Home > Uncategorized > Peanut Butter Shame and Logistical Juggling

Peanut Butter Shame and Logistical Juggling

I often say that the hardest part of my world is juggling logistics.  It’s not getting my work done or being a mother; it’s juggling the two without missing a work deadline, leaving a child behind or forgetting a birthday present while pretending to be sane.  I make very detailed plans for each day and if one thing goes wrong, the house of cards will fall.  Here’s what happens when things go wrong:

This is what my morning plan was (with a few small edits):

  • 5:45 am Wake up (aka check email on my phone, look for meetings changes and check Facebook to see whose birthday I forgot)
  • 6:00 am Begrudgingly get out of bed (Daylight savings is killing me)
  • 6:00 – 6:45 7:00 Shower and get dressed Put out work dire drills that I was too tired to deal with the night before (Daily showers are a luxury, so are showers with privacy)
  • 6:45 – 7:00 7:00-7:05 Get the kids up with loving tones and positive affirmation Start with kisses and loving tones, realize it is fruitless, switch to mommy voice and physically drag the kids out of their warm beds that I desperately want to climb into
  • 7:05 – 7:30 Make breakfast, make lunches, physically dress my daughter to speed things up, attempt to clean-up messes from these activities
  • 7:30-7:50 Drive carpool to school
  • 7:50-9:00 Gym (To keep this mamma sane!)
  • 9:00-11:00 Buy new shorts for son’s lacrosse game, food for school fundraiser, two birthday gifts and hair barrettes.  List requires three different stores
  • 11:00 – 4:30 – Cram in my full time job in 5.5 hours since the husband is out of the country on business travel (but I think he is on all expense paid break from Crazyville) and the nanny leaves at 4:30

This was a doable day, until things went wrong…

As I pulled out of the garage to drive the kids to school, I realized it was raining.  This meant after school sports would be cancelled and carpools jumbled. (Note in my list above I was not picking up any kids from school)  As I pulled up to pick up the first carpool kid, I asked my son if he had his phone so that I could text him the new plan once I mooched off my village to make a new one. Today he had no phone.  His excuse was since I had taken video games away for the week, he assumed he wasn’t supposed to bring his phone (aka he saw no purpose in having it with him).

After picking up the first kid, we went back home to get the phone.  My son runs in and is back in under a minute (love that fast kid!).  But if you know the story “If You Give a Cat A Cupcake”, well that is actually the story of my life.  As I put the car in reverse, my daughter says, if we’re getting brother’s phone, than I want my umbrella.  I will spare you the next 5 minutes of your life where she tells her brother, with conviction, where her umbrella is not. 6 gray hairs later, we’re en route to the next pick up. As I drive, I congratulate myself that because we leave earlier enough, this little detour will not make the kids late for school.  That’s when the silly putty really hits the fan-

Rainy day means the kids eat inside. Which means no peanut butter in lunches.

You already know what I packed my son for lunch, right?

At that moment, my son was carrying the one thing the teacher has forbidden due to severe allergies in the class, the one thing that makes me an insensitive, absent-minded and dangerous parent, yet the ONLY source of protein my son will eat that does not require a heating element – the dreaded PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH!

I immediately start reworking the morning in my head to make time to swap out his lunch before lunch time (otherwise known as the looming hour of parental shame).  I tell my son not to open his Tupperware of non-weather checking, lazy lunch-making mommy shame and that I will bring him something else in time (or, I thought, I will simply head for the border).

I pick up the final kid, beg for afternoon carpool help and speed off drive with caution based on inclement weather.

I drop the kids and the umbrella off and head to the gym to think through this day on a treadmill and because it is the closet place to get water since I have had no breakfast (I really wanted to order the fitness omelet at the gym but who has time for that when you need to run errands and make the lunch swap before I am called into the principal’s office?!).

