Effy finds her way into my writing quite a bit, but she’s that kind of kid.
I came across this little story while cleaning out my Facebook notes. I wrote it February 11, 2011, when Effy was only a First grader.
“Effy missed the bus this morning, and G wouldn’t take her to school. Something about Eff being mean and rude the night before. Not very gracious, I know, but that’s an entirely different note. So Eff missed the bus, and couldn’t catch a ride with her older sister, and the house rule is “miss your ride, miss school,” so she spent the day at home with me. As a first grader, I would be delighted to stay home with my mother, but Eff hates it. There is nothing to do. No television, no video games, no computer, just reading and cleaning and napping are available to wile away the time. She isn’t very happy.
As I make my first pot of coffee, Eff pulls out the bagels and pops one into the toaster. With her head poked into the fridge (which is dangerous, because 1. it’s my fridge, 2. there’s a smell emanating from within that I haven’t identified yet, and 3. it is my fridge), she informs me “we need more of that cottage cheese stuff for the bagels.”
“Cream cheese. Way better on bagels than cottage cheese,” I try to say as dryly as possible so she won’t get the idea that I kind of like having her home this morning.
“Yeah. Okay. You still need to buy some,” she answers just as dryly, adding “I think I’ll have orange juice. It’s good for you, isn’t it?” because she’s talky in the morning.
Because I’m not, “Mm-hmm,” is my reply.
As Eff is pulling the O.J. from the fridge, she says, “OH! Found some! It was behind the Orange Juice. You just never know what you’re going to find behind the orange juice now do ya?”
“I guess not,” pouring water into the coffee pot.
“That’s what Junie B. Jones says: ‘Ya never know what’s behind the orange juice.’ She found a fish stick and took it to school for pet day.”
I can’t help but laugh at this, and instantly decide that her comment is status worthy. I had already started spreading Nutella over her bagel as I was thinking that there is some wisdom hidden in that comment. “You never know what you’re going to find behind the orange juice.” We have to be adaptable. Just because we can’t find the cream cheese, doesn’t mean breakfast is ruined. Make the best of what’s right in front of you. You never know, you might find what you’re looking for after all.
I don’t know what it is, but I’m kinda excited to find out what is hidden away behind my day with Eff.
More later on today…”
I didn’t post anything after that, but I’m pretty sure I can guess how the day went: Eff ate breakfast and asked me to take her to school. I said no and reminded her of the rule. She whined. She turned on the television. I told her to turn it off and reminded her of the rule. She complained. I told her to help me clean. She said no. I reminded her of the rule and told her to stay in her room until she’s ready to help me clean. She threw a fit. She quietly destroyed her room while I cleaned the house. I saw what she did and threatened to take her to school. She said, “Yes!” I told her to clean up her room if she wanted to go to school. She whined. I reminded her that I was being gracious considering the rule. She cleaned her room in record time (meaning she stuffed everything in her closet and under her bed), and then I took her to school.
I can say with certainty, she didn’t miss the bus again.