Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Focus. Focus. (What?)

Standing over the reflective glare of the kitchen sink, I ponder dinner. 

There is a thawed package of shredded chicken on the countertop, waiting to be inspiringly attacked, when the perfect idea comes to mind.  I shuffle to the pantry (as it were), ready to grab the first, pivotal ingredient for dinner.  There is a lone marker on the counter, though.  It waylays me.  Before I can question the logic, the marker is nestled in my palm, and off we go. 

The rest of the markers are displayed prominently on the coffee table, which is, after all, a much more reasonable place for markers to reside.  I tuck the violet-purple back into its place, but not before the phone rings.  A friend is asking about when we might be able to exercise together, and I hear half of her while listening to half of an argument happening in the bedroom.  I hang up, not really knowing to what I've just committed myself. 

In the hallway, a tear-streaked Lauren is barreling towards me, wailing.  On my knees now, I hold her gently and ask for details: Mia has appropriated the fairy that SHE, herself, wanted and meant -- with all good intentions -- to play with sometime during the course of the day.  The fairy is not, it would seem, transferable.  But mother knows best: Mia can have the fairy because we share all of our toys and you can find something else -- here...how about an Ariel doll?

Lauren screams with indignation.  I walk away. 

The chicken is still sitting where I left it.  What was I going to put with it again?  I unload cannelini beans and green chiles from the pantry and search for chicken broth in the fridge -- under a container of leftovers that belongs to my cousin.  (The container, not the leftovers: they're in no state to belong anywhere but the trash bin.)  I haul it all to the counter, and take the leftovers to the garbage.  (Phew.)  Those containers need to be washed and returned to my cousin, and with much speed.  They go into a soapy sink of hot water.

But the dinner...it's a priority. 

I need my biggest pot and my cheese grater.  One is in the dirty dishwasher.  One is languishing on the stovetop, burdened by the crusty residue of last night's dinner.

I'd be willing to throw in the towel -- if I had one that wasn't soaked in spilled juice from lunch.  I'd be willing to call Justin and beg for him to bring home take-out -- if I could remember where I'd laid the phone.

Oh yes: the bedroom.  The scene of the fairy-theft.  I'm not going back into that snakepit. 

But there is a yellow dress-up dress underfoot that I've kicked around for the past 37 minutes while wandering to and fro in the kitchen, NOT making any dinner. 

I might as well put it away. 

And this, my friends, is why dinner is late. 

Every evening.

11 comments:

  1. this? is awesome. same scene at my house, often.

    this was a laugh i needed this morning, so thanks.

    hey, maybe you need a personal chef??? :)

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  2. I love this. So my life. :) Often it gets to the point where there IS no dinner... :P

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  3. Haha, love it! A perfect vignette of every mom's daily struggle :)

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  4. Yes, this is me. Except for the fact that I don't usually get as far as to lay the chicken out.

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  5. Yes! Absolutely!

    We got home from ballet class at dinnertime last night and seconds later, as I was standing in the kitchen trying to come up with something to cook as fast as I could, Chris walked through the door with a pizza. Lovely man! I was so thrilled I didn't even get mad at him when he woke BOTH the girls up on his way to work at 5am this morning.

    This post was like a breath of fresh air. Thanks, Sarah!

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  6. Add 3 fevers and 2 coughing children and a pregnant ache in my hips that won't go away and you just described my week. Blaaaahhh.

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  7. I take this a step further...if I'm making dinner and I get distracted to a different part of the house I usually leave a dinner ingredient in the other part of the house. More than once I've left random perishable items in the bathroom and living room. In the same vein, I have left poopy diapers in the fridge.

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  8. Oh, I'm laughing! And this is also why my husband knows not to comment that we're having frozen pizza for dinner ... again! =>

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  9. Yep, every once in a while, I dream of days where no one cares if I serve them cereal for dinner. Oh, well, this too shall pass away.

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  10. Aaaahh...so it's NOT just me? It's comforting to know that :)

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?