Last night, Sam announced that she would have to bring a tray of baked macaroni to school. My eyes wide and an eyebrow raised — I am the one expected to cook the pasta — I asked why. She said it was for a culminating activity. All the kids would bring food for a picnic on Friday afternoon.
“Why does it have to be macaroni? Why can’t it be Hi-ro or some other cookies, instead?” I asked.
“Because I already told everyone I would bring baked macaroni.”
Okay, it’s flattering. Her classmates love my baked macaroni and every time there is a potluck affair, Sam gets the baked macaroni assignment. Flattering. More than flattering, really. I can almost preen.
But Friday is the day I teach in their school. Two classes in the afternoon. That means I’ll have to cook the baked macaroni after cooking the girls’ packed lunch on Friday morning. And because there is very little time between class dismissal and dinner time, it also means I have to cook Friday night’s dinner on Friday morning.
But this kind of thing does not happen every Friday. School picnics don’t happen every Friday. It’s just a once in a blue moon kind of thing. I said nothing more, resigned to the fact that I will cook the baked macaroni. But that’s not the end of the story.
After classes today, Speedy picked up Alex from school to bring her to the dentist. She’s going to get braces and there are never ending tests and trips to the dentist. The arrangement was that they would pick me up from the supermarket after the dental appointment. We synchronized the time to make sure that no one would have to wait too long.
I was happily doing my grocery shopping and, after about 20 minutes, Speedy and Alex arrived. Alex took the cart from me and said she’d be the one to push. We went from aisle to aisle, choosing food stuff, ignoring some… When we reached the canned fruit section, Alex became animated as though fortunate enough to remember something important that she almost forgot.
“Mommy, I have to bring food to the picnic tomorrow…”
Oh, my gosh…
“What? Are you bringing baked macaroni too?”
“Nooo… I’m bringing fruit salad… Mommy, that’s easy… What do we need?”
Since I had already relented about the baked macaroni, I could hardly tell Alex to bring Hi-ro cookies, right? So… a can of peaches, a can of fruit cocktail, cream…
My real complaint was the timing. I have nothing against the cooking. At last year’s cookie fest, we brought home-baked cookies while most brought store-bought stuff. If I spoil my kids, it’s in that way. I want them to know that, as much as I can, I will always make an extra effort.
I only wish they’d learn to warn me well ahead of time. If they don’t, I’ll make them learn the hard way by making them bring Hi-ro cookies next time.