Mama! the elder had called from the backseat. Can I have my bag so I can find something to eat right now?
The foods she eats – black beans, rice (but not together – those are Separate Foods) – so many of them are just not conducive to car eating. She rummaged and discarded, rummaged and discarded. The joys of being two: If I don’t want this, I’ll throw it on the floor! And Mama will just re-pack my bag again once we get to school! She pulled out her small snack bowl of black olives. I eat olives now, Mama!
“Do you want me to open the bowl for you?”
No! I take the top off ALL BY MYSELF! Mama, I can’t open it… can you get it open for me?
I opened the bowl and passed it back to her.
Mama!! They’re very very COLD! I don’t want them!
Of course they’re cold – her food is always packed the night before. They’d been sitting in a fridge for 10 hours. But my darling angel doesn’t LIKE cold food. And the other food options in her bag weren’t going to work, either. And I didn’t want her to begin whining, because her baby sister had finally just fallen asleep. So I did the only thing I could do – I took a few olives out of the bowl and held them in my hand to warm them up. And then those little wells in each olive, the hollow every pit leaves behind, they poured their gifts all over me. A mother’s love, huh? Cold olive juice streaming down my arm before I’ve even drunk my coffee.
Mama!! You falled the olive juice on MY KNEE!! Oh. My Most. Humble. Apologies.
She ate every olive in the bowl this morning, as MamaWarmer patiently prepared each offering to her diner’s temperature specifications. I made the mistake of reaching over for one of the strawberries I had brought for my own car snack. But in case you’ve ever wondered, let me spare you the experimentation: olive-flavored berries aren’t really all that tasty.
Once we got to daycare, she did graciously share one of her wipes with me. It’s now just about 9 am. And so it is in this condition, artificial-baby-smell- and not-so-fading-olive-juice-smell-covered, that I will go begin my workday.