To flax or not to flax, that is the question….

I am that mom who sneaks hemp hearts into her kid’s food.  When I tell everyone it’s burgers for dinner, they look at me warily and ask it they are of the quinoa cottage cheese variety or straight up beef (which are actually made of turkey, with pureed cauliflower snuck in there).  I sneak pureed spinach into their homemade brownies, I’ve made fudge with chickpeas and agave nectar.   Chicken nuggets?  Chicken coated in pureed something then dragged in ground flax and baked (not fried, please!)  Gwyneth Paltrow?  She’s my girl.  Seinfeld’s wife?  Her cookbook is a constant on my counter, stressing me out constantly because I can do better by my kids I CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER.

I tell you this not because I’m bragging, trust me. I wish I didn’t google Monsanto at one in the morning.  I wish I didn’t know how many grams of protein my kids should be getting a day.  I wish I was oblivious to how Tilapia is farmed in China.  I watch Momma June in shock and horror, not because Honey Boo Boo has coated herself in butter to slide on the kitchen floor, but rather in horror because they eat Twinkies rather liberally.  Honestly, when I see my kids eat something like that, I have a smile on my face that you could crack with a toothpick while in my head I’m tallying the chemical warfare occurring in their little bodies.  It’s an illness.  I’m obsessed and I realize that I take the fun out of many childhood rights of passage by being so anal about food.  (Heh, some poor schmuck is going to google anal and Gwyneth Paltrow and end up on my blog, sucker!)

I certainly wasn’t raised this way.  I mean, I used to eat that sandwich meat that had noodles and processed cheese embedded in it on a daily basis.  I used to take my (white) bread and massage and knead it until it was the size of a little cube then pop it into my mouth (every tried that with spelt bread?  That shit just don’t knead!) I didn’t get a lot of candy, my dad was a dentist, but we did get these amazing 1970’s meals like tuna casserole with a bag of potato chips crumpled on top and another little ditty called hot dog casserole – potatoes, hot dogs, bake at 350 for an hour, bam, dinner is served.  All that to say that I turned out okay.  I can’t do math very well, but I am active, healthy and have an appreciation for art and alternative music. 

So, I have decided to let loose a bit.  Let my kids enjoy some “kid-friendly” meals now and then.  It started last night.  Grace picked a recipe off of her life hack feed on Instagram (ugh, another post will be dedicated to how I went from the Mom who didn’t let her kid to do anything on her iPod to the Mom who is just hoping for the best for her daughter in the quagmire of social media).  She picked a recipe that required white Wonder Bread, processed cheese slices and margarine.  Basically you melt of gob of margarine in a frying pan, put slices of cheese on the Wonder Bread, roll the bread (and it miraculously stays in place – what ingredient makes that happen?) and drop the tube into the margarine and let it fry away, turning occasionally.  For dessert she removed the icing from twelve Orea cookies (which Edie ate when my back was turned – gaack!), then crushed the cookies into crumbs, and sprinkled ice cream with the crumbs and topped it with Cool Whip.  Let me just add here that all of these items required a special trip to the grocery store. I didn’t have any of these things in the house.  I went down aisles that were long, lost acquaintances to me.  Oh hello jello in a cup, how are you?  Oh hi oil by-product, what’s up?  Oh hey there yogurt dipped granola bars, you had me going there for awhile that you were actually healthy! Good one hyuck hyuck!

Anyhoooo, last night, we all sat down to this very unsophisticated meal, with nary a flax seed in sight. 

Omg you guys, it was so fucking good.

I can’t even begin to explain how good warm processed cheese, white bread and margarine taste together.  I wanted to tell everyone at the table to shut the fuck up so I could revel in the sounds of the birds and the taste of saturated fat.  They were all talking to me at once (as per the norm) and all I could hear were Charlie Brown teacher voices.  Two decadent sandwich rolls later it was time to move on to dessert.  I’ll just mention here that as of late I’ve been making homemade “ice cream” made of frozen bananas and coconut milk, so it’s been awhile since me and ice cream made the rounds together, let alone with Oreo cookies and Cool Whip on it.  Grace showed me how to mix it all together reallyreallyreally fast with your spoon so it gets all mushy.  Also very, very good.

