It turns out I’m a literal person. The kind who, when she sees something in print tends to regard it as truth. Like those ‘tow zone’ signs that pop up every spring when they do the street cleaning in Calgary. I take that to mean ‘don’t park your car here, or you’ll be towed’.
Or when a letter arrives from the preschool asking for photographs by May 11 ‘otherwise your portion won’t be included’; I take it to mean ‘race to London Drug before preschool to get it done or else you’re out of luck.’
But this is, of course, not how the world works. The street cleaners merely drive around the cars that didn’t adhere to the no parking ‘suggestion’. And the May 11 ‘drop date’ is merely shifted around until such time as everyone finally returns their contribution.
I’m writing this down, so I will learn. And remember.
The preschool moms were invited to a Mother’s Day celebration at the Hen’s preschool. ‘Come share a sweet treat and fruit,’ the adorable invitation announced. ‘No need to send snack kits to school that day,’ it offered relief to mothers tired of finding suitable snack options each morning.
The big morning arrived. I actually put on makeup and brushed my hair so as to avoid the de rigeur ‘you look really tired’ comments I seem to get whenever I show my face at preschool. After Operation Look Alive, it was time to dash to London Drug to pick up the aforementioned photographs of the Hen. The ones I was ordered to deliver by May 11, or else.
All this to say my morning was a flurry of activity. One that did not include breakfast. I considered grabbing a muffin at the Good Earth, before heading to the preschool. ‘No, they’ll have food there,’ I talked myself out of making an additional stop when I was already late.
Once all the moms had arrived, we were each sent downstairs individually where we were greeted by our adorable offspring bearing a cellophane wrapped gift: a painted clay pot containing a paper flower. It was so cute I nearly cried.
And then each mom and child duo sat down at a table for the eating portion of the festivities. My stomach was making all sorts of inappropriate noises, and I practically salivated at the thought that I was finally going to eat something.
The Hen went to the serving table and brought back two plates, one for me and one for him. The paper plates contained one quartered strawberry and 3 Praeventia heart-shaped cookies. Perhaps you’ve tried the Praeventia cookies? They measure roughly one inch in diameter and are often featured as a sample at Costco. They’re marketed as having health benefits – being made with cocoa and red wine extract and possibly containing fiber and iron.
I inhaled the three miniature cookies, mentally assuring my panicky self that this was surely not the snack. This was simply (possibly) the appetizer portion of the event. Because who would call 3 Praeventia hearts ‘a sweet treat’?
Like I said, I’m a literal person. To my stomach’s [severe] detriment.
The Hen, who was also starving, asked his teacher if he could have more. ‘There is no more,’ she sweetly declined. And other moms pulled out their kids’ snack kits and fed them little tupperwares of goldfish crackers and cheese and fruit, while my boy looked on, mildly outraged that I had taken the invitation literally and not packed a snack kit for him.
Happy Mother’s Day.