Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mom, what's for dinner?

Dinner time is always a source of anxiety in my house. To begin, I did not start cooking* until I was in my 30's. Growing up, my mom did not like too many people in the kitchen (read: anyone other than herself). If I did get the rare invitation to help prepare meals, I made the salad or cut the bread at the kitchen table, hence my incredible salad making skills and impeccable bread cutting technique. At first, I blamed all my culinary inadequacies on my mom. I mean, wasn't she the one who was supposed to teach me everything there is to know about feeding a family? Where are those recipes passed down from generation to generation when I needed them? How the hell do you hard boil an egg?

The truth is, and there will be many times I admit this, (and I say this with all the love I possess in my heart) kids are a pain in the ass sometimes. I believe my mom's time in the kitchen was her time. It was her special room in the house where we were to stay out of until the oven timer dinged. She used meal prep time to regroup after a long day of child rearing. And she did not want to clean up the messes we would inevitably make while trying to help. And it wasn't until I had my lovely daughters that I learned this final reason... feeding a family is a job in of itself. Everyone wants something different. This person won't eat anything green. This person wants fish sticks and only fish sticks... until you make fish sticks and then fish sticks are gross. I forgave my mom and now call her for recipes. She's always happy to share her knowledge now that I'm using my own kitchen. I get it mom. I don't blame you.

So when I stumbled across the E-Card posted above, I laughed. That woman is tired. She is defeated. She just wants to finish that chapter of that book, damn it! I am that woman except I'm not dressed to the nines. I'm pretty sure I forgot to brush my teeth this morning... again. I felt the need to share this jewel of an E-card and posted it on my facebook wall. Several friends immediately "liked" it or commented on how funny it was. Then one of my darling friends, W, who is 8 months pregnant and reveling in the idea of her new life as a stay at home mom, stated, "What?!!! No one told me I had to do THAT!!!" Of course, she said that in jest. I hope. I'm excited for her, really I am. As a former working mom, I know it feels so good to be home with the kids. You do have more time to take care of everything. You don't have to live two lives. You are at home. With the kids. The day is your oyster. Sometimes.

This is what I wrote back:

Now is the time to practice. Here is my New Mama 12 Step Program for Meal Times.

1. Wait until you are exhausted to make a meal.

2. Put on some loud metal music (the more screaming, the better).

3. Stare blankly into the pantry and fridge for about 5 minutes for inspiration.

4. Scratch your first 3 ideas because while you were shopping earlier you forgot to pick up all of the necessary ingredients. Blame it on the baby.

5. Prepare some sort of meal. (It doesn't matter what you make as you will learn in step #10)

6. Yell from the kitchen: "It's almost ready!" "I know you're hungry but I'm working as fast as I can!" "Turn off the TV and go wash your hands!"

7. Plate meal.

8. Sit down at the table. Get back up. Sit back down. Get back up. Sit back down. Take a bite. Get back up. Repeat.

9. In one minute intervals, repeat the phrase, "Please eat your dinner."

10. After about 30 minutes, get up and throw away the dinner you prepared.

11. Have a big glass of wine.

Or you can skip all that and go directly to step 12.

12. Call your husband and ask him to "pick something up on the way home."

You've got a month to practice this. You'll be fine. I promise. Wait... I messed that up... Never skip step #11.

I just made dinner. My husband can pick it up from Papa Johns in 15 minutes.

* "Cooking" as in not pulling a prepared meal out of a box and pressing cook time on the microwave.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. It's like you are at my house every night at dinner time. Seriously. Thank God for wine!!!


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