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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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back to school

Summer Blog Day 5: Today I Feel Good

back to schoolIn case you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, here’s what you’ve missed.

It’s Back to School time (BTS for moms in the know)

Other than reports that Donald Trump manages to make campaign stops while hobbling with his foot in his mouth, BTS is the only news.

Anywhere.

The Today show is the worst offender in this BTS bonanza. Or maybe because Today airs for more hours than are in the average workday, it seems like overload.

But yesterday, I stumbled upon a segment that made all the banal, BTS programming worth it.

Savannah gushed as she introduced the piece about fun ideas for the lunchbox. I didn’t catch the name of the “expert” but she was one of the hundreds of thin, chirpy brunettes who mom-shame us on TV every day.

They’re sort of interchangeable to me.

Anyhoo, back to the segment which I only saw because I was stranded in front of the kitchen TV cooking breakfast. A breakfast that included no cut-outs, fancy shapes or designs. Frankly, my kids are grateful when I use salt and pepper.

The brunette was outfitted in an apron and heels just like me! Even Matt had on an apron and was joined by the whole early morning gang. BTS lunches are an all-hands-on-deck occasion on the Today show.

First up, PB&J sushi. Ok, I’m down with that. Except when she smeared on the jelly and started to roll the strip of tortilla, the jelly squirted out everywhere! Just like would happen to me if I tried it at home. It was awesome.

Poor Savannah had to jump in and shove the plate of finished pinwheels in front of the camera while bland brunette composed herself.

Live TV, can’t beat it people.

Then, she moved onto Paninis. What kid on the planet is going to eat a cold Panini with congealed cheese prepared four hours before they actually eat lunch?

Well, Natalie was so excited by the heart-shaped bread she squealed a little. I’m sure she’ll whip up a batch before she leaves at 3:30 a.m. for NBC studios.

Time for brunette Barbie to demonstrate how easy it is to pop the sandwiches onto the Panini press.

But wait! She can’t get it open. The camera closed in on her perfectly manicured fingers struggling with the latch. I detected the faintest sheen of sweat on her hand.

Natalie took over, mumbling about a child lock, and pried it open.

That Natalie, so handy!

This, this right here, was a glimpse of what it would be like if I actually had a cooking show.

And it ain’t good.

Next up? Round sandwiches that have eyes. Wait are those olive eyes? Why, yes they are. My kids have been asking for more olives in their lunch, thank God someone finally stepped up.

These nifty sandwiches have bread cut into a circle on top and bottom, three rolls of meat placed criss-cross and a piece of cheese with a zig zag design on the edges.

I was exhausted just looking at it.

Our expert put on the final piece of bread which made it a little top-heavy. Like a lunchbox Leaning Tower of Pisa.

So, an aproned Savannah saved the day again, putting a firm hand on it to keep it steady.

Excellent. Then they flashed a close-up of the pre-made sandwich and there were clearly toothpicks holding that bad boy together. I felt cheated.

My kids’ second favorite lunchtime request? Toothpicks they can choke on. Yesiree, right after olives.

While the segment wound down, Al was chatting up our girl over a platter of Minion sandwiches. As she extolled the virtues of having the kids help in the kitchen, Natalie noticed that those Paninis were burning and stinking up the joint.

She could be seen in the background valiantly scraping at the Paninis trying to get them on a plate. I thought Matt was going to have to grab the fire extinguisher.

Mercifully, time ran out and they cut to local news. Most likely they commiserated about all the mishaps off camera but I loved every second. It was the most realistic piece I’ve ever seen. Not remotely helpful, but real.

So, if you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, here’s what you’ve missed,

It’s Back to School time.

And even the so-called experts can’t get their act together. We’re in good company.

Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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