Mundane morning mayhem

Bethany J. Royer

February 27, 2014

I have a pretty solid morning routine. I wake shy of the alarm around 6:30 a.m., wander downstairs to let the dog out and start the coffee maker.

Once the dog is back and fed, I head to the kitchen table with coffee cup no. 1 in hand so as to determine my course of action for the day. Just yours truly, a few cups of coffee or twelve, and a mental list of must-do items.

Sounds mundane, but it is heaven, minus the last 90 days of my Freak Out 4-0 Anger Tour as one Ms. Wee Emma has unraveled at least one morning routine every week. Whether it was news she had to acquire Valetine’s Day cards and make a box by the next day, or passing me this itty-bitty piece of paper and pen with the request I write a note to her teacher.

“What kind of a note?”

“That I couldn’t do my homework,” Emma replied.

Of course, I requested an elaboration which consisted of her needing to do homework online over the weekend but she hadn’t the user name and password to get into the program, those had been left behind in her school desk.

I begrudgingly wrote the note upon this last minute notification on a Monday morning only to find it was a false alarm when Emma returned home after school later that day.

Then, last week Emma popped around the corner to say, “Don’t forget, I need a praying mantis costume for the school play!”

“What?! When?!” came my screech followed by a reply of March 4 from the no worry, be happy, Hakuna Matata youngest munchkin.

My mind tried to wrap itself around this new-to-me news of a praying mantis costume while reminded of the commercial of a mother using Google to find a picture of a 19th century president. Why? What else! Her child had delivered the last minute news she was supposed to appear at school as Martin van Buren that very morning.

At one point in time I could have whipped up a praying mantis costume on the sewing machine in a blink of an eye, just like the Martin van Buren mom. Back when I had a backyard more garden than yard and every spare shelf was dotted with clay-made sculptures and miniature sewn handiworks by a person slowly going insane as a stay-at-home mom, among other titles.

That was then, this is yours truly now who finds the thought of sewing so distant as to be another person. So when it came to the praying mantis costume I had three potentials:

* Beg my mother to make Emma a costume

* Purchase a pre-made costume

* Picket outside Emma’s school

I didn’t do any of those things, well, I did do a little Internet surfing but came up empty and spent a good five minutes imagining that protest in front of an elementary school. Instead, the zombie family spent a good chunk of the weekend trying to hash together something akin to a praying mantis. At the time of this writing the costume includes a bright yellow-green hoodie, brown felt, lime green pipe cleaners, a sparkly green fedora, two styrofoam circles painted black, bright green leg warmers and bright green mesh gloves.

Sure, we still need to find yellow-green tights, wings and create a second pair of legs, but for the time being I am just pleased to have sold Emma on being a jazzy multi-green/yellow praying mantis. But when I go out into the world to find the remaining pieces, I will also work on items for my future kitchen table fortress. Something akin to a war-time foxhole complete with sandbags, barbed wire and a small lookout hole so as to see who may be lurking outside with last minute school-related requests.

Bethany J. Royer is the mother of two munchkins and has a serious case of psychology student senior-itis. She can be reached at bethanyroyer@yahoo.com.