14: The Wrong Bag

14: The Wrong Bag

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Wrong Bag

Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.

~Author Unknown

I stumbled to the kitchen. It was way too early to be up after a long night writing. I filled the coffeepot with water and tilted the coffee bag over the filter. Nothing! I opened the bag wider and looked inside. Empty!

“Mom!” Lee called from the other room. “Mom?” I rummaged in the cabinets. There was another bag of coffee somewhere.

“Mom?” He walked into the kitchen. “Didn’t you hear me calling you?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “Whatever it is, just hang on a second. I’m trying to find some coffee.” I checked the pantry. No coffee there either.

“This is important,” Lee demanded. I paused and looked at him. “You have to make my lunch today. I’m going on a field trip to the courthouse.” Oh, no! Was that today?

“Okay, I’ll take care of it.” I gave up the search for coffee and started looking for things to put in a bag lunch. We were out of lunchmeat so he got a PB&J sandwich minus the jelly because we were out of that too. There hadn’t been time to go to the grocery store yet this week.

Ring! Ring! I snatched up the phone with one hand while searching for the Hostess cupcake hidden behind the canned veggies with the other. “Hello.”

“I’m not going to be able to help decorate for Karen’s bachelorette party tonight,” my friend Amie said. “I have a job interview but I have all the decorations. Can you come by and get them before you take the kids to school?” Just great! As if I didn’t already have enough to do. But I agreed. What else could I do?

I hung up and looked with longing at the cupcake in my hand. I’d hidden it away for a day like this, when things were crazy and I needed the comfort of chocolate. Sighing, I put it next to the sandwich I’d made for Lee. I didn’t have any chips or anything to put in his lunch, so the least I could do was give him dessert.

Cody came running in. “Mom, I can’t find my T-ball uniform.”

“It’s in the dryer.” I looked over at my middle son, Rob, calmly eating his cereal. He was always so calm while the rest of us ran around like chickens with our heads cut off. I grabbed a Walmart bag from under the sink and handed it to him. “Would you grab Cody’s uniform for me?”

I grabbed another Walmart bag and started packing Lee’s lunch, glancing at the clock. We were running late and Cody and Lee hadn’t eaten yet. I popped two waffles in the toaster; they could eat on the way. I rushed everyone out to the car and started to back up.

“Wait,” Lee yelled. “I forgot my homework.” I watched the minutes tick by while we waited for him to find it. He got back in and I pulled out of the driveway heading to Amie’s.

“Don’t forget Chelsea,” Rob said from the back. Shoot! I forgot I was supposed to give the girl down the street a ride. I pulled back in and went the other way. We were really running late now. At least Amie was waiting outside with the decorations when we got to her house.

I was lost in thought, trying to figure out how I was going to do everything that needed to be done. Drop Chelsea and the older boys off at school, spend the day volunteering in Cody’s classroom, pay bills at lunch, pick the boys up after school, take Cody to his T-ball game, drop the kids off at my mom’s house, and decorate for Karen’s party before it started at 7:00.

“Mom,” Lee interrupted my thoughts. “You missed the school.”

I turned around in the nearest driveway. “Sorry, guys. My mind isn’t working very well today. I haven’t had my coffee.”

“You know coffee is a drug don’t you?” Chelsea asked. “My class went on our field trip to the courthouse yesterday and the policeman told us all about drugs.”

I pulled in the parking lot. “That may be,” I answered, handing Lee his lunch. “But I could sure use some.”

Thankfully, the staff lounge at Cody’s school had coffee made. I sipped a cup and felt my mind begin to work again.

The morning passed without incident. At lunch, I ran out to drop off some bills and order a burger from McDonald’s. While waiting in the drive-thru, I noticed the bag of decorations sitting on the floor. Curious to see what naughty items Amie had picked out for the bachelorette party, I opened it. The first thing I saw was the cupcake. Oh no! I had given Lee the wrong Walmart bag. I glanced at my watch. If I hurried, I might be able to make it to school before they started eating.

I pulled out of line and rushed to the courthouse. As I parked, I could see Lee’s teacher getting the class settled on the courthouse lawn. I grabbed Lee’s lunch and ran across the street. Where was he? There! I spotted him talking to a police officer and hurried over.

“My mom does drugs,” Lee was saying. “But she ran out this morning and her mind isn’t working right.” He held his bag up. “That’s why I got this instead of my lunch.”

He turned the bag upside down and dumped assorted party supplies, many shaped like… man parts… on the ground at the officer’s feet. I was standing there mortified, wondering if I could just slip away, when Lee saw me.

“There’s my mom right there.” I hurried to scoop the stuff off the ground under the watchful eyes of Lee’s teacher and the policeman. I could feel my face burning as I mumbled something about a friend’s bachelorette party and not having any coffee. I glanced around to see both the teacher and the police officer trying unsuccessfully not to laugh.

Later on I was able to appreciate the humor of the situation but not right then. I was too embarrassed. But I did learn a valuable lesson that day. Always double check the bags to make sure the right things go with the right people. And keep a spare bag of coffee in the pantry.

~Kimber Krochmal

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