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Where is the joy?

It is 5:45 a.m., and the alarm goes off.  I think it sounded, or it could just be a ringing noise in my head.  Oh well.   I’m up anyways, as is my husband, and my second youngest.  I drag my sorry self out of bed, and send my sweet little one back to bed.  She is crying because she wants to get up at this ludicrously early hour of the day.  I would rather get a cavity filled, a bikini wax or choose any other mildly irritating menace, than this: to rise and shower without sunlight.  On “five-ish” hours of sleep.

We are all going different directions this Friday morning, and thus there is a tight schedule to follow.  Of course, this means nothing to my four- year old, who screams incessantly to “get her some breakfast”, all the while I am upstairs contemplating pulling out all the hairs on my head, eyelashes and eyebrows, just to relieve the stress.  Actually, I am really making the beds, but again, I’d rather be getting a cavity filled, and so on.  I digress… And yes, breakfast would be nice right about now.  I’ll hold out for our school’s breakfast program later on, being as the chances I’ll be eating breakfast around my kitchen table this morning are slim to none.  My daughter, on the other hand, can wait until her dad gets out of the shower.

7:54 a.m., and we are all on our way out the door to our various destinations.  I am the main drop-off person today, so I quickly pack ‘em in, and off I go.  I spend exactly 27 seconds at the babysitter’s house, during which time I am able to kiss my daughter, listen to my babysitter’s son tell me a very short story, pass over my daughter’s belongings, and then wish each child there at the daycare a personally tailored, heartfelt goodbye.  I boot it down the steps, and fly into the van.  As I drive out of the lane, I narrowly miss driving the van into a snow bank.

Small blessings mean so much.

I arrive at school fifteen minutes late for the breakfast program, for which I am chairperson and organizer, only to find out that a registered dietician with the Healthy Eating Alliance is there to observe our program.  How lovely.  I start to butter toast and remember that I forgot to wash my hands.  As I sneak out of the kitchen to the washroom, I avoid eye contact at all costs and pray that she thinks I keep hand sanitizer in the van.

Breakfast program is running along smoothly, and we are all in the zone.  I start to smell burnt toast, and as this is a familiar smell at our breakfast program, I don’t investigate too thoroughly.  However, it becomes apparent when we open the oven, to shove more toast inside that flames shooting from the bottom and up the sides.  The 150 slices of toast that we’ve managed to stuff inside this unfortunate cooking appliance have ignited and all under the watchful eye of the dietician.  Since we have not located the oven mitts, a fellow team member grabs a very flammable apron and uses this to manoeuvre the overloaded tray from the oven.  Other team members, hypnotized by the unfolding drama, watch in awe as the apron narrowly escapes becoming a torch due to its proximity to the searing hot oven elements that started the initial fire.  We eventually locate the thermal protective mitts in the drawer next to the oven.  How clever.  One wonders why we didn’t think of looking there in the first place.

At this point, I am myself at risk of burning up, what with my temperature rising exponentially from the stress I am experiencing due to all the faux pas (paux? since there are more than one?) that have just been committed in the short span of half an hour.  This breakfast program is quickly becoming an example of “what not to do” and will probably end up as illustrations of such in a future breakfast program handout.  We could possibly use the exposure to our advantage, I’ll just have to think of ways to do so.  As well, there is no toast left.  I guess I’ll just have to hold out for first recess and eat the Treat of the Week.

I head back to class, hungry, tired and a little bit “burned out”.

The day continues to head down a crash course.  Literally.  Discipline issues with students before I even start teaching, craft time in the afternoon that consists of me tying a dozen or more little tiny knots with string so as to make each child a farm mobile, all the while some of the children smash cars together in the math and Science center while others zoom cars around the room, and finally, the crowning glory of our day wherein I am getting a lack of attention during a pertinent read-aloud about  “The Golden Rule”, a book that instead comes across as hilarious and completely misses driving home the message.   Oh, and I forget that I have booked a Pep Squad practice in the gym during first recess.  Treat of the Week is not going to happen.

After school, I make another quick trip home to change clothing and then I head off to pick up my youngest from the babysitter’s; and after all this, I head to a skating competition.  As luck would have it, we are the very first competitor’s of the day, and they are looking for us.  I have two little ones on either side of me as I do hair for the third.  She is on in about ten minutes.  At least we are early.

About halfway through the competition, for which I am volunteering my time to sit and sell flowers and other such paraphernalia, I decide I need a coffee.  To show goodwill to all my other cohorts at the rink, I go around and take orders for Tim Horton’s and I tell them, “It will be my treat.”  I arrive at Tim’s only to find my debit card M.I.A. and that I also have no small change.  In the van, I find just enough to buy a cafe mocha for the lady responsible for playing the skating music.  Unfortunately, I have no money left to by anything for myself.  Seriously?  I mean, really…

After my allotted time at the rink, I am wiped.  This day has been such a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but at least I’ll be home soon and I can relax a bit before bed.  I head down the snow-filled lane to my mother-in law’s house, pick up the girls, and as I am heading back up the lane for the final trip of the day, I drive the van into the ditch.


At least, worst day yet this month. Hey, it’s March 2nd, and my luck can only go up from here. That’s the little line I tell myself, anyway.


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