Mommy! Mommy! Uh-oh, Mommy!
E's food was packed in a new container, a new twist-top that I never even considered would be difficult for her. All her other containers are snap-tops, and this was the right size, and we needed more containers, and I'm a moron.
The foreshadowing was there and I didn't notice it.
Sometimes E eats some of her school food in the car on the way to school. This morning she wanted her dinosaur nuggets and saffron rice. It was the bottom item in her crowded bag.
She couldn't open it.
I opened it for her and she ate very carefully, not spilling anything during the commute, not even when I braked suddenly, not even on the sharp curve, not even on the very potholed hilly street we take each morning.
She said she closed it. She said so proudly, excitedly.
I pulled into the drop-off lane in front of daycare and parked the car. I pulled L out of her carseat and nothing was wrong. I walked around the back of the car with L in my hands and opened E's door. She was screaming.
Her nuggets and rice were all over the car.
And so I did the only thing I could think to do: I opened the car door as wide as it would go. I sat down on the curb. I sat L on my lap, straddling my legs, facing me so she wouldn't try to eat E's food and further upset her. I scooped the salvageable remains back into the bowl and tried sweeping the damned to the curb for the birdies.
So naturally, since their daycare is at my work, this is the moment when the shuttle bus that runs from the nearest Metro stop pulled up and dislodged about two dozen colleagues who all got to walk by me and gawk at my morning.
I raised my hand to wave at one acquaintance, and a few grains fell from my hand. E was still crying. L squealed happily and tried to catch the rogue morsels.
Good morning, my colleagues!