Dessert schmessert

By Mir
January 17, 2011

So far my lofty “don’t skip dessert” vow isn’t really bringing all of the balance and joy to my 2011 that I’d pictured. I mean, sure, I’m enjoying the chocolate and everything, but for some reason that nightly square of dark chocolate has yet to fix everything stressful in my life. IMAGINE.

[Aside: Thank you for the birthday wishes for my dad. He enjoyed them very much, and they proved to be the perfect complement to his birthday festivities, which apparently began with my stepmom putting a candle in his cappuccino foam that morning. I wouldn’t have believed such a feat was possible, but I have photographic proof. We know how to party in our family, yes we do.]

Anyway. I was thinking on the dessert thing because coming off the week of the Snowpocalypse left us all blinking in the sunlight and sliding around in the driveway, wondering what to do with our newfound freedom. And I immediately headed to the grocery store and proceeded to shop like a woman recently emerging from a bunker, which I guess I kind of was.

Look, we ate FINE during our week encased in ice, truly. But somehow I had not properly anticipated being housebound for an entire week, and although we have a stocked pantry and a freezer full of animal parts, we were just a couple of days into it when we seemed to run out of everything fresh. No salad fixings. No apples. No bananas. No baby carrots! The only frozen veggies I was able to unearth were broccoli (which Otto refuses to eat) and corn.

I am pretty sure I had scurvy AND rickets by the time I made it out to Publix this weekend. Which explains why I came home with a car full of fruit and veggies, and have been all YAY SPINACH and WHO WANTS ME TO GRATE A CRAPLOAD OF APPLES INTO THESE PANCAKES? ever since.

Maybe fresh asparagus isn’t a great dessert, but I’m grateful to have it, anyway.

Of course, the looser translation of not skipping dessert is that I’m supposed to be having more fun in general. So after filling up my house with produce we decided it would be a really great idea to take the kids to a basketball game. This decision was based upon the pertinent factors of:
1) The tickets were super cheap
2) no one had been out of the house all week and the game was OUT OF THE HOUSE
3) the children are suckers for soft pretzels.

We headed off on our adventure yesterday and as the kids bickered in the back seat on the way there, I realized that we are not very smart. Monkey is still sick/irritable and Chickadee is moody because that’s her job. Was this an ideal combination in a loud arena? All of the bananas in the world was not going to make this a smarter move.

But we bravely soldiered on!

The good news is that soft pretzels really solve a multitude of problems. (I could not have a soft pretzel, so I had some soggy cheese fries, instead. When we got home later I immediately made a giant vegetable stir fry to repent.) Also, it turned out to be a really good game.

The bad news is that it’s incredibly loud during a game. WHO KNEW? Monkey held it together pretty well but Chickadee—who insisted on sitting next to me—complained any time I cheered. Apparently I am louder than an entire stadium of people and the pep band. Anyway, she had to sulk about that some (curse me and my need to cheer for our team), and I was only able to jolly her out of it by having periodic conversations about the cheerleaders and the dancers.

Surly or not, I couldn’t be more proud of the feminist I’m raising. Heh. Typical comments from her included:
“Why do they all the look the same?”
“Why are they all so THIN? Are you not ALLOWED to be on the squad if you’re heavier?”
“What about their hair? Are they not allowed to have short hair?”

[Answers from me:
“Because there is a very narrow American ideal of what constitutes beauty. Dumb, huh?”
“Because they’ve all bought into that ideal and think they need to conform to it.”
“I don’t know if heavier girls try out and don’t make it or if they don’t bother trying out. That girl on the end is almost a normal weight—let’s cheer for her.”
“Short hair isn’t NOT allowed, but it’s all part of what they think makes a woman pretty.”]

Then they did a routine to Willow Smith’s “I Whip My Hair” and Chickadee just LOST it, declaring she hates that song and look, this is why they all have long hair! So they can whip it back and forth to a song by a 9-year-old! Next time maybe I’ll arm her with a stack of The Feminine Mystiques and let her pass them out to the cheerleaders.

Monkey was personally affronted that the t-shirt cannon never sent a shirt up our way AND any time anyone in front of us stood up to move around at all he was convinced they were doing it just to block his view of the action. But, like I said, he did pretty well overall, and when our team pulled it out and won at the end, he was on his feet, arms in the air, telling me that he’d known all along they could do it.

Today is our last day of Extended Time Off From Life; school (finally) resumes tomorrow and there are decisions that will have to be made in terms of Monkey having surgery and such. I am handling it all with my usual grace and patience, which is to say that I barely slept last night and I didn’t have any breakfast this morning because the decision between cereals felt too overwhelming. In short: it is not feeling very desserty up in here, but tomorrow is another day.


  1. StephLove

    Hang in there, Mir.

  2. Sharon

    One day at a time, Mir. That’s the best any of us can do. Now I’m hungry for a salad, and because of you I am going to create a vision board. Your influence can be felt hundreds of miles away ~

  3. Dsilkotch

    I have a huge sweet tooth and love my desserts, but if I had to choose between sweets and fresh produce it would be no contest. I’m munching on a bosc pear even as I write this. I could give up chocolate before I could give up cabbage or carrots! Also: Chickadee rocks. :^)

  4. Midj

    First thing I did this morning was check weather reports for those of you to my North, forgetting it was MLK day. :-) Hopefully things will be back to your “normal” soon. Hugs…

  5. Heather

    I love your little feminist. That’s awesome :D

  6. meghann

    Chickadee’s comments are awesome. My daughter reacted the same way at her first sporting event. She was 6? I think? We went to a hockey game here in town, and there were cheerleaders that did a dance routine. My favorite comment from her that night was “Where are the rest of their shirts? That’s gross, someone should go tell them to put some more clothes on.”

