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Posts tagged ‘Mother’

Fussy Mother’s Locavore Cafe: First Day of School Menu

Apologies from Fussy Mother that the cafe (and blog) have been closed for so long. We have relocated our establishment from suburban Boston to coastal Connecticut over the summer.

In honor of the First Day of School in our new town, Fussy Mother presents a special menu, filled with the flavors of our new seaside surroundings, and sprinkled with a dash of the glee that accompanies the sight of a school bus heading away from the house.

So please, enjoy.

Breakfast

(NOT served all day)

Local berries lightly picked over

Three–hundredth consecutive daily waffle real syrup: Mrs Butterworth’s will be detected and refused

Alphabet cereal educational, when tired of three-hundredth consecutive waffle

Blueberry scones from the supermarket in our old town (not available)

Yogurt if you want to be a big strong boy

Eggs any style don’t you dare

Box lunch

Nutella sandwich does that count as nut-free

PB&J “for babies”

Heirloom Wheat Thins moving-van aged, summer

Baby carrots also made the journey

Loving note from Mom feel free to disregard

Round-trip Go-Gurt let’s not kid ourselves

Fresh water BPA free, good first impression

Monsters, Inc. juice box available next week

Nutella

Nutella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After-School Snack

(served al fresco)

Snake jerky street pressed

Fisher cat poop never heard of such a thing in Boston

“10-foot diet” berries red, STOP!

Fresh clams salt marsh, local guy, bucket, good luck

Resident grasshoppers down the hatch

Dinner

(two-bite mininum)

Connecticut pizza universally better than Massachusetts, whole reason for moving

Untouched pasta affront to Italian mother

Most expensive available organic sausage SIT DOWN

Macaroni and cheese everyone else in the world likes it but you

Breaded chicken ditto

Quiet lobster roll at marina, sunset in your dreams

Easter candy finish it before Halloween

Marsh Bride Brook and Coastal Salt Marsh, East...

Our new environs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Five Uninterrupted Minutes? The title is self-explanatory. I’ll explain anyway

The kind people at WordPress send all manner of emails to its users to help us trudge our way to successful blogging. Which I appreciate; I need all the help I can get. If WordPress has any advice on how to get two little boys to brush their teeth without slapping each other, I’d gladly take that too.

One of those emails is the Daily Prompt. Usually I don’t take the prompt, because I am working on something else, but today, I will:

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

I started this blog nearly a year ago because my husband started one too, and I figured, well, if marriage be a battle, I can’t let him beat me on this one. I have always considered myself a writer, but wasn’t writing much post-children, and so the gladiatorial spirit of marriage spurred me to action.

So a few days after his (very good, I must admit) blog went up, I registered at WordPress as well, not knowing what I was going to write about, and not knowing when I would do it. But I figured facing a virtual empty page, looming in cyberspace, might help get me going again.

And I told myself, I don’t need to write the Great American Novel. At least not yet. The blogging format is forgiving; speed is of the essence; it’s more important that you put something out there, that’s decent, and readable, then closet yourself with anguished draft after draft. So I thought I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself, or require myself to set aside hours on end to write. I would try to get hold of an idea, whatever it was, and spend five minutes (metaphorically – more like 20) writing it, closing my eyes, and pressing Publish. And if anyone read it, that would be great; and if not, then at least I was doing something, rather than upsetting myself about all the time I spend not writing.

So I just picked a title that illustrated one of my main obstacles: time. One of the things I find most challenging about motherhood, especially stay-at-home motherhood, but it certainly applies to working parents as well, is that I cannot finish one task without being interrupted. Just writing these sentences, my two-year-old, T, has required my attention five times. Five times I’ve lost my train of thought. Five times I’ve had to start again. Wait, I have to get him something, I’ll be right back.

OK. It’s like that old commercial for Mirena, that IUD (I know), where a bubbly woman is standing in front of a rapidly changing background listing all the things she would do in five years (“Move…to Memphis!”), and it ends with her saying, “Finish a book. Finish a sentence!” That commercial always annoyed me with it’s teeth-gritting cheerfulness, but I guess it’s aimed straight at my demographic (like the Honda CR-V). Because (wait, there’s T again) I cannot finish a damned thing without being interrupted.

And that lack of forward motion is frustrating. Overall, my life as a mother is hurtling forward, no many how many times I stumble in a day. The boys keep growing, learning new things; they get better all the time. But, from hour to hour, there are so many fits and starts. Someone falls over. Someone cries, won’t put their shoes on, spills something, needs something, has to be somewhere. So the laundry is always half-folded, there are dishes in the sink; breakfast (which I didn’t even eat) to clean up; emails to catch up on; on and on.

And so, not having time to while away hours finding the most perfect, just this side of twee blog title, the kind I envy and can’t come up with on my own, I called this blog Five Uninterrupted Minutes. Which is what I would need to find to get my writing moving forward, just one small step at a time.

