I spend many waking hours and more sleeping hours than I care to admit working on the lunchbox biz.
This blog is meant to reflect that which I’m passionate about, including (but not limited to) good food, waste reduction and running a small biz. I’ll readily admit I’m passionate about at least a few other things (starting with my family), but I’m inclined to keep them clear of my ramblings. However, I had a day last year that definitely involves my family, and has absolutely nothing to do with the biz, but was so…noteworthy…that it warranted a posting. It happened on a no-school day – President’s Day, maybe? – and involved not only my crew but a handful of local families.
Me, home for the day. I have three kids: Delainey (10), at Kayla’s house; Noah (8) and Evan (6), both who are at home with me.
Lisa, also home for the day; she’s mom to Hannah (10), at Kayla’s house, and Mason (8), Roscoe (7), and Alex (6), all at home
Kayla (10) and her little brother Kai (5), both at Kayla’s house with Delainey and Hannah
Fisher, Noah’s friend, at his own home
Alexandra (10), friend to all the girls, and her mom Joan, also at their own home
My husband Mike, at the high school where he teaches, overseeing a chess tournament
Yesterday: Lisa suggests that we take a bunch of kids to the dollar theater to see “Bolt”. They don’t get many opportunities to go to a movie in a theater, and we’re happy that it’s something ALL the kids might enjoy AND it’s at a very attractive price.
Today, 9:30am: Noah complains of general malaise; I give him a dose of Tylenol, figuring he’s just tapped out from a long weekend and will rally with the extra attention anyway, but the Tylenol won’t hurt.
11am: Lisa calls me – Mason is on task to complete his homework, but has two pages to go and will not be allowed to see the movie until he finishes. He’s digging in his heels, and Lisa wants to know if I’m going to the movie and could take Roscoe and Alex so they don’t get punished for Mason’s transgressions. I agree to this; I have no interest in seeing Bolt but (as most parents would know) that doesn’t really have any bearing on the day. Since I first have to deliver Evan and pizzas to the chess tournament around noon, I can make it to Lisa’s in time to scoop up Roscoe and Alex for a 2:10 movie.
But what about the girls? Delainey wants to get together with Alexandra, and they may want to see the movie, and Hannah and Kayla might also want to see the movie, so I add it up: me+Noah+Roscoe +Alex+3 girls will fit in my van, but only if Evan agrees to stay at the chess tournament, and he’s undecided; I can’t manage a 4th girl, and since Lisa can’t go anywhere until Mason finishes his homework, we’ll have to see if Joan can drive.
11:15: I try to call Joan, but that call is interrupted when my cell phone rings. It’s Delainey calling from Kayla’s: she wants to know if I reached Joan to confirm her get-together with Alexandra. I tell her I haven’t yet, but there’s a possibility we’d all be able to go to see Bolt, but it hinges on having another driver, which could be Lisa if Mason comes through or Joan if she and Alexandra are interested. I agree to call her back when I know more; she has to check with Kayla and Hannah to see if they’re interested in the movie too.
I call Joan back: Alexandra’s itching to get together with Delainey, and any other friends would be just great, and yes, she might be interested in the movie, and yes, Joan thinks she might be able to drive. I count again: me+Noah+Roscoe+Alex±Evan (pending chess) leaves me room to spare, if Joan could drive all the girls.
11:25: I call Delainey back, and she says they’re all interested in going to the movie. I agree to stop by Kayla’s house and scoop up all three girls, deliver Kayla and Hannah to Lisa’s house and Delainey to Alexandra’s, do the pizza run to the chess tournament, return to Lisa’s and get the boys at 1:45, then take them to the movie. Kayla and Hannah, meanwhile, will walk up to Alexandra’s when it’s close to movie time and Joan will drive all four girls.
Easy, easy, easy.
11:35: I call Lisa back, and she says Mason’s definitely NOT going to the movie because three other friends just arrived and Mason is playing with them and she is certain he will not get his homework done in time (and probably won’t care either). I tell her the plan with the girls, and she figures it will work.
