Life is like a sticky banana

By Mir
September 14, 2015

Bananas are a very tricky thing ’round here. They have to be ripe—but not TOO RIPE—and they cannot have any signs of bruising (because that’s not a thing that ever happens to bananas… oh, wait…) because that is Completely Unacceptable. This is where people who are new here assume that I have toddlers because HAHA no one over the age of 4 would be this picky about fruit, right? Yeah. No. (For the record, it is really only one child who is super-picky about the state of bananas, but then the OTHER child insists things like, “I don’t like watermelon” and WHO DOESN’T LIKE WATERMELON, THAT’S CRAZY so let’s call it a draw when assessing Which Teen Is More Insane When It Comes To Fruit, I guess.)

I don’t pack bananas in lunches all that often, on account of the whole It Must Be Banana Perfection thing, but every now and then the planets align and a perfect banana emerges. I will lovingly scoop it up, adorn it with a quick note a la The Bloggess (I did it once and then there was complaining if it didn’t happen every time), and place it INSIDE a large plastic container also housing a sandwich, so that the aforementioned pristine banana-ness may be maintained despite whatever trials and travails a lunch bag might encounter throughout the morning. Both children are aware that this constitutes an implicit Banana Contract wherein YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE BLESSED BANANA AND NOW YOU WILL EAT IT.

You can skip eating the crackers. You can leave the juice pouch. Heck, don’t even finish your sandwich. I don’t care! But eat the damn banana. Because perfection is fleeting.

Well. As I’m sure you can guess, life is also rife with disappointments… like your children ignoring that perfect banana. Or like said banana having been in a container with a sunbutter-and-honey sandwich, so the banana is not just ignored, but sticky with honey. STICKY. And with the sandwich removed from the container for consumption, that banana got banged around the rest of the day and came home both sticky and battered.


(Fully annotated version here—it was picture day.)

And if you are me, and love nothing more than a power struggle (HAAAAAAAAA), you then place the sticky banana on the counter and tell its owner that the banana needs to be consumed at her earliest convenience. Except she refuses, and bananas are, like, 39 cents/pound, and despite the fact that wasting food makes me crazy, I will probably turn that banana (and its rejected cohorts) into a baked good this week. Which means: the moral of this story is that life is demanding and sometimes sticky and doesn’t go as planned but then, hey, banana bread!

* * * * *

I had this whole master plan of taking some time off this summer and then Getting Serious About Work Stuff again once the kids went back to school. It was a sensible idea, I think. But then school started and I kept saying “sure” to stuff because I like to help out and lots of other parents work full-time away from home and I am basically working part time from my home office and only answering to my dogs (make no mistake; they’re pretty demanding when it comes to the kibble, but on the other hand, they do tend to sleep about 20 hours/day) and I have guilt because it’s part of my DNA. Sure, I’ll help. Sure, I’ll take care of that. Sure, I’d love to be a part of that committee!

One month into school and I am… uhhh… in charge of a lot of things which suck up a tremendous amount of time but are “volunteer” positions. So I think about ramping up work stuff and then I wonder when, exactly, I am planning to sleep if I do that. The next thought, of course, is maybe I am just super-lazy and making excuses and really, is this other stuff taking THAT much time, REALLY? But then I go spend seven consecutive hours sweating my ass off in Concessions on a Friday night and it does seem plausible that I’m not just a whiner.

This presents two very different issues:

Issue 1: After years of involvement with our school’s marching band, I am now so completely enmeshed in… everything (I have always worked in concessions but this year my duties have expanded considerably)… that I think I’ve officially become one of the Band Mamas. The other day I was walking in to the uniform room after school as a pack of kids walked down the hall towards band rehearsal, and there was Chickadee in front. I hadn’t told her I was coming (it was a last-minute thing) and her eyes widened, then she said, “Hey, look. It’s my mom. HI, MOM!”

I started to say hi back, but then the entire group shouted, “HI, MOM!” as I saw a body break from the pack and come streaking towards me. The next thing I knew, Tyra—thus nicknamed here because she is a statuesque beauty, now, but still just as goofy as when I first met her eight years ago in Monkey’s second grade classroom—yelling, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!” had run to me with open arms, leaned down, SCOOPED ME UP as if I was a small child, and commenced triumphantly twirling around the hallway with me while I flailed my airborne legs and yelped a little bit between giggles.

“TYRA,” unseen, the band director’s voice boomed into the hallway. “Put Ms. Kamin DOWN.”

“Uh oh,” Tyra said. She set me gently on the floor amidst cackling from the other kids. “I’m in trouble. Hi! Bye! Gotta go!”

After years of other people being part of looking out for my kids (and keeping them in line when necessary), I’m now doing that for a bunch of other people’s kids. I like it. I’m glad I have the free time to do it. (And the spying on my own children while they’re in their natural, nerdtastic habitat isn’t so bad, either.)

