The CSFB (Competent But Sexy Finnish Babysitter) took a week off and it’s just me and the children. All week.
Did I mention it was just us?
So, yesterday, I dropped a whole pint of blueberries all over the floor of Pathmark in the check-out line when there were like a hundred people in back of me and Lucy was trying to climb up the stroller and ride it like "Thunder the Horse" and then I stepped on the blueberries and smushed a whole bunch of them into the floor.
I have to resist the urge to slap her smartly about the ears.
And then I realize my credit card is missing. It's not in the wallet where it should be, so I do what any self-respecting crazy woman would do and I dump the whole bag of toys, diapers, cell phone, keys and extra underpants onto the conveyor and sift through it as if I were sifting through sand looking for gold. The hundred people behind me start to shift anxiously back and forth. And there is sighing. You know, what I mean, people are sighing deeply, so that I can hear them. They want me to know they are pissed. I look up and one lady has turned to another lady next to her and is shaking her head in disgust. The second lady purses her lips and says, "uh- huh".
Great. Strangers are bonding over their intense hatred for me.
So, I say, "Crap! My card is missing!" because I think they may like me more if they know this terrible thing has happened to me, but this statement just brings on it's own repercussions - Lucy starts saying "Crap!" really loud over and over again. "Crap. Crap. Crap. Crappety Crap..."
Then, she starts singing it in a song. "There was a crapper had a crappy, ee-i-ee-i-o...with a Crap Crap here and a Crap Crap there..."
This just really pisses off the masses.
Then, I see something. On the floor under the smooshed blueberries. My card. Good freakin' lord hallelujah, my card. I apologize profusely, put all my junk back in the bag and pay for the groceries. We start to leave. I let Lucy ride askew on the front of the stroller. I know it's dangerous but frankly, I'll do anything to get us out of this store. People are happy to see us go.
We get through the first set of doors and as I turn back, I see that we have left two neat blueberry wheel marks through the store, documenting our presence and leaving a lasting marker of our departure. I don't care.
I should have. And maybe on a different day I would've grabbed a mop and cleaned up after us, but this wasn't that day. I keep walking. I pretend it isn't happening.
Keep your head high. Just keep walking.
Safely outside, I hear something coming from the lower compartment of the stroller where Edie is sitting. A crinkling paper sound. She is weirdly quite and content. I'm suspicious. Then, I see it. Edie has stolen a bag of Skittles, has torn open the package with her teeth and is now sitting with her bare feet propped up an hanging out of the stroller, throwing back Skittles like a bulimic, with her orange-tinged tongue and green lips.
Lucy sees it too. "Hey! Edie stole the Skittles."
She's not pissed so much as envious that she didn't steal the Skittles herself. I think, "I should use this as a moment to teach our values, about how we don't take things that aren't ours."
This is a nice thought. Then, the real me kicks in.
I resolve myself: Today the universe provided us with some freakin' Skittles. Hurray for us. It's like winning the lottery, only it's a Skittles lottery. And that's something. I made the Skittle Queen share them with her sister and be generous - there's the lesson - and then, we went and got Ice Cream from the Mr Frosty truck. What the hell.
Then, after we ate ice cream, I made dinner - fried chicken. That's right, dessert before dinner, folks. And Skittles. Someone give me a culinary award. Or better yet, Parent of the Year.
And then, Edie pooped in the potty for the first time ever and we sang the "Proud of You" song and then, we read books in the big bean bag, all laying on top of one another and packed a picnic and took our cold chicken to the playground and ran around with friends with our drumsticks in our hands.
It was a good day. This stay at home mom stuff is pretty nice after all. Not easy. But definitely nice.
The Yummy Mummy's "Ain't Got No Babysitter" Fried Chicken
The Yummy Mummy's "Ain't Got No Babysitter" Fried Chicken
- 6 C vegetable oil
- 2/3 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T. salt
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tsp. paprika (optional)
- 3 eggs (or in a pinch, water will do)
- A couple pounds of Chicken pieces (drumsticks are a favorite)
1. Par-boil the chicken. This means you don't have to worry about pink chicken. You can do this step ahead and store the chicken in the fridge until dinner.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a deep fryer, a deep cast-iron skillet on the stove or even better a wok.Kitchen Note: The boiling oil gives me all kinds of heart palpitations with little kids around. Keep them out of the kitchen. You can do this recipe right before dinner when your lurver gets home and can keep the kids busy.
3. Combine the flour and the peppers and paprika in a bowl. (If you don't have these, it'll still taste fine. Don't sweat it) . Leave the salt out of the flour. I add the salt at the end.
4. In another bowl, break eggs and beat until well-blended. (If you run out of eggs, just wet the chicken with water. Both are fine.)
5. Check temperature of oil by dropping a pinch of flour mixture in pan. If the oil bubbles rapidly around the flour, it will be the right temperature.
6. Dip each piece of chicken into eggs; then coat generously with the flour mixture. Drop each piece into the hot oil and fry for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is a dark golden brown.7. Drain chicken on paper towels and salt the pieces while they are still hot and glistening with oil. Serve warm or stick them in the fridge and bring a few drum sticks to the playground for a fun, portable summer snack.