My life has been a series of ups and downs (I am pretty sure all of us can relate to this, because, really, if life didn’t have peaks and valleys what WOULD we be? Petri dish material?). I embrace most of them. I really do. The hard stuff and the good – it’s how we grow and how we grow up.
But, there is one valley experience that keeps surfacing (I know, not possible for a valley to surface, but stay with me) in this crazy life of mine, and I am ready to tell this valley to take a hike someplace scenic, but FAR AWAY.
Whoever said “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” probably was talking about all those “honorable” killer things: like a marathon, or childbirth, or teaching 7th grade Sunday School. Something that refines you through the pain, like trying to find pants at Kohl’s that don’t advertise your underwear color and brand.
In my case? It’s not an honorable valley. It’s what I like to call The Big Valley of Suck-itude.
It is just awful and I need help.
What, you ask, could be this ghastly?
The Valley of When I Start Dinner.
Let me illustrate:
Simply, there is nothing good that can come from this daily battle, unless you count the actual dinner part, and even that is a crap-shoot. Some nights dinner is a hit, others nights… our meal comes with its own verbal disclaimer and a waiver to sign.
Case in point: (Ok, when anyone says “Case in point” always add the Law and Order “Doink-doink.” It makes the writing better). Tonight’s meal was chicken, mushroom, and spinach pasta stuff, and it was very good. But, I paired it with garlic bread that was toasted to the point of charbroil – when I put them in the serving dish they “clinked” with such authority that Red and Blonde thought I was putting away Legos.
I will give myself a dinner gratuity, because when I thwacked down the bread Legos on the table, I said: “These here? These are garlic bread sticks, ” and then made the “These are not the droids you’re looking for” Star Wars gesture. Any time I can muster up a bit of Obi One, it’s a bonus.
So. How do I survive this ruthless and endless onslaught of 5 pm’s that just keep coming at me with no warning (except for the fact that 5 pm does happen, uh every 24 hours. Kinda like every day. But still. SHOCKING.)
HOWEVER. At this point in my life, (the same one with all the peaks and valleys that I was referring to earlier) I have decided that I drink seltzer. Or club soda. Or the occasional REAL Coke with lime. Or tea, with which I kinda have a love/hate relationship due to the fact that I wasn’t paying attention once and brewed Smooth Move once instead of my Bigelow Mint Chamomile with SHOCKING results. SHOCKING.
I would like to share with you two of my favorite 5 pm cocktails (I know, most people call ’em “Mocktails” but that sounds so snarky, and I am NOT snarky. Or at least not when it comes to beverages that save my 5 pm.)
Cocktail #1 to help a tired Momsie who has to answer this question while making dinner:
“Mommah? If I burp, but it’s out of my bum, why?”
1. Brew some mint tea of some type (I use green tea w/ mint)
2. Add a bit of honey to the tea and let steep 10 minutes or so.
3. Put a LOT of ice in a glass. Use a Mason Jar – it’ll make it taste better, I promise. It’ll be a hipster drink now.
4. Add herbs – I have used rosemary, lavender, even basil and, of course, mint. I do not recommend chives. Unless you really need the toddlers (and also the hubs) to just leave you the heck alone for a while, then go for it.
4. Muddle the herbs up a bit in the glass. “Muddling” is cocktail talk for: use a spoon and whack/stir/beat the herbs to allow their oils to be released, rather violently, into the drink.
5. Add about half seltzer and half tea and stir with your cute pink straw.
Take a sip and savor. This cocktail, much like me, is not overly sweet. It’s just better that way.
Cocktail #2 that aids digestion, balances your hormones, gives you energy, AND helps you deal with this:
“Mommah, da kitten has some poop on it. In its fur a wittel? I brought it to you.” You then discover that the use of the word “it” is very important here, and that you should have been paying attention. “It” had two options:
Option A: Kitten with personal hygiene issues or
Option B: Something even grosser. Toddler went for option B. Of course he did.
1. Wash and bleach toddler, and you. Consider bleaching the cat but figure, another day.
2. Sigh heavily, then fill a glass full of ice. Lots of ice. Stand with head in freezer for a little bit longer than is comfortable.
3. Add seltzer and lime. If feeling adventurous, also add some Tazo Passion tea because you are an ANIMAL that way.
4. Add a glug or two of this magic stuff:
Stir and sip. JUST SIP. This stuff’ll seriously make you do the sip/cough if you’re not careful. It’s got MOXIE. Sip and savor because, like Momsie, this drink will make you wonder, on the pain threshold, just how much of it you can stand. It’s a good burn, I tell you. The kind of “won’t kill you but will make you stronger” variety.
And, I leave you with this: Kitties dancing to Law and Order. Oh Mr. Youtube, you complete me!!