Yesterday morning I woke up and poured Caroline a bowl of cereal and then began to make her lunch. The making of the lunch has become an increasingly tedious task ever since she declared she is tired of sandwiches. There are only so many other options in lieu of a sandwich and I don’t know why she has to mess with history and basic science.
And so while I threw some peanut butter and crackers together along with some blueberries and anything else I could find in a package in the pantry, Caroline walked into the kitchen and laid her head down on the counter and announced her stomach didn’t feel good at all.
So I found myself on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, she’s not one to necessarily fake an illness. But on the other hand, I think having a day off on Monday gave her a taste of the good life and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled to come home with a bunch homework on Tuesday. Not to mention, she’d also lost her second lunchbox in a three week time period, which led P and I to have a discussion with her about personal responsibility and caused her to wail, “Great, now I’ll be the girl with the brown paper bag at school.”
Fortunately, P drove her up to the school on Tuesday evening just to make sure she hadn’t overlooked her lunchbox while leaving the playground as opposed to her theory that someone is “STEALING people’s lunch boxes at school”. Yes. Because why wouldn’t a band of thieves want to steal containers full of leaked remnants of pineapple juice and four stale Doritos?
In what she declared to be a MIRACLE, her lunchbox was indeed sitting on a bench on the playground. So perhaps the thieves just ate those four stale Doritos and put the lunchbox back where they found it.
But back to yesterday morning because I have wandered. She said her stomach was bothering her and she couldn’t risk the humiliation of throwing up at school. And, listen, I get that. I have thrown up publicly a few times in my life and it’s never an experience that leaves you feeling good about yourself. So I gave her a Pepto-Bismol and told her we could wait and see if it made her feel better and then just get to school late. In the meantime, we headed to the couch where I suggested she lay down and I began to check email and other important things like the stock market and perhaps – okay fine – I was totally checking out What Kate Wore because Kate and William are in the middle of their New Zealand tour with Baby George who is just the cutest and, frankly, I can’t get enough. I may have even watched some video feeds of them getting off the plane.
Anyway, after about ten minutes of lying on the couch, Caroline asked if she could go get her Kindle and read and I pulled the classic mom maneuver and said, “Well, if you don’t feel good enough for school then you probably just need to lie still on the couch and close your eyes”. Lo and behold, in what was our second miracle in a 24 hour period (the lunchbox being returned by the thieves being the first) Caroline decided about five minutes later that she could manage to make it through a day of school. I’m not sure if it’s because the medicine kicked in or the realization that she was in for a day chock full o’ boredom.
Thankfully she made it through the day at school without incident and even requested Luby’s for dinner after soccer practice. Nothing says full recovery like the LuAnn with fried fish with tartar sauce and macaroni and cheese.
One more thought from the day because at this point there’s no use in pretending this isn’t just a bunch of discombobulated observations, and really this next part is almost like a word problem. As I was driving to pick up Caroline and her friends from soccer around 7:15 last night, I passed by a house and noticed a girl who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties wearing a bathing suit and talking to someone on her front porch. And I had a moment of envy where I wondered when the last time was that I had enough free time to be in my bathing suit on my front porch on a school night at 7:15.
Then I remembered that I am forty-three, so the bigger question is probably when was the last time I would have been willing to stand on my front porch in my bathing suit while cars drove by?
And the answer is somewhere around 1992. Which just happens to coincide with the last time I had enough free time to be in my swimsuit at 7:15 on a school night.