They Call Me Mom

They call me Mom, and now, 5 years in, I had the perfect Mother’s Day.

Not that the others have been at all bad, they just weren’t perfect.

On my first Mother’s Day, JB bought me a little snow cone machine.
What, you say?

You see, my first real job (which required a wee exaggeration about my age) was back up snow cone maker at the flea market. People, you haven’t lived until you’ve worked at either a flea market or as a carnie. These things are important, eye-opening life experiences.

My second Mother’s Day I was puking my way through the first trimester of Elliot’s gestation. I spent several months bitterly accusing everyone of hiding onions in their pockets since no where in existance was there a place not reeking with onion taint. I also febreezed the dogs. A lot.

My third Mother’s Day… um? I had a small infant with weight gain issues and a 2 1/2 year old. I don’t even remember the third one.

My fourth Mother’s Day, I hosted my mom and her sister as part of Mom’s 60th birthday. The original plan was for JB to take the boys with him, but large chunks of the interstate were torn up from a really nasty tornado a few weeks beforehand. Since he was getting blasted from all sides with reminders about the fury of mother nature– a lot of damage near and around us, he was really suffering with the anxiety. So instead of getting breakfast cooked for me, I was cooking breakfast. Hunh, suddenly not feeling so bad about my own mom’s tardy Mother’s Day present this year.

This one though, the fifth Mother’s Day? Perfect Mother’s Day.

And why? Because I was selfish as hell today, y’all. Couldn’t have done it without my darling husband–so much thanks JB!

I slept in, ate waffles that I didn’t cook, crawled back into bed to read, took a nap. Woke back up at 11 am(!), called my own mom. Ate a lunch I didn’t cook, listened to my oldest read a book about Tom Sawyer, played with pictures, and then ate a dinner I didn’t cook. Sort of ran. Surfed the internet.

I didn’t do a load of laundry, wash a dish, wipe a butt, or blow a nose. I didn’t negotiate fights. I didn’t do bath time, change bed sheets, or answer the whining cries of over-tired children.

I didn’t do a single load of laundry (I’ll regret that tomorrow), vacuum up a single speck of dog hair, sweep a single floor. I sneered at a dirty toilet (BOYS!), but didn’t clean it.

JB bought me a cordless, lightweight drill. Perfect for my oddly child-sized hands. My kids made Mother’s Day cards with a Ghostbuster’s theme.

I totally rocked my pipe-cleaner bracelet today.

More than that, I sat and thought about the many things that made me happy last week, even during a week where many things made me sad, angry, and mean.

Watching this guy swagger into preschool graduation, very full of himself (in a good way).

Excuse me a minute, wasn’t he a year old, like a minute ago? I didn’t get all weepy about him graduating; I really enjoy having semi-self-sufficient children. I’m thrilled that my sleep deprivation is now by choice, and that I no longer wear spit up in mockery of flower corsages.

Then there is my entomologist in training. I already heard the phrase “we can catch the lady bugs with the light sabers” when the Small People and the Small People friends released a dozen in the bedroom… on accident, of course. It doesn’t take much for me to recognize that I will eventually find some container of unrestrained bugs in my house.

But only the worms get to drive the John Deer.

There is something very sweet about the three year old– because when life is very good for him it’s very good. And when it’s not good, he very calmly asks for a meeting.

We played host to Jenny, which was lovely because she’s a lovely girl. On the morning of her scheduled departure, Elliot was kind enough to pack her suitcase and roll it to the front door. I mean, she wasn’t leaving until around dinner, but he was ready. It would seem that splitting the attention of his two favorite people, me and Zach, isn’t on his To Do list.

Or maybe he had Batman shirt envy.

Bow-chicka-wow-wow, lady bug love. It makes me giggle, because I’m 12.

Having a fellow drill-as-gift-recipient and DIYer link to me in a Mother’s Day post as a mom who makes her think. I like to make people think, as long as it isn’t “what a ditz”.

And finally, Noah, covering I’m Sexy and I know it.

Cooking for small people

Is it just me or is there nothing more annoying than trying to prepare healthy food for people under 4 foot tall? Seriously, I didn’t even really try to learn how to cook until I was home all day with small people. I had a few core dishes that I made with certain aplomb, delighted in the knowledge that I did those really, really well. But since neither of my kids will touch shrimp creole, my talents are largely wasted on them.

Zach was such a good eater, at first. I remember dropping spinach leaves on the tray of his highchair and he’d just devour them as if they were chocolate pie. The same could be said of grilled chicken, or roasted acorn squash.

Now? Yeah, not so much. Now he walks into the kitchen, smells what’s cooking and declares: That smells YUCK. I’m not eating it.

Based on his new-found food snobbishness we have a house ban on garlic, bell peppers, spaghetti sauce and homemade macaroni and cheese. Nevermind that he’ll eat an entire tomato like it’s an apple, spaghetti sauce cannot touch either noodle or pizza crust. Nevermind that I make his hummus with garlic–I have to go all Secret Agent about it lest I risk his second favorite food hitting the reject list. And though he’ll eat the Kraft box stuff, homemade mac and cheese is an abomination unto pasta in Zach’s mind.

Earlier this week he informed me that he no longer likes chicken. To which I replied, “nuggets are made from chicken”. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “no Mom, they aren’t.” Which, though technically correct, was not exactly my point.

He’s killing my cooking creativity, because even though I was never a cooking type person, I find myself bored to death with eating the same thing every single week and trying to select more adventurous recipes. Eh, cooking meals that require more than 4 ingredients is harder for me, the only benefit is when the food is enjoyed by those I’m cooking for. At this point new things are met with disgust my little food critic and I refuse to make separate meals–we aren’t going there in this house–thus my quandary.

I can’t complain much about Elliot right now–he eats most of what I put in front of him. I see him eyeballing Zach though and making plans to reject the black beans he loves so much in the near future.

I know it’s normal, I know it’s a control thing, but none of that knowledge lessens my annoyance at their refusal to just taste it. I can accept not liking something (hell, I despise okra–fried or otherwise) if they would just taste it first.

I also realize that not caving in to the noses wrinkled in disgust will be to my long-term benefit. But in the short-term I am putting the cabash on food that comes in paper bags. Yes, people, it came out of my mouth, not once but twice this week, so now I have to stick to my edict of “no more eating out for the small people”. Say buh-bye to your precious chik fil a nuggets and when you will eat real food like a sane person we’ll reassess the situation.

On the bright side, we’ll save some money. On the dark side, I can already here the strident tones of a seriously PO’ed 3 year old as he stages his not-so-silent protest of my decision.