Monthly Archives: January 2013

How You Change when Your Kids Start School.

The first day V went to school was such a roller coaster of mixed emotions for me that I still remember it too clearly almost 5 years later. It was only preschool but he suddenly looked so much older than his 3 years.. He cried and cried and so did I. I took him back home with me in an hour. I reckon it did get better over the years for both of us because now there are no tears when saying good bye. A sigh of relief from both ends, yeah that’s more like it. He and his brother love school and I love my few hours of coherent thinking before falling into an everyday abyss of insanity that starts at pick up.

Sometimes when I think back to that time of having young babies/kids at home, the isolation of new motherhood in a new city (we moved both times the kids were within weeks of being born), the incessant pace of daily life without a break for food, shower, pee, all I remember is that then my kids defined me and I, them.

It’s a whole different set of rules that I have to learn now, and more keep getting added every day. You know your kid is in school when:

  • You jerk awake at 5am wondering if he finished his homework last night. Sometimes, you have the irrevocable urge to tiptoe downstairs to check his folder to confirm. If he has done it, you go back to bed relieved but can’t sleep. If he hasn’t you lie awake in bed waiting for a reasonable time to wake HIM up so he can finish it.
  • Your general knowledge diversifies without particular focus. So, for example, you now know that Coelophysis was the smallest dinosaur that ever lived, that a boy could become a page in the royal service at age 7 in the middle ages, that there is a bat so giant that its wingspan reaches 60 feet (ick!). If nothing else, you can assuredly hold your own at the next geek convention in your city.
  • You feel compelled to explain to random people that you did NOT teach him that word, and that you’re as appalled as they seem to be that it even exists in his vocabulary. I have had this experience personally with a certain 4-lettered and another 6-lettered word that may or may not have sexual and racist connotations. Well, not connotations so much as direct meaning. Anyhow. Even though these strangers have zero interest in your situation and do not have to have any awkward conversations with said kid, you still worry about what they think.
  • You become a certified sadist without reaping any of the supposed benefits of a BDSM lifestyle. You break your back finishing up their term projects due tomorrow long after they’ve passed out on the couch; you lose your eyesight researching the perfect backpack with enough pockets that’s not too bulky, cute but not cutesy, whose colors will complement your kid’s personality, only to have it kicked around caked in mud 2 weeks into the school year; you contract carpal tunnel from decorating a hundred cookies for their bake sale. And then you do it all again the next year.
  • You pay 50 dollars for a class picture in which your kid is pulling at his crotch. (Tip: You can see a live stream of this at home any time you wish. For free.)
  • You no longer have to mommy-date. No matter how shy you are, you will end up making friends with other women who’re like you.
  • You finally understand the psyche of those women you met pre school who used to gripe about the approaching summer holidays. You understand that they don’t like their kids any less, they’ve only gotten used to breathing uninterrupted. And I don’t judge them any more.

Heck, I don’t judge anyone anymore. I’m a mom of a school-age kid. I renounced my right to righteousness a few years ago.

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On an unrelated note…

When things are slow, the baking’s in the oven, and there’s nothing much else to do, this is what little people get up to…

What weird thing can I do today?

And please don’t ask me these questions, because I truly, honestly, sane-mindedly don’t know the answers.

  1. Why the fridge?
  2. Where’s his shirt in this freezing cold?
  3. What happened to the exuberance exhibited just seconds ago while scaling the obstacle with no obvious heed paid to safety?
  4. Why am I taking a picture of my parental failure to keep my kid out of trouble?
  5. Is my house always this cluttered? (This one, I can answer in a word: Yes.)

Chocolate Overdose.

Is there such a thing as that? Chocolate overdose? Many may not agree, but I happen to think there is. I’m not one of those people who salivate at the thought of diving face first into a bar of Ghirardelli. But I do fancy myself a triple layered chocolate cake frosted with a nut flavor, say hazelnut, once in a while. Personally, most treats look much more appetizing to me when I taste them with my eyes rather than my palate. And if they’re not so rich as to clog your very taste buds, that’s a bonus. My occasional sweet tooth has been craving a decadent chocolate treat after supper for a week but, until today, had to make do with a Werther boiled candy, as that is all I had in the house in the way of sugary anything.

Today dawned dark and ominous with a snow warning in effect and schools being let out early. So, after picking up the kids sooner than usual, there was nothing to while the afternoon with than some baking! My neighbor, E, had sent me a recipe for homemade chocolate syrup that is a staple in her house. Blogger Rachel Meeks’ recipe uses nothing but what you would find your pantry usually (cocoa, water, sugar), and since I’m not a fan of having to buy multiple ingredients for a recipe before first trial, this sauce was a perfect resolution for my chocolate fix. Thanks, E! Now I have a beautiful jar of homemade chocolate syrup ready to go that will surely see many, many uses besides being consumed right out of the jar!

I also had a hankering for brownies. I have a foolproof recipe that I use every time I make brownies, but today I had some bananas languishing in the freezer. A quick search brought me to this recipe. It’s a Minnesota state fair award-winning one, so I thought how bad could it be? Gave it a try, and although mine didn’t turn out as fudgy, tall and shiny as the author’s (she is the award winner, after all), they still taste wonderful. Maybe my halving the recipe had something to do with it? The banana gives these brownies a nice little flavor twist that’s quite a pleasant surprise.

Now why am I telling you all this?

THIS is why. Any questions? 🙂

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