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Snack Duty Fail

Erin Zammett Ruddy

For some ridiculous reason, I felt like I had something to prove with Alex’s class snack today. Here’s how that turned out.

 At Alex’s preschool, there is a communal morning snack that the parents sign up to bring in.  When Alex first started school, I envisioned my snack contributions to be healthy, homemade, clever and memorable. “Wow, that Mrs. Ruddy is a great mom and a great cook!” I imagined the teachers saying about me as they snuck samples of my snack offering.

Of course, as with many mom things I imagine doing lately...I didn’t do it. I’ve signed up for snack a few times and each time my day rolls around, I’m basically like, “Holy $!*&! I have to bring snack today?! What the @!&$! am I gonna do?!” and I wind up stopping at the grocery store for grapes and Annie’s cheddar bunnies or, the last time, I got bamboozled by Alex into sending fruit by the foot because the kid he’s obsessed with loves them.

Lately, I‘ve been missing the opportunity to sign up for snack because I haven’t been dropping off (or picking up) since I’ve been working around the clock on my fundraising campaign. Nick doesn’t think of things like snack day and so when I saw an opening a few weeks ago for April 25th, I grabbed it. And I planned to do something impressive. I knew it was going to be a crazy week—our big Cancerversary Bash fundraiser is four days away—but I figured I could take care of the snack ahead of time. Only that’s another thing I always say I will do and then never do. (On the rare occassion that I actually do do things ahead of time, I'm always like Oh, wow, so this is why people do this, ahhhh). So last Friday when Alex and I were at the grocery we saw beautiful blueberries and cooked up a plan to bake blueberry muffins for snack day. He’d help, it would be a fun activitity, I'd assuage some of my mom guilt of late and I’d be sending in a great morning snack for his classmates.

Here’s what actually went down: At around 6 p.m. last night, while the kids were munching on some homemade guacamole* (or "cock-a-mole" as Nora calls it) I blurted out "Oh $!&#! I have to make blueberry muffins!" Here is the point of the story where I should have scrapped the plan and went with one of the crackery snacks we have stockpiled in our armageddon pantry in the basement (this is not an actual thing, it's just a byproduct of too many trips to Costco). But that would be admitting failure and that was not an option. So I basically lied and told Nick I was on "muffin duty" for school (if he'd known I didn't actually have to make muffins he would have protested). Since I take care of all things school related he didn't question it. So I found a recipe that called for ingredients I had in the house (i.e., basic) and sent Nick to the market up the street for whole milk. Then over the course of the next two hours, while making dinner for myself and for the kids, and fielding about 28 calls and emails and texts about the event, I mixed up these muffins. You know how you can tell as you’re making something that that something isn’t going to be very good? I could tell before I made these. And I was right. I took a phone call during the folding in of the dry ingredients part which basically meant I overmixed the shit out of that batter. 

And because I didn’t feel like doubling the recipe on something I knew wasn’t going to be a hit, I turned them into mini muffins. The problem: Some of these blueberries are on steroids, so all that would fit in the tiny tins was one giant blueberry with a little dense dough around it. Yum! Also, there are 25 kids in the class and I eeked out 26 mini muffins that are so small they could be eaten in one bite by a four year old. Which means way-too-good-to-me Nick had to stop at the market on the way to drop off this morning to supplement with fruit. The worst part about not having enough is that I couldn't even taste one this morning to sample what I’m sending in! (And I couldn't let the kids have one either, despite their begging.) Oh, and Alex barely helped at all (in his defense, it was bed time) so my plan to blame the muffin fail on him kinda backfired. And, I burned my arm while taking them out of the oven so I now have a nice welt to show off in my sleeveless dress Monday night. During this whole episode I just kept thinking, Why the hell did I do this to myself? Thankfully, I've reached the all-you-can-do-is-laugh point of the week as the crap just starts piling up. So I laughed it off. 

It’s not like I’m being graded. It’s not like the kids would care if I sent in mini bagels and cream cheese (they’d probably prefer it and then I could have gotten an everything with scallion from the bagel store—doh!). And I already know the teachers like me. The other day when I made a rare appearance at drop off, they each handed me a check for the fundraising campaign. How awesome is that? But I guess I feel like I have something to prove. Perhaps it’s just to myself (kind of like Easter) but it’s still a feeling I have. And now, thanks to my poor showing today, a feeling I still have.  

Do you ever feel like you have something to prove on snack day? Or any other day for that matter? 

*Do you like how I casually worked in the fact that I made my kids guacamole. Bonus points! 


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