Allow me to explain. You see, the day started off very well. I awoke at 6 a.m. feeling refreshed. As I lay in bed, thoughts began to filter into my head – much like an email inbox that’s loading up a bunch of unread messages which are awaiting reply. After dwelling on what the day ahead held in store, I jumped up and decided to get an early start.
Tiptoeing downstairs to allow the kids to sleep, I put the coffee on and powered up the laptop. I had time to reply to a few emails and pay a bill before my five-year-old daughter, Lily, woke up. While she took over the computer to play a few games, I jumped through a shower, dressed and dried my hair. Finally, around 8 a.m., my eight-year-old, Elissa, woke up.
I was glad that she had slept in a bit, as she was a bit of a bear over the weekend and needed the extra rest. I figured that an hour was ample time to get her ready, but little did I know she was stuck in first gear – despite getting the extra zzz’s.
With Elissa finally awake, I headed back downstairs to check on her younger sister and start making breakfast. Between slicing fruit and putting on the porridge, I opened the fridge to make Elissa’s lunch.
I should mention that I’m not a make-it-the-night-before lunch person, for a couple of reasons. First off, I like it to be really fresh – so it’s usually one of the last things I do before we head out the door. Secondly, I aim to send homemade food – hot if possible – so it is often leftovers from the previous night’s dinner that is heated and put into a thermos.
Today, I had my sights set on Sunday night’s pork chops in mushroom sauce, with mashed potatoes. While I got it good and hot in the microwave, I chopped veggies and filled Elissa’s water bottle. At this point, I realized that Elissa had not yet appeared in the kitchen. Marching upstairs, I found she had crawled back into bed and had her nose in a book.
After barking out orders for her to get dressed and come for breakfast I raced back downstairs, glancing at the clock. How did it get to be 8:40 already?!? What happened to my leisurely, early start? No matter – Elissa’s lunch food was hot and ready for the thermos. It was at this point that things took a bit of a weird turn.
Reaching into the cupboard, I found the stainless steel base of my daughter’s thermos with no lid. I had a sudden flashback to unpacking her lunch bag the previous week – and discovering that the lid of her thermos was broken beyond repair. This was a good thermos, too – purchased within the past year at The Container Store in the U.S. (if you’ve never been, it’s compartamentalized heaven!). So I had pitched it in the trash, with vague plans to research replacement thermos lids over the course of the weekend. (Strange how that oh-so-compelling research item seemed to slip down my priority list.)
Now, here I was at 8:43 a.m. on a Monday morning, with hot food for my daughter’s lunch and no place to put it. By this time, my first-born daughter had made it down the stairs – in a mismatched outfit and a head of hair that closely resembled a rat’s nest. Of course, none of the cereal options appealed to her, and we were out of bread.
At approximately 8:44 a.m. – after thrusting a bowl of granola at Elissa, with milk on the side (she eats it dry – my husband says she’s like a horse) – I found a solution to the lunch problem (albeit a slightly bizarre one). Rummaging through the cupboard, I pulled out a high-end, thermal coffee cup I had received as a gift from my sister-in-law years ago. With a stainless steel base and a tight-sealing lid, I didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t sub in for a thermos.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I guess that’s how my daughter ended up with pork in a coffee cup. For the record, she was late for school – despite my best efforts. Fingers crossed it’s a smoother morning tomorrow.