Issue 2: I am now having multiple iterations of the “but if I’m not going to try to be freelancing full-time and I don’t want to take a conventional office job, what’s next?” conversation with various people. I’m not quite ready for my mid-life crisis, I don’t think, but I’m also a loooooong way from retirement. If I’m unwilling to give up this time with my kids (and, increasingly, even never-sentimental me is realizing that TICK TOCK, they’re going to be gone soon) but I don’t want to stagnate, what do I start doing that’s different?

And the answer… is… maybe… that I write… something else. Something different than this. Longer. More involved. Perhaps something with a beginning, middle, and an end. Something that might, possibly, someday, if I can release my love of lazy adverbs, equivocation, and lack of punctuation, be a… uhhhh… you know… one of those rectangular things that goes on the shelf somewhere.

Jesus. A book. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to say (type). I mean, other than the SHEER TERROR. Other than that. I am thinking of writing a book? I’m thinking of writing a book. THERE.

I promise nothing. But someone whose opinion I trust has stopped nudging and has started outright ask “Why not? What’s stopping you?” and I realized… why not? Even if it never sees the light of day, maybe this is the next thing I need to try. More writing, but less sharing, for a while. I can do that. I think. Maybe.

Let’s start with a metaphor. That seems LITERARY and all:

There’s a sticky banana on my counter. It didn’t get consumed the way I thought it would, and it’s kind of pissing me off that it’s there. But I think I’m going to figure out how to make it into banana bread.


  1. Karen

    Good gravy, I teared up at the end! Yeesh!

    What I’m saying is, I love your crazy way with words, and will totally read whatever book you share with the world! Go you, Mir!

  2. Diane

    I’d be happy to consume your banana bread, whenever it finally gets baked, lazy adverbs and all.

    Go for it. After all, it can always remain just pixels in a program in a forgotten file on your computer, if it doesn’t work.

  3. Trish

    I will totally pay money for a rectangular thing created by you!

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

  4. Leslie

    I think this is a great idea! I know how you feel, as my son is a senior this year, and I’m finding myself bringing food for the cross country team, and volunteering for Orchestra things, and other stuff here and there. I LOVE it, but…. And I think we are most likely close to the same age, and I’m having sort of the same conversation in my head (minus the book writing part, as I’m not a great writer) about what’s next? My son is an only child. Gah!

    Sorry I digressed – I totally think you should write a book. I know your words have helped me over the years!

  5. Headless Mom

    yes, Yes, YESSSSSSSS!!!

    And not in the Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally way, either.

    Consider me first line to buy!

  6. Beverly

    First, I would absolutely read a book written by you.

    Second, I, myself, have the same criteria for bananas as your picky offspring. I’m afraid I can’t be on your side here (though I wouldn’t be averse to eating some banana bread, should someone else be willing to handle the mushy fruit).

    • JennyA

      I meant to also join the picky-banana-eaters’ club. I basically only like them “unripe” (or so I’ve been told). I’m an anti-mushist.

      • Lisa

        I can only buy them 2-3 at a time because I will only eat them when they’re still green(ish). Once they are fully yellow, they get baked into something with chocolate or frozen for later baking. It’s a small window of time that I LOVE them; otherwise, they’re soft, which makes them inedible. People have tried to convince me they’re sweeter when riper but they’re soft, so ewwwww!

        • Mir

          I also prefer them green-or-slightly-yellow because I don’t like ’em mushy. So I guess I’m picky, too. But if someone else was providing my lunch, I’d probably just eat it.

  7. JennyA

    As a daughter, sister and partner to various iterations of creative type people, I can say that the banana-bread-baking process seems to be lengthy and involve much gnashing of teeth and jettisoning of original recipes, but ultimately seems rewarding for all involved. Go, you! Bake that book! I’ll eat it!

  8. RuthWells

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. Go, Mir!!!!

  9. My Kids Mom

    Go for it. I’ll read ’bout anything you write from your heart. Don’t add punctuation or grammerly stuff just cause they tell you too either. Keep it Mir-y.

  10. el-e-e

    Ooh, that would be fun… !

  11. zb

    You have been a long way, and I would love to see a book. Also, though, if money isn’t a worry, that time, with the kids, when they are grown up and yet not grown up, I’m seeing it as precious.

  12. Cheyenna

    Yes, please!!

  13. Jennifer Joyner

    YES!!!!!!! So, so much yes!!!!! You are such a terrific writer and have so much to share with others that would be truly helpful. Please, God, let this happen!!!!

  14. Nickles

    I am lining up with my picky-banana peeps. Bananas cannot be fully green, of course, but once they develop any brown spots they are too sweet and too mushy. So, perfect bananas have the teeniest suggestion of the merest hint of green. I will eat mildly dotted bananas as slices in cereal or ice cream, sometimed, but never on their own.

