Where Did My Day Go Wrong And Why Does The Minivan Smell Like Apple Cider?

1. Woke up early and decided it would be a good day to get some things crossed off the “To Do” list.

2. Agreed to let the two-year-old sit in a booster seat for breakfast instead of in the high chair.

3. Served banana slices, mini pancakes and a sippy cup of milk to the two-year-old and cereal with rice milk to the six-year-old for breakfast.

4. Left the rice milk and box of cereal sitting on the table.

5. Answered the phone and walked around the corner from the dining room into the kitchen enabling children to have unsupervised breakfast time.

6. While talking on the phone, remembered the reason grocery shopping shouldn’t have been skipped on Tuesday — friend’s baby was born and dinner needed to be prepared for new baby’s family.

7. Rifled through recipe box and pantry after hanging up phone trying to plan a meal that wouldn’t involve a grocery run, giving previously mentioned children two additional unsupervised minutes.

8. Gave up and started a grocery list before returning to dining room giving afore mentioned children another three unsupervised minutes.

9. Returned to the dining room to find two-year-old sitting on top of the table with mashed banana slices in his hair, sitting in approximately one quart of spilled rice milk and the entire contents of a just-opened box of cereal while trying to fish his toy race car out of the six-year-old’s cereal bowl with his toes and a fork. Found six-year-old under the table sticking Disney Princess stickers on the cat as the cat attempted to catch spilled milk dripping through the table leaves.

10. Cleaned up mess, finished breakfast and added the following to grocery list: Rice milk, gluten-free cereal, bananas, shampoo for steam cleaner, cat food, straight jackets in size 2T and 5T (Memo: Never ever buy stickers again).

11. Allowed 2-year-old to play cars while completing homeschool curriculum for the day with 6-year-old. Worked out menu for friend’s dinner: Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash, Fall Apple Salad, Crusty Herb Bread and Cinnamon Rolls. Decided to try new apple salad recipe off of internet. Wrote ingredients on grocery list and bookmarked website instead of printing it out.

12. Allowed 2-year-old to bring toy car into the store and 6-year-old to bring a clipboard and pen into the store. Failed to notice the clipboard had approximately 1/2 a ream of paper clipped to it.

13. Spent 5 minutes in produce department picking up fourty-leven-bajillion sheets of paper while muttering about how much time we were wasting and how much stuff there was to do, inadvertently inspiring the 6-year-old to “help” get the shopping done fast. Result: An avalanche of apples. (Why does she always pick the one on the bottom corner of the display?) Spent another 5 minutes in the produce department picking up an orchard’s-worth of apples with a disgruntled grocery clerk.

14. Added next six items from list to shopping cart (including one dozen eggs) without incident when 2-year-old began screaming that his toy car was missing. Spent 10 minutes looking for toy car. Gave up — inspiring more screaming at higher decibels.

15. Failed to notice proximity of eggs in cart to 2-year-old. Watched in immobilized horror as 2-year-old flung them from the cart in the throes of his missing-toy-car grief. Spent another 5 minutes hunting down a clerk to notify about the egg incident. Only clerk to be found was the same clerk from the produce section. He was not amused.

16. Finally crossed last item off list. Decided two throw in a bottle apple cider on a whim. Left grocery store approximately thirty minutes later than planned.

17. Got home, put squash in the oven to start roasting for friend’s dinner, rushed children through lunch, put 2-year-old down for a nap. Took squash out of the oven and tried not to have a panic attack when two of the squash had the texture of stringy pumpkins. Wasted five minutes contemplating the end of the world. Salvaged them by running them through the food processor with acorn squash puree from the freezer. Finished recipe, stuffed squash shells and put them back in the oven.

18. Mixed dough for bread and cinnamon rolls and left it to rise. Went downstairs to print recipe for apple salad. Banged head on desk when website was found to be down. Wasted 10 minutes trying to find a similar recipe. Gave up. Emailed recipe author hoping for a miracle. Decided to check website later or “wing it” on the salad.

19. Started apple cider mulling on the stovetop, played Playdough with 6-year-old while the bread dough finished rising. Rolled out and cut cinnamon rolls. Put herb bread in oven and went downstairs to check salad website while 6 year-old made Playdough versions of cinnamon rolls. Salad website was still down.

20. Returned to dining room table and spent next 5 minutes fishing Playdough cinnamon rolls out of buttered baking pans.

21. Set cinnamon rolls aside to rise, took roasted acorn squash out of oven and transferred to aluminum foil pans. Tried not to think about the time. Made frosting for cinnamon rolls. Checked website again. Still down.

22. Took herb bread out of oven and put cinnamon rolls in. Boxed up squash pans and herb bread. Checked website again. Fainted with relief to find it back up. Printed recipe and put salad together.

23. Took cinnamon rolls out of the oven. Poured cider into a pitcher and frosted cinnamon rolls while husband walked in the door. Begged him to print out directions to friend’s house and call to let them know dinner was running a little late. Packed boxes snugly in back of the minivan with the pitcher of cider tightly wedged into the corner.

24. Contemplated moving the pitcher of cider to the front seat where it could be monitored. Decided it was fine where it was.

25. Went back inside for purse and heard two-year-old awakened from nap and yelling for “MOMMY!” Hurried back out to the van. Realized directions had been forgotten inside. Weighed consequences of going back for them against benefits of having directions. Decided directions were optional.

26. Pulled out of driveway and turned first corner. Heard a slosh.

27. Stopped on a slight hill. Put on parking break, but not hard enough. Dashed around to back of van in a delusional attempt to rescue the cider.

28. Kicked self while staring at the now horizontal and completely empty apple cider pitcher. Asked self if the van appeared to be moving.

29. Stopped asking self if van was moving and started racing van down the slight incline which van seemed to be using as a ski slope. Tried not to think about how the scene looked like a clip from a Charlie Chaplin movie. Jumped into van and slammed parking break all the way down just as van hopped the curb.

30. Backed van off the curb while passing motorists honked and waved in mirth. Got out to close the back door and check for damage. No damage noted, save for a giant bruise above right knee and even more seriously bruised ego.

31. Resumed delivery route and allowed spilled cider to marinate while driving in circles through friend’s neighborhood hoping that something would eventually look familiar.

32. Arrived at friend’s house 15 minutes later with absolutely no idea of how destination was obtained.

33. Delivered meal to friend’s family who was deeply grateful in spite of tardy delivery and missing apple cider. Returned to cider-scented minivan and contemplated complete absence of any notion of how to get home.

34. Remembered stack of dishes in sink, rice-milk saturated dining room carpet, Playdough covered table and minivan incident that would require re-telling to a husband who was still waiting for his dinner.

35. Decided that sometimes being lost isn’t such a bad thing.

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