Ten is the new dozen

By Mir
September 7, 2006

Today was one of those days where things just hummed and clicked and I was able to step outside of myself and peer back and think, “Huh. I’m getting pretty good at this life thing.” Of course, such hubris inevitably meets with the swift smackdown of reality, but for the first part of the day things were really quite lovely.

This morning the children were encouraged to prepare for school quickly so that they could come eat breakfast and—wait for it—watch the robot work its magic! Yes, after using the new unit to clean the family room last night, I went wild and let it loose in the great room. Let me tell you, there is no better breakfast entertainment than a Roomba. Except, possibly, being mother to a small boy who insists on referring to it as “the room-bot” and a small girl who crows, “let’s name it Robot Jones!”

So Robot Jones did his thing (running into walls and sucking up a ton of carpet fuzz) and the children did their thing (eating breakfast and being uncharacteristically sweet and charming) and I did my thing (dishes and SHINING MY SINK because either I was possessed by Fly Lady or didn’t want Robot Jones making me look bad) and off we went into the wild blue yonder of the bus stop. As the bus pulled away, I mentally congratulated myself on remembering that it’s trash day (I often forget). I dragged the trash cans down to the end of the driveway before heading back inside.

I made a cup of tea and sat down to work. Then I was sucked into a mysterious time vortex! I was returned a few hours later when the phone rang. (Phew!) It was a friend wanting to meet for a walk after lunch. That sounded like a great idea. A quick check of the area confirmed that I had, indeed, gotten a lot done. So I did a few more things and started some laundry and then gathered up my grocery coupons and headed out.

Taking a walk is a great way to assuage any guilt you might have about stopping in the middle of a workday to go gab with a friend. We’re not gossiping! We’re EXERCISING, which is TOTALLY DIFFERENT! Yes.

I bid my friend goodbye and headed over to the grocery store. Words cannot describe the joy of being able to shop for food without the children in tow. Also, the store is pretty empty in the middle of the day. I guess everybody has real jobs, instead of this pretend one I have. Huh. But it seems to work out okay; I mean, I don’t have to wrestle anyone for the Froot Loops, or anything.

Here is where things started to go awry: I had a fistful of coupons. One of them came in the mail, and entitled me to $10 off of a $100 purchase. I hardly EVER spend $100 on groceries at a clip. (Chris, stop laughing.) There’s only three of us, and, well, I’m cheap. So I knew it would be a stretch. But I figured I could probably stock up on a few things and manage it.

So, the SMART thing would’ve been to actually shop with a calculator, or something. But the MIR thing was to just… shop. And then squint at my cart and decide that I probably didn’t have enough, and pick up an industrial package of toilet paper (on sale!) on my way to the checkout.

My cashier was surprisingly perky, given that she appeared to be about 105. She scanned my items and flung them down to the bagger, and when she was finished and my shopper’s club reward savings had been calculated, I was at $108 and change. Awesome. I handed her my stack of coupons and asked her to please scan the $10 off one first.

“Oh, we have to do those last,” she said, genuine dismay in her voice. “It’s the rule.”

Crap. I wasn’t going to make it. I held my breath while she slowly scanned the rest of my coupons. Damn you, Nature Valley Granola Bars coupon! Every coupon except the $10 off had been scanned and my total was now…

… $101.53.

So I got my $10 off, and I was quite pleased. I may have done a little jig on my way out to my car.

It may have been the little jig that prevented me from noticing that either Granny or the bagger had somehow punctured my gallon of milk. But when I started unloading the cart, I figured it out. Hey! All of this stuff is wet! (I thought this was the swift smack I mentioned earlier.) Back into the store I went, and the milk was exchanged while my frozen foods melted in my car, and finally I was on my way home.

