calls the kids to the kitchen
to lick the beaters
Julia’s school recently had one of those crazy fundraisers where they sell random stuff like wrapping paper, chocolate covered pecans and light-up Santa toilet seat covers. And since you’re pretty much a jerk who hates education if you don’t buy something, I ordered a sphere cake pan for $100,000. Or maybe $16. It arrived yesterday and since we like to get a little wild on the weekends, we decided to spend our Saturday night whipping up an edible orb. Check out our Earth cake.
I realize the land placement is a bit off, but I’m not Magellen. And in Julia’s words, “I’ll tell ya where Australia goes: in my belly!” I suggested she go for Asia because it’s bigger. She told me she’s only five and couldn’t possibly eat Asia. “Geez, Mom!”
We talked about making all the planets for a Far Out Party.
Or a disco ball for a Disco Party.
I could make a set of boobs for a bachelor party. Or a Sunday.
The possbilities are as limited as our imaginations. What kind of cake would you make with a sphere pan?
There are certain important decisions that are made when a child goes to school which shape her experience and define her character among her classmates. Will she be a bus rider, a walker or be picked up by Mommy – or even Daddy? Will she carry a Hannah Montana backpack or Tinker Bell? Will she eat a school lunch or will she pack?
We are lunch packers and all that implies.
I hadn’t realized the ramifications of disrupting the status quo until this morning when I found that we were out of bread, carrots, fruit and other such lunch essentials and informed Julia that she would be purchasing a school lunch today, a statement that caused all expression and color to drain from her face.
“What?” The question stabbed me like a word knife.
“Well, I ran out of bread and lunch stuff, so you’ll eat a school lunch today,” I said with a nod. I tried to turn and continue rummaging through the clean laundry basket, but her stare pulled me back like a magnet.
You know the moment in action movies where a character stops to listen, because something’s coming and it’s all still and quiet and then something comes barreling at him, like a train, or there’s an explosion or something? That’s exactly what this moment was like, because I could see the freak out building up inside her.
And then she let loose with a shitload of crazy. She started sort of scream-crying and stomping her feet and shaking her head violently. It was like I had just told her, “Today, when you go to school, they’re going to KILL YOU at lunchtime.”
I couldn’t understand a word she was saying other than, “NO!” and “I CAN’T” and “RUIN MY LIFE!” So I asked her to calm down and when she did, to come and tell me what the problem was and I walked into the next room to expel some nervous laughter, because I couldn’t decide if the whole thing was funny or scary.
I finally came to understand the situation like this: if one purchases a school lunch, one must consume all of one’s milk; if one does not consume all of one’s milk, one CANNOT ENJOY RECESS and there is NO WAY Julia could possibly consume a whole EIGHT OUNCES of milk in the time allotted. Which I totally get. Because the kid is the world’s slowest eater. If I want her to finish dinner with the rest of the family, I pretty much have to get her started eating as soon as she’s home from school. If there was a way they’d let her start to eat fifteen minutes before the last bell, we’d have a chance of it actually happening.
And so, I did what any
good bad desperate mother would do. I packed her a lunch of Cheerios, water, cubed ham and a fruit roll up and told her if anyone asks to say Daddy packed it.
Today in piano class, Julia began to learn Au Clair de la Lune. Once we got home, she worked furiously through frustrated tears, refusing to stop until she could play the melody perfectly.
“She’s just like you,” my mom told me.
When I tucked her in bed this evening she said, “Mondays are special because I have library at school and then piano class. Mondays are blue.”
“Yes. And Tuesdays are yellow, because I have art and ballet.”
“What made you pick those colors? Are those the colors on your calendar at school or something?”
“No, those are the colors in my mind. Wednesdays are white. Thursdays are orange and Fridays are purple. That’s just how I see them in my head. It’s kind of like when we do color by number, but it’s not a number, it’s a day,” which made perfect sense to me, because I did the exact same thing when I was a kid.
That girl and I are so alike.
My Mondays were red, though.
Her choices may be a little more inspired. I think mine had something to do with my day of the week undwear.