I am the most domestic person on the planet.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You might be saying if you know me, but check it out.
Today, while Harlan was making breakfast, I signed us up for Boston Organics, a vegetable delivery service I’m totally psyched about, especially because I have these remaining 25 pounds that won’t get the hell off me and just read Mark Bittman’s awesome book Food Matters and now really want to get healthy and lose weight and save the planet at the same time, by increasing my fruit and veg consumption and decreasing my intake of animal products and junk. First step: Boston Organics.
Once hubby’d gone off to work, I showered, got myself and the boo dressed and ready and took him to the playground. We only lasted about 20 minutes ’cause it was fucking freezing and we’ve got California blood, goddammit, so we went to the grocery store instead.
Is it possible to go to the grocery store as often as I do? It goes totally against everything I stand for. I’m all about efficiency: going once, getting it all, not going again until two weeks from now, maybe one week to pick up the random necessity, which in our house means bananas, milk, yogurt, broccoli. Because wasting time is the big enemy. But lately? I’m at the grocery store all the time! I’d already been two times this week, but there we went…we were inexplicably out of vegetables altogether, toilet paper and pasta, so what could we do?
Aidan loves the grocery store. He loves riding in a cart. He loves riding in those carts that look like fire engines and rocket ships even if they do clog up the whole aisle. But even more, he loves those mini-carts he can push around by himself. And he looks so cute as he does it, every single person stops to gawk, smile, make a comment. And I come off looking pretty clever: my own personal grocery sherpa!
So, we gather our cereal and squash and spinach. Then his new thing is throwing all the groceries up on the conveyor belt himself, also very cute.
And then, “Can I have stickers??
When the stingy checkout girl only gives him two, it’s, “Can I have more?” She was taken aback, but kicked in two more.
So, we head out to the parking lot, where he announces he wants a muffin from the muffin store, which means Porter Books, which houses Zing Cafe, where we love to go in and get a muffin and a juice and I get a chai and we read books and have polite conversation until he gets the urge to start racing up and down the aisles and roll around with the big teddy bear in the back.
Anyway, I knew I couldn’t give in this time. I always give in and this time I just knew I couldn’t. I said no and he wailed and started running away from me in the parking lot, so I grabbed him and shoved him in the car seat and told him we were going home for lunch.
“I don’t want lunch!” I even told him we have cookies at home (and regretted it the minute it was out of my mouth), but he said, to my surprise, “I don’t want cookies! I want muffin!”
Whoa, okay, so I told him I’d make him muffins. Let me repeat that: In order to avoid giving in and going to the muffin store, I told him I would bake muffins. He stopped crying and stopped shouting. This was great, except for the fact that I didn’t really want to make muffins. Are you kidding me? As if I don’t have enough to do today.
Once home, he started asking about the muffins we were going to make, so I was stuck. I pulled out Jessica Seinfeld’s book on hiding vegetables in kids’ food and found one for carrot cake muffins. They are super healthy, with dried apricots, prunes, and carrot and cauliflower puree.
So, I make lunch: turkey, leftover pancakes, a yogurt for him, the turkey sandwich he says he doesn’t want for me. And then I start making muffins: preheating the oven, steaming carrots, mixing brown sugar and Earth Balance butter substitute. I’m cruising along, until I can’t find the vanilla. I’m throwing a temper tantrum wondering where the vanilla is, an ingredient Harlan uses quite regularly for I’m not sure what, so I think how could he use it up and not replace it or let me know to replace it? I’m grumbling and growling and Aidan says, “Call daddy.” So I do and hand Aidan the phone and he says, “Hi daddy, where banilla?”
After he figures out what Aidan’s talking about, he tells us he has no idea, he doesn’t remember using it up but also hasn’t used it lately.
“Swing by the market,” he says.
“I just did!” I say.
“Oh, go again,” he says. “It takes fifteen minutes.”
And so we turn off the oven, bundle up in our parkas again and head out, this time on foot, to the store. Aidan is slowing down. It’s naptime. But he’s game and goes along, and by the time we get there, he’s psyched for the little green cart again. So, we get the vanilla and the brown sugar we just used up and parmesan we’d forgotten before and it’s homeward bound. On the way, Aidan crouches to pick up a piece of dog poop, thinking it’s a rock. I shout so loudly he jumps.
“Sorry to shout, baby! Dog poop! That was dog poop!” He cracks up.
At home, he wants more lunch. Of course. Or so he says, but doesn’t really eat anything. It’s just a delaying tactic. While he picks, I puree the carrots, mix in the flour.
When he’s done pretending to eat lunch, I get him upstairs, read him two stories, fold up each of his blankies exactly how he wants it, run downstairs, get the muffins in the oven. While they bake, I do the dishes from breakfast, lunch and baking, clean the whole kitchen, stick a toothpick in a muffin, not ready, take the time to straighten the dining room, living room and entry way. Take the muffins out, dump them on a cutting board. Check my email. Write a blog post. Take a nap. Babysitter coming post-nap so I can get some work done, some irritating phone calls.
Did I mention I did three loads of laundry this week? I put away all the clothes. Well, almost all, there’s still one load in the basket on a chair in the dining room. But it’s folded. I also didn’t make the cream cheese frosting yet. Figure that will be a nice project to do with Aidan once he gets up. We need an afternoon project, after all.
Wow, what a life.
Okay, up from nap. Rested. Babysitter here.
My bubble has been punctured.
The frosting was more the texture of Hollandaise sauce than cream cheese frosting, no clue why. After helping me mix it and spread it on the muffins, Aidan sat down all excited, took the tiniest bite, put it back down and declared he wanted a “special treat.” He hopped off his chair, climbed up on a stool and pointed to a package of M&M’s his dad had hidden on the counter. So much for my shining domesticity!