How was your weekend? Our was pretty good (aside from the recital bloodbath on Saturday, of course). Almost relaxing, even, considering all of the running around we did and errands we ran and such. Plus we FINALLY figured out Halloween costumes, after months of vacillation, so that was a relief. (I lovingly helped things along: “Anyone who hasn’t made a costume decision by the end of the day will be on their own completely. Who wants more pancakes?”)
Otto and I enjoyed a game of Scrabble last night and went to bed at a decent hour, rather than what has become our Sunday night routine of staying up too late to watch Mad Men and then running around with last-minute Sunday night stuff and not getting to bed before midnight.
The stage was set for a perfectly pleasant Monday. Or so I thought, because I am a dumbass with bad karma.
5:30 dawned earlier than usual, today. I’m sure of it. In fact, I was so sure of it, I slept another twenty minutes in protest. Ahem. So I was… ummm… moving a little quickly once I got up.
I took the dog out, checked my email, folded laundry, and went and woke the kids up. Then I came back downstairs to throw food in the crock pot.
My crock pot and I are having a torrid love affair, and I hope it never ends. I love to cook, but I am also extremely
lazy busy, and so the crock pot saves me from myself on a regular basis. I rarely have time to cook an intricate meal at dinner time, but I almost always have some time in the morning to throw food in it. Today was going to be EXTRA MARVELOUS because dinner tonight is going to be turkey breast. And making a turkey breast in the crock pot is stupidly simple.
1) Place turkey breast in crock.
2) Dust with salt and pepper and rosemary.
3) Smear with an equal mixture of cranberry sauce and orange marmalade.
4) Cook all day.
That’s IT. Easy. Foolproof.
But I haven’t made it in a really long time, and I think the last time I did it I got a boneless/skinless breast. (Um, Foodie and other vegetarian/vegans? Or those who are squeamish? Skip the rest of this paragraph.) At some point I picked up a HUGE turkey breast because it was on sale, and of course it had rib bones, which was fine, I guess, but it also had skin. Like, miles of skin. Over a layer of fat. And as I’d just taken this bad boy from the freezer the night before and it was only partially defrosted, I soon found myself enjoying my morning while buried up to my elbows in half-frozen turkey slime, trying to peel off the skin and fat before I plunked this thing into my crock pot. You know, for that SUPER EASY meal I was making.
It was while I had a pile of turkey skin in one hand and the other hand was trapped underneath a viscous layer of fat on the breast itself that Monkey trotted into the kitchen and said, “You have those photos for me for school, right?”
Now, you know I love that boy dearly, but it’s not exactly unusual for him to say things that make no sense to me. Monkey likes to have conversations with himself and bring in other people halfway through, assuming they’ll be able to read his mind. So I wasn’t alarmed, I just said, “What photos? I don’t know what you’re talking about, honey.”
Well, it turned out that their upcoming autobiography project needed pictures. Today. And I was about halfway through my patented “You cannot tell me these things at the last minute, you have to plan ahead!” speech when he pointed out that actually, the teacher had handed me an informational sheet about it last week.
I went to my purse. And pulled out the sheet. The sheet handed directly to me. The sheet I’d put in my purse and forgotten to pull out. The sheet that said pictures were due today. At least four of them, of significant life events. Labeled and numbered, and by the way, please work with your child to fill out this information sheet to go with them.
And then my head exploded.
I went through photos on archive discs down here in my office, while upstairs in his office Otto combed through recent photos. The turkey sat neglected and half-skinless in the sink as Monkey pondered the relative merits of various pictures. About ten minutes after we would normally leave for school, he had all his photos, a completed information sheet, a profuse apology from me for screwing up, and possibly just a little bit of salmonella. (Hey, I was in a hurry.) But we made it happen.
[Newly revised definition of hell: Hell is when your stepfather is a photographer and you’re tasked with bringing “just four” pictures to school of significant life events.]
Due to the flurry of picture-choosing activity and such, I’m pretty sure Otto didn’t have any breakfast, and I never had a chance to pack him a lunch. Monkey got a pre-made box lunch, which he was thrilled about, but which makes me feel like an inadequate mother. But NO MATTER! I would do better with the OTHER CHILD!
Well, the other child came grumping down the stairs late, as usual. I packed her a FABULOUS lunch (see Mir compensate. Compensate, Mir, compensate!) including dessert, and she perked right up. Then it came time for her to beg me to fix her hair, so we went into my bathroom to do that.
I was about halfway through when she decided something was wrong with one of her contacts. A quick check revealed that it had a folded-over bit and would need to be removed and reinserted. I sent her back upstairs to do that.
While she was up there, I went back to the kitchen to tend to my turkey breast, and marveled at how we have three clocks all in the same area (microwave, oven, and toaster oven) with vastly different times displayed. We talk a lot about syncing them, but it never seems to happen. Then I realized it was late. Like, the bus will be here any second sort of late.
“CHICKADEE!” I bellowed up the stairs. “Time to go! HURRY UP!”
She came flying down. “Can you just put my hair in a ponytail real quick?” she begged. I agreed, and we ran a brush through it and pulled it back.
“You’re good. Go!” She ran towards the door.
“MY FLUTE!” she ran back upstairs. I opened the door just as the bus pulled up.
“BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUS!!” I called.
A herd of elephants went by overheard, then tumbled down the stairs, and I handed her her lunch and tossed her backpack onto her back and told her to HURRYUPHAVEAGOODDAYILOVEYOU.
And then all was quiet.
I wrestled the turkey into submission. At least, I wrestled it into the crock pot.
And then Licorice and I went back to bed.