While on the treadmill at a slower pace than normal (because frankly my heart was already racing and the adrenaline was burning my water breakfast) I calmly desperately decide that I would have to combine errands and attempt a one stop shop. So I set off for Target of course, thinking it would be my salvation.

They have birthday gifts, hair barrettes, food and some version of athletic shorts. But as I look through the pocketless shorts (because you can’t have boys pants’ing each other on the Lacrosse field)  I realize I am doomed.  They simply won’t work.  If I try to make them work, I will be driving to the sporting goods store the night before the game with two tired children in tow.  I’d rather be called into the principal’s office about the sandwich.  The sporting goods store requires jumping on the freeway in rush hour.  It also means that I can’t buy the groceries, because I want them to stay cold.  I relied on my trusty motto of wisdom and grace when faced with a daunting logistical situation – “F-IT” (Which is short for just go and deal with the next problem when it hits.)

I checkout with barrettes and questionable birthday gifts and make record time to the sporting goods store, buy several pairs of shorts that I say I will return later, but won’t, and as I am checking out the next problem hits-

My cleaning lady calls to say she is at my house – an hour early.  (Now I realize this is a first world problem and I am very fortunate for all of my problems, but again, this post is about logistics, not if I am deserving of sympathy or an involuntary psychiatric hold.)  I barrel back towards home and the logistical nuances start piling un.  My son’s sheets are still in the dryer, I have left clean laundry on the dining room table (that they need to dust, decrumbed and eradicate peanut butter residue from), I can’t stop at the grocery store that I will drive right by, I still have to do a lunch swap.  It’s 10:00 and I have an 11:00 conference call for work.  At this point, I am counting the drive home as additional cardio.

I race in, let the cleaning lady in and flip on the oven to make a more appropriate lunch for my son (aka frozen mini tacos in a thermos).  I decide I’ll swing by the grocery store on my way home from my son’s school and then the day will be back on track (minus the lack of shower).  But it’s 10:18 and I have a conference call in 42 minutes!

Now at this point I contemplate abandoning operation lunch swap, I could call the school, explain what happened and ask them to put my son in isolation to get his protein fix.  But some of those kids with peanut allergies are my friends’ children.  I strive to be a model supporter of peanut allergies.  I take extra precautions when having peanut allergy kids over, because I really care and don’t want to be the cause of any epi-pen parties.  I also can’t take away my ten year old son’s rainy day fun of Heads Up Seven Up (Do they still even lay that???) and have him sent to school Siberia.  So I could just skip the grocery store and deal with that logistic later.  But that plan had already backfired a few times, so I put an end to the logistical juggle-

I declined the conference call.  Some days work must come first, but sometimes I have to surrender to the chaos of life and know when I have been beat.

I calmly drove to school and when I walked in the office, my son’s teacher was standing there.  I told her why I had come and asked if she wanted a PB&J for lunch.  She said while my trip wasn’t necessary, she appreciated me taking the welfare of the other students seriously.  There were a few jokes about the weatherman and then I headed to the classroom to make the swap.  Because it was recess, I then went to the playground and told my son the new carpool plan, told him he had a new lunch and walked away feeling more at ease.

From school I went to the grocery store and contemplated one more errand, but decided it was time to head home and try to catch the last part of my work call.

When I arrived home, I raced to my computer to login and saw that the call had been cancelled.  In all my logistical juggling I had missed that email.  Now I had time to make my first meal of the day. And you know what they say-

If you give a mom a meal, she is going to want a shower to go with it.

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. Erlich, Cheryl
    March 12, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Cute.

  2. Keri
    March 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Love it!!

  3. June 19, 2015 at 8:13 am

    This is amazing. The insanity of this day and the way you address it is hysterical. Who knows why it took so long to create dry shampoo, but thank goodness they did for days like these! Xx

  4. June 19, 2015 at 8:17 am

    The way you address your insane day is hysterical! Thank goodness for dry shampoo. However, that may result in another trip to the store!

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