  15. Heather

    I also don’t like watermelon. But I would like to read/eat your banana bread because I believe you are a very talented baker/writer/all around awesome person.

  16. Jenn

    A book sounds awesome! I love seeing what people come up with for “what next.” I haven’t come up with my own answer yet, but I have a couple idea and a hope that one will become a plan.

  17. Melissa

    I will read ANYTHING you write.

  18. Kim

    I would love to read a book by you, but please don’t stop sharing here…

    • Mir

      Oh, I don’t know that I’d ever stop writing here, but I am writing here a lot less already, which means I am writing a lot less overall, and I think that’s part of the… itch… I’m experiencing. If that makes sense.

  19. Brenda

    I hate watermelon. There. I said it.

    I have fond memories of my best friend’s mom feeding us and playing games with us on the living room floor when I was in high school. Tribes of friends and parents are awesome.

    I love your writing. So much so that when I found your blog, I went back to the beginning and read it all. So if you do decide to write a book (which I completely believe you can do and do it well), I will read it and even tell you how much I like it and how pretty and shiny you are. Really, I think it’s great that you’re just considering, dreaming, playing with possibility. That in and of itself is a good thing.

  20. Ali

    I have a banana loving child, Medium Human. Slightly green, almost baked good status? No Matter. Medium will eat them. Small Human is in a love-hate relationship but mostly love. So, bananas generally disappear pretty quickly here.

    About 6 months ago though, I noticed a banana refusal movement occurring. 1st week. Hmm, a fluke? Yay, banana bread! 2nd week. Weird. Yay, banana bread! 3rd week. The hell? Ugh, banana bread.

    Small and Medium confessed to refusing bananas in order to facilitate banana bread. Yep, got trolled by elementary students.

  21. Lucinda

    About time.

  22. Chuck

    Go Mir go!

  23. Katherine

    Neither of my kids will let me pack bananas in their lunch. No matter the state of the banana originally, it is deemed too banged up by lunchtime. So bananas are an at home food for them. I can pack one in DH’s lunch though. Interestingly, I have discovered that my oldest is/was the big banana eater. Since he went off to college last fall, bananas tend to linger into the banana bread stage. I love banana bread, but I’ve been trying to watch my eating and baked goods don’t help with that.
    I will happily eat/read your banana bread though! Sounds like a wonderful idea.

  24. Carol

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

    (And then get Joshilyn Jackson to narrate it.)

  25. Megan

    Write the damn book. Because if you don’t? PhD. That’s all I’m saying. PhOHMYGODD.

  26. Brigitte

    I’ll buy that book if it’s green, or if it’s mushy and spotty and bruised. Any way it comes, it will be just right!

    I was going to say “Just Say No!” to all the volunteering, but I’m afraid the moment with “Tyra” and getting to observe your children in their natural habitat (a phrase I use all the time) goes and makes it all worth it. ;-)

  27. Nelson's Mama

    Picky banana eater here. I could feed my own band of small primates with the bananas that I chunk. ;)

    Please write a book…follow your heart, my friend.

  28. Genevieve


    That is all.

    That, and I adore the moment with Tyra.

  29. dad

    I stopped telling you to write a book years ago for fear of providing undue pressure and thereby discouraging you. But, I’m sure it’s in there.

    Its your manifest destiny.

    Type like the wind. Not only will I read it, I will give copies as gifts to all my friends. After all, they deserve to smile too.

  30. js

    I’ll read the side of the cereal box if you wrote it. You’re very brave. Like your Dad says, manifest destiny already!

  31. Sarahd

    I vote yes. And yay!!!

  32. Jen

    Band mamas are the best. THE BEST. And I’m sad that neither of my boys wanted to be in band. I’m a band geek from way back, still am one, former band director, former band director spouse, but not a band mom. Sad. :/
    And please write a book. :) The end.

  33. 12tequilas

    May I offer my editing services?

  34. Leanne

    Good for you! I wrote a very short self published “book” on sensory processing geared for parents and Gen. Ed. teachers. It was very well received back in the day when I was leading workshops. As I’m sure you know, sitting down and getting started was the hardest part. I have no doubt that you are highly capable, and who knows, you might like it. I’d read it in a heart beat. 😊

  35. Chris

    Please please – I know I am late commenting but take 6 months (or 9 or 12 ) and give it a shot. The hardest thing is starting….

  36. Rosie

    Give me the link to your book. I will buy three. Can I preorder?

  37. Peggy Fry

    I am mildly allergic to bananas. and watermelon and walnuts and pecans and apples and oranges. Grapes (if they are really sweet) seem to be ok, though. I used to LOVE bananas as