Let's have a moment of silent reflection to think about how amazing that is.
Or, feel free to break out into dance like I have been forced to do periodically this week at the thought of the escape. (I suggest the running man, anything that could be defined as "getting low" or just a good hip wiggle. It all works for celebration.)
Just me and my best girl friends* relaxing and giggling and braiding each other's hair and drinking wine and remembering good times from the past**....I can't wait!
I thought it might help Alex if I left him a quick and easy recipe to follow so he could make dinner Saturday night for himself and the kids. (Hold your laughter please.) I mean, if he's taking over the things that I do for the weekend, feeding everyone might be sort of high on the list.
I always feed the kids...I'm a really good Mom you know.
Feel free to email me for any other Earth shattering Mom advice in addition to "always feed your kids." I'm here for you.
First, thank you for taking on all the kids this weekend so I can have some R&R.
I know you are going to be fine without me. You handle them all the time.
(Wait...I am a horrible liar.)
You do not handle them all the time, but you are really good at some aspects of their care.
Here are your strengths:
- You are great with getting everyone dressed. Yay clothes!
- You are super fun playing with everyone. (Remember, Stella CAN NOT wrestle yet.)
- You rock at giving them snacks. If it's in a box, you feed it to them and you do it well.
- You are really fun at bedtime.
I am baffled by your ability to get them all charged up like this and can not hold my tongue any longer.
(Don't even think about making any comments about that sentence.)
Now that we've covered your strengths, let's talk about what I am most concerned about during my time away. Alex, your ability to multi-task is somewhat lacking in the area of child care. I'm a smidgen concerned that the need to feed your kids might be overshadowed by your need to conquer Mario Kart on the Wii or your joy of watching Star Wars with the boys...again.
Seriously, where is Stella?
I mean when I was sick not too long ago you did a great job taking the kids, and aside from forgetting to feed Stella a few times, they didn't want for anything with you in charge. (Again, except for Stella not getting food. That was sort of alarming for me.)
I thought since I know in advance that I'll be leaving you, I could leave you with an easy and nutritious recipe for you to follow that the kids will eat and you can have too. Everyone wins!
You're basically going to be like Charlie Sheen...except for the two live-in porn star girlfriends, but I bet those porn stars never leave him a recipe. Aren't you feeling lucky?
I know that breakfast will be cereal and lunch will be peanut butter and honey - because why would we want to ruin something we've been doing well for years now? So for dinner....how about salmon? Don't laugh, you can do it! Do not instantly take them to Taco Cabana, this is going to go well!
Here's what you are going to need.
1 pound WILD salmon fillet - if you get farm raised I will have my Mom call you and discuss, at length, all the horrible things that are done to these fish and how they will basically kill our children. You don't want to kill the kids, right?
2 green onions sliced
dill - this is an herb, it looks like the tall weeds growing in our grass. DO NOT USE THE TALL THINGS GROWING IN OUR GRASS THOUGH
lemon - this is yellow, not green
First, DO NOT FREAK OUT. That's really important in being able to prepare a meal while also taking care of the kids. They tend to get all emotional when you start crying and saying things like "I guess we just have to eat cereal forever, I'm never going to be able to handle all of this at the same time, I shouldn't have had all these kids so close together." Seriously, they don't like that. Trust me.
I hope that you read this before you actually needed to start getting dinner ready, and really hope you read it before everyone started crying because they are so hungry. If you are reading this at either of those points in time, please get out the cereal bowls and allow each children to pick what they would like. Try to throw some fruit on top so it can mask as a balanced meal.
First rule of being alone with them, it's important to know when to surrender.
If you are reading this in the morning, or even perhaps right after I leave, you are really smart and this is exactly why I married you, well done. I think we're going to make it as a couple.
Now don't get too nervous, but you are going to have to go to the store to buy the salmon. I get freaked out keeping fish in our fridge for even a night after I purchase it so you need to buy it the day you are cooking it.
Here are some friendly tips for getting through the grocery store.
1. BUCK UP, you only have to go to the seafood counter you wimp!
2. Give lollipops.
If things are still a disaster please call me immediately so I can come home because you are in way over your head and I fear for our children's safety.
