Every once in a while, I get adventurous.
I start relaxing and thinking I am just about out of the days of chaos with little ones around. After all, my baby is four years old (gasp)! Gone are the days where I have to constantly keep a watchful eye to make sure my children aren’t going to hurt themselves somehow. I don’t have to worry that I forgot to close the baby gates on the stairs or put covers on the electric sockets. Just this past weekend, the kids actually closed our bedroom door so we could sleep late on a Saturday morning!!!
Aww, my babies are growing up. We’re past all the craziness.
And so, with my newfound freedom from the constant vigilance required by young children, I decided to do something special. A friend of mine had recently had baby girl #3. I could remember that so clearly and I had no doubt she could use a little break from cooking. My kids were older, so it was only fair that I try to help her out, right?
Mistake #1: I couldn’t just make a normal meal like lasagna or a casserole.
Oh, no. I wanted to make this a special meal. Homemade chicken pot pie with NO shortcuts. Fresh vegetables, homemade crusts, and even a homemade pie for dessert.
Now, understand that I’m no cook.
I hate to cook, actually. I see it as a direct result of the Fall of Mankind. Sin entered the world and I had to start cooking.
I cooked and shredded the chicken. I peeled and diced the potatoes and onions. I made the crusts and rolled them out so I could crimp the edges into a lovely pattern.After about three hours, I had two beautiful chicken pot pies fresh out of the oven and sitting on the stovetop to cool. One for my friend and her family, one for us.
Pots and pans were washed and put away, the floor was swept, and the countertops were wiped down.
Even though I was taking the meal to sweet friends, I did not feel I should show up looking like a crazy woman bearing food at their doorstep. No need to frighten the new baby, after all.
Mistake #2: I went upstairs quickly to change clothes, brush my hair, and put on some makeup so the family wouldn’t be afraid to eat what I brought them.
Roughly two minutes later, I heard my husband walking in the door from work and saying loudly, “What are you doing?!”
It was that feeling in the pit of my stomach that NEVER means something good has happened.You mothers know that feeling.
I heard crying. Somehow I just knew this involved my three hour endeavor.
I came downstairs upon the following scene: my husband, looking dumbfounded, just staring at my tearful 4-year-old. Poor guy didn’t even know where to start.
My older daughters, standing nearby, wide-eyed and tearful as well.
And my sweet baby, standing on a stool so she could reach the countertop, her hands covered in my beautiful chicken pot pie and two fist sized holes in the gorgeous, golden crust.
I was just too shocked to speak for a second. Apparently I had misjudged, and gravely, my parenting independence from watching them constantly.
After catching my breath, I asked her the obvious question, “Honey, WHY did you do this?”
She just looked up at me with her big brown eyes shimmering with tears and pitifully said the only thing she could think of: “Because my brain told me to.”
OH. Of course.
She really thought she was helping, I suppose. She had gotten out the plates and was serving each person in the family. With fistfuls of pot pie. I couldn’t be too upset with her, really.
Thank God I had made TWO of them. I quickly packed up the surviving meal and reassured my daughter again that I was not mad and it was alright.
As I walked out the door, my husband was trying to serve the now mangled pot pie. The girls were fussing and whining about not wanting to eat it because Leighanne’s hands had been in it.
It occurred to me in that moment that the friend I was trying to take this meal to might arguably have it easier than me. Sure, my kids sleep all night, but her baby isn’t even aware yet that she has arms or legs she can use to create mayhem with in surprising and creative ways.
Shoulda called Steak-Out.
What was that sound? Oh yes, the baby gate I just reinstalled and locked.
Wife. Mom. Dispenser of sippy cups and band-aids. Sharon Webber is the mother of three young girls and proudly totes her many titles. She's your every day mom, just working to keep the chaos under some kind of control. She loves to write about their ordinary, yet extraordinary, adventures as a family of five at her blog Mommy Mayhem. Laugh with her...or at her...and reassure yourself you're not the only one on this crazy ride called motherhood.