With apologies to Laura Numeroff.
If you give a young boy a Pinewood Derby race car kit, he’s going to want to build it.
And despite being before school in the morning, it’s a snow delay so you say okay.
You ask him to get pencil and paper to draw some ideas of what he wants the car to look like while you pull out the peanut butter and jelly.
He can’t find a pencil, so you put the jelly jar on the counter while you help him find one and the elder sibling decides to open the race car kit box, causing a fight between the two kids.
You separate the kids and get the other child settled doing something else, and finish helping the cub scout find a pencil.
The pencil is brand new so you send the cub scout to sharpen it while you return to packing lunches.
He can’t get the sharpener to work so you go over to find it overflowing with shavings, needing to be emptied.
You give the shavings tray to the cub scout to empty as you return to the kitchen and you hear a crash of glass as the elder sibling – who’s decided to help – drops the jelly jar on the floor.
As you enter to see what’s happened, the boys start scuffling again as the older sibling squawks at and pushes the cub scout for walking across the spilled jelly.
When you separate the boys, you step in jelly as the tray of pencil shavings is knocked from the cub scout’s hands and across the kitchen floor.
The elder child then steps in the mound of jelly spewed across the linoleum.
You thank God that both are wearing shoes but have to keep them on amidst the shards of sticky jelly glass. You have to have them walk out of the spill zone, spreading the mess like grape-flavored ebola virus.
You help each kid get their shoes off since they don’t want to get their hands dirty and toss the shoes into the garage, then quickly return to separate them in separate parts of the living room.
As you wipe off the shoes in the garage and return to start clearing the debris from the kitchen floor, the scout retrieves the kit box and returns to open it in the living room, then spilling four nail axles across the light colored carpet.
You respond to the yelling and insist that they not move while you run upstairs to don another pair of shoes so that you can carry them out of the living room.
The elder child sees the clock and insists that the bus will be coming shortly, so you carry them to the garage to put on their sticky shoes, then run inside to get their coats and backpacks. En route, you look at the only-started sandwiches and tell them that they’re buying as you shove them out through the garage.
And once you’ve found the nails and finished mopping the kitchen floor, it dawns on you that one of them doesn’t have enough on the lunch ticket for lunch. So you have to get the keys to take lunch money for a meal.
Or maybe not.
And the kids wonder why you’re cranky when the Pinewood Derby kit is brought to you that evening, because if you give a cub scout a Pinewood Derby kit…