Each child needs to bring a peeled, cubed apple to make applesauce in class.
Certainly not one that should have resulted in me, quite literally, with my face buried in the kitchen counter, cheerful note clutched in my cold, shaking hands. I was caught in that thorny pause, you know, the one when you’re deciding if you’re going to collapse into tears of defeat or kick it into full-on rage-bitch mode.
Peeled and cubed! I uttered under why breath, when my husband gingerly approached me, no doubt wondering if this was the moment everyone who knows me has been suspecting all along, the moment I actually have a psychotic break. Because all the school papers.
PEELED AND CUBED! I holler, rage-bitch emerging. My husband listened sympathetically while I ranted, but… I knew. I knew the apple request was not obscene. This wasn’t a mental split. It was just a Wednesday.
It was a simple request, really, well within reason of the first grade teachers. Only… it was two days before said apple – peeled and cubed – was due, and I didn’t have any apples. Not even a shriveled yellow one that had been kicking around the fridge for a couple weeks. We were completely apple-less. Procuring an apple – peeled and cubed – would require a trip to the grocery store, the nearest of which is 15 minutes away, and it was already a full 20 minutes past bedtime, and the following day was, as it always is with two full-time working parents with hour commutes and three school-aged kids, jam-packed.
(And yes, that’s right, I said didn’t have an apple. Go ahead and judge me, assholes. I tried telling my tween just yesterday that apples are like “nature’s candy” and, let’s just say, it wasn’t well received. Unless, maybe you like profanity from 11-year-olds.)
(And I don’t even have little ones anymore who require diaper changes and food produced from my own mammaries! Imagine those poor mamas, peeling and cubing over the bald heads of suckling infants who are almost certainly simultaneously shitting through their clothes and onto their mothers’. The madness!)
It’s seriously not a big deal, but, like what do you even put a peeled and cubed apple in? A ziplock bag? Like, I don’t even know how this shit works.
Truth: It’s not the apple – peeled and cubed – per se. It’s just the never-ending stream of reminders and specials and papers and parties and donations and permission slips and book orders and color days and snack duties. I love my children, and I support their education with all of my heart. I want my kids’ childhoods to be bright and full. But… if you want to make applesauce, can you peel and cube the gosh darn apples yourselves? I know it’s a lot to ask. It’s a lot of apples. So much peeling. Hundreds of cubes. But, like, this applesauce vision? It’s your dream, first grade teachers. Not mine.
Oh, and my 6-year-old? For the record, he wouldn’t lick the remnants of applesauce off of the mixing spoon if he were taking his final, shallow breaths in a remote desert, succumbing to starvation. He would gleefully use his last pitiful ounces of strength to hurl the spoon at your face. I’m sure this classroom applesauce will be delightful and folksy and seasonally engaging, but if it’s not made with Cheeze-Its, he’s not eating it.
Peeled or cubed.