Either way she will probably eat the muffin, but then the mom will want to make sure she gets her daily exercise in right away, before the day gets ahead of her.
So, she will go upstairs and change into workout clothes, but while she is tying her shoes she will notice the overdue library books that have accrued fees higher than the cost of the actual books. Glancing at her clock and realizing that the window of time before the nap time meltdowns begin is shrinking, she will quickly load up the baby and the preschooler and race to the library. But as she is driving home the preschooler will complain of starvation and the mom will remember they are out of bread and chicken nuggets. So they will stop at the store and spend much too long comparing bread prices, giving the preschooler time to admire the general splendor of the seafood display, and debating which flavor of yogurt to buy.
On the drive home the loud and angry protests coming from the hungry occupants of the backseat will rock the car and encourage speeds above and beyond the legal limit.
But after hauling all the humans and groceries into the house, the mom will quickly feed the preschooler and the baby, sticking a few dishes into the dishwasher every time she passes the sink, and pulling a package of chicken out of the freezer to thaw in the microwave for dinner.
And then both children will begin to cry at once, needing something from the mom that they can't articulate, and so she will gather them in her arms and take them upstairs, tucking both into bed and leaving the preschooler with a story and two kisses.
Then the mom will start to get big ideas because she knows she has around ninety minutes, more if she is lucky, to make magic before her flush faced little ones will return from dreamland and begin calling. And so the mom will sit down at the computer to work, stopping three times to switch the laundry to the dryer, the chicken from the microwave to the crock pot, and to answer the phone and assure her husband that she will get the tires rotated on their car tomorrow.
Before she knows it, the invisible timer will ding and the kids will be awake upstairs even as the older kids thunder up the back steps from school. The baby's diaper will be messy, the preschooler will be waking up "hard" and requiring extra snuggles, and the older kids will be waving a stack of homework and permission slips that the mom will need to read and sign. It will also be time to add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot, and the phone will begin to ring because that's what happens when it is already too much.
So, the mom will scurry around addressing only the most pressing issues, starting with the messy diaper and the consoling of the nine year old who had a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day at school. But even as the mom is issuing reassurances she will glance over and recognize in her daughter's eyes the after school snack monster sucking the sweetness and light from her child and leaving an over sensitive whiner in its place. The mom knows what must be done immediately, if her sweet daughter is to return to them in one piece. So, she plops the baby in the bouncy chair, washes her hands and quickly sifts through the fridge, pulling out apples and yogurt and string cheese...anything to appease the beast.
As the baby kicks his heels and the children sit eating their snack at the kitchen table, arguing over whose turn it is to talk, the mom will look around and remind herself that she is witnessing the good kind of chaos. That she is puppeteer in a performance that will not wait and there is nothing to be done except to run toward it. In a moment of weakness the mom might yearn for the quiet of sleeping children, the Word document open on her computer, the book on her nightstand, or the lost opportunity to take that jog she is still wearing the costume for. But then the seven year old will interrupt her reverie by suggesting they each pour a cup of milk so they can play "Cheers" and clink their cups together and make toasts. I will go first, the seven year old will insist, raising her purple Ikea cup. I'd like to make a toast to graham crackers and kites. Can I fly my kite after we do homework? The mother will nod thoughtfully and then say that kite flying sounds like a very, very good idea. And since four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon is an excellent time to celebrate, they will all say Cheers! and clink their cups together and take a big gulp of milk.
And chances are, if you give a mom a glass of milk, she'll probably want a muffin to go with it!