    I’ve never been prouder.

  7. Heidi

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Choose the cereal on the left.

  8. Susan

    Mir – I feel for you and what you’re going through with Monkey. I’m not feeling very desserty either right now, but bit by bit we’ll get our dessert groove back on. Won’t happen overnight, and we may not even notice it for a while, but I have a feeling that things just have to go our way soon on all fronts. Take care of yourself until then.

  9. Tracy

    I have always asked myself those same questions about cheerleaders. Generation after generation…some things NEVER change. Hang in there, Mir!

  10. dad

    So, you have a shy, inquisitive, brilliant, vegetarian, feminist, parentally oppressed malcontent to deal with.

    And now you have forced me to end a sentence with a preposition.
    Strength Tulip. Strength.

  11. Beth R

    Sending much love and support your way!

  12. Katie in MA

    Maybe you should employ my Breakfast Timer (patent pending) for those tough decisions. Except if the timer goes off and you haven’t decided, instead of getting what I choose, you have to have a gluten-free brownie for breakfast. :)

  13. Diane

    Sometimes dessert is an extra piece of cheese rather than a five inch high slice of chocolate/hazelnut mousse pie. The game sounds like great fun (mousse pie) in spite of initial misgivings. I’ll be praying for your decision making regarding Monkey and surgery.

    And seriously – life shut down for a week because of snow? We’re having maybe five inches overnight, and it won’t stop anything…I secretly wish it would!

  14. Chuck

    I have always wondered if getting pelted with one of those t-shirts is painful, and that reminded me of this commercial:

    Glad that the outing went well and the return to real life is happening tomorrow. Also good luck with Monkey’s condition. In my case, ENT surgery definitley wasn’t fun (Yay! I have a week off to recover! Wow! Hey, I am getting intermittent dizzy spells all day, this sucks!) but the results were WELL worth it and I’m back to relative normalcy now.

  15. My Kids Mom

    Tomorrow is not just any other day. The kids go to school! We moms get to sit around and eat our bon bons in uninterrupted silence!

  16. Megan

    Mir’s Dad – you’re not, just possibly, hinting that the infamous Curse of the Parents (ie ‘may you raise a child JUST LIKE YOU) is in effect?

    Lucky that Chickie kid makes up for the contractually mandated Teenage Girl Moodiness by being so flippin’ awesome.

  17. Randi

    Glad you were able to get out, even if it was, err, entertaining for the kids! Here’s something that might make you laugh, though. Babygirl has discovered retro Britney Spears, and “Baby One More Time” has become her favorite song. So, like an IDIOT, I played the video for her. Toad saw the video and immediately goes “um, do all high school girls dress like that?”

    Only in movies that you’re too young to watch, buddy.

  18. Veronica

    Yay for spinach!! Sorry that it’s all still crap. If it’s any consolation, I’m cheering for you, all the way from Tasmania.

  19. Flea

    I was always told that the girls were thin so they didn’t crush the people under them when they did a pyramid. That and they had to be super athletic. Not that I care for cheerleaders or anything …

  20. Karen

    I buy the frozen soft pretzels for days like these….

  21. elz

    Yay for soft pretzels. Not that I was on a dance squad or anything, but um…longer hair is “strongly encouraged” because…well, I don’t know why. But, it was. You should have heard me at the hockey game “Aren’t those dancers cold without, you know, any CLOTHES on?!”

  22. mamaspeak

    I love you, Mir’s Dad!
    Mir, you are look very pretty today.
    Hang in there, chocolate will taste good again soon.

  23. Julie

    Praying for you and the Monkey today!

  24. Brigitte

    I pick the most empty-ish cereal box to help get it out of the cupboard, even if it wasn’t my favorite. Part of the same mom-syndrome that makes me eat the burnt and broken cookies, I think.

  25. JennyM

    There’s something about this time of year anyway, isn’t there? “Cozy” ceases to hold any appeal and you start craving anything but another damn root vegetable? Maybe it’s just because I had made a big pot of stew right before Snowmageddon and so for a week I dutifully ate… stew. Consequently, I am completely stewed out for the year and would kill for a piece of sushi.

    Here’s to getting back out into the world, and kicking said world in the patoot with awesomeness.

    (PS, speaking of basketball games — if there’s anyone in the Greenville, SC part of the world who is looking for a good, cheap family outing, Furman basketball games are on. $8 general admission, $12 for reserved seating, and the ticket price includes *all the concessions you can stuff in your mouth-hole* until 7 minutes before the end of the game. It’s a good deal, is what I’m saying.)

  26. Lara

    It’s funny how people cope with things. I’ve been told “you’re doing great, coping so well” but they didn’t see the tears over deciding what shirt to wear that day or me completely losing my sh!t over dropping a bowl of cereal! So I hear ya on the breakfast thing! Hang in there. One minute, one hour, one day at a time :)
    P.S. Love your inquisitive feminist!

  27. Stephanie

    @JennyM: Go Paladins!

  28. Lori in MN

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who grates an apple (or stirs in a mashed banana) into each batch of pancakes. Anything to get them to eat more fresh fruit! Also, bacon bits and blueberries can be a wonderful combination…especially with real maple syrup.
    And, way to go, Chickadee!!

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