I miss being able to make food for myself and ONLY myself. I miss it more than uninterrupted showers and rated R movies during the day and wild sexcapades with my husband whenever we liked. Once upon a time, let’s say about 10 years ago, if I were to say to myself, A sandwich sounds good right about now, I would get up and make the sandwich. I would then eat the sandwich, toss the plate into the dishwasher, and then move onto more pressing matters like uninterrupted sexcapes in the shower with my husband while also watching a rated R movie. Damn life was good back then.
Now, a simple sandwich is just too much of a hassel. It got bad because (drum roll please) I have kids. Kids, if you don’t know, take everything in your life that was once fairly simple, like, going to the grocery store…cleaning up the house…bathing, and they ruin it. They drop it on the floor and touch it with their sticky fingers and squish it under the couch and pee on it and just anything that is horrible, they do that to all those nice little things in your life that were easy. That’s their job. Your job is to then take the once pretty great thing and flatten out the wrinkles and wipe it clean and erase the curse words off the corners and hang it out to dry then Febreeze the piss smell from it and try to forget how lovely it once was. You have to work your life around this now pain in the ass thing that takes you twice as long to deal with than it did before you had kids. That’s basically why I can no longer just make a sandwich.
I attempted to make a sandwich once after I had kids. It was a delicious oven-roasted turkey sandwich with soft Sara Lee bread and a yellow zig-zaggy squirt of Plochmans mustard. While creating the sandwich in my head, I even played with the idea of adding a few crisp pieces of iceburg lettuce and a fresh slice of red tomato from the garden. My tongue wagged as I headed to the kitchen.
That’s when, upstairs, a child jumping on her bed and listening to a Kidz Bop c.d at a ridiculous volume suddenly got a tingle up her spine; mommy’s doing something for herself.
Meanwhile, her brother, who was down in the basement playing darts and listening to angsty teen rap/screams, suddenly felt the chill of the refrigerator door opening. Someone is making food, his spidey sense told him.
The youngest, outside playing with every single noisy toy he owns that still had a working battery, actually heard the slight crack of the good lunch meat container breaking open. “Oh hell no!” I’m sure he probably said out loud.
All 3 came scrambling into the kitchen. All 3 were starving despite just finishing lunch 30 minutes ago. And all 3 were circling me like hungry sharks around a bloody surfer sandwich. The question was, who would attack first?
The middle child, of course. As soon as she spotted the bread, she asked, “Can I have a sandwich, too?”
I wanted to say no. Tell her, I’m only making 1 sandwich! My sandwich! Mine! Just for me! Leave me alone! You had your lunch! This is mamas time! Go away! Instead, I said, “You just had lunch.”
“But it was gross.”
“Well, it must not have been too gross since you ate it all.” I smarted back.
“No, I didn’t.”
I could see from where I was standing the SpaghettiO’s tossed messily on top of my white trashcan lid.
“Are you kidding…what the…why didn’t you eat?!?!”
“It was gross.” she repeated, and then, “please, can I have a sandwich?”
Fine! I gave in. “But go clean that mess off the trashcan.”
Next came the youngest. He saw the food being made and was not going to fuck around about it.
“I WANT SANDWICH!” he demanded.
“No, you already had lunch!” I told him. But even as I said the words, I knew I was going to end up making him a sandwich. This kid is psychotic when it comes to food and toys and what’s on the t.v. I’ve read all the mommy books and mommy blogs and applied all the ‘raising wonderful children’ techniques to the older two kids. Thanks for your help world. But now, with this one, I’m at the point when I really don’t give a shit. The youngest will get whatever his entitled bossy ass wants. I am sorry.
“I WANT SANDWICH!”
“FINE!” I scream and “fuck” I mumble under my breathe. “Whatever!”
Now that all the heavy lifting was done, The oldest stepped in for the kill. He knew the younger two had weakened me. He also knew that if I said no the first time, he could counter that with the very resourceful, “but THEY got sandwiches!”
When I batted back with, “I don’t care! I saw you eat! You’re done!”, he used his charms (a gift from his father) and laid his head on my shoulder (cause he’s that friggin’ tall now) and said, “But, Mom, I’m a growing boy. I need more food than them. Please?”
FINE! FINE! FINE! YOU GET A SANDWICH AND YOU GET A SANDWICH AND EVERYBODY GETS A FUCKING SANDWICH! ARE WE HAPPY NOW?
So, I made them all sandwiches and all was well in the world.
No. Of course that’s not how our story ends, my sweet silly friends. I can’t just make them a sandwich. Are you kidding me? No, cause everyone has different tastes.
“I want lettuce and relish!” says the oldest.
“I want mustard ONLY” says the girl.
“I want cheese and ketchups!” screams the youngest, while I try not to gag.
So there’s 4 more ingredients I have to retrieve from the fridge. 3 more plates to dirty and 1 spoon to plop in the relish. But the chaos doesn’t stop there. Now it’s, “I want mine cut in triangles!”
“Don’t cut mine!”
“I want chips, too!”
“I hate chips!”
“Can we have pop?”
“I don’t want milk!”
“I hate water!”
“Can I make Kool-aid?”
“I want to stir it!”
“I get to stir it!”
“I want sandwich!”
“Where’s the sugar?”
“IT’S MY TURN TO PICK OUT THE KOOL-AID!”
“I WANT SANDWICH!”
“LET GO OF THE SPOON!”
“STOP IT, STUPID!”
“I WANT SANDWICH!!!!!!!”
Until finally, I lost my shit.
What was said in the kitchen that dark dark day in our family history, shall remain between my children and me, but I will say, the room got quiet really friggin’ fast. The Kool-aid got made, the sandwiches got cut into the appropriate shapes and then delivered to the correct child. I was finally able to make my own sandwich, but by the time I got to squirting the Plochmans, three empty plates sat at the table surrounded by bread crumbs and bits of broken chips and pink stains on the tabletop. I had lost my appetite.
Not really, I still ate. I always still eat. But, the experience stuck to my brains like miracle whip on the side of a piece of bread. And the next time I felt the urge to feed myself and only myself, I hid a Snickers bar down my pants, ran upstairs to my bedroom, and ate it in bed…under the covers…with the door locked, just to be safe.
Sad? Maybe. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay to recover the simplicity (and selfishness) in my life. I ain’t gonna lie either. That Snickers bar tasted un-friggin-believable. Not sexcapades in the shower great, but pretty damn close. Partly because I was dieting and hadn’t had a bite of chocolate in a week, but mostly because I ate every single bite and didn’t have to share. Sorry kids, Mom’s kind of a prick sometimes. Love you!
Thanks for stopping by.