A perfectly precious mother-daughter moment

Monday was the day my daughter and I have been anxiously awaiting since preschool started six months ago.

Finally, it was her turn to be “Star of the Week”. And that meant it was my turn to make the “All About Me” poster. This is the kind of experience that I would have planned and pulled off with all the perfectionism of a scrapbooking queen with my first born.

This time around, I was just hoping it would go better than my turn shopping for the preschool snack and my unfortunate incident involving a lemon poundcake and cinnamon-apple rice cakes.

So, I cleared the schedule for the weekend and got ready to have a precious mother-daughter moment where we would spend quality time looking through five years’ worth of photos together, reminisce about wonderful moments and discuss all of her favorite things that we would put on the poster.

Friday afternoon, a friend offered to have the three big kids over for a playdate to give me a break because my husband had been out of town the past week. So, I used that time to go to the grocery store and pick up a large piece of bright pink posterboard. I was so close to the electronics section, that I took a quick stroll through the Wii games just to see if they carried the Just Dance game.

Although I’ve faithfully been keeping up with my 30-day challenge on Wii Active, at least one out of every four days, I thought a dance game might be the perfect way to get some exercise and have fun with the kids.

After dinner, we put in Just Dance and immediatly got sucked in. We stomped our way through “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, boogied through “Who Let the Dogs Out” and had a little Hammer-time to “U Can’t Touch This”. By the time we had finished, we were all sweating, panting and needing a big glass of water, and I realized I had just burned off far more calories than I ever had jogging around my imaginary track on Wii Active.

I started playing out the conversation in my mind when I had to break this news to my imaginary trainer. How on earth was I going to expain to her that I’m ditching her and her jumping lunches and bicep curls so I can hang out with my imaginary MC Hammer friend?

I also came to a revelation. Just Dance could be my ticket to perfect the dance moves to every popular dance tune from the 80s, 90s and 00s. Now, not only would I be able to lip sync to my favorite songs, but I also could pull out some impressive dance moves to wow friends and relatives.

You know how valuable this skill can be if you are ever in a situation where someone suddenly puts on dance music, say in a shopping mall or a… well, I can’t think of any other examples, since it’s been about 15 years since I actually attended a party where someone played dance music. However, I am now determined to have my routines down pat, just in case the need ever arrises.

Saturday morning I had a few hours before I had to take the boys to karate. I had also purchased my 5-lb. roll of ground beef while I was at the grocery store and decided to see if I could make some freezer meals while the kids were busy playing.

I must have still been bee-bopping to Groove is in the Heart, because I got in a really good rhythm and whipped up my meatloaf, hamburger patties, taco meat, ground beef packets and a chili cornbread bake for the freezer.

This is when things started to take a turn for the worse. I thought I would share my success with all of my friends on Facebook by posting a link to my blog post on my bulk-cooking experience. Within minutes, people started commenting on how crazy it is that my family could actually eat eight — count them EIGHT — meals out of 5 lbs. of ground beef. I guess it turns out that a lot of families, with their big growing teen-age boys, can eat that big honkin’ 5 lb pack of meat in about two meals.

This is when I spent the next two hours chastisizing myself in my head over WHY I EVER post stupid stuff on Facebook and WHY I don’t realize BEFORE I post it that it’s going to sound stupid and WHY don’t I just CANCEL my stupid Facebook account because my 212 imaginary friends — many of whom I haven’t talked to since I was 7 years old and half of whom I don’t even LIKE — are now at home making fun of me for stretching FIVE measly stupid pounds of ground beef to make EIGHT, count them EIGHT, freezer meals.

We came home from karate a few hours later, and I noticed that it was an absolutely gorgeous day. It was probably about 50 degrees, but with the sun shining brightly, it felt like it was 70. The baby, miraculously enough, had survived the car ride home WITHOUT falling asleep, so I told the kids to change their clothes so we could go for a walk outside.

This announcement caused one of my children to fall on the floor and break into hysterical crying. After about 30 minutes of reasoning with him about how we have waited through SIX MONTHS of arctic temps for this very day when he could ride his bike while mom went on a walk, and then 30 minutes of wrestling my anger because he wasn’t responding the way I’ve tried to teach him for the last SEVEN YEARS, we were all pretty much rolled up on the floor in a ball crying.

