The first day of school I made steel cut oats with cinnamon, soaked with care the night before. The second day we had toast with jam. The third day it was cold cereal. We are now on week three and oh how far we’ve fallen.
On Tuesday morning I slept in. This was related to the fact that Monday night I stayed up late and early Tuesday morning Wanda woke up screaming to nurse so she could crawl around on our bed with my breast in her mouth while moving in and out of Downward-Facing Dog. I can’t remember what was so important that I stayed up late Monday night. The memory lapse is probably due to sleep deprivation. Anyway, we were running late.
The kids had woken up before me and were happily watching cartoons in their pajamas. I ran downstairs looking like a drunken maniac in my flannel monkey pants, yelling out orders and stuffing things into backpacks. Laylee and Magoo took it all in stride, hurrying just enough to keep me from exploding but being just chill enough to keep me on the edge.
It wasn’t their fault and they have no real concept of time so I’m glad they were as cooperative as they were. We grabbed snacks and lunches and in just 15 minutes we were “ready.” We all rushed out the door, me in my monkey pants grabbing a quick bowl of leftover mashed potatoes to eat at the bus stop.
We got there a couple of minutes early and Laylee sat in the front seat of the van while I pulled her hair back into a ponytail.
“What did you guys eat for breakfast?” I asked, feeling guilty that I’d left them to fend for themselves. They're fully capable of making their own breakfast, as they proved when I was pregnant with Wanda and barfing for nine months solid.
They exchanged glances.
“Oops. We forgot,” Magoo grinned.
Now in that moment it was fairly obvious that I couldn’t get upset with my little baby muffin faces for not getting their own breakfasts. They are just 5 and 7 afterall and up to this point in the school year I've had a good track record or feeding them in the mornings. I realized that if we went home to eat, Laylee would miss the bus and that would amount to a good hour of driving I’d have to squeeze in while Wanda cried for HER breakfast from the back seat.
“Eat some mashed potatoes,” I smiled at Laylee, handing her my bowl, “I brought them for breakfast. I’ll take Magoo home, feed him and then drive him to kindergarten.”
So she started snarfing the potatoes while Magoo began to cry. “I don’t want to go home and eat. I want to take my bus too.”
As Laylee’s bus pulled up, she handed me the half-eaten bowl of white goo.
“Eat some of the snacks from your lunch if you’re still hungry,” I called after her. She waved me off and bounced onto the bus.
Magoo negotiated his way into sharing the mashed potato bounty so he could go on the bus with his friends, leaving me two bites to polish off as I headed back home.
Three people, one bowl of mashed potatoes, one strong resolve to go to bed earlier so I can care for everyone just a leetle bit better tomorrow.