Last year there were eight children in my seven-year old’s class. Come holiday time each one got a handmade card and snowman-themed goodie bag sack. The night before distribution, my daughters and I sat at the kitchen table crafting the gifts. It was a wonderful bonding experience. The stuff memories that last a lifetime are made of.
As “O Holy Night” played in the background and the fireplace crackled behind us I thought, “Wow. I’m good at parenting.”
Days before, I had carefully planned out what we would be giving each child. These are her classmates. Her first friends. Sending them off to enjoy the holidays with a treat was my pleasure and privilege. I took my calling seriously.
Fast forward to this morning. The alarm on my iPhone began chirping at 6:30 am but I’d already been awake for 15 minutes. Lying in bed in a state of frozen semi panic it had started to sink in that I had let D-Day slip. This was the last day before holiday break.
As my kids shouted for breakfast I went into the garage and began to think, “What would MacGyver do if he had a Pinterest account?” With 17 kids to consider, I knew it would have to be easy and quick but at the same time make me look like an incredible mother.
I found candy canes, a large box of orange/lemon fruit snacks, and Easter candy that I’d hidden from the children months ago.
“ I can make this work.”
The Easter candy was well within its expiration date but didn’t exactly scream “winter festivities.”
“The animals in baby Jesus’ manger weren’t enchanted.They were regular so they had to eat something, right? Couldn’t it have been carrots? This is not Easter candy, these are Baby Jesus Marshmallow Christmas Carrots,” I reasoned.
My subconscious gave me sideeye.
“You’re pushing it, Bunmi. You’re really pushing it now. Plus not everyone celebrates Christmas. Enough parents hate you for your aggressive school drop off driving, you don’t need more enemies.”
Then I had an idea. What if I tape the fruit snacks to the candy canes. Yes. It call came together in a flash of lightning and blue smoke. I can create a Snack Pack. A Holiday Snack Pack. I began to hear angels singing in my head and instantly I knew this was how Einstein felt when he stumbled upon the theory of relativity. I could feel the ghost of Nikola Tesla, the inventor of remote control and alternating current, patting me on the back. He whispered into my ear, “You are one of us now” and handed me a glowing yellow saber. Written on the side of the saber were the words: Good Inventing Brain.
I began to work feverishly in my lab (on the floor by the family room). It was all a blur but I was done before I knew it. Yes. Yes. People will know my name.
17 Candy Cane Fruit Snack Combo Packs: done.
But wait. How will they know which parent masterminded this? Computer. I ran to my laptop and opened Microsoft Word. With the help of my Epson Printer I made labels with my daughter’s name on them. I chose a romantic font and used green text because red and green are holiday colors.
Using more tape, I affixed each label to the Candy Cane Fruit Snack Combo Packs.
Looking at them I just knew that I’d created the next Pinterest sensation.
“When the Ellen show calls, I’m going to act humble,” I decided.
Winter break has begun and I can’t help imagine how excited the schoolchildren must have been to see their Candy Cane Fruit Snack Combo Packs. Yes, some parents made cookies and individual sacks of hot chocolate with marshmallows that look like Rudolph but I didn’t see anything that came close to my level of craftsmanship.
To the children smiling and giggling while savoring the flavors of my creation I just want to say this:
You’re welcome and I love you. Merry Holidays. Love, Bunmi
Bumni Laditan writes the blog Honest Toddler. You can see more of her writing here.
(Images: getty, author’s own)