Some of the worst of the lot are the "Make meals fun!" genre, where one is expected to make potato mice or homemade "avocado froggy dip." It's all a little too precious, and a lot too time-consuming for my taste.
Nevertheless, I attempted to step outside my comfort zone, and the result was this:
It's a sun! With enough protein to raise Atkins from the grave!
I presented this to Owen, and he promptly told me that he didn't like peanut butter and my eggs were utterly and completely ruined because I sullied them with pepper.
I said, "Fine. I'll eat it."
He replied, "What am I going to eat?"
I munched on one of the peanut-butter rays and replied, "You can lick the plate when I'm done."
I'll happily confess to all sorts of bad-mother transgressions. Yelling? Check. Cereal bars and popcorn for dinner? Of course! Going inside to "use the restroom" and secretly checking my messages? I'll own that!
This is a little harder to confess, but true nonetheless: at times, I find my children excruciatingly boring.
Today, for example, Owen wanted to play "store." He said, "Mommy, what do you want to buy?"
I looked at him, smiling behind the chair he had fashioned as his counter, and said, "A banana, please."
He frowned."We don't have bananas. What else do you want?"
A stiff drink, I thought, and said, "How about cheese?"
"We don't have cheese. What else do you want?"
I sighed, and looked at my clock. Surely, we had been playing this game for at least an hour. "Why don't you just tell me what you have?"
"We have baseball gloves," he replied.
Naturally. "I'll have a baseball glove, please," I said.
"That'll be twenty thousand million dollars," he said. "Sit down and count it out for me."
At times like this, or when I am reading Digger Man to my youngest for the fifth time in a row, my mind drifts to this place, my blog. I'll play with topics, and stretch sentences in my head as if I'm pulling taffy.
Although I am sitting with or near my children, my mind is floating off on my little cloud of inspiration. I feel connected to the world, to adults, and to the life I once had, because I know that I will be able to write it all down.
On the more tedious of days, this thought keeps me one foot ahead of crazy.
I bought this corner table for ten bucks at the consignment store.
On impulse, I asked Owen to help me paint it.
The dribbles, the uneven brushstrokes, the globs of grass and dirt mixed in with the paint---GAH!
It took every ounce of my being to not snatch the brush from his hand and finish the job myself.
But together, we did it. It looked like it was done by a blind, one-armed stork, but we did it.
He leaned back in the grass, his knees splattered with paint, and said, "I'm really, really good at painting, Mommy."
"You sure are, honey," I replied, mentally considering how many coats it would take to repair his damage.
After some thought, I decided to leave it.
Yes, it's not perfect.
There are Goldfish crackers for dinner and days where he goes to preschool without underwear.
Yes, there are marks.
There are days of too much TV and too few consequences.
Yes, there are splotches.
I skip pages in Curious George. I pretend to care about tee-ball and monster trucks.
And yet, mistakes and all, it stands. It endures. It is beautiful, perhaps more so, in its imperfection.
This is an entry in Mary Mommyologist and Tina @ Life Without Pink's "Not Mommy of the Year" Contest. Click to read the other amazing entries!