It's been a long short week.
Work has been busy, busy enough to be stressful - trying to find enough minutes in the day to actually get everything done while still remembering to go to the bathroom and eat and keep a bit of my sanity. These days and weeks come every so often and without warning.... when everything seems to hit all at once and create a crazy whirlwind of a thousand things coming in from every direction that can instantly paralyze me like a giant jellyfish if I'm not careful. Sometimes it's on a Friday, when I least expect it, and am ready for a peaceful end to the week to ease into the weekend. Like today.
At the end of one of these days and weeks, I want nothing more than to come home and just completely zone out - which is impossible when there are two little hungry monsters waiting for me and the first question I get walking in the door is "WHAT'S FOR DINNER, MOMMMMM???"
And the day continues.
I enjoy cooking. I don't claim to be great at it, or even good at it. I'm mediocre, really. I am capable of cooking food. Fact. But most of the time, I really do enjoy it and can occasionally come up with something that actually turns out to be delicious. This is dependent on a number of variables. One of the most crucial being the percentage of my attention I'm able to devote to the task at hand - which, when the afore-mentioned hungry monsters are present and circling - decreases significantly. Kids in the kitchen used to really stress me out. Don't get me wrong, I adore my children - even being the monsters they are - but when you're responsible for making a full meal of food for four human beings, involving heat and fire and sharp knives, and trying to accomplish all of this in a timely manner so such a meal can be eaten sometime prior to bedtime (which is already way too late for these kids, but that's another story), their presence can really make cooking dinner feel an awful lot like an absolutely terrible reality show that's some combination of Hell's Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior.
But, it's hard to turn down an offer from a six-year-old to PLEASE help you make the salad (when your lazy butt wasn't even planning to make a salad in the first place, but thanks for the nutritional reminder and subsequent guilt trip, Daughter) when she's already trying to be super helpful and pulling all of the ingredients out of the refrigerator. So, I give in and agree to let her help, and by some Disney kind of magic, it turns into a cooking party with me making pasta and Nora making salad and Lucie running laps around us singing indecipherable songs, and before I know it, dinner's ready.
And I remember that sometimes the best way to let go of a stressful day is to just give in and let your kids melt it away. It turns out they're actually pretty good at that.
Oh.... and a glass of bourbon is also helpful. Or so I'm told.