This morning when I woke up, I was hungry. The past few days, my appetite has lagged, so between no appetite and keeping up with my girls, I have lost a few pounds. I have also been trying to be more active lately, because right now I desperately need the feel-good that comes from working out. Because I am too proud to go running to my doctor for some feel-good pills.
Don't get me wrong, I have no grudge against people who admit to their doctors that they are having a hard time coping with life and that they need the tiniest little chemical boost each day so that they can get out of bed and put on a smile. There are days when I'd love a boost too, days when I wish the sun would stop coming up, and days that I wish I hadn't waken up to live through. There are days when I'd like a chemical boost of my own because sometimes I think I'd rather be numb than be hurting over all that has transpired in my life so far this year.
But mostly, I'm glad that I can feel every nick and bruise. I'm glad I can feel it when life cuts into me and I'm hurting. Because in that hurt, I'm growing. I'm becoming even more me. And because I can feel what life gives me, I can also feel the joy.
This morning when I woke up, I was shocked to realize that I had forgotten to pick up breakfast groceries. My sweet precious little Piglet does not take kindly to waiting for her breakfast (or any meal), so the realization that I was now racing to beat the tantrum was disconcerting. And anxiety-inducing. Right around the time I started approaching panic, I remembered that there had recently been a blessed payday, a sun-shiney day that began with the Army saying to Private Ryan, "Thanks for sitting around while we try to decide when to start your training, here's some money for your trouble."
And then they give us money. It is easy for us in that he isn't being worked to death and he is able to relax on American soil. He is even able to text often or call home during the day just to chat. But it is hard in that I feel like I have rented out my man when I could have really used his support at home. They keep him, and they pay for him. The girls and I wait at home for our turn, and in the meantime, payday is blessed because it pays the bills.
It also buy McGriddles. When I realized I was racing the tantrum and then remembered the payday thing, I said to myself in a rather cheerful manner, "Self, just pack up those little kiddos and head out to Mickey D's. Who cares if you're all in pj's and haven't brushed your hair? Just go, woman! Quick, before the baby starts the infernal screaming!"
And then my self replied, "Hey thanks! That's a great idea!" Or something like that.
So me and my self packed up the kiddos, disregarding the tangled heads and the pajamas. We rode down to McDonald's, and when Teenybop realized where we were, she piped up from the back, ordering chicken nuggets with fries and sprite "and please mom make sure they know I'm a girl".
I blatantly ignored all chatter from the back seat, and ordered breakfast, a bacon-egg-and-cheese McGriddle for me with a hash brown and a coke. I tried hard to figure out what the heck Piglet might like off the breakfast menu and mistakenly told the speaker that that's what I was doing. The speaker informed me that children enjoy McGriddles too, so for Piglet, one egg-and-cheese McGriddle. The same for Teenybop, with orange juice, and I continued to ignore her protests from the backseat. She refused to believe that they didn't have chicken nuggets at seven in the morning. I got her a parfait too, so that I could pretend it was a healthy breakfast.
Having placed my order, I was about a 2 on the annoyed-mom-o-meter, and the chatter continued in the backseat. I pulled forward to the first window as instructed, but the woman there did not open it to accept my bank card. Instead another woman beckoned from the second window. The pickup window. I pulled forward as instructed, and as my tail lights passed the first window, the attendant suddenly yanked the window open and shouted, "I'm here!" as if I hadn't actually seen her there.
I got to the second window and was informed that the beckoning was not for me, but was in fact for the truck behind me who had not pulled far enough forward to trip the drive-through speaker sensor. Apparently I left the house is such a hurry that I left my mind-reading abilities at home. When they almost forgot to give my bank card back to me (after the second-window girl ran it back to the first window girl) before I drove off, my annoyed-mom-o-meter clicked solidly into a 5.
My daughters chattered happily in the backseat, chicken nuggets forgotten in the glow of the golden arches, and when we pulled into the parking lot of our apartments, Teenybop suddenly decided to haul up a bunch of toys that had been residing in the back seat floor board for a week or so. The annoyed-mom-o-meter hit 6 as I reminded her that she had been asked to help carry the drinks since I'd have one hand full of Piglet and the other full of breakfast. She pretended to struggle under the burden of two drinks and a halloween bucket full of "gifts" from my cousins son, right up until I told that heaven had better be on her side if she dropped my coke. Suddenly the load wasn't so heavy and she happily trotted upstairs.
But as we unpacked breakfast at the kitchen table, all was made well again and the annoyed-mom-o-meter dropped steadily as I explained to Teenybop that while "McGriddle" might not sound like a nice name to her, it was really a simple thing. A pancake sandwich, if you will, with cheesy eggs between. Yummy on a good shipment, and rubbery on a bad one, but I didn't tell her that part, as I was still hoping she'd give in and eat it.
I picked up Piglet's McGriddle and helped her take a bite, watched her eyes light up and her face register the yummy-ness of a good McGriddle. My ears delighted in Teenybop's vociferous "YUM"s. And breakfast was good.
So ... Thank you, Mr. McGriddle-Inventor-Man.