Thursday, April 9, 2009

Non-Maternal Instincts

Nonmaternal Instinct

Another blast from my past (Nov, 2008). Instead of writing, I'm sprawled out on the couch, sippin' on Diet Coke and munchin' on Cheetos. {in my dreams}

Because week-old leftovers for lunch is better than no lunch at all.

When I found out that I was pregnant with my son, I was in utter denial. We were not expecting to get pregnant, not trying to get pregnant, and in fact, we were trying not to get pregnant. But I have learned that absentmindedness plus carelessness equals baby, and ready or not, baby was on his way.

So to be ready, I became a slave to Google. I joined every parent preparing webscription in addition to tracking the growth and development of my microscopic bambino via baby planning websites. And while I read endlessly about what to expect, eight months into parenthood, I am still far from prepared to be a parent. And I now realize that reading and researching are hardly enough as I failed to learn one important life-changing element about motherhood: cold lunch.

Yes, folks, that is my new reality: cold lunch. And by lunch, I mean any food consumption that occurs between ten in the morning and four in the afternoon, because as parenting will have it, lunch is never a scheduled or guaranteed event. It might consist of Mexican leftovers out of a Styrofoam container, or a frozen TV dinner that has occupied the far back corner of our pathetic freezer, or remnants of finger foods that are sitting on my son’s Bumbo tray.

But as each day is a new day, I wake up enthusiastically and optimistically pronouncing “today I am going to make myself lunch!”

Let me share with you what lunch is like on those rare days that I actually attempt to fix it.

Pull out ingredients for grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich. Baby starts fussing. Sing Hokey Pokey while clamoring around in the kitchen looking for frying pan and spatula (the former is in dishwasher – dirty, the latter is in the sink from my husband’s attempt at breakfast – also dirty). Baby now fussing loudly. Sing louder in the hopes that baby will be so shocked at my obnoxiously loud and out-of-pitch vocals that he’ll stop fussing. Temporarily abort lunch mission. Tend to fussy baby.

Return to kitchen to prepare and cook sandwich. Phone rings. Answer phone (why did I answer the phone?). Realize sandwich is burning, cuss while speaking to very important person on other end of the phone, drop phone because now I’m flustered, and realize baby is now wailing. Wrap up phone conversation. Tend to fussy baby. Back to kitchen after baby settles. Flip and cook non-burnt side of sandwich. Baby fusses, again. This time turn off burner as to not burn other side of sandwich. Grab baby, and back to kitchen with baby in tow. Realize not good idea to fry sandwich while baby reaches toward hot stove. Decide to abort cooking and eat half-burnt-half-uncooked sandwich as is.

Sit down (if I’m lucky) to eat sandwich. Baby spits up. Back to kitchen for dishcloth to clean baby. Pour self glass of Diet Coke while in kitchen. Back to table to eat sandwich. Baby knocks over drink. Back to kitchen for dishtowel to clean up spill. Back to sandwich. First bite – crispy, smoky, room temperature, and undercooked. Say to-hell-with-it and back to kitchen for no fail meal – potato chips.

And I only have one child.

Dear Lord of all things good and yummy,

Let’s be honest. I don’t need a hot ham-and-cheese sandwich. I’ve got plenty of meat on my bones to survive two weeks stranded atop a snow-covered mountain (thank you very much). I’m merely adjusting to a slight misconception that I had before the birth of this roly-poly lunch-delayer. See, I thought that I would be enjoying delicious and nutritious lunches that I prepared fresh and promptly at noon while baby is quietly nuzzled in his crib allowing me time to sit in my neat and tidy house while reading one of my devotionals highlighting scriptures relating to peace, serenity, and blissful mommyhood. Somehow lunchtime at my house doesn’t look quite like that (assuming a time for lunch presents itself at all). But I am patient, Lord. I don’t have to eat promptly at noon. I could easily wait until two or even three, if that is a more optimal time for fresh cooked pasta and grilled asparagus. And until we work out this cold-lunch dilemma, I thank you for preservatives and all things pre-packaged, especially those found in aisle eight (better known as the candy aisle).

1 comment:

  1. ha ha! ali, you are a crack up. lunch time at our house is pretty similar to what you have described above. no more fussy babies, but two toddlers that would rather play super smash bros on the wii than take five minutes to eat tuna fish or a hot dog. most days lunch consists of cold cereal in small tupperware bowls (without milk) or maybe those tiny bags of chips from Costco. someday we will have a "real" lunch. Someday. Love you!

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