So, Gwyneth will likely mean girl me and not invite me to her next party for my actions, but I am going to maybe, possibly, likely let the kiddos pick something once a week to make.  I’ll be damned if I give up my chia seeds and weekend veggie pureeing orgies, but yeah, it’s fun to be a kid too.

 

 

Okay, here’s the truth

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So last week I posted this pic on Facebook, it’s one that Jo took.  It is of the kids and I in the back seat of our car at the drive-ins.  I received 24 “likes” (you like me, you really really like me!) and in the end it was a really great experience all around.  However, it would be disingenuous of me if I didn’t reveal the truth behind the photo, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.  I wish I could say that what I am about to reveal below is not atypical of how we roll, but that would be a lie and make the Baby Jesus cry.

We had planned on going to the drive-ins all week.  We were fully aware that we were going to go that night.  We knew that drive-in movies don’t begin until after sunset, so there was no rush in getting there.  After all, we live in the zombie apocalypse and my little brood is the only surviving family on earth, therefore the drive-in movies would be empty and we need not worry about crowds on the most beautiful summer night ever.  Say what now? I’m not married to Brad PItt and starring in my own little version of World War Z?  Oh, well that changes everything.

So after a nice pre-dinner swim, we took our time getting out of the pool and drying off.  We started talking about what time we should head to the drive-ins.  Being rookies, we did what most intelligent 40 year olds do – we asked The Facebook.  I received many lovely well wishes and likes, but the most consistent message was GET THERE EARLY!  And this is where it gets interesting.  We hadn’t had dinner yet, and I did not want to feed the family high-test hotdogs from the drive-in (or pay for them for that matter), so I decided to make a quick meal of pasta.  You know that expression a watched pot never boils?  Well, add two pots of water to that scenario and toss in a gluten-free pasta that reaches aldente after only a kajillion hours in rolling boiling water and you’ve set the scene for a pretty frantic dinner preparation.

You know what movie we were going to see?  Despicable Me.  You know what movie I would have preferred seeing?  Oh, anything that was not a cartoon.  So we were doing it for the kids.  No problem, that’s where we are happily at right now.  Problem?  Telling the kids to hurry up and go upstairs and get changed so we can be ready to go to the movie, only to find them and their moist little bathing suit covered butts planted on the couch, vegged out in front the t.v. and watching a screaming show (iCarly, Wizards, Jesse, they are punishments for my past sins).  So I introduced them my own little screaming show, called “Get the Eff Upstairs and Get Changed or Else I Will Take Away Every Single Privilege You Currently Enjoy and Then Some!!!!!  (Unfortunately this particular show now seems to be in syndication for the summer, and appears to repeat about 5 times a day).

Looking at the time, I could see we wouldn’t be able to sit at the table and use the cloth napkins (such is the norm) that night, so I dumped all of our dinners into individual Tupperware containers so we could eat in the car (not sure if this or murder would be higher on my mom’s mortification radar).  At the last-minute, in slow motion, Jo checked the drive-in theatre’s website, and in laughing, bouncing words, it read “cash-only”.  WTF? Who does cash only these days?  So we now had to factor in a trip to the ATM.

Now, we did have some debate over which vehicle to take.  There’s my minivan, which, while very comfortable, admittedly has an odor that might be unpleasant to inhale for 2+ hours.  Or, we could take Jo’s car.  Jo’s car is the good car.  Clean, shiny, well cared for with no signs of kid-life. We opted to take his (if this were a movie, there would be a lingering shot of our pasta dinners in Tupperware which I had sprinkled generously with Stinky Cheese, which is street for Parmesan yo).  Edie had also at the last-minute come down with a mystery pain (no cause for concern, happens 10+ times a day) and needed ice.  We were all out of ice packs (remember the 10+ times a day, the ice packs never get put back in the freezer).  So she Macgyver’d things and put some crushed ice in a Ziplock bag (we really weren’t paying attention at this point).

