A Tale of Two Children.

Y’all. I wonder if Charles Dickens had children. Like, listen:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

Wow. That pretty much sums up parenting right there.

dickens.png

You know that carnival ride where you sit in a big huge pendulum thingie and it swings you baaaack and forthhh and baaaack and forthhh until you puke all over your seatmate and start sobbing?

That’s children.

Also, there’s some glee in there. At least for some people, who actually like carnival rides, of whom I am so NOT. I think carnival rides are the tinker toys of Satan.

Anyhow. I digress. My lack of adventuresome spirit and anti -Let’s ride this crazy pendulum of death attitude is tough when it comes to parenting. Parenting needs a bit of the crazy. It needs the nutso person who will shell out twenty dollars for a chance to puke and then eat fried Snickers bars. Parenting is Carnival Heaven. I am more of a “let’s sit at home and watch something with subtitles” which makes my children cross.

But, once in a while, I ride the rides. I get on, pull down the roll bar that was constructed by a toothless man with a t-shirt that says, “Lovin You All Night is All Right.”  The rides, especially Pendulum of Nutball, occur at certain times of the day, like bedtime. Or when we go on vacation. Or…

Dinner.

Here we go:

Blonde: (warily) What’s for dinner?

Red: DINNER! I LOVE FOOD! I LOVE DINNER! I’M NOT WEARING PANTS!

(Swoosh)

Blonde: This food has stuff in it.

(Bigger swoosh)

Red: CAN I EAT EVERYTHING HERE? AND YOURS?

(Deep breath. Swooshiness)

Blonde: The stuff is unacceptable. I will now eat air for the rest of my life.

(More swooshing)

Red: I’m done with the food on my plate and I would now like to start on the food in the refrigerator. I want pickles and some yogurt. Together. Pronto. Starving here.

(Gulp)

Blonde: Air, and the occasional chicken nugget, are fine. Don’t worry about me. Yes you can see my ribs. And yes, I know you worry that I am wan. I don’t even know what “wan” means but you seem to use it a lot. And yes, I know you don’t think air has any vitamins in it but I am EIGHT AND THEREFORE I KNOW IT ALL. LIKE, ALL OF IT.

Red: All I know is that I need more syrup. For my pickles.

Blonde: If you start bargaining with me about food you have failed. I will now nibble on my broccoli so daintily I will look like a wan rabbit.

Red: Do I detect a slight nuttiness in this sauce?

Blonde: NUTS? I CAN’T EAT NUTS! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?

(Swoosh, swoosh, swooshity-swoosh)

Red: Mom? I have eaten everything available. Can I go next door and ask for their food? I’ll make sure to tell them that I’m starving and that my mommy doesn’t feed me. We cool?

Parenting. It’s not for the faint of heart, y’all. You stand in line, and buy the tickets and strap in, and the next thing you know, you’re screaming unintelligibly.

6a0133f30ae399970b01a73e1493f4970d-800wi.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

This is the best writing prompt EVER:

Linking up with my people today because, as you know…. (drum roll)

It’s FIVE MINUTE FRIIIIIIDAY with the lovely Kate Motaung.

AND TODAY’S THEME IS JUST TOO GOOD:

 

 

COFFEE-600x600.png

Ok, let me tell you about eating.

There’s the good kind and the bad kind. Lately, it seems to be tipping over to the bad kind because last night I was writing until about one in the morning, accompanied by Halloween candy.

The Halloween candy didn’t do a very good job of keeping me company. It was all sticky and I kept sitting on the crinkly wrappers. You know what happens once you get into the Halloween candy, don’t you? You KEEP getting into it. It’s like once you start doing Amazon One-Click of sugar addiction.

But, y’all? There’s good eating too.

I was thinking about food and my family, and all the dishes that I remember, where food becomes not just food, but something more. Something fragrant, with love added in.

So, here’s what I thought of:

My dad, every Thanksgiving, smokes a duck in his kettle grill. I go out and talk with him as he watches the duck like a hawk (so many bird things going on here). He uses this special marinade that he has been making since I was a child, and no one knows what’s in there. I don’t think he’ll ever tell us. Maybe the recipe is in some vault somewhere and we get to access it after he is with Jesus, and then we can start selling the stuff and we’ll make millions. Yes, dad, I know I just sort of gleefully referred to making money after you meet your maker. I know. That’s OK, though because I know how fond you are of the money thing.

Sigh. I really hope he doesn’t take this the wrong way.

Anyhow, the duck. The duck is a thing. It’s our thing. It’s delicious and it’s my dad out there in the cold and me going out there and talking and discussing life and how many meetings I’ve been going to and how the lawn looks great.

Also, this: the last time I talked, really TALKED to my brother, was out on that back porch, with dad’s duck, Thanksgiving. So, you know, the duck. It’s special. It’s sad and happy.

I know. That sure is a lot of feelings to attach to a smoked duck. Who knew poultry could be so meaningful? But it is.

And my mom. Now, she’s like the best cook ever. And I mean EVER. But I’m not going to talk about all that right now because I want to talk about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I had just given birth to Blonde. I was sinking into post-partum depression, didn’t know it yet, at all, and was also just really really REALLY tired. My mom told me to go lay down, and I did. And then, she brought me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk.

And I ate it and cried and it was the best sandwich I have ever had. My mom used to bring me Sprite with a straw when I was sick, and let me lay back on her bed and watch Electric Company. I felt kind of like her, that sick little girl, and my mom was bringing me food on a tray. And it helped.

Incidentally, my mom was the one that helped me figure out that I was actually dealing with something perhaps a little bit more severe than just the baby blues.

Happy and sad. A peanut butter sandwich with a lot of meaning. Again.

Don’t even get me started on my sister Jenni’s birthday cakes. Or my other sister Sherry’s crescent rolls. Don’t even.

Food. Family. Love. Memories. Some of the happiest, and saddest memories are tied to what we eat, but you know that. You know because maybe you always make your kids Mickey Mouse pancakes on Saturday mornings. Or you always have popcorn and candy corn on movie nights. Or your husband always asks for your peanut butter balls and swears it’s his love language. And you make chicken soup for him when he’s sniffling and something about it makes you feel better too, as you chop and mince and stew.

This post makes me want to go make oatmeal cookies. 🙂

food-quote-5.jpg

PS:  Dad, I really do love you and if I had my way you and your marinade will be around until forever.