Like all of you, my life tends toward the hectic. It seems rather commonplace to acknowledge that we struggle with too much to do and too little time in which to do it all. To make matters worse, not only is the onslaught of requirements relentless, but the standards set for us are ridiculously high.
My own particular juggling act includes balancing the demands of five part-time jobs, three kids – who themselves may be just a wee bit overextended – a house, a yard, two old cars, volunteer duties and a husband who is self-employed and also volunteers about 60 hours-a-month to a certain town committee. And I have no doubt that if you rattled off the demands that you bravely face down day after day, I’d agree you have it worse.
And yet there are mornings, when, in spite of those five part-time jobs, the mountain of laundry, and a list of To Dos as long as my arm, I find myself clutching a cup of tea and standing there amid the chaos that comprises life, completely immobilized. Eventually, the immobilization fades into distraction. All of this got me thinking about a popular children’s book that deserves modifying.
If You Give a Mom a Muffin
If you give a Mom a muffin, she’s likely to know how many grams of fiber, fat, and sugar it has. And also the calorie and carbohydrate count.
She’ll take a small bite, and, since ‘bite’ rhymes with ‘kite,’ she’ll remember the kite that her daughter needs finished and ready to fly for her Girl Scout meeting later that afternoon.
While attempting to locate the unmade kite, she’ll discover four unmade beds. She’ll begin to adjust the sheets, which will remind her that she is out of dryer sheets.
She’ll dash off to the kitchen to add “dryer sheets” to her shopping list.
The shopping list, where could it be? While the shopping list’s whereabouts remain a mystery, she’ll discover that the kitchen sink is filled with assorted dirty dishes. She’ll start to rinse a few and begin to stack the dishwasher, which, upon opening, she’ll realize needs emptying, of course.
She’ll begin to empty the dishwasher, which will only remind her that her tummy feels empty. So, she’ll abandon the dishwasher, seek out the muffin, and enjoy another bite. And since ‘bite’ still rhymes with ‘kite’, she’ll put the muffin down, and resume her search for the missing and unfinished kite.
But then she’ll stop and think: To hell with the kite!
She’ll devour the muffin (carbohydrates and sugar be damned!), crawl back into bed, and snuggle up with a good book.
But eventually, her brief “snuggle” with her book will remind her of the dryer sheets, and then: the missing shopping list, the half empty dishwasher, the lost and unfinished kite and ultimately that her life is less like that children’s book about the moose’s and more like Sisyphus’s.
The topic of books, however, will remind her that a dozen or more books have also gone missing – much like the kite and shopping list – and are now overdue at the library.
The muffin is now a distant memory; the list of things "To Do" beckons. The beat goes on.