When J first started preschool, I always seemed to get stuck with the stuff on the sign up sheets outside the classroom that NO ONE would wish on their worst enemy…. Taco salad for 35 people, muffins (without dairy, wheat, nuts, or flavor), kosher egg salad, etc… I cursed the gods (and moms) of preschool and complained that no one understood the plight of the working mom. Sorry I’m not at all the pick up and drop offs wearing a stupid cardigan, skinny jeans and flats, and getting all excited and nervous about what to sign up for on THE list. OH, that GODDAMN LIST.

Well this year, somehow (and I swear to you, it wasn’t voluntary) I became a room rep. This combined with the fact that I now am an independent contractor and work from home means I do a lot more pick up and drop offs and therefore have much more access to said goddamn list, ie. First mother effing dibs bitches!
So a couple weeks ago, as I was leaving morning drop off J’s teacher said she was about to put out the list for the class Chanukah party. She told me to sign up for something before all “the easy stuff” was taken. EASY? I want easy. Don’t get stuck with the noodle kugle, or worse latkes. NO. I paid my friggin’ dues. I want easy. I scanned the list. Napkins and utensils, fruit salad, Chanukah cookies, mini bottles of water…. MINI. BOTTLES. OF. WATER? Done and done. Who’s bringing the bottles of water? Jennifer Fucking Brandt is. That’s who.
Feeling victorious and like I just scored the last, hottest dress at a sample sale, I turned to leave. And then it hit: Bottles of water? Bottles of water???? Really?! You’re going to bring bottles of water to your son’s Chanukah party? That’s what you want him to remember you by? The mom that brings bottles of water to the festival of lights? Be better than that, Jenny. BE. BETTER. THAN. THAT.

I scanned the list again. Cheese sandwiches (for 25). I can do cheese sandwiches. Bread, cheese, sandwich. My mind started to race. I can do MORE than bread, cheese, and sandwich. I can do butter and wait for it: shapes. CHANUKAH shapes. And if I’m feeling extra ambitious and cute, I might even grill the little effers. (Well, let’s not get carried away with ourselves here…).

Excited to let the mommy within do her thing, I had our afternoon of sandwich making all planned. I set up a little assembly line… I buttered, J put on the cheese, the bread, and picked his shape. Chanukah, oh chanukah, come make some cheese sandwiches….

Little by little, the crafty, clever and culinary master I knew existed within emerged and I was mentally kicking the asses of all the other cardigan and flats wearing moms out there
. Of course, I wasn’t exactly prepared for what to do with the remnants of the 2 loaves of bread I used to make these miniature dreidel, menorah and star of David prizes….

At the urging of my mom, I’m going to try to make a souffle. Alas, I’ll finally be able to summon the French, butter loving, woman I know exists within….
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

Leave a Comment


  1. Thursday, December 15th, 2011
    I had just read this when I came across my very first sign-up sheet at pick-up. What did I sign up for??? Bananas. Yep, I can handle that.