Do You Appreciate Teachers Like I Do?


    For Teacher Appreciation Week, an email went out from my daughter, Sara’s, preschool asking parents to cook dinners for the teachers to take home and enjoy. It was “voluntary” to participate.

    Did I want to participate? No.

    I love Sara’s teachers. They know I do. My hope for them is not just this week, but every week, they go home to a well-deserved home cooked meal. I just do not want to make it for them. Maybe another week, no big deal, but sometimes parenting pushes me off the boat onto a life raft and this email pierced a hole.

    Of course, I don’t want Sara to be the kid of the parents who sometimes think the constant preschool emails asking for something or some money (or some blood) are annoying.

    So, I decided to make red sauce, from scratch. Great idea.

    I sat Sara and my son, Jack, down on the couch, fluffed their pillows, kissed their angel heads and started their coveted hour of screen time (they enjoy it, too).  

    I headed for the kitchen.

    Based on my mom-brain math, I wasn’t making enough sauce for five teachers, I was making the large amount of sauce I normally make, multiplied by five. The “Hmmm,wait,that’s not right” alarm did not go off in my head.

    I turned the knob on my busted burner. That ticking sound your stovetop makes when you light the flame – mine just keeps ticking like that, the entire time it’s lit. . . Totally won’t make you insane. I got to chopping tomatoes and realized the biggest pot I have is too small. So is my counter space. I don’t know why, but my small and nervous dog was at my heels following me around like I was in the airport with cocaine in my back pocket. “What, Gus, what is it?” Trying to avoid stepping on him, I forgot to shut the cabinet door, so my head shut it. . . I tried to channel all the people who think cooking is relaxing. I hope they didn’t feel anything.

    As a parent, you quickly learn screen time doesn’t really give you a break, it just further confines you to servantry. I shuffled back and forth from the kitchen to the living room, fire in my eyes from chopped onions, tripping over the laptop cord, every time.

    “MAMA, can I have apple cider?”

    “Ok, be right there.”

    “MAMA, can I have a snack?”

    “Sure, just a sec.”

    “MAMA, Jack paused it again.”

    “Ok, coming.”

    “MAMA, I’m peeeeeeee-ing.”

    “Jack, WHY are you peeing?” I ask him, “You are supposed to go on the potty.”

    I walk over. He wasn’t just peeing.

    Jack sh*t EVERYWHERE.

    On the rug.

    On the couch.

    “What’s that on my arm?”he says.

    It is impossible to address a poop blowout with any sort of strategy. The more you move, the more it spreads. It is disgusting. I just wanted to walk out the front door through a car wash and move to new house.

    I run the water, peel off Jack’s clothes, and deliver him and his feces to the bath, simultaneously obsessing over all the places poop may be.

    “My eyes are hurting,” he says.

    “You probably got soap in them.”

    “No, I got poop in them.”


    I grab Sara and plop her down on the toilet. “Sara, sit here and watch Jack for one minute. Don’t take your eyes off him. I just have to put the couch covers in the wash. ONE minute.”


    “SARA, where did you go?”

    “Sorry, Mama,” says Sara, in the hall, arms full of (non-waterproof) bath toys for Jack.

    I am off the raft, drowning in guilt and worst-case scenarios.

    “Sara, I’m sorry. It’s not your job to watch him.”

    I finish bathing Jack.

    Bathe myself.

    Return to the kitchen.

    It’s a goddamn crime scene.

    Somehow the sauce didn’t burn, it just bubbled and splattered all over, with seriously impressive trajectory.

    I only had a teeny tiny meltdown, and then Sofia and I finished appreciating the teachers together.

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    Amy is a technologist by trade and a writer by nature. Wife to a dashing web designer, mother to a beautiful, thoughtful daughter, adorable, slightly less civilized son, and a Yorkshire Terrier who came first and is still waiting for the non- furry babies to leave. As a work-from-home mom, she believes work/life balance is not a concept but a daily (sometimes exhausting) goal. She is always in search of a community that fosters her belief that sameness is boring, money is only a means to see the world and there are no rules we should impose on one another in this life other than Be Kind. She loves her family, lives to travel, and firmly believes that a homemade meal, a handmade cocktail and an episode of the Bachelor (a day late because she doesn’t own a tv) can cure almost anything.


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