Lessons Learned at Five a.m. (and beyond)

Can you bring 30ish juice boxes to your son's kindergarten class for their harvest party this Thursday?

There are alarm bells going off in my head at this point. I know that whenever I sign up for things like this, I either forget, or have to go to Herculean lengths to get the cookies frosted or the rolls baked, or whatever it is. But this is juice boxes right? She's not asking me for homemade cream puffs. And, I'm next to last on her list of people to call. Only one more person to try or all the little Tom, Dick and Janes have to drink water with their overflowing plates of sugar cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie bars.

So, ignoring the alarm bells, I say yes. I write it across the entire week in red marker. JUICE BOXES FOR KINDERGARTEN. Every day I see this, and every day I think, Wednesday night when I take a van load of teenagers to Young Men's and Young Women's, I'll go down to Safeway afterward, and buy them. I'll probably pay an arm and a leg for them, too, but I don't want to go clear out to Walmart.

Wednesday, after the teens slouch off across the parking lot in coagulated groups, I faithfully head to Safeway. We're down to two gallons of milk, so I don't feel like my trip down Pioneer is an entire waste of time and gas, right? As I head back toward the dairy section, I notice noodles on sale. Ten boxes in the cart. Ten bucks. Eight gallons of milk. Great Crickey! It's two dollars a gallon! Gas and milk prices are slipping faster than a toddler on a freshly mopped floor.

It isn't until I get home that my first grader tells me he's supposed to bring pretzels. I tell him he'll have to take a ziplock bag full out of our gargantuan Costco bag of pretzels.

AND I realize . . . I didn't buy juice boxes. Not a one. Not that one would do me much good. My sister in law has 11 in her pantry, and my sister has none. 11 juice boxes on this whole sorry street. I have to go back to Safeway.

Not that the entire adventure is a wash. When I go back the next morning at five am, I learn some interesting facts.

1. At five o'clock in the morning, you don't have to wait at a single intersection from here to Safeway.  This reduces driving time by something like six minutes, at least.

2. Shortly after five in the morning, the employees at your local Safeway Food and Drug like to have a little fun with the PA system. Blow off a little steam, get themselves in a chipper mood for the work day. Air a few grievances.  

3. The checkers working at five don't necessarily know English. You might think they know English but if you actually try to engage them in any sort of real conversation,  you will discover their repertoire is limited to "Very good price on this!" and "Good Morning", which can become disconcerting after a certain point. They don't let these employees in on the PA fun, by the way.

4. Headlights are irrelevant from Pioneer, all the way to Division. The city has streetlights up to this point. You won't even notice you're headlights are missing. I suggest turning them on at this point in order to retain the saved six minutes of driving time and not actually go to the other extreme for an indeterminate length of time spent conversing with an irate traffic officer.

And last, but by no means least:

5. A five year old child may be able to haul thirty juice boxes onto the bus, and even into his classroom, but there is no guarantee that a Kindergarten room mom, or even the resident Kindergarten teacher will think to look IN the backpack to actually retrieve them. They will assume you are as flaky as you really are, and have forgotten to bring them in.  

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2 responses to “Lessons Learned at Five a.m. (and beyond)

  • Mandy

    fabulous! Look how much smarter you are, you will be well prepared for the next juicebox (or whatever) adventure. 🙂

  • This is Life

    and I usually have a Costco pack of Juice boxes! but not one this night because soccer season just ended! I guess I could have offered a couple bottles of sparkling cider… It could have been a really Halloween party! – ps turn on your lights! -nena

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