I ate too many Swedish meatballs.
My aunt Shirley watches Quinn while I am teaching and though there are lots of wonderful things I can tell you about her, the main thing that you need to understand is that she has a bumper sticker on her refrigerator that reads, “Love People. Cook them good food.”
She does both of those things for us. She loves Quinn (LOVES Quinn) and makes him amazing food (seriously, this kid was eating thai duck and spicy bbq at a year) and every week or so, she cooks for us. The food is neatly packaged, hot and ready to go, when I pick up Quinn. This is lucky, I know.
So today, she made Swedish meatballs in noodles and fresh green beans and gave us a jar of lingonberries. Lizzie decided that she was happy just to eat this sweet jam, which she did, by the spoonfuls.
I ate so many of these delicious things that I am sick. I imagine them on my insides, beginning to pop like corn kernels, getting bigger and bigger, until they reach my throat. I will have to fast tomorrow, I think, but it was so worth it.
I started my first day back to work with a double Nespresso, a machine I thank God for every single morning. William came downstairs and noted the various colors of my drink and said, “Mom, you should call that A Coffee With Values.” Clearly, this kids parents are artists. It was, indeed, a valuable cup of coffee.
I was surprised to wake up with any energy at all, but in hearing from so many of you with positive reinforcement about this new blog, I was kind of buzzed even without the coffee, but within a few hours, when I found myself knee deep and drained into the school day, I was happy to have had it. Nothing like the words “benchmarks and standards,” to kill the joy in anyone.
The day was relatively stressful and overwhelming and ended with a car full of crabby, sleep deprived kids, who bickered for our entire ride home:
“William called me a prostitute!”
“No, I did not! I called you a prostate!”
“You don’t even know what a prostate is!”
“Yes, I do. It’s a vein in your asshole.”
I tried my best to kill the conversation, as I navigated my way through a rush hour filled with major construction projects (in Milwaukee, if it is not snowing, there is construction). I looked up in the rearview mirror and saw that Lizzie had sloppily applied a thick coat of bright red lipstick. She did pretty much look like a prostitute and I told her that she had a mustache. I did not mean a HAIR mustache. I meant, the pink bled on her upper lip, giving her a “milk” mustache. She misinterpreted my comment, was horrified, and then devastated when Quinn began to chant “mustache, mustache, mustache,” and her other two brothers roared with laughter at Quinn’s innocence (also misinterpreted by my daughter).
So if ever I was to be grateful for a home cooked meal that I did not have to cook, it was today. Though Sean was crabby at dinner because the middles kept begging for new additions to their bedrooms because “Luke got a new room,” until Sean finally yelled, “Listen in a few years you are all gonna move out anyway and not give us a second thought and then we are just gonna live here all by ourselves and have old people sex.” This grossed William out to the point where he could not eat a meatball because “sex made him think of balls.”
I thought it might be wise to relay my day to you so that throughout the life of this blog, you are not under the false impression that I understand how to flawlessly parent. Do not look to me for parenting advice. I do not know what I am doing, but I can be the meatball at the end of your day. I am good for that.