Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to make dinner

Note:  These directions are specifically for mothers of small children.  Revise as necessary for your situation.

1.  Start chopping vegetables.

2.  Hear the baby waking up from his nap; decide he seems to be happy in bed and can stay there a few more minues.

3.  Keep chopping; see toddler on the stairs, up from her nap.

4.  Tell toddler to let you know when she needs you to open the gate at the bottom of the stairs.

5.  Hear a loud BANG!

6.  Pick up the gate that the toddler has kicked off the stairs.

7.  Keep chopping.

8.  Realize the baby's cooing is turning into crying; go get him.

9.  Get a basket of baby toys; put it on the kitchen tile along with the baby; try to get him excited about the toys while you pointedly ignore the dirty floor.

10.  Finish chopping.

11.  Assure toddler she can potty on her own.

12.  Assemble ingredients in skillet.

13.  Check on toddler; take away half-empty soap dispenser (that was full a few minutes ago); hope she didn't ingest too much soap while making a Santa Claus beard on herself; put her in time out in her room for playing with the soap (again.)

14.  Ponder whether or not a plastic Slinky is an appropriate chew toy for an infant.  Decide it's probably okay.

15.  Stir skillet.  Decide that the food sticking to the bottom will just give the dish a charbroiled flavor.

16.  Go up to toddler's room and remind her that you won't open the door until she stops kicking it.  When the kicking stops, let her out after she explains what she's done wrong and apologizes.

17.  Go back downstairs; take computer cord out of baby's mouth.

18.  Realize the food in the skillet is done (burned in some places); move it off the burner.

19.  Give toddler crayons to draw with.

20.  Start singing to fussy infant in a silly voice and repeatedly assuring him, "Mommy is almost done; then I'll feed you."

21.  Start to assemble a simple salad.

22.  Take crayons away from the toddler; assure her that since she can't stop feeding the dog crayons, she won't be playing with them the rest of the day.

23.  Finish salad.

24.  Put main dish and salad on plates, still singing to infant.

25.  Put plates on table as husband walks in the door.

26.  Nurse infant while eating a lukewarm meal.

27.  Wonder where the day went, and ponder how in the world a 15-minute recipe took an hour and a half to prepare.


Cathy said...

What, no picture of your semi-burned, lukewarm dish?

Kristi said...

Hey, I think I've made that dinner! MANY times! :)

Juliet Colors said...

Hehehe! (So this is what I have to look forward to someday?!)

C. Beth said...

Mom--Well, this is actually a compilation of various true stories--we had company last night and thankfully the dinner was not lukewarm or burned! :)

Kristi--Ha! Our husbands could compare notes!

Profoundly--Oh, this and SO many other things. :-D

Special K said...

Love it!!!!

beckiwithani said...

This is one of your best posts ever!

Call Me Cate said...

I love it. And growing up, "burnt" and "done" were totally the same thing.

Annje said...

Ah, the number of steps looks just about right. Salad AND a main dish?...and timed for husband's arrival?...overacheiver!

oh, never say burnt--I think the correct culinary term is "carmelized" it is done to add flavor! haha

Anonymous said...

That dinner prep sounds very familiar. Thankfully now my son is 12 years old and helps more than hinders. Still... there's the husband!

Beth: check out the major traffic we suddenly have today! Thanks for the great tips a few weeks ago.


Michelle Brunner said...

This is hilarious! Thanks for preparing me for when I have kids:)

Jyoti said...

Great Post, Beth :) I enjoyed it thoroughly. Oh no but I realize that I too would be in your shoes someday ;-)

@Vikki & Beth- I would also love to know the increasing traffic secret. Come on spill the beans, lady ;-)

Check out: Toad Rocks!!!

Sandra said...

This story is just charming, Beth. I can envision it from beginning to "carmelized" end! :) I agree that it's amazing that with all this, you were able to get a main dish AND a salad on the table just as yur husband walked in. Bravo!

Steph said...

I have to confess to quickly eating a plate of hot food before serving the rest of my family. With four boys I have about a 1% chance of getting warmish food otherwise!

Faith said...

It does get better! When the kids are just a couple of years old & can play together (unsupervised!!) without emptying soap dishes (been there- about 15 minutes ago with the 2 yr old), or using crayons for unintended purposes (oh how I could tell tales).

Good for you for having ANY kind of meal on the table when the Engineer got home.

C. Beth said...

Okay, so a disclaimer. This story didn't happen. The various parts of it happened at various times, but thankfully it didn't all happen at once. I do, however, find that cooking sometimes takes FOREVER, as does everything else when I'm taking care of kids. That's how it goes! :) Sometimes I get dinner on the table when The Engineer gets home; sometimes not. Sometimes it's hot...sometimes not. And the salad is almost always from a bag with a few croutons thrown on top. :)

Special K--Thank you!

Becki--Aww, THANKS! :)

Call Me Cate--Burnt=done? Works for me!

Annje--"Carmelized"? That is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

Vikki--I checked it out and even bookmarked a recipe to try. Congrats on the traffic!

Michelle--I'm glad you consider it preparation and aren't scared away from having kids at all. :)

Jyoti--Check out the post I wrote on increasing traffic to your site, here.

Sandra--Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Although...see the disclaimers above. ;)

Stephanie--Very wise!! I was so glad when Chickie learned to feed herself and I could enjoy my meals again.

Faith--Oh, the crayons...just this morning our coffee table became a canvas. Grr....

*Monica said...

Hey, I just cooked this yesterday , but I added a splash of break up a fight over video games for extra spice.

Well done

Our Scoop said...

Hilarious!!! I love it. I was laughing through every number. Too true! Now I add "Harley, don't go pee pee yet - let me run you outside first." What was I thinking getting another thing to take care of!!! Yikes.

TesoriTrovati said...

Erma Bombeck has nothing on you! There is a news article that was published in the late 60s-early 70s that was in my mom's recipe box. Every time I cooked at home I would read this funny article...I think it was about making chocolate chip cookies with a two year old. I don't know if it was Erma Bombeck, but it was hysterical! I think someone gave it to my mom when I was two! Rings true today as then!
It is totally a frustration to go through this, but it is over all too soon. I wish I had framed my "coffee table" art when it happened. That time is long gone for cherish it!
Enjoy the day!
Erin, TesoriTrovati

bARE-eYED sUN said...

wow! i luvs my mommy! thanks for making me smile {and appreciate my mom some more.}

Jenners said...

Oh so that is how to do it! I was doing all except for step 21! Now it should all work right!


Omah's Helping Hands said...

Hi Beth, I have a Christmas Spirit Award awaiting you at my blog. :)

Tami said...

I sat and giggled when Sam relayed this post last Sunday in church. You've got a great blog Beth!