How I Tried To Find Redemption in a Package of Napkins…or Ugly Truths (part 2 of ???)

Emotionally, it’s been a weird week.

I don’t think that I need to try to explain this to the ladies out there.

Sometimes, it just gets…weird. For a variety of reasons. Or for no reason at all. Other than…you’re a woman…with hormonal swings.

But, as is the case with emotionally weird weeks, I found myself repeatedly taking one situation and letting the “feelings” that surrounded it spill onto the “feelings” of another situation, until finally, I’m just a ridiculous mess wandering around Target.

I need someone here to raise a hand and say, “Amen, sister.” (Then, email me and tell you did that.)

Now, I love me some Target. And I swear that they must use underground government agencies that deal in mind control to program the lighting and pump something through the vents that just makes us say, “I need…a new shower curtain. And a pair of shoes. And…underwear. And….15 things from the dollar section.”

Case in point: As I was leaving Target after my “I just need garbage bags but left with $30 worth of stuff when I told my husband I was only going to spend 15″ trip, I heard a woman on the phone with, I’m assuming her husband.

Hey honey. I’m just leaving Target. (pause) What did I buy? I don’t know what I bought. I’m at TARGET. Things just end up in the cart…I don’t even know what I bought.

I wanted to go give her high five. Because she was completely honest about what happens at Target.

And that is…we go blank and spend 30 minutes on a 10 minute trip and end up with things we never knew we needed. The woman behind me in line bought chocolate bunnies…and throw pillows.

If you have never left Target with a throw pillow before, ¬†one day you will. It just happens. Something about the store makes you say…”Yes! Bright orange throw pillows with poppies on them! NEED IT!”

So…here’s how I found myself at Target with yellow napkins in my buggy. (It’s a buggy. I’m from Georgia. Leave me alone.)

…My oldest child had a field trip on Thursday. For a variety of reasons, I just couldn’t make it to this one. And for whatever reason, it broke my heart. Like…REALLY made me sad.

Now I’ve missed field trips before. But missing this one really bugged the crap out of me. Like I said, emotionally weird week to begin with.

Somehow, I managed to wallow in my self-pity of not being able to chaperone a field trip long enough to extrapolate out the guilt I felt for that onto the many other ways I feel like I’ve botched it as a mom in the lives of my kids.

Before I had kids, I was such a great parent.

And when I taught Kindergarten, I was a freaking awesome parent. (I didn’t have kids when I taught Kindergarten, but I thought I had the whole ‘parent’ gig figured out…)

I knew I wouldn’t send in my child a lunch that contained a granola bar as the main course. (Guilty.)

I wouldn’t forget to send in my kid’s homework or permission slip or let my kid be tardy that many times. (Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.)

I mean, I reasoned, If you’re a stay at home mom, there’s NO REASON you shouldn’t be able to get your act together and get that all that kind of junk done.

Honestly. I thought that.

I know, right?!?!

JUDGE.MENT.AL (and yes. I know “judgmental” doesn’t have an ‘e’, but when you’re writing it out like that for emphasis, it looks weird without it. And I’m neurotic about that kind of thing.)

Oh. And I CERTAINLY would make sure I would attend every event and party and field trip.

As. If.

Man. I want to. But it just doesn’t always work out. And usually, I’m okay with it.

Not sure if I mentioned yet that it’s been an emotionally weird week…. So, yeah. I wasn’t okay with it this time.

The catch here is: my child was fine. Not fazed at all. And I think she felt sorry for me because when she left that morning she said, “Don’t worry, mom. I’ll tell you all about it!”

Great. As if feeling guilty about not going isn’t bad enough, now I feel bad for making HER feel bad for me. Being a mommy is such a freaking hard job.

After wallowing in my guilt for awhile that morning, I decided that I would redeem my self-proclaimed Crap-Mom of the Decade title. With…napkins. Beautiful and to-die-for napkins.

You see, every so often I get a paper from one of the kid’s (and there are three to keep up with…so that’s a lot of papers) that tells me they need this or that for this event or that project at school. And as is my standard modus operandi, I put that paper in a pile on the edge of the breakfast bar. Then, when I get a second paper or email that says, “need that paper or that item”, I dig it out and send it in with whatever is needed. (I am probably the single most frustrating parent to deal with…)

I’ve never been what you could call “organized”. Not for lack of calendars or planners or any number of file folders I’ve thrown my money away for, mind you.

Well, it just so happened that the middle child needed a pack of napkins for her Easter party next week.

Okay…no problem. I’ll get some and send them in. On party day. Because that’s how I roll. Ugh.

But this time, THIS party, for THIS class, I would send them in early. And they wouldn’t be plain old napkins. No. These would be so cutesy that it would almost be a crime to see them tossed away.

I would KICK BUTT AND TAKE NAMES with MY napkins. People would comment on how adorable these napkins were. They would probably bring about world peace. That’s how amazing these napkins would be.

I needed to go to Target anyway for garbage bags, and really…is Target not the mecca of all things holiday-amazing? I just KNEW I’d find my redemption as a mother in the Target seasonal section.

It was not to be, my friends. Not to be.

I searched that store…I mean, I CIRCLED IT THREE TIMES looking in every place imaginable for the cutesy Easter napkins. (And trust me. I know Target and where they keep their holiday merchandise. They hide it everywhere so that it kind of sneaks up on you and when you DO see it, you’re all, “Yep! Forgot I needed that complete waste-of-money holiday product!”

I finally decided that I would get brightly colored napkins. What makes someone more happy (or irritated depending on the person and their mood) than a completely obnoxious shade of…well, any color? So I chose yellow.

And there were 60 in a package. So there would be plenty. And I would send them in the next day, and my requested item would be a week early and not me running in with it, sweat pouring off of me in a breathless rush on the way TO the party. (I’m having flashbacks of bringing 4 dozen rolls to a first grade Thanksgiving feast where my daughter played the part of the turkey in the pre-meal entertainment.)

And so I purchased my napkins. And I was feeling…slightly better than before. Would’ve been great if I’d found those faboosh napkins that I had pictured in my head that I was going to send in, but whatever.

I would feel relief and be redeemed of mommy guilt by being able to do ONE thing correctly…and even BETTER than just CORRECTLY. It would be…shockingly un-Annette-like, because they would arrive to the classroom EARLIER than their appointed time. (Absolutely NOTHING arrives from my home EARLIER than its appointed time. ANYwhere. Sigh…)

Yes, redemption in the form of paper products was mine. Me=1, Mommy Guilt=0.

Until….8:00 this morning.

When I realized I forgot to send in the stupid napkins.