This morning, as we were pulling out of the driveway:
Jakub: "Mommy, what's that smell?"
I sniffed the air, detecting only the musty, melting-plastic smell of a car that has spent several years baking in the searing heat of the desert sun.
Me:: "I don't know. Does it smell good or bad?"
Jakub: "Bad." [pause] "I think it's you."
Me: "Are you sure?"
Jakub, in complete seriousness: "Or a cow fart."
I was fairly certain I didn't smell like cow fart, but was rattled enough that I did a frantic sniff test to be sure, and although my highly scientific test confirmed my original hypothesis, I admit the whole exchange dealt an obliterating blow to my self confidence of the morning.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Before we had kids, if you had asked me what I thought our family dinners would be like, I'd have told you a beautiful story of sitting down to the nice, hot meal I'd just cooked, everyone smiling pleasantly, savoring every bite, and peacefully discussing the day with one another. Of course we all know that this is naive fantasy. Most of the time, I'm lucky if I can get the boys to sit for 10 minutes, during which time they pick at their food (or eat what little they actually eat pretending to be wild animals) while making rude noises and faces at each other, and pronouncing with simple matter-of-factness which parts of the meal they don't like. So, you can imagine my surprise when, last week, Jakub (in a rare instance of actually cleaning his plate) said:
Jakub: "Mommy, you're the best cooker!"
Me: "You mean I'm the best cook?"
Jakub: "Yes! I love that you always cook dinner for us and it's always so good!"
Despite the fact that history does not support his statement, I experienced a rush of warm, fuzzy feelings, overjoyed that for once, my effort is appreciated. Of course, the very next day, when Jakub learned what we were having for dinner, he acted like I had just told him I was simmering a pot of hydrochloric acid and bat's eyeballs with rat feces on the side. And then, today:
Me: "What do you boys want for dinner tonight?"
Jakub: "Ummmmm....I don't want anything you cook. I want something American."
Me: "What do you mean?"
Jakub: "Well I don't want to eat anything you cook, I want something American, you know, with the bread and the salami and the garlic like we went with daddy that one time."
Me: "You mean Jimmy John's?"
Now, don't get me wrong, I am the first to admit when a meal isn't up to par, but, for the most part, I am able to stretch my meager culinary talents to their limit and come up with meals that are halfway decent, if not pretty good--certainly edible--and I've been a parent long enough to know not to take things personally, but sometimes I could use a few more of those moments of appreciation.....