Thursday, September 25, 2014

Days Like This

Remember that song, "Mama said there'd be days like this"? If my life were a TV show, that would be the name of today's episode. I got up this morning, after a rough night of sleep, and my first order of business was to wake the boys up to get ready for school. Jamie has been sick this week, and stayed home yesterday and the day before, but he seemed to be doing well so this morning I went ahead and woke him up. As I fed them breakfast, I tried to get their school bags ready and packed. That was problem number one.

Micah's backpack was missing completely. I had his clipboard, but no back pack and no lunch kit. I also had no library book, which he was supposed to return today. Jamie's day planner was missing from his backpack, and they use it every day at school. Fine. I decided I would deal with making their lunches first, and then deal with all the missing stuff. I got out the peanut butter, the jam and the honey. (Yes, all of my boys eat peanut butter sandwiches every single day at school. For now, it is still allowed because none of the kids there are allergic to peanuts.) Next, I looked for the bread. Oh. It was empty. Okay, I checked the fridge freezer. No bread. I knew there was still the deep freeze downstairs, but at that point I was worried. It seemed to me that there was no bread in the downstairs freezer, but we checked anyway. No bread. I should have gone back to bed at that point and sent all three boys to theirs. I decided to send them to school without lunches and I would somehow get food to them before lunch time.

I got everyone on the bus at 7:30 a.m., as usual, and hurried back to the house so I wouldn't lose my entire blood supply to mosquitos. (For the record, it is extremely abnormal for us to have mosquitos at this time of year, but they are flourishing, and ruining our best deck weather!) I decided I could make a loaf of bread just in time to make three sandwiches and drive them to the school. The school's lunch starts early, at 11:30 (or 11:20, I can never remember which), so I knew I was pressed for time. I started making the bread immediately, even though my bed was begging me to crawl back under the covers.

As I mixed the dough in my KitchenAid, I admit, I was feeling like a bit of a conquering hero. Yes, I allowed us to run completely out of bread. But look at me. I was baking a loaf of fresh bread for my children. I was like a wife from the fifties. (Wait, you mean there are other wives this century who bake fresh bread for their families? Whatever. Okay, I was feeling like one of those modern day wives who bakes bread for her family.)

The bread has eight ingredients. I put the first four in first, then I put the milk, oil and eggs in a measuring cup until I was ready to add them. After that, it was just the flour. Once all the ingredients were being tossed about by my stainless steel dough hook, I was feeling somewhat satisfied that I was going to get it done by my deadline. Until I noticed the texture of the dough starting to look a little...off. Something was wrong. It looked more like batter than dough. I wracked my brain for what I could have done wrong, and then it hit me. One egg. The recipe called for one egg, a fact that I repeated to myself multiple times while preparing the ingredients. And then I proceeded to add two eggs.

It's getting expensive burning my superhero capes on such a regular basis.

I added flour to try to salvage the dough, and I even entertained notions that my two-egg bread would turn into the best recipe anyone had ever tasted. People near and far would ask me the secret to my especially incredible homemade bread, but I would smile and say, "The secret's in the sauce." No I wouldn't. That's just a line from a movie. Points if you can tell me which one.

Bottom line: I knew at this point that even though my bread was going to be a smashing success, I couldn't risk it. I was going to have to go to the store with Lauren. The town is only about seven minutes from here, but I didn't want to drive to town, buy bread, drive home, make three sandwiches, drive back to town, drop off three lunches, and then come home again. Lauren gets grumpy if you keep sticking her in her car seat over and over again. So I had a better idea. I packed a cutting board, three pieces of wax paper, a tupperware container full of peanut butter, a smaller tupperware container of honey, and a smaller tupperware container yet of jam. Then I packed two spreading knives (one as backup in case I dropped the first one), and all three lunch kits, and Lauren and I went to the store.

Buying bread was uneventful. Well, Lauren did run me over multiple times with the tiny shopping cart she was pushing, and I did almost pass out when I saw the price of Wonder Bread. ($3.99 per loaf?? It's a Wonder I stayed conscious!) Then we went back to the truck and I pulled over somewhere I hoped no prying townspeople's eyes would see me, and I made sandwiches from the driver's seat. It was awkward with the steering wheel in my way, but I got it done.

Don't I just remind you of Martha Stewart? 
Me neither.


I even remembered the wax paper, which impressed me. 

We went to the school, and Lauren carried Cody's lunch kit while I carried the other two. We went to the kindergarten room first. Did I mention this was the second time in less than a week that I had to bring Micah's lunch to the school? The first time I forgot it on the counter and found it after he got on the bus. It's possible that was on Tuesday, his only other Kindergarten day this week. But I can't even remember. 

Jamie was next, and things went downhill at that point. Jamie saw me there and began begging me to take him home. He said he was okay, but then he said he wouldn't make it through the whole day. Then he said he was embarrassed every time he coughed. I felt his forehead. It felt warm to me, but I have a history of being completely unreliable for checking foreheads for fevers. In the end, he begged and nearly cried, but like a cruel and heartless person, I told him he had to stay there, and I left him. I did talk to his teacher and she said she'd check on him after lunch. I told her to call me if I needed to pick him up, and I told him the same thing. But I still felt like such a jerk all the way home. I remember grade one. I remember feeling scared and vulnerable, and wishing I could have my mom pick me up and take me home every day. I hate knowing he is feeling that way and forcing him to endure it anyway. But that's life. We can't rescue our kids from every hardship or they will never grow. But I felt terrible anyway. In fact, I still do. But nobody has called me, so I have to assume he is okay. 

Incidentally, my bread was not ready on time to have gotten sandwiches to the school. Also, it is huge. And the texture is still off. I have affectionately named it Spongebread Square-pan, though technically the pan was a rectangle. It would have been perfect for me during my last pregnancy. You can read about that here.

And now I have to try to salvage my day and get at least one productive thing done.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Cheryl you put a smile on my face reading your blog,