Monday is unique in the world of moms. It’s the day little zombies are pulled out of their beds after two days of a low demand schedules and whine their way through the morning routine; add in a school field trip and it results in deaf, screaming creatures with amnesia running in circles. They have little ability to function, but somehow mom pulls things together enough so that everyone is semi-groomed, dressed, and crammed into a car on their merry-ish way to school. I forgot to mention, in a moment of insanity, I volunteered to be a parent driver for said field trip.
The morning was further complicated by a rebellious stomach, starring a gaseous repeat of last nights chicken dinner and it was too late to find a replacement. 9:15am was the hour of departure. Kids were due at a theater tour at 10am. I had one hour to prepare after the initial creature drop. Gas filled, GPS programmed, grocery store trip for a variety pack of cereals (frosted mini-wheats were the only thing I could tolerate), child-friendly movie, garbage and clothing collected and ejected. I even removed the goo that lined the bottom of the rear cup holder! We were totally prepared for a smooth drive.
At 9:15 I lead a line of four vibrating 7-year-olds to the car while toting two booster seats, water bottles, and simultaneously unlocking and opening the doors. I felt like a sour-stomached super hero. They funneled in.
The normal whining that inflicts my daughter every Monday morning continued, except at a volume several decibels higher than normal. Having to use her brother’s 5-point harness booster ruined her day. I wrestled with seatbelts while the creatures hooted, hollered, and bounced. Even with each one safely buckled in, they still managed to make the van sway. I slid into my seat, flipped down the tv screen and started “Robin Hood” in one swoop. Cheers ensued as they rooted about their snack bags. The rocking motion of the van stopped, and I put the car in reverse.
“Wait! I brought the wrong bag. This is my lunch.” exclaimed one creature.
I put the car back in park, the glowing 9:35am caught my eye as I looked back. The theater was a 30-minute ride. “Isn’t there something in your lunch bag you could eat as snack?”
“Nope,” he said self-assuredly.
I remembered the boxes of cereal in the back of the car and ran to grab them. I held them up like a victory beacon for all the creatures to see. “What would you like?”
“Ummm…,” he contemplates.
A couple minutes go by and the whistling number starts on “Robin Hood.” I start making cereal suggestions. He finally settles on Rice Crispies.
I put the car in reverse.
“My snack is old,” piped another creature.
I put the car in park and held up the cereal. “Anyone else want a box?”
Prospects of sugared cereal caused a frenzy amongst the creatures. Songs were sung, gleeful shrieks rattled the windows, and once again the car shook. One of them escaped the seatbelt to examine the cereal choices and the others followed.
After a bit, the creatures settled, were reseated, and buckled up. A murmur settled over the car, with only an occasional spastic shout. I looked back to see feet swinging in tune with the movie and looks of contentment.
I put the car in reverse.
The sound of pressurized plastic forcefully torn open, followed by a shower of crispy rice hitting the seats and windows made me freeze.
I heard “OH SNAP!” from the back seat and then complete silence.
I put the car in park and slowly turned around.
Everything, including the creatures, were covered in a fine sheet of Rice Crispies. They were even heaped along the window like winter snow. One creature stared in horror at the empty Rice Krispies box in his lap. The rest were like statues. I brushed the crispies off my shoulder and laughed.
One of the creatures shouted “It snowed in Texas today!” and they all laughed. After we cleaned up a bit, I put the car in reverse and had all the kids roll down their windows to hear the “Snap, Crackle, Pop” of our 10am departure.