11:40: Fisher calls, wants to play with Noah. I count again: me+Noah+Fisher+Roscoe+Alex±Evan (pending chess) would still fit, so I offer to take Noah to Fisher’s now, then to swing back to Fisher’s house at 1:30 to get them before I go to Lisa’s to get the other boys to go to the movie.
11:40: I load up the van with the trail-a-bike (so Evan can get home from chess with Mike), and Noah and Evan, and go to Kayla’s house. I go in to get the girls, and there stands Kai, who also wants to go to the movie. I count up again: me+Noah+Fisher+Roscoe+Alex+Kai±Evan (pending chess) will still fit in the van, so I say sure, he can play at the Lisa’s while I go deliver pizza to the chess tournament, then I’ll pick him up and take him with everyone else to the movie. Besides, he’s altogether too cute and good-natured to refuse. So Noah, Evan, Kayla, Hannah, Delainey, Kai and I pile into the van and we go to Lisa’s house.
11:45: I drop Noah at Fisher’s house with instructions that I’ll return for them at 1:30.
11:50: Joan calls, tells me that she doesn’t think she’ll be able to drive after all because she’ll need to be around for her son’s activities later that afternoon. I tell her that the girls will probably understand, and perhaps even Lisa will be able to drive if Mason gets his act together.
11:55: I drop off Kayla, Hannah and Kai at Lisa’s house with the promise to return for them at 1:45 and instructions for Lisa and Joan to work out the girls’ transportation to the movie.
12:00: I drop Delainey at Alexandra’s.
12:25: Now with only Evan in tow, I get pizza, go to the high school, and join Mike and the chess team for lunch.
1:15: Evan has decided he wants to go to the movie, so we load up and head to Fisher’s.
1:20: I call Joan to confirm the movie transportation plan. She doesn’t think it will happen as Delainey and Alexandra have now made other plans.
1:25: I call Lisa to tell her that those girls will not be going to the movie after all.
1:35: I pick up Noah and Fisher, and (after doubling back to get Noah’s glasses) we head for Lisa’s.
1:40: Lisa tells me Kayla and Hannah were so disappointed that they wouldn’t get to go to the movie after all that she has agreed to throw Mason and the two remaining friends of his in HER van and she will deliver Kayla and Hannah to the theater if I will keep tabs on them. I agree to this.
1:45: I reach Lisa’s house, where Roscoe, Alex and Kai pile into the van with Noah, Fisher and Evan, and we head to the theater, following Lisa’s van with Hannah, Kayla, Mason and his two friends. After half a morning of scheduling and rescheduling, we are FINALLY ON OUR WAY TO THE MOVIE.
1:55: Noah (in the front seat) announces to me he feels awful and thinks he might throw up. I check, he looks ashen. I hand him the trash bag and figure that two hours sitting in a dark movie theater won’t kill him or anybody else. Ultimately, he does not throw up.
2:05: We arrive at the mall and hike over to the theater ticket window, where we meet Hannah and Kayla, whom Lisa has just dropped off.
2:08: the 2:10 showing of Bolt is sold out.
The two ten showing of Bolt is sold out.
THE TWO TEN SHOWING OF BOLT IS SOLD OUT.
2:09: I call Lisa and tell her the news, and she cracks up.
2:10: Lisa doubles back to the mall, picks up Roscoe, Alex, and Kai.
2:11: I return to the van with Noah, Fisher, Evan, Kayla and Hannah, then on the drive back I try and call Fisher’s house (as I don’t want Fisher to be at our house with Noah in his condition), but as I can’t reach Fisher’s parents I call Lisa and ask to leave Fisher there.
2:25: I drop Fisher off at Lisa’s.
2:35: I drop Kayla and Hannah at Kayla’s.
2:40: Noah, Evan and I return home. Noah immediately heads for bed.
The necessary postscripts: I’m usually not this cavalier with a sick kid. Noah was low in the morning, but rallied; he was low on the way to the movie, but the prospect of FINALLY getting to the theater had just too strong a pull on him.
Lastly, these are all wonderful kids and I’m happy to take them to the dollar theater when the opportunity arises. Most of the time the outing does NOT turn out like this one did.