Does Coffee Come in Bucket Size? How to Pack A Lunch in One Easy Step

Hair askew, missing a shoe and wondering how on earth I am planning on getting Kiddo #1 to the bus stop dressed and with a packed lunch, I sat down to converse with the mice.

“Listen guys, I’ve got a problem….Can you teach me to dance and sing at the same time?”

My little mice friends, Justinbeiber and Selenagomez, sat quietly while I gave them the Monday run-down. See, I went away with my brilliant, hot, hilarious Husband on the weekend and came home feeling just like the end-of-cartoon princess. You know, hair done, animals singing in unison, beautiful ball-gownout-of-blue-jeans type thing. So, I didn’t feel like I needed to a) do laundry, b) get groceries or c) plan in any way for Monday’s arrival.

Not to be confused with shoe-making ELVIS,cobbling ELVES are lazy. Dang elves.

Furthermore, before chatting with my mice friends, I looked and found NO evidence that any cobbling elves had come by late Sunday night to help a sister out, either. They didn’t come make shoes or pack Kiddo #1’s lunch for me. No bueno.

I sent Justinbeiber and Selenagomez off to search for some berries, or a needle and thread– anything from which a lunch (or a close proximity) could be fashioned in the next 10 minutes. Surely some of my end-of-film magic would still be around. Surely I can pull this one out for the win. Surely.

I floated gracefully into Kiddo #1’s room and awoke her with a song sung in brilliant vibrato with notes that Maria Callas would envy. Justinbeiber and Selenagomez came in to do some harmonies and Kiddo #1’s turtle, Jelly, did some percussion on her belly like in that other princess movie with the mermaid.

No matter what I sang (perfectly), though, nothing would rouse my sleeping beauty from dreamland. I tried operatic ABC’s. I busted out Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star… In fact, until I did a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” there was no coercing her out of bed. Luckily, I channelled my inner-Weird Al (I put on my Irish Dancing wig so as to have the proper hair curl) and tentatively began:

“Start The Day, Baby”
I sure wish I could tell.
Don’t ask me– I think it’s swell,
That you’re still sleeping but, well,
Time to wake up, baby.
You’ve got to feed your fish,
your turtle, then gimme a kiss.
I wanna know what you’re gonna wear,
Time to wake up, baby.
Your hair is crazy and your teeth are glowin’
Long night? Sun is showin’!
Why are you still snorin’ baby?
Hey, you just giggled,
Don’t be crazy!
It’s time for you to
Start the day, baby!
It’s hard to get you
To the bus baby,
if you’re still sleepin’
Start the day, baby!
And all the girls and boys
in your class, eh,
Are eating breakfast, so
Start the day, baby!

Singing and dancing, like a good movie princess-in-training, off Kiddo #1 trotted to brush her teeth and hair. Luckily some bluebirds were passing by– they flew in to untangle her tresses and tame them into the perfect up-do so I had a little more time to get Kiddo #2 ready to go. Kiddo #2, on the other hand, went off to find his Poochie. A fawn trotted in, lifted him (and his accouterments) onto her back and gracefully returned him to his room where I sat, singing patiently for his return.

Kiddo #1 dressed: check.
Kiddo #2 dressed: check.

Two battles down. Since everything comes in threes (as all good storybook readers know), I prepared myself for the big, bad mama jama.

I steeled my nerves and readied my bow against my arch nemesis, Lunchbox Lenora. And, by bow, I mean hair bow, not bow and arrow. Arrows are no good to the steal lunchbox armour Lenora wears, but she can be blinded by the bits of bling cleverly hidden in the centre of all hair bows. Oh, yes, I’ve been here before.

I see her hulking figure standing between me and Kiddo#1’s empty lunchbox. I inhale deeply and smell the delicious scent of glorious, healthy lunches of the past. Oh Lenora, you are masterful.

The light catches the bling on my hair bow and hits her square in the eye. She howls in pain. My butter knife clangs against her metal body while Justinbeiber and Selenagomez head to the breadbox. Uh, the actual breadbox, not the euphemism for testicles (at least I think that’s what it’s a metaphor for).

My knife clangs against Lenora. She wheels around laughing deeply, heartily, maniacally.

Lunchbox Lenora with spaghetti arms, steel lunchbox body and Ursula’s head. Scary, I know. Lenora: You think you can defeat me? You? A girl with nothing in her fridge but soft a sketchy apple and super soy squeezie tubes?
Me: I’m not afraid of you, Lenora! I have my voice back from your seashell necklace, and I won’t let you hurt my family!
Lenora: But I have the power of emptiness! Watch as the empty lunchbox sucks your will to live! Feel the despair trying to fill the bottomless pit that is Kiddo #1’s lunch bag.
Me: I … won’t … I won’t … look… in. I …
Lenora: Look! Loooooook, Elizabeth! Looooooooooook! (her spaghetti arms twist my face toward the glowing lunchbox until I have no choice but to look inside.)
Me: Noooooooo!

Then, my dog appears, wielding her Bark of Distraction! She begins barking non-stop and I can feel the rage filling my insides until I choke. The rage of my dog barking gives me super human strength and I’m able to pull myself out of Lenora’s tentacles long enough that the spell is broken! I rush to the refrigerator and begin tossing food at Justinbeiber and Selenagomez who wrap it skillfully and place it gently into the lunchbox.

Me: I can put in some grapes. Some crackers? And slice that apple up for dipping with uh…
Lenora: Uh what? Peanut butter? That’s a no-no at school!
That maniacal laugh is really starting to irritate me.
Me: No, not peanut butter– Sunbutter– that stuff made of sunflower seeds. Ha!
Lenora’s eyes get big with disbelief and she mutters “Curses!” under her breath.

I’m still so far from being done with this lunch though! The clock is ticking for the bus, I still have very little in my fridge and Lenora knows that.
Me: Ok. Sunbutter is protein. Super Squeezie is protein. Pickles are … good against scurvy. I need two more veg or fruit to go along with the rice crackers..
Lenora: HA! You’ll neva find that in your fridge! Nevaaaaaaaaaa! (there’s that laugh again.)
Me: Ok. Hold on. Um. Carrots, a couple bits of broccoli and 5 chocolate chips! For the Win!
Lenora: What? Whaaaaat? How did you? Noooooooo!

Lenora begins shrinking, shrieking and spinning into some vortex in the centre of the kitchen. I look at Justinbeiber and Selenagomez– the winds are pulling them in with Lenora! I leap across the vortex and place my mice friends into my pocket, safe. As she is sucked down into the bowels of Heck, I hear one last “You haven’t seen the last of me, Elizabeth! I’ll be back tomorrow!” followed by that laugh again. In a puff of green and purple smoke, Lenora disappeared.

I check my mice and they’re fine. Kiddo #1 appears from around the corner and collects her lunch with a “Cool: pickles.” and I know my battles will not be over until the last day of school in June. I send Justinbeiber off to collect shiny things and send Selenagomez off to get ribbon. I’m gonna need a lot more hair bows if I’m gonna make it to June.

(alternatively, I could just go grocery shopping and make sure there’s ample food to put in my daughter’s lunch every day. I could also pack her lunch the night before, but forget that. I like living on the edge.)

The clouds are parting, the birds are singing again and my pajamas have transformed into jeans and a t-shirt (which is all my fairy godmother could muster at 8am, and I can’t blame her).

And that is the sound of the bus driving by. Again. I exhale prepare a parody of “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson. Forget the parody. I just beat Lunchbox Lenora; we will celebrate with a little iPod action. I press shuffle and … what? Willie Nelson “On The Road Again?” Dang nabbit.

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