Can I Take Your Order?

Someone please tell me – When did I become a short order cook?


At what point did I begin substituting quesadillas for enchiladas, instant mashed potatoes for baked potatoes, and buttered noodles and cheese for WORLD FAMOUS HOMEMADE spaghetti meat sauce for people under five feet tall?


Why have applesauce and sugar-free Jell-o replaced salad and mixed vegetables as a side dish?


Have I really become the It’s Not Worth Fighting About spineless caricature of myself staring back at me in the mirror?


Where is that woman who swore her kids would eat whatever was put in front of them even if they had to sit crying in their green beans all night?


Come on! I’m not talking lima beans and brussels sprouts, lintel bean soup and carrot salad (carrots, raisins and mayonnaise, oh my!) that I used to have to choke down under threat of no dessert.


It’s a turkey burger for goodness sakes! You smother that thing in ketchup like everything else and you’re good to go. Pretend it’s in a nugget form and wolf it down.


Fine. I’ve got a hot dog on the stove.


?        ?        ?


Not since my newborn/Groundhog Day times of prepare breakfast, feed breakfast, clean-up breakfast, rinse off baby, immediately repeat for lunch and dinner have I so thoroughly hated the question, “What’s for dinner?”


Some days it is the straw that breaks the mommy’s back.


Especially after all you’ve done for your family that day has left you so spent, you don’t have one brain molecule left to figure out what to do with that jar of pickles, three flour tortillas and one hard boiled egg left in the fridge.


Nothing is worse than facing a whining, hungry child armed to shoot down whatever meal pops out of your mouth with, “Eww. Not that again.”


But actually, worse I think, is when you’ve carefully prepared, lovingly crafted, even blew kisses over the fabulously healthy AND delicious meal you skipped watching Oprah to make for your family and a little pipsqueak at the table has the nerve to say, “This smells funny. Can I have chicken nuggets instead?”


As if a nugget of remnant chicken parts could replace my finely crafted offering of sustenance.


No. It’s time to take a stand. Go ahead and take a big gulp of milk and wash it down buddy, unless you want to be sitting over a cold dinner all alone with the sound of the dishwasher in the background and the short order cook – I mean Mommy – on strike.

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