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Burnt pans, burst bubbles and a visit to the dark side

I am hunched over the sink, applying heavy pressure on my dishwashing brush to rub the burnt remains from the skillet; yet no matter how much or hard I scrub the dark coal like coating refuses to budge. 

Frustrated, I search impatiently under the sink for scouring pads, hoping the extra abrasion will do the trick. All the while, I’m cursing myself for forgetting about the chicken stir fry on the burner when I ran to bring my middle son a cup of milk, and got distracted by the toy explosion on the carpet when my bare foot met the wrath of Lego Luke Skywalker.

My middle and oldest sons staring blankly at the television screen don’t even bat an eye in my direction as I yelp like a cat whose tail just got stepped on and hop carefully to the couch, avoiding the Lego Storm Troopers strategically scattered for optimal injury. As I plop down and clutch my foot tenderly, I hear my youngest cry accusingly, “You stepped on Luke!”

I’m raising such compassionate children.

Hobbling back toward the kitchen, my crushed tail between my legs, I heard my oldest son yell “Hungry” and smelled before I saw the dinner that would never be. And so I scrub, my hair falling in my face which I brush away unconsciously with hands I forget are wet.

Sighing heavily to myself, I push on, attacking the char with a vengeance while contemplating whether I should just give up and order a pizza or make it a breakfast for dinner night.

Of course I decide to make eggs; not allowing myself the comfort of easily solving a problem with a phone call.  That would be weak and doesn’t work with the martyred status I have going on in my own head.

A thought bubbles to the surface as it does sometimes when I’m folding endless laundry, or negotiating with my children to do their homework, or scrubbing a pan, and I wonder, is this really me?

How did I get to be 40 something? Where did these children come from? Wait, I’m married? It wasn’t so long ago that I fluttered through my days carefree and open. There was youthful insecurity of course, and uncertainty, but my face glowed with freshness and my eyes twinkled with possibility.

I didn’t know exactly who I was back then, but I knew I could be somebody. Somebody smart, successful, important…something.

Yet, here I am.

I realize I’ve tainted the picture with my negative tone; that if I just cast a rainbow filter on the scene, I could make it look comical or at the very least just an average mom day. The right lighting shows off the best side of things. With good lighting you don’t see all the wrinkles.

It would help if one of my boys came in right now to give me a hug, just because. It happens sometimes.

But not today.

So it seems that besides the scrubbing, I’ve also got some ironing to do.

I will not go to the dark side.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

42 responses »

  1. Good one!

  2. I was just thinking about this same thing today! How strange. Like where did the time go? Brinner is always a safe bet when the other dinner doesn’t quite make it. Annddd there are still lots of possibilities to re twinkle those eyes. It’s just that they’re hidden under our parental responsibilities. Gorgeous post!

    • it’s amazing, right? turn around and a decade – or two has gone by. and some of yourself has gone along with it. but of course, there are new doors and yous every day, right? but some days.. hahaha. yes, brinner is the best! and thank you. twinkle twinkle 🙂

  3. You had me at dark side.

    BTW, you are raising compassionate kids. They were extremely concerned for Luke’s welfare.

  4. okay so my girl is only 4 and she drives me batty with her incessant talking yet it irks me more when she uses one word statements like “hungry”. what’s wrong with me?

  5. It seems like boys…and men are so demanding and you wonder if they even appreciate all you do. I’m been on that same trip this week. Hang in there!

  6. Damn Legos! I almost broke my arse on one last night. I so get this, especially the part about making eggs because ordering in is like failure.

  7. Natalie DeYoung

    I don’t have kids, yet I ask myself the question “how did I get here?” all the time. Sometimes I miss being carefree and open to so many possibilities…

  8. Ha! We have so much in common! I am forty-one, I am obsessed with Star Wars, I despise Legos and I too scrubbed a pan forever last night! Swear to God. I live your life.

  9. “How did I get to be 40 something? Where did these children come from? Wait, I’m married?” I feel that way ALL THE TIME. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever settle into being a grown-up, get to the point where it doesn’t feel surreal. I loved this post. All of it.

  10. sounds a bit like my house too! I think we all have those moments when we wonder how we got here!!! 🙂

  11. LOL. Bless your heart. I’d be ready to iron that little Lego Luke, if I were you…

    But we are blessed. Crazy families and all, we are so very blessed.

  12. Hah! I started sweating the second I saw that Lego with the light saber. I honestly think there should be special curse words for Legos.

  13. Oh I have this thought all the time….”A thought bubbles to the surface as it does sometimes when I’m folding endless laundry, or negotiating with my children to do their homework, or scrubbing a pan, and I wonder, is this really me?”

  14. Stop getting inside my head! This post just described my every day.

  15. I was just commenting to the hubs last night that I was so glad that in the 8+ years I’ve been a parent, I’ve never had the pleasure of a tiny Lego piece jabbed into the soft underbelly of my foot. I said this because my youngest has now started showing an interest in Legos, and I fear that reprieve will soon be at an end. Damnit.

  16. I love a good breakfast for dinner night…it’s my go-to choice and we have it at least once a week. Sometimes, mostly when I’m exhausted and my guard is down, I wonder how I became a grown-up who is married and has a job and owns a house. Mostly because I still feel like I’m 18.

  17. Lego Luke Skywalker!! He survived our flooded basement during Hurricane Sandy. After the water was pumped out, there he was! But it sucks to step on him. Eggs for dinner? Yummy. Plus I loved the line about being a martyr in your own head 😉

  18. Something about spring always brings me to exactly the mood I feel when I read this post.

  19. My evil mother would not allow Legos in our house. Of course, they were just used for building buildings in those, the olden days. They had no names or personalities or vehicles.

    I was a perfect mother and allowed my son Legos to his heart’s content. I stepped on them constantly and my now 22 year old son’s current vocabulary is a strong indication of just how often I stepped on the f*#king things.

    You are likely to survive. I did. And now, I remember the lego years with fondness. Because back then my son wasn’t driving …

    It’s been so nice meeting you today. I clicked follow because I really don’t ever want to finish this work I’m not working on. And at the rate I’m going, I will succeed with flying colors!


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