We went on the walk with no one speaking to each other, and then I realized when we came home and  he went straight to bed and fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon that the poor guy was just exhausted from our Dance-Dance Marathon, followed by his karate class.

Well, I was in no mood after that to find the photos and have a magical moment with my princess daughter, so I tackled laundry and dinner and put the kids to bed early.

When we got home from church on Sunday, I had the chance to hang out with a friend who popped by, and I realized that with my husband out of town I must not have talked to many adults in the last week because I jabbered away nonstop until she had to pretend she received a phone call that her house was on fire so she could escape. (OK, I’m making up the part about the phone call and the house fire.)

Finally, it was time to bake some chocolate chip cookies for a church function that evening.

At 3 p.m., I was ready to locate and print all of the photos from my daughter’s wonderful, beautiful life. I figured out how to transfer the photos from my laptop to my compact photo printer. That’s when I realized I was out of ink.

But much to my dismay, I actually had ANOTHER ink cartridge. I quickly shoved it into the printer and then after an hour of failed printing attempts and research on the Internet, I realized I was supposed to remove something from the print cartridge before putting it in.

Now, the print cartridge wouldn’t come out.

Good-bye, sweet photo printer.

That’s when I had a light bulb moment. I don’t even NEED a photo printer because I could just upload the photos to the CVS web site and within one hour, I could run over to the store that is three blocks from my house and get the photos! SCORE!

I picked up the photos at 5:15. And at 6 p.m. we needed to be across town for a big party sponsored by our church at one of those places with the indoor inflatables.

When we got home from that place at 8:30 p.m., you can only imagine how much energy my children had.

So, I put the kids to bed and pasted the photos on the pink posterboard as quickly as possible.

The next morning I quizzed my daughter on all of the significant events of her life so she could explain our choices to the class when I went to school with her.

And THAT, my friends, is what a perfectly precious mother-daughter moment sometimes looks like at our house.

But stay tuned… because we did have a delightful time going to preschool together Monday morning. AND I’m not even being sarcastic! More about that later…

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  1. Emily, that made for a great laugh this morning. Sometimes life is just like that….isn't it great? 🙂 MicheleP.S. I did the same thing with Micah's poster. QUIZ TIME!

  2. You may not have had the perfect mother daughter moment you were planning but you sure had some great moments with the family in there. And, I think you should be the winner for being able to get 8 meals out of 5 lbs of burger!

  3. Sarah… the funny thing was, I served one of my slightly less than 1 lb meals last night and we STILL had leftovers! Of course, it was just me and the kids, but, anyway…MIchele, Glad I'm not the only one! Didn't you LOVE the Q and A afterward?Thanks, Jenny… =]Holly, I'm so glad you don't cook on top of everything else you do! You are starting to intimidate me with all of those intellectual books you read!Lynn… We were all very tired by Monday, as well. We had to take naps in the afternoon to catch up from our late night bouncing!

  4. I love your stories! I can sooo relate to them – our kids are very similar! Sounds like I need to get Just Dance for wii! our daughter loves music, singing & dancing so it would be great for us…Very cool to get 8 meals from 5lbs of hamburger… may have to try that one too! Our daughter has just this week decided that she LOVES hamburger helper meals – every other time we tried them we were pretty much force feeding her a few bites so she could say she ate supper… apparently she's in a growth spurt again! have a great night!Laurel

  5. Hahaha oh you're great. :)I have Just Dance too! It really is fun, and the MC Hammer is pretty much my favorite song in there. I definitely burn a ton of calories too.And I'd be proud of the fact that you can make meat stretch… My fiance and I have really cut down our meat consumption to save on food costs, and so far I've barely even noticed our semi-vegetarian lifestyle. I was really inspired by your batch-cooking post too! I'm totally trying that. Someday. But sooner now then it would have been otherwise. ;PThe printer thing also sounded completely like something I would do… hahaha oh man. Sounds like it all came together though in the end — can't wait to hear about her presentation. 🙂

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