I spent half my drive into work trying to figure it out: was it the first free program to get yanked, or had a short grant finally ended? Today is STAAR testing day – statewide mandatory testing of all non-testable skills and subjects of all classes ever classed. Or something. NOT BIG ON MANDATORY ONE-SIZE FITS ALL TESTIACNG. (Can ya tell?) And every other year, since Gracie was in 3rd grade and we kicked off on this adventure, the girls got a voucher for a few breakfast value meal from McDonald’s. This year? No coupons.
I actually tried (and think I succeeded at) mathing it out – if it was a five-year grant, and it started the year Gracie was in school, that means this would be the first year post-grant. Thus, no coupons. Maybe it was a grant funded by McDonald’s, aimed at getting good breakfasts every year into kiddos on test days in major cities. Maybe some other major city gets to start their five-year run this year. Maybe it was funded by the city and they put it on the chopping block. Maybe our school’s free breakfast program for every student was so successful they didn’t need to pay twice for the same advantage. Maybe not enough of the coupons were being redeemed. Dude, I better not have been the only parent dragging my butt outta bed early on test day!
Because I totally got suckered in. I think I did it the first year and it was a catastrophe – buying breakfast for the Bee-meister Meister-Burger because her sister had a coupon – and then made Gracie late or me late or something. And so I wasn’t going to do it the next year, but the Ex offered. And then it was a tradition and we all just kinda made it work for two days. Yes, eating a good breakfast is a good thing. But forcing little kids to get up 30 minutes early? A little counter-intuitive.
But! Test day. If the kids wanted to get up early, then fine. My sleep schedule has been so screwy, I didn’t care. Of course, then I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 a.freakin’m., and really could have used that extra thirty minutes, but whatevs. I could pull it together. I even remembered to tell the Ex what the plan was for the morning, in case the girls were a little early or a little late. And offered to grab something for them or especially for the girls’ niece – because I believe walking into someone’s house with delicious breakfast food is rude, unless you’re going to share. Especially when one of the peoples is a three-year-old who wants whatever her aunties have!
Except, I don’t think the warning that the girls might be early really hit home because we pulled up to the house and it was dark-dark. “Dad sleeps until 6:30,” Gracie announced. “But I told him!” I whined. And then, as it hit me, “Uh…is the house alarm gonna go off if you use your key to go in?” “I think so,” she answered in a way that took all the doubt out of “think”. I thought we might be a few minutes early, but not 15-20 minutes. The only times I’ve gone through the drive-through, there’s been a huge back-up…probably because of the free coupons. I had no idea I was only going to need five extra minutes, or we all coulda slept in a bit more.
It was kinda funny when the three of us girls just looked at each other, collectively shrugged, and then Bee started handing out sausage biscuits. The hot cakes were a little messy for the car, but breakfast sandwiches? No problem. So we got to eat breakfast together in the dark of the car, idling in their dad’s neighborhood (sorry, neighbors, if that was keeping any of you up).
At least I don’t have to worry about it for another whole year. The girls get to spend the night with their dad tonight and the breakfast tradition baton is all his. Mwa ha ha!