Now, this is not the greatest title, I can see now. It’s long. It’s kind of whiny. And it’s incredibly easy to misspell Uninterrupted. I’ve done it three times already today. But I’m stuck with it. And I’m still looking for that time, so it fits.

There are so many things I should be doing this morning instead of standing at my sticky kitchen counter, writing this. I meant to go to Target to buy animal crackers for C’s 100th Day of Kindergarten Celebration, which technically must be pushed back two days because of this infernal snowstorm. But, in the narrow, post 27-inches-of-snow streets of Boston, the traffic is still bad, and I don’t think I can get out of my driveway much less make it to Watertown. I also need to buy paper towels, tin foil, garlic, which I forgot at the supermarket yesterday because I was distracted by repeatedly crashing one of those carts with a Cozy Coupe attached to the front (Why?!). I also have to buy nail polish remover, because I got halfway through removing my toenail polish and starting again when I reached the bottom of the bottle. (What color are the most stylish, harried mothers wearing these days? Essie’s Power Clutch!)

But one thing that the blog has done for me in the past year, as it forces me to find those Five Uninterrupted Minutes (got to go back and correct spelling), is make me stop, and take a few minutes for myself when I can. The dishes can wait. The phone can ring, as it’s doing right now. The house and its contents, human and otherwise, do not have to be in perfect, spit-shined condition for me to take some time to write. And that’s been a good lesson.

Nevertheless, my five minutes is up. This is my fiftieth post, and I hope in the next few days I can post another, something that’s been sitting half-finished in a folder for a while. That will feel good. The snow is melting, the flu is retreating, spring is coming. Down the line, the kids will get older, and the five minutes I look for will expand to ten, and fifteen, as they aren’t so little and don’t need me so urgently, every minute of the day. And as overwhelming as that can feel now, I’m sure I will miss that feeling someday. But right now, there is a dirty diaper with my name on it. That I won’t miss so much, I can tell you.

Leave your Father’s Day message at the beep

For Mother’s Day, I wrote a post comparing mothers to Siri, the at-your-service, voice-activated concierge on the iPhone 4. Yes, perhaps there was a touch of the martyr in it, but it was Mother’s Day, I was celebrating myself. And now I’d like to celebrate the Dads.

If Siri is Mom, I thought, then which gadget is dear old Dad? I think he’s a beeper. Or maybe a really old-model cell phone.

English: Mobile phone evolution Русский: Эволю...

Mobile phone evolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a Saturday morning at our house. There’s yours truly, dashing around like a nut, breaking up fights while I’m brushing my teeth, cleaning up spills, chucking fresh sippy cups of milk at people. Doesn’t matter who. Old Siri’s a bit frazzled; she may lose it. She might drop her signal. These newfangled devices, they tend to go on the fritz every now and again. Where’s Dad?

Dad? He’s around here somewhere. Page him. Da-ad! Dad? Dad? Have you taken out the recycling? It’s full. Siri has detected a broken screen as a potential safety hazard for the past 14 weeks. Have you fixed the screen? Not yet.

There he is. He’s pottering around. No doubt he’s doing something important. He’ll be here in a minute. As with a beeper, you call in your message, he hears the harried ping! and when he’s ready, he’ll get back to you. It may take him a while. He may have some other stuff to Google, er, get around to first, but he will respond to the beep.

Eventually, the screen gets fixed. The recycling gets taken out. The CDs that you asked him to organize in 2004? They may or may not get sorted out. But today, Dad, that’s all right. Because though we – I – might stomp, and fuss, and get annoyed in the middle of those hectic moments that constitute life with small children, we know – I know – you will always answer our calls.

Household tasks are ephemera. To-do lists get torn up, or deleted from our screens, as we constantly move on to the next thing. But for every moment that matters, Dad is there. For teaching C to ride a bike. For reading to T. For family dinners, for Easter egg hunts, to dry tears, to end tantrums. To take rambunctious children to the playground and bring sleepy ones home again. To find a binky in the middle of the night, to carry a sick child to bed.

Maybe beepers are not built to immediately respond to your every need, like an iPhone. Maybe old cell phones can’t book doctor’s appointments while looking up the capital of Belgium and a recipe for Swiss chard pie. But old-model beepers and phones, like Dads, are indestructable. You can drop them on concrete, in the toilet, or down in disgust, but they always revive themselves, don’t they? Dads like ours may get as frazzled as Siri in the fray, but they always come out at the end smiling, grateful for their families, unshaken in their devotion to them. I feel sometimes like I might shatter if someone throws one more meatball at the wall. But I can’t count how many hectic days have started with cold coffee and ended with hair askew, a glass of wine, and C and T’s Dad reminding me how lucky we are to have those boys.

Happy Father’s Day. To my Dad, to C and T’s uncles, my father-in-law, and to my friends who are Dads. To all Dads. But above all, to my husband, who I thank for his patience and resilience. You are a great Dad. But here is one final message to you: if you think you can pull out this post the next time I ask you to organize those CDs, you are incorrect, sir!

Bringing a tired boy home.

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