Back home, I realized I didn’t have long before the kids got home. So I was rushing around, unloading the groceries, switching laundry, and throwing things. Um. By accident. Did you know that a carton of eggs precariously lodged in a bag grabbed by a single handle can go flying across the kitchen floor and only two of the twelve eggs will break? It’s true! Bill Nye is totally going to ask me to be on his show.

Despite these minor setbacks (When groceries attack! Film at 11!), I bravely soldiered on. The kids arrived and pointed out the dying bananas in the fruit basket. I whipped up some banana oatmeal bread and threw it in the oven. I fished Monkey’s soccer stuff out of the dryer and made dinner and got everyone fed and packed the car and got us off to soccer.

At soccer, some mother came up and demanded that I sign up for the snack schedule. I wanted to tell her that I can’t even get a dozen eggs into my house in one piece and that I will probably eat the entire loaf of banana bread tomorrow because that’s just how I am, but instead I kept my mouth shut and signed up. Because clearly I need something else to do.


  1. Marvo

    Oh yeah, try this with two cartons of 18-count eggs. Lay them on the floor with their tops open, then carefully place one foot on one carton of 18-count eggs. When you feel confident enough, carefully place your other foot on the other carton of 18-count eggs. If you don’t crack all of them, you’re using various wonderful laws of physics or you’re a ghost.

  2. karen t

    Phew that wore me out. Supergirl!!

  3. Kathryn, DYM

    You’d better get crackin’.

  4. Denise

    Our roomba is Pink and her name is Hazel. The kids don’t understand why her name is Hazel, they are culturally illiterate and we are ashamed. But we love Hazel, when we can find her charger thingy, which is currently missing. I would give my left arm and three kids if someone would find the power cord charger thingy.

  5. Karen

    You’re my coupon-twin. Yesterday I went (of course our cheapo coupon was $10 off $120, not $100, but I have more mouths to feed and butts to wipe, so it was easy). After my regular coupons were deducted, I was at $122.17! Yippee! I saved a total of $34.47. Whenever people glower at me in line because of my fistful of coupons, I always make a point to exclaim brightly (and loudly), “WOW! I just saved $34! All by clipping coupons! Imagine that.” They glower even more, but so what.

  6. Bob

    All bow to the goddess of effeciency. I worship at your feet. Can I touch your hem and be healed of my sinfull slovenly housecleaning ways?

    You don’t even know how inadequate you make my feeble household abilities seem.

    P.S. Does anyone (who doesn’t have TV Land on cable) know who Hazel is anymore? Huh, Mr. B?

  7. Juliness

    I started laughing when I read the title of the post. And it just got better from there. Mir, you have a wonderful way of turning a hectic, trying day into hilarious fun.

  8. Steff

    I have never heard of banana oatmeal bread…recipe??

  9. Susan

    What are these “coupons” of which you speak?

  10. chris

    I have tried in vain to stop laughing, but alas I can not.

    I could spend less than $100 if I shopped every other day ;-)

  11. Elizabeth

    How do I sign up to get a coupon for $10 off on $100.00? I really could use that, every week. Also, I really want a Roomba, but I assume in order for it to work, the floor has to not be covered in toys, shoes and baby stuff, right? Is there a robot that picks that stuff up first?!

  12. Amy-Go

    I feel like I should go take a nap after reading this. Phew.

  13. Jenn2

    I feel as if I should be singing a hymn or something. How Great Thou Art? I need one of those superwoman days. Badly.

  14. InterstellarLass

    I need to hit the grocery store. But only after I clean out my fridge. Fortunately, I don’t have a need for a Roomba at the moment…my 11-year-old fills in quite nicely as the vaccumer.

  15. Melisa

    I’m with Steff…I have some very sad bananas too.

  16. David

    What Bob said. Oh, and Bob? I saw Hazel back in the day, last century when there was no TV Land.

  17. Christina

    I’m with Steff and Melisa – recipe please!

  18. Amy

    Banana Oatmeal Bread? Hmm….I’m eyeing the spotty bananas…thanks for the idea!

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