Today was one of those days that I would have been better off staying in bed. Actually, ANY day would be better spent in bed in my opinion, but that’s beside the point. The error, I believe, was in the planning, not the execution. I knew I had to have the house picked up and get in the shower in time to go to the grocery store, come home, unload said groceries, go to the elementary school to pick up my daughter, and be home by 11:30 when 5 ladies were scheduled to arrive at my home for Bible study.
I thought I allowed enough time. I left the house at 10:10, thinking that surely I could be back home unloading groceries within an hour. But instead I found myself in the checkout line at 11:10. Still, I thought, no problem. I can get home and get the groceries unloaded before people arrive.
And then reality called — DING-A-LING! Hello! YOU STILL HAVE TO PICK UP YOUR DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL!
How can a mother forget such a crucial piece of information? WHEN SHE DOES THIS PICKUP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY?
Suddenly it felt very warm. My mind started whirling. Who can I call to pick up my daughter? I tried phoning a neighbor, but there was no answer. There is no one else I know who does this kindergarten pickup. I decided that I would just move as fast as I could and apologize to everyone in my wake. I arrived at the school at 11:30 to find the pickup line still in full swing. Usually by 11:30 there are only stragglers left and I can drive right up to the curb and grab my precious cargo and go.
Turns out the Valentines Day party made everyone late, and not only was I not a straggler, I had to wait my turn in the car line, adding another 5 minutes to the whole process. I arrived home at 11:40 to, surprisingly and thankfully, no cars in my driveway. Immediately I started carrying bags of groceries into the house as ladies began to arrive.
Trying not to appear as flustered as I felt, I invited them to start eating their lunches while I put the perishables away. I calmly made coffee, made my lunch, sat down, and started to open with prayer when my 2 daughters appeared by my side, asking for lunch. Since Alice didn’t appear from the next room and offer to make a couple sandwiches, and because it’s Friday the 13th and THE BABYSITTER WASN’T ABLE TO MAKE IT TODAY, I asked someone else to start asking questions while I removed myself from the table long enough to throw a few peanut-butter sandwiches together.
As I stood at the counter spreading peanut butter on bread and fighting tears of defeat, I prayed for composure. How I long to be one of those people who can handle these sorts of situations in stride. I can’t. I just wanted to crumple into a heap on the floor and give up — exactly what people are looking for in a Bible study leader, right?
God is good and I managed to get lunch on the table and return to the study with my composure in tact. I had just taken over leading the discussion when my 3-year-old piped up from her perch beside me at the table, “Mom! I wanted peanut butter on my sandwich!” I took a look at her plate to find two pieces of bread with nothing to hold them together. Now if that isn’t the perfect metaphor of my day, I don’t know what is. Evidently I should have been praying for my sanity along with my composure.
We managed to salvage the rest of the bible study, and as soon as everyone was gone, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief. But no sooner had I let down my guard did my daughters start begging me to cook with their Easy Bake Oven.
Now, if you don’t know this about me already, I detest the Easy Bake Oven and its teeny-tiny packets of a teeny-tiny amount of mix which needs a teeny-tiny bowl and a teeny-tiny amount of water and creates a teeny-tiny amount of batter. And I have to watch as hives break out over every inch of my body as 6-year-old hands mix and stir and lick and fill the teeny-tiny cake pans with an insufficient amount of batter. In other words, the Easy Bake Oven is a labor of love.
I contemplated the project ahead if I granted my approval, and then I contemplated the computer that I had neglected all day calling to me from my office, and then I contemplated the fact that my daughter spent half her day in school and the other half playing Webkins while I entertained the ladies of my church.
And I agreed to do the Easy Bake Oven.
I set them up and then pointedly looked the other way, cleaning up the kitchen as they mixed and stirred and licked and finally spread the batter in their pans. While they were occupied, I remembered the box that had been dropped off on my doorstep earlier in the day. I hauled it into the kitchen and dug the scissors out of the recesses of my junk drawer and broke into the box to find two bottles of African wine — a red and a white — for my review blog.
And a light shone brightly and the angels sang.
At least there was a silver lining to an otherwise crapfest of a day.