short stories

just another manic monday.


(This article was originally published in the April 24th edition of the LaFollette Press. Monday, be kind to us today. Amen.)

Mondays. We love them or loathe them. Mostly loathe them. And for whatever reason, the past two Mondays have become my mortal enemy, taking over my life like a moth to a flame. And pretty sure that is a line from a Janet Jackson song from the mid 1990s. So let’s recap, shall we?


It all started early, when the sun begins the rise and the rooster commences his morning crowing. It was a rare day that I was taking the husband to meet a co-worker, so I knew getting the kids to rise happily before 7am was going to be a daunting task. To make life easier on all of us, I promised them the night before that we would stop by Ralph’s Donut Shop on the way and that they could ride in the van in their pajamas. This plan worked beautifully, and since Ralph’s has the most magical sprinkle donuts this side of the Mississippi, it was smooth sailing.


Only it began to rain. Then storm. Then monsoon. Once I left the husband and made the return trip home, my early morning driving vision obscured by the violent pelting of raindrops, a small yet very important detail occurred to me: I forgot to grab the house keys. Therefore we were locked out of the house, and my husband, the only other guarantor of our house key, was currently blazing a trail on interstate 75.


I bit my nails, cried silent a little, then heard my phone beep. It was our awesome editor, Brent, asking if I sent a column submission for the week. The deadlines had been moved and I completely forgot. At this point I was trapped in a minivan with three small children wearing pajamas and begging for more donuts, while I was trying to contemplate if my adult body could fit through our bathroom window. (Spoiler alert: Nope. There is no way.) Help arrived, we made it in just as the storm passed.


But the Monday curse was far from over. Nay, it had only begun.


The following Monday I awoke to find that I forgot to thaw out chicken for supper. It had been a few days since I had made the trip to the grocery store, so now I was in an utter panic on what we were going to eat for supper that night. I found some black beans, shredded cheese, and tortilla shells, which means, surprise kids! We are having Mexican food for the third night in a row.


My phone rings and a friend gently reminds me that we have a playdate at her home that afternoon. The night before, I apparently fell asleep face down in mid sentence with my husband, talking about Junie B. books. So, I was wearing the clothes from the day before, staring at the frozen chicken on my counter, and deciding if I wanted to bring the Monday curse into her home.


We went anyway. Sometimes you need a friend to tell you that you are not crazy.


Once we arrived home from the playdate to eat those delicious black bean quesadillas I had been building up all day, our middle child rolled down the back window after I turned off the van. Not even knowing that was possible, I scolded him for doing so and rolled it back up. Then I heard screaming. His fingers were trapped in the window, and it would not roll down a second time. I quickly restarted the vehicle and rolled the window down again, freeing his hand from its trap.


Rushing him inside and searching the freezer, the flashback of one of the boys busting our final two ice packs at the park a few weeks back reminded me that we were fresh out of them and I had a kid with a swollen hand.


As I watched the kids gobble up their dinner, one with a frozen pack of hot dogs on his hand, it was a great reminder that sometimes? The day just does not go as you planned.


The chicken thawed, my article was turned in on time this week, and I am on my way to make about fifteen copies of my house key. And my friend that invited us to her home gave me two brand new ice packs. No matter how insane your days and weeks may seem, things can always get better.


And if not? It is nothing that a sprinkle donut from Ralph’s won’t fix.



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