I suspect I’m going to be feeling my way through this whole parenting thing until the day I die. I just hope that it becomes less of an every day thing and more of an every once in a while thing. This year, Valentine’s Day was one of those moments.
Cecilia’s teachers sent a note home a couple weeks ago to announce that they would be having a Valentine’s party. Cecilia had been asked to bring Goldfish crackers. This assignment made me laugh. I guess it had become obvious to Cecilia’s teachers that we keep those around ALL THE TIME since every lunch that I packed contained Goldfish crackers (but only the Parmesan flavor because she won’t eat the cheddar. You know, the cheddar ones that you can buy in bulk or whole wheat or in festive colors. The importance of convenience, cost saving, and extra dietary fiber is lost on my kid.) I had just stocked up on ten bags of Goldfish crackers a couple weeks prior when they went on sale for $1 a bag, and thankfully, we still had a couple bags left.
So Thursday morning, I packed Cecilia’s lunch and packed her school bag with the crackers. We had some time to kill, like we do every morning since she wakes up at 5am, and I just piddled around the house. And then suddenly, it dawned on me. The teachers’ note about the party contained a list of Cecilia’s classmates’ names. I had thought it strange since it had a list with their food assignments on it,, and in addition to that last, there was a list of names. Oh My God. I was supposed to buy Valentine’s Day cards.
I looked at the time. 8:15. Shit. She’s suppose to be at school between 8:45 and 9. So I hurriedly grab the lunch and the bag, grab my jacket and Cecilia’s jacket, and run to the baby, who is engrossed in the Wiggles. She starts to fuss. I think she knew it was a school day, or maybe she was devastated by the idea of leaving Anthony Wiggle. I don’t know, but I didn’t have time to figure it out. I get her in the car, and she protests all the way there. I struggle to get her buckled in her car seat and grab whatever toy I could find in hopes of it calming her down so I don’t have to hear her scream on the wat to Target. Nothing makes an already harried trip to the store more stressful than a screaming baby.
I get in the car and back it out of the driveway. Just as we are turning off our street and it looks like we are going to make it with just enough time, I hear it. William Tell’s Overture. In hopes of keeping Cecilia happy and me less rushed, I had handed her a musical toy, and even though it had four different song selections on it, she managed to replay William Tell over and over and over. As I waited for traffic to thin so I could turn. When I got stuck behind the really slow country bumpkin. While lost in the cars trying to turn into the new Chick-Fil-A. biddy-bum-biddy-bum-biddy-bum-bum-bum, biddy-bum-biddy-bum-biddy-bum-bum-bum, bum-biddy-bum-biddy-bum-bum-bum, biddy-BUM-biddy-bum-bum-bum
We did make it to Target fairly quickly since it’s close to our house, and I was able to purchase two small gifts for her teacher and cheap cards for her classmates, address them in the car, and get her to school on time. The real kicker was when we arrived in her classroom, and half of the kids were out sick. Nice.
Thankfully, I think I have a better grasp on the whole Valentine’s thing now, at least when it comes to classmates’ gifts. I’m sure there will be a February day in the future when Cecilia comes home with tears streaming down her face because I sent her balloons instead of a half dozen pink roses.
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