Once you have the fish back at our house, be sure to put it in the fridge right when you get home. You can't leave it on the counter for hours like you do your soy coffee creamer (which is still a pretty bad habit, but I don't really use much of it so go ahead and give yourself rotten creamer if you like.)
You should probably start making dinner around 5:00, otherwise you will experience mass chaos and you'll never be able to turn things around once they head south. If they do spin out of control for you at dinner time, I suggest turning on a cartoon and distributing chocolate milk until you can regain your composure.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Side note: Don't you love our oven? Aren't you having a good time getting acquainted with it? Perhaps you would be interested in spending more time together?
So take the fish out and lay it on top of two pieces of foil on top of a baking sheet. Then sprinkle salt and pepper all over the fish.
Wait....do you know where the salt and pepper is? Do you know where the baking sheets are? Foil?
Fear not. I took the time to catalogue all the essential items in our house for you since you have a serious issue locating, pretty much everything. The notebook is on my nightstand and it can tell you where everything is. Go get it and come back.
Did you find it?
Of course not. What the hell do you think I do all day? When would I have had time to catalogue all the things in our house?
Focus. Surely you can pull an image of me reaching for the salt and pepper, or foil at some point in time.
Don't I look pretty?
Upper corner cabinet by the oven. To the right of the dishwasher. Middle big-ass drawer.
OK, now that you know, sprinkle away. I know you want to know how much, but I honestly don't know and really, does it matter? Just sprinkle. You could always have Aiden or Cole do it and that way if it's way too much, or not enough you can blame them. This strategy of child blame works for a lot of different things.
Now slice the lemon. On a cutting board. Drawer left of the fridge.
Sprinkle the green onions over the fish. (There is a LOT of sprinkling involved in this dish. I hope you can rise up to the occasion.)
Place a slices of lemon along the fish. DO NOT sprinkle them or you will ruin dinner.
Place a sprig (no clue) of dill on top of each lemon slice.
Fold and pinch the foil to create a sealed pouch for the salmon. I feel confident you are going to turn this info something more complicated than it needs to be. There is no need for additional sealing mechanisms, bags or clips of any kind. They will probably melt in the oven and jack up the fish.
Don't jack up the fish.
Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes.
What to do while the fish bakes? I usually put together a craft for the kids, including Stella. Or I make up a game to stimulate their imagination. Or we learn to read words, in Chinese. Or we just sit and giggle and talk about recycling and love.
So pick one of those and do that.
(It might be cute to make a craft that would exemplify how much Mommy is missed, but I don't have all the answers so you just feel free to freestyle this 20 minutes.)
It actually might be a good idea to get out plates, pour milk, clear off the pile of junk on the kitchen table (don't pretend it didn't pile up in the 24 hours I have been gone,) and get out some vegetables and dip for a side. But don't let it distract you from your craft.
Take the fish out of the oven and wait a few minutes before opening the pouch or you will burn your fingers. Burning is a bad thing.
Are you still thinking about how you are more lucky than Charlie Sheen with his two porn star live-in girlfriends? Or how pretty I am when I get out the salt and pepper? Or how good of a dancer I was at your cousin's wedding and how you wish you could learn to move like that, but that you hope our daughter never learns most of those moves? Keep thinking...
Take a small portion of fish and put it on each of the boys' plates and a very small portion on Stella's plate. Cut every one's into bit size portions and serve. Be sure you serve with confidence and say, "voila!" when you put it in front of them. That always gets a giggle from the boys.
What? The boys are whining that they don't like fish?
Cole can't stop talking about how he wants to put his cowboy boots on again?
They don't want carrots and cucumbers?
Aiden can't get over the fact that Cole has 1/4" more milk than he does?
Stella is screeching for something, but you can't determine what it is?
Cole wanted the Batman cup?
Stella just dumped all her fish on the floor for Indiana?
That NEVER happens to me. You must have done something wrong.
You're an awesome Daddy, but you are no Mommy.
Pour cereal. Don't forget the fruit.
Miss me. I miss you.
*OK, full disclosure, I don't actually know any of these women, other than the girl who invited me.
**Most to all of those things will probably not be happening because I might come off sort of weird if I try to reminisce with them, braid their hair or giggle inappropriately with them. I'm sure they'll love me though, who wouldn't like me? I'm super fun, especially when I am getting a break from my kids. I wonder if they would like to see me do the running man? That's usually a hit.