Good things at the end of a long day

September 05,2008
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath( )

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

Yesterday was one of those days that nearly did me in. T.'s appointments went well, and even though the morning started out ominously, because we had to wait in the waiting room for a full 45 minutes before being seen, we saw both doctors at once, and were out of there by 10:30--a huge, unexpected, miraculous bonus. Whenever I'm there, talking with her surgeons, I feel a sense of surreality--like I've entered into another dimension, or a different world, where everything smells of antiseptic and the people I'm trying to talk to reply in a special coded language I can't understand, filled with hidden meaning and sidestepped answers. But I appreciate them, these doctors--after all, they saw T. safely through her surgery when she was a little baby, and they care for her still, in their special, clinical sort of way. I thought we were done with appointments, but they want to keep on seeing her yearly for another couple of years--because she's so tiny, and has these migraines, and because, as they both said, "She's just so darn cute."

Because we finished early, I decided to take T. to a meeting I thought I was going to miss. I'd already emailed my excuse about not going, and it was tempting to head out into the mid-morning sun, run some errands, or go home and tackle the still-unloaded dishwasher and the laundry. But I had already wrestled with feeling bad about missing the meeting, and I couldn't, in all good conscience, skip it once it became clear that the timing would work after all. So I brought T., set her up with a book on CD on my computer, stayed for the meeting, took her to the copy center, then to the grocery store, and then, somewhere in aisle 8, while I was trying to decide between paper towel brands, I completely lost steam.

"We've got to get out of here," I told T., and we did. While we waited for L. at the pickup line, I said a mental prayer: please, oh please, let there not be much homework today--but there was--two full sheets of it! And it was hot yesterday--blindingly hot, and I had on a pair of shoes I haven't worn all summer, and by 3:30 my feet felt twice their size.

The kids bickered in the car the whole way home. When we pulled up, I parked the car, sank back in my seat, and said, to no one in particular:

"Oh, I wish I could wave a magic wand and find the groceries unloaded...

"And the dishwasher unloaded...

"And my column written...

"And my papers graded...

"And a nice cold tub waiting for me to soak my feet in..."

L. looked at me carefully and then he and T. raced off into the house. I dragged myself behind them, toting bags, and found:

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T.  unloaded the entire dishwasher by herself!

And this:

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The foot soak was heavenly--I strongly recommend a Tupperware foot soak any day. I felt so revived--revived enough to make these with the kids before dinner (click here for the recipe):

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I can't believe I never ever made these before! I found them because I was looking for sunflower butter recipes and, apparently, you can substitute sunflower butter for the peanut butter in this recipe--making it safe for kids and adults with peanut allergies. They are truly delicious, and fabulously sinful when eaten WHILE your feet are soaking in a Tupperware filled with cold water.