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If You Give a Mom a Siddur  

At the grocery, she’ll very possibly meet her friend, whom she’ll compliment on her new wig. Oh, wig! Her sheitel appointment!

If you give a mom a siddur, she’ll remember her son’s siddur party, and the Shabbos pants he needs that are still in the washing machine from last night’s load. She’ll race to the laundry room, siddur in hand, to switch the load to the dryer. Once she’s there, she’ll probably load the washing machine with the next round.

Seeing her oldest son’s clothes in the hamper will remind her that he needs to wake up ASAP if he’s going to make the bus. She’ll run upstairs to make sure he gets up. She’ll have to assure him that yesterday’s pants are fine (I spot cleaned them, they’re perfect!) and hustle him off to wash negel vasser.

The running water will probably remind her of the dishwasher that needs to be loaded. She’d never leave dishes in the sink overnight, her Hungarian grandmother would be horrified…. She’ll want to get those dishes out of the way before the serving-breakfast-making-lunch rush creates new chaos.

Which will remind her of the macaroni that needs to be put up already if she wants to have those lunches on time, and avoid having the kids grumble about frozen bagels (I promise they’ll defrost by lunchtime!). Filling the macaroni pot with water will probably remind her of the bath her seven-year-old skipped last night on the condition he take a bath in the morning. She’ll have to wake him up immediately so he’ll have time to take a bath before the bus comes.

She’ll run back upstairs to wake him, passing her older one on his way out the door (I’ll send your lunch with the younger boys!) Once upstairs, she’ll be preparing school clothes when she’ll think: What’s that smell?

She’ll run downstairs to find the pot of water semi boiled out and she’ll add in the noodles. This time, she’ll remember to set a kitchen timer. Back upstairs, with a handful of dry pants and a song to wake up the stragglers. (A song is the best wake-up tactic; the kids will do anything to make it stop.) Unfortunately, when she sings, it’ll also wake the baby, who’ll join in the scrabble.

Baby will need to be changed and fed, which will remind her that everyone else still needs breakfast, too. Beep-Beep. She’ll dump the baby in the high chair and strain those noodles, then hand out yogurts and pour milk into cereal bowls. She’ll fill up lunch boxes and distribute them to a chorus of baby crying and children yelling (I hate noodles! My tummy hurts! The bus driver is mean!). Then she’ll shepherd them all out the door amid a flurry of jackets, shoes, and schoolbags (I can’t find my other shoe! Just wear boots, it’s fine, it’s raining anyway!).

Poor baby will be wailing by now. That will mean it’s mommy and baby breakfast time. She’ll start preparing her coffee, and notice that they’re low on milk, which will remind her that she needs to go to the grocery if she wants to have supper started before her afternoon is sidelined by the siddur party. When she’ll get up to leave, she might notice one lone container of noodles on the counter.

She’ll dash upstairs to dab on some makeup, where she’ll note the mess that will await her return home. She’ll pack up baby, self, and noodles into the car. She’ll drop off the forgotten lunch at the school (after an inner struggle between her guilty-mom self and her children-are-resilient self) and then head to the grocery. At the grocery, she’ll very possibly meet her friend, whom she’ll compliment on her new wig. Oh, wig! Her sheitel appointment!

She’ll call the sheitel macher to let her know she’s a bit behind schedule and zip through the grocery store. She’ll huff and puff into the sheitel salon mere minutes later, to be told she missed her slot and will have to wait an extra 20 minutes. While she takes in this forced breather, she’ll play pat-a-cake with the baby, which will remind her to order babka twists for the neighbor’s kiddush. Which will also remind her that she promised to make supper for said neighbor. Was it tonight?

Oh no! She’ll head back to the grocery, where this time she’ll remember to buy milk, which will remind her of the coffee she never finished. She’ll get home and take a sip (nothing like a tepid coffee to lift the spirit), but the baby will probably choose that moment to ride his tricycle into her legs. That will startle her, causing her to spill coffee all over her skirt. She’ll want to change and put that skirt straight into the washing machine. Thinking of dirty laundry will remind her of the load in the machine waiting to be put into the dryer, so she’ll head to the laundry room.

On the machine she’ll see the siddur she left there this morning. She’ll take the siddur and sit down to daven… Minchah.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 761)

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