An Embarrassment of Flip-flops


‘Tis the Season. Of cheese graters and power sanders on the gnarly heels of women everywhere. Of pedicures and fresh nail polish. Of creams and lotions. And of flip-flops and sandals.

I went for a pedicure with The Jobnnie when she was home for spring break in March. We were in between snowstorms so it was only fitting that we allow ourselves a bit of pampering. A pedicure was just the ticket. And I thought we’d just grab flip-flops on our way out the door. Except… I could not find a single pair of flip-flops anywhere. Not a one. Not in my closet. Not in the garage.

How could this be?

Well… When it was snow boot season, we put all the boots in easy reach. And I, being logical, tucked all of the warm weather foot gear into the boot bin.

And we found them ALL today. Right where we left them. Because I was putting winter boots away and…

Sigh…

You know how there’s collective nouns? A murder of crows… a herd of cows… and I’ve decided it must be an embarrassment of flip-flops.

That day I put cat food in her lunch…

I’ve packed lunches for the kids for years. I didn’t mind doing it, and it was cheaper than the swill that passes for “cafeteria food.” I like to think that I provide adequate nutrition, and provide the occasional whimsical surprise. You know — fun things like mixing parmesan and pizza Goldfish crackers. Or brownies. Or cutting their sandwiches into shapes.

I’ve doodled on their lunchbags. Included little love notes. (A word to the wise: they are happier when the notes are SMALL and NOT MUSHY.) I’ve even managed to space out and give them TWO desserts.

But never, ever, in my groggiest, sleep-deprived moments, did I put in something like this:

Honest. Usually I find a better source of protein for my children’s lunches.

Distracted. Decaffeinated (the coffee pot wasn’t done brewing.) Talking, making lunches, AND cleaning off the counter, and that’s what happened. I did not even notice.

Lunchtime, I get a text message: Ummmm??? along with the photo.

I laughed. I blushed. She also thought it was funny (as did her friends) and she brought home the cat snack (untouched, by the way.) And we moved on. But I don’t think I’ll live this one down for a while…

The Cookie Diva is gone. Long live a real mom.

I did it. This year I did not stay up until 1 a.m. last Tuesday finishing cookies for the teacher’s holiday cookie exchange. (The parents provide the cookies; the teachers get to select a plate of cookies to take home.)

This year I made “Holiday Bites” — a simple, easy, and apparently ravingly awesome little confection. Ingredients: peppermint kisses, pretzels and M&Ms. Yes. That’s it. And in 20 minutes I made 6 dozen. BAM!

But even though I knew the teachers would enjoy them, I felt a little guilty. There are some amazing teachers at Over Achievers APs High. Really. There’s the head of the Arts & Humanities program who has inspired and encouraged my kids. A funny, enjoyable Latin teacher. A Foreign Languages resource teacher who saved a senior year. An incredible instrumental music teacher. A super “I can even make your kid like Pre-Calc” math teacher. And the list goes on. (OK, if you teach my kid, and I didn’t list you… Thank you!!)

I wanted to do more. But self-preservation and common sense meant I had to step back a little from my usual “the show must go on” mentality. And it was really a good choice.

Then the next day Petula Dvorak’s column came out about these “work-all-day, mom-all-night” moms in the Washington Post. It hit a little too close to home. There are many of us who want to work/play/create/volunteer/sleep in a 24 hour period. And when you run short of time, you run short on sleep.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten off the over-achiever Mommy track. It was the best decision ever.

Tonight, we ordered in Chinese, watched NCIS re-runs and chilled as a family. And I fell asleep in the chair. (True confession – I had to pick up The Johnnie last night from college after her evening class because of a dentist appointment this morning. And yeah. I am short on sleep today. The next thing on my agenda – SLEEP.)

So any of you who are convinced you must run the school auction committee (at 2 a.m.) or paint your bathroom, come over to the sane side of life. I won’t judge. And I’ll even make you a cup of coffee… if we make to next weekend.