you saw my car, you’d understand. Oh, hey I made a video of the cool sounds it makes, wanna listen to it for shits and giggles? What, no time? I understand. No need to look at me like I am a crazy person. Jeesh. Oh, and I hate to be picky, but do you have just regular #2 pencils. Yes, I see the mechanical pencils, and those are great, but I’d really just like the original #2 pencil. In fact, it looks like the ginormous one you have hanging from the ceiling but kids can actually write with them. I’m sorry? What’s that? Oh, I might have better luck if I go to the office supply aisle. Of course, naturally, why didn’t I think of that, I must have gotten confused by all the “BUY YOUR SCHOOL SUPPLIES HERE” signs. Thank you, thank you so much.
Deranged Mom of Four
This day is almost over, I just have a school meeting at 7pm and then I can crawl into my bed. Did I mention that I also have this pain in my elbow which according to Dr. Google is either Tendonitis or Cancer. It’s been lingering on for over 2 weeks. I should probably get it checked out when I go back to the doctor about my hair problem (see earlier blog titled Sasquatch). My husband takes the “vintage, I’ve got character” car (we don’t like to use the word bad or old, car’s have feelings too) to pick up middle daughter, and naturally she is running late, so I barely have time to make it to my meeting by the time he gets back. Oh, and I need gas. Or at least I think I need gas. The gas gauge is broken, so it always reads either full or half a tank. The car is pretty much already a crap shoot, so I track the mileage and try to fill it up every 200 miles. 230 miles if I’m feeling lucky. Even though I am going to be late, I have to stop for gas. I fill the car up, and then the little pay outside screen tells me I have to see the cashier for my receipt. I didn’t ask for a receipt. I am running late! I don’t need a freaking receipt, but what if there really is a problem with my charge, and I drive off and didn’t really pay for my gas and then the police identify me using the little cameras and they arrest me as I sit in my school meeting in which I am the VP of Volunteers! I go inside the stupid gas station, and explain the issue. She asks me the number of my pump. Uh, I don’t know, so I point to my car. Here is the rest of the conversation:
Me: It’s the silver car (and I point to it)
Me: I am not sure the number, but it’s that car right there, the silver one.
Cashier: At the end?
Me: No, the silver car. Right there, and I point again. (IT IS THE ONLY SILVER CAR)
Cashier: <stares blankly>
Me: Oh good grief. I stomp back outside, read the stupid number of my pump and stomp back inside, and say #6.
Cashier: Oh, the silver car.
I finally arrive at the meeting, 15 minutes late. My hair is a rat’s nest all around my head because I have to drive with the window’s down and I’m sweaty, my face is red, I think I smell like gas, and I have spinach in my teeth, but I don’t realize this until later and no one bother’s to tell me.
KILL. ME. NOW.
Humpday has to be better, right? <sobs pitifully>