Saturday, February 11, 2012

The last thing I do before I leave the house for work is to make sure I roust the boys. Just a quick check to make sure they are conscious enough to make their way out of bed and off to school unscathed. 
Yesterday when I got to work at 7, I noticed that I had a voicemail.
I fumble with the phone and frantically call back. “Christopher, Christopher, its Mommy. What’s wrong?”
“Mom, where’s the syrup?”
Oh. Dear. God.
“Well, gee darling, I don’t know. I don’t have it.”
“The syrup in the pantry is all gone.”
“Yes, I know. I haven’t made it to Sam’s to pick up the 5 gallon jug o’ corn syrup you like but I do have some very special 100% maple syrup in the refrigerator that would make Aunt Jemima cry.”
“Who is Aunt Jemima and why do you want to make her cry?”
“Never mind. It is in the door of the fridge.”
“The door of the fridge. Open the door. THE DOOR. Look in there.”
“Okay, you know where the butter is? Go down from there.”
“Do you mean the fridge in the kitchen or the fridge in the utility room?”
Really? Really? Is this my life?
“The one in the kitchen. Do you see the syrup?”
“No. Its not in here.”
“Well darling, I can’t do anything more from here.”
And with that one little word, delivered sotto voce, the Mommy Guilt slams into my chest and goes from zero to a zillion in a nanosecond. Why did I let us run out of Aunt Jemima? Why didn’t I get some yesterday? Why do I even let them eat that garbage in the first place? Now what? Will he get enough breakfast? Will he bother to make lunch? Why didn’t I make lunch? Why am I not there? Am I scarring the boys for life? Where can I get them a good therapist? Can therapy wait until they are 21 so I don’t have to pay for it? Will they grow up to be men capable of functioning in the real world? Or at least life outside of Lakewood? And most importantly will they ever, ever, have to experience the shame of not keeping their kid in pancake syrup?
“Well, I’m sorry honey.”
“That’s okay Mommy,” he chirped. “I already had cinnamon toast anyway.”