Mommies eat last. That’s just the nature of the job. Everyone else gets fed first, and then, if no one is screaming, bleeding or otherwise needing anything, we eat. And usually we have to eat fast, if we want to finish our food while it is hot or cold or whatever temperature it should be for optimal enjoyment.
Sometimes it may appear that we actually eat first: that is only because our lunch is so late that it tends to correlate with everyone else’s dinner. I’m not really sure what hot coffee tastes like anymore. I pour it, hot and steaming, into my mug, add a couple grains of sugar, a dollop of cream and then off I go to rescue a screaming infant from the perch she has found herself unable to climb down from. On my way back to the caffeine I so desperately need, I find the toddler crouched in a corner valiantly trying not to pee in his pants.
After many minutes spent coercing him away from the line of matchbox cars he is meticulously parking I take him to the bathroom. During that time, the baby has found her way atop one of the dining room chairs again and is trapped beneath the table. After liberating her, someone usually decides that a snack is in order; by the time the snack is prepared the baby is once again screeching from her roost beneath the table. At this point my coffee is only lukewarm.
I remembered that there was some rhubarb in the refrigerator, patiently awaiting my culinary prowess. In my folly, I thought I would try and end its chilly stay in the crisper by whipping up something yummy. I called my mother, the person usually responsible for cooking all things rhubarb, and got the recipe she generally uses to make rhubarb crumb.
During the short call I had to juggle a paring knife and continuously cut strawberries to feed the baby, so that she would forget that she was pinned in the highchair, while simultaneously jotting down instructions that I only heard the half of. My son employed his knowledge of the answering machine to record a new message. Instead of the comprehensible voice of my husband singing the state capitals or telling callers they have reached the city morgue or something else along those lines, callers will now be greeted by my son’s toddler voice making a single incomprehensible sound before the familiar beep.
After all of that, I decided to use a recipe from the cookbook instead. I cut a few rhubarb stalks, broke up a fight, cut a few more, told my son to stop forcing his sister to play peek-a-boo, mixed flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon, removed the baby from her brother’s stunt diving zone, beat an egg and some milk, stopped the baby from mounting the dining room table, etc.
Other than the fact that God is so totally awesome, I also believe in miracles because I was able to get the cobbler into the oven before any serious you-need-to-stop-playing-chef-and-be-mommy-right-now crying started. As if that happening alone didn’t denote that there is indeed a God, the baby took a nap and slept for over two hours instead of her customary thirty minutes! As someone somewhere in the history of the world once said, “a mother must have some compensations”.
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