So we squealed out of the driveway, (prrrretty cool, can’t do that in my minivan) and off to movies we went.  How long do you think it took for Edie to spill her (expensive gluten-free) pasta all over Jo’s car?  If you guessed 10 seconds you are generous my friend.  It was more like 2 seconds.  And the Ziplock of ice (now slush) was quick to follow.  Of course I hadn’t checked to see to if the Ziplock had been sealed properly (it hadn’t) so now we had a fine mess of pasta, stinky cheese and slush at her and Grace’s feet.  It is important to mention Grace at this point because she was so helpful and kind and helped clean up the big mess.  HA!  If you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you!  Grace proceeded to FREAK the FREAK OUT (because rice pasta can burn through skin) and yell at poor Edie.  Now Edie does not need this because a) she just lost her meal b) she knows we are in the “good car” and while Jo did not yell, he did that creepy quiet vibe parents can get when angry and c) she just lost her ice pack for her mystery pain (which had moved from her right side to left side, but whatever, who’s keeping track).  Edie quickly did that thing caterpillars do when scared and me, being the über flexible 40-year-old I am thanks to my commitment to do yoga at least once every three months, tried to turn around and clean up the back seat as best as possible.  Something to note about “good cars”: they don’t have grocery bags as garbage bags stashed in them, they don’t have baby wipes and they don’t even have napkins in them.  They have golf tees and tire pressure gauges.  Useless.  I think minivans just come stocked with these supplies.

I offered Edie my egg white scramble that she ate reluctantly (which filled me with “my kid just ate protein!” pride only a mother can feel) and I went hungry.  I know, I’m an awesome mom.

Edie was sad, Grace was angry because she had almost died because of contact with rice pasta, Jo was, well, not sure what emotion he was tapping into there, but it wasn’t good, and I was hungry.  But, we had cash and we were going to the drive-in dammit!

Well, we arrived and while we weren’t late, we were obviously later than others.  People looked as if they had been camped out for hours and looked at us smugly as we moved further and further back from the screen.  But we found a spot, and it was perfect.  I had thought (or Facebook suggested) to pop popcorn before hand to bring, so I was able to give some smug looks of my own to people walking back from the concession stand, $40 poorer.  Our bad feelings disappeared, we got cozy, and before we settled in for the movie, Jo took this picture.

So that’s the story behind the picture.  Pictures on Facebook often display the most ideal moments, moments that make you think omg why does my family suck when other families are awesome?  Well, we did have fun, we do love each other, but there is always a story behind the picture.

Issues.

Did you know that I have never bought beer at a beer store?  Not once in my life have I walked into a beer store to purchase beer.  I get all of my beer at the liquor store.  I don’t know how this has happened, how my in 40 years (well, not 40 I guess, I mean it would be pretty weird for a 5 year old me to go buy beer at a beer store, though that would be a pretty awesome candid camera moment – I wonder what the beer store employee’s reaction would be to an adorable mini-me walking up and asking for a case of 50?) Sorry, I digress….I don’t know how in my (what’s-40-minus-19-years, beep boop beep.. 21!)  21 years I have never bought beer from a beer store.

So now it’s a Thing for me.  I have no idea what to do.  And I’m embarrassed to walk into the beer store and say “ummm, I’ve never done this before, how does this work?” Even though I’m remarkably well preserved for a 40 year old, it’s still pretty obvious that I’m of legal drinking age and should know better (minivan, kids and angry wrinkles kind of give my age away).  But I should get over my fear.  I can’t go through life without doing this one simple thing.

Gah, how I envy you all, who on a hot Saturday afternoon can be all casual-like “I think I’ll go to the beer store and grab some brewskies” while I have to be all like “Oh, I’m going to go completely out of my way and drive to the liquor store because they are the only ones who carry this organic gluten-free beer from Dubai that I’ve really taken a liking to – have you tried it?  You really must”.  I drank draft at university.  I’ll drink anything.  It’s all a ruse people!

I feel like the time is nigh to confront this fear and walk amongst the people who drink normal beer.  I will have to do some field work first and observe how it’s done.  I have questions.  What are those rolling tubes?  Is that for before or after the transaction?  Do you use the word 24?  If I ask for a case, will they be like duh, a case of how many?  Is there a special word for 12 beers?  Do you ask for ½ a case?  What about if you only want six?  How do you ask for that.  WHAT IF YOU ONLY WANT ONE.  CAN YOU ASK FOR ONLY ONE. BEER.

Aaaand this is why I have to wear a halter monitor sometimes.  Helllllp meeeeeee.

Sniff.  He makes it look so easy.Image