I had an I Don't Know How She Does It moment the other day. I read the book ages ago; it has been long enough that I don't remember all that much about it other than it was a very funny story about a working woman trying to be an ubermom.
Someone recently mentioned the scene from the book where the mom has to bring something to a school bake sale and, because she has more pride than time, she buys the goodies and then "distresses" them to make them look homemade. (You can read that excerpt here.)
One day this week I was asked to bring cupcakes for Boychild's class. I love to bake and I do a pretty good job of it, but it never for a moment occurred to me that I would make 24 wholesome cupcakes from scratch for this particular event. Instead, I headed straight for the cake mix section and got rainbow chip with matching icing (yum!), nifty celebratory muffin cups and some animal sprinkles for added sugar. They looked quite pretty when they were all done (thanks, Betty Crocker). At one point I giggled a little at the thought of what I could do to "distress" these cupcakes (would taking a nibble out of some of them count?), but decided not to disguise my store-bought creations. What would be the point? We're talking five- and six-year-olds here. They're usually not looking for "fancy" or demand that their cupcakes contain wheat germ.
The Big Day dawned bright with...sheets of ice, gale-force winds and blowing snow. It was a snow day, but the schools were open for brave or idiotic souls who chose to navigate the icy streets and biting cold wind. Usually we walk to school, but because I didn't think the muffins would survive a trip stashed in the bottom of Girlchild's stroller I had arranged to snag the van from Groom-boy and drive to school that morning - and that was before I knew the weather report.
That's when BFF called. Would I like her to pick up Boychild and take him to school on her way to work? We've done this before and it's sure nice to avoid the drama of stuffing a not-always-compliant two-year-old girl into a snowsuit first thing in the morning to "help" walk her brother to school.
I almost said yes. Then I remembered the cupcakes. How could I hand over my pretty little cakes to another mom to carry proudly into the Kindergarten room? Egad! Everyone might think SHE had baked those lovelies!
Instead, because Groom-boy ended up being home sick anyway and I wouldn't have to cart Girlchild along in the storm, I opted to pick up BFF's little guy and brave the wild weather to hand deliver my yummy little cupcakes. Another defining moment in motherhood - check.