A totally normal day. Oddly stress-free, which I guess actually constitutes an abnormal day for me since I reside with small children. Blissful really, until dinner preparation started. Joel and I were cooking together. A rare partnership for us- usually meal prep is a one man/woman show. But today, today we moved seamlessly. Sadly that also meant that neither one of us were paying 100% of our attention to the antics of our two “I’m starving in my belly” kids.
Before I knew it there was Zach—with one hand in the bowl of chopped—and RAW—chicken.
Gross! Disaster! Small child touching uncooked poultry flesh! Salmonella…we’ll all die!
Yeah, I freaked out. I did. Raw meat—especially chicken—is the grossest thing to me. When I was pregnant I wouldn’t even touch it raw. I used latex gloves purchased by the 100-count box.
So I freaked the hell out on my poor 3 year old.
“ACK” I screamed. “Chicken. Raw. Zach. Hand”
In another odd moment of synergy Joel managed to decipher my words and take action. Zach was rescued from crazy-mom and his hands washed.
Poultry crisis averted. Or so I thought. A few minutes later I walked past the living room and saw Z curled up on the couch, staring out the window and trying really, really, really hard not to cry.
Well, crap. He just didn’t get why what he did resulted in me losing my mind in such a fashion. We chatted. We hugged. We moved on.
After dinner I took him with me grocery shopping and his behavior was everything I could ask for in a 3 year old. Helpful, cute, and charming to strangers. He answered “yes, ma’am” to an elderly woman’s question, counted grapefruit into a bag and did NOT ask why an extremely obese woman was riding on a scooter (he wanted to—the question was totally on his lips).
On the way back home, from the darkness of the backseat, he blurted out, “I’m sorry, Mom”.
I felt justifiable fear because I’m the mother of a toddler who has only been potty-trained for 6 months.
“Why?” (urgh, did he wet his pants?)
“I’m sorry I touched the raw chicken”
I felt that proud mom-moment so sincere was his apology. Then my 3 year old, mini-me, smart-ass said:
“I’m sorry you freaked out so much. Maybe you need some alone time in my playroom.”
Set and match, young Earthling.
I apologized back to him, by the way. My reaction to him touching raw meat WAS completely over the top. But maybe he’ll think twice the next time he feels the urge to stick his grub-beaters into something while I’m cooking.