I finally got my scattered-busy-mom act together and made a good home-cooked meal last night for the whole family. This was a big change in routine from the usual pasta for the kids and egg white omelet for Dieting Mommy while Starving Daddy gets served by his mistress, whose name, I believe, is Marie Callender. Nope, while still in my pointy shoes and dry-clean-only pants, I took broccoli, bell peppers and fresh tomatoes and sauteed them in olive oil with a huge bag of frozen shrimp in the Wedding Wok. (Given that name because it was a wedding gift and is used about as often as we have wedding anniversaries.) Starving Daddy saw what was cooking on the stove and was stoked. Too bad he never got to eat any of it.
He was playing b-ball with his daddy friends, so I ate with the kids first, and left the remaining 20-or-so shrimp for him to enjoy after he’d worked up a real appetite. Then I went to put the baby to bed.
After five attempts to get Stubborn Charlie to go to sleep without wailing and throwing his blankie out of the crib, the coast was finally clear, and I sneaked out of his room. But just then I heard sobbing. “Aw, man!” I sighed–then I realized it was my 6-year-old who was red-faced and teary-eyed. (Which to some extent was a relief, because I didn’t have to go back into Stubborn Charlie’s room–but also was a little scary, because she’s actually harder to comfort.)
When I asked her what’s wrong, she sobbed: “I ate all of daddy’s shrimp!” She’d already had about six or seven of the jumbo guys when we sat down for dinner.
“All of them?”
“But…why? Daddy was so excited to eat shrimp for dinner. He’s going to be sad now. Why didn’t you save some for him?”
Unfortunately, this question made her sob even harder. “I know he’s going to be sad. The shrimp were just so good! I just couldn’t NOT eat them!” she explained.
Which made me both proud that I’d prepared a meal that she found so addictive (so perhaps this is why some mothers actually enjoy cooking!) And ashamed that I didn’t do this more often, so she didn’t find home-cooked meals to be such a special, exotic experience. Maybe it’s time to break out the Wedding Wok more than once a year.