Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The unexpected significance of Gatorade

This bottle of Gatorade has wielded a great deal of power over me today. This week the Child is undergoing the dreaded 4th grade standardized tests which became ever so ominous thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act. When I picked him up from school yesterday he told me that he absolutely had to have a bottle of Gatorade to take to school the next day (today) to get him through the tests. Apparently other students in his class had sported Gatorade bottles during testing. In his rather strict school, that's a real luxury.

We drove to the grocery store and spent a lot of time picking the best flavor/variation of Gatorade, as pictured above, and while I was thrusting it into the refrigerator at home I thought of how unlikely it was that I'd remember to actually place this bottle into his backpack the next morning (today).

Yep- this morning was more frantic than I'd anticipated, because I had to work extra early, which meant ousting the sleeping child from bed at an ungodly hour. He was uncooperative, to say the least. I was so overwhelmed with getting my own self ready for work that I nearly forgot to pack The Child's lunch.

When we arrived at school for the much despised "early program" for kids with parents who have to leave early for work, The Child asked if I had packed his Gatorade. My heart stopped. There was no way I had time to go home or to a store for Gatorade- I was already running late. I had no choice but to abandon a profoundly disappointed child at school.

It was really unnessesary for The Child to tell me what he thought of me as I raced off- I already knew full well that I had failed my standardized 4th grade mothering test.

Prior to the Gatorade incident, I took this photo this morning while walking the dog. It's some sort of flowering crab apple or something.

And then, just beyond the flowering tree, I came upon this sight of a park worker spraying chemicals so toxic that he needs to wear an astronaut suit while he sprays.


Priyamvada_K said...

Dear Betty,
I know the feeling - you woke up your son early, rushed him, and then forgot the Gatorade. I felt horrible one day when Kamala went without her breakfast - we had an argument one morning and she stubbornly didn't touch her breakfast.

All day I beat myself up for that. I felt that I should have handled things better. In the evening I went to pick her up (with a dish of fruit) and told her never to forget breakfast. She said "Its ok, mom. I know - I was starving by lunch time". Tough way to learn that lesson, but hopefully its well-learnt.

You didn't fail the mothering test. This as a great opportunity to teach your son about taking care of the small details of his day himself. Such as, putting the Gatorade bottle into his backpack.

These days I have been telling Kamala that she needs to do small things herself. With the increased homework, and extra curricular stuff, I cannot in addition be doing everything I did for her before. So she needs to take some responsibility.

Take care, and don't feel bad.


Laurie said...

I know what it's like with the boy.
I went through the same thing. The
good thing is that they sell
Gatorades in the schools here so he
got one and put it on his lunch

Is that a mask and protective
clothes I see on that person?
Where is the mask and protective
clothing for the flowers and the
animals and other living things?


Nancy said...

Tell your son this ...

I once packed my (now-ex) husband a big bottle of Gatorade. During his lunch hour he called and asked if I was trying to poison him ... the bottle was foul. He brought it home and I took one wiff and knew .... someone had used that bottle to pee in and probably thought it was funny to mix in with the others on the shelf.

The store refused to acknowledge it, saying it could have happened once it left the store.

We never bought it again.

(PS That's not why we are divorced, lol)

Betty said...

Dear Priya,

Thank you for the consolation. It really is a great opportunity for The Child to learn that it behooves him to take care of his own Gatorade.

Kamala has a wise mother.


Betty said...

Dear Laurie,

Yes! Your response regarding the pesticide treatment is perfect! Where is the protection for the plants, animals and people??!!!

Next time (probably tomorrow) I shall ask the park workers that very question.


Betty said...

Dear Nancy,

Aaaauuugh! I hope your husband didn't actually ingest any of it!!!!!

I will never see Gatorade the same way again!


Patti said...

Ah I can feel your pain. I have to be to work early too and while the hub takes up the slack it's usually "Mom" who is responsible whether she's there or not.
I love Gatorade's Rain flavors.
The guy spraying in the astronaut suit - so so ....... OHH... i'm sure you know what i'm thinking!

Kacey said...

I totally agree with priyamvada ---at this point "the child" needs to learn to take charge of everything he needs to take to school himself. It gives him responsibilty and he learns consequenses of his own acts. You did your part by buying it at the store and refrigerating it. Good Mom!

Betty said...

you people don't know what i get up!!!

bettys son

Loving Annie said...

If that is your worst slip-up as a mother, I think child will make it to adulthood fairly well :)

Betty said...

Dear Annie,

Hah! It's definitely not my worst slip-up- I don't even want to think about what might qualify!

It just seemed so ridiculously scatter-brained to know that the all-important Gatorade was at home on the refrigerator shelf!


Anonymous said...