Like any proud mama, I adore my kids. At three and just barely five, they are sweet and curious and oh so funny.
But if someone wipes jelly or peanut butter or pudding or a booger on me ONE MORE TIME, I think I’m going to lose it.
I had a meeting this week with a new prospective client. I’m an early-arriver type, but I had a little trouble finding the building in the sea of many buildings in the certain tech center where said meeting was scheduled. So, in my haste to get inside on time, I didn’t make my usual stop into a bathroom to 1) make sure I looked like I’d had at least seven cups of coffee that morning and 2) check that I’d put mascara on both eyes. Instead I flew in, two-at-a-timed up the stairs to the third floor (elevator didn’t arrive in 0.4 seconds so I bailed for the stairwell instead), and slid in front of my client trying to breath like I hadn’t just run a 5K.
The meeting went well. Very friendly client, good-sized project, coordinating design and doing the writing—woot! I left feeling confident and excited to get started. Stopped to pee on my way out. And that’s when I saw it.
A swipe of butter. And some crusted-over honey. And a bunch of stray breadcrumbs. Just at eye level on my shirt.
Nice, right? I knew instantly when the incident had taken place: when kissing my little guy goodbye before preschool. We’d had honey toast for breakfast at his request (my daughter opted for cereal). And my son is famous for wearing his breakfast (and lunch and dinner). But unmelted butter? Where had that come from? His face? Had he been eating the butter while my husband was buttering? Probably.
All I can do in moments like these is shake my head and laugh. But once, just once, I would love to arrive at a client meeting feeling and looking put together—is that so much to ask? For now, I’ll have to assume that anyone who hires me likes my personality and
the looks of my portfolio—and probably has a kid or two themselves. After all, what parent hasn’t walked around with food on their shirt before? I think I need to start looking in the mirror more often. But who has the time?
Michaele Charles is a freelance writer and a children’s writer living in Centennial, Colorado. She is the founder of Voice Communications, which serves colleges and universities, marketing and creative agencies, small businesses, and corporate clients around the country with their writing needs. She has an Inspiring Kids blog on her personal website, www.michaelecharles.com, and blogs for Front Range Community College. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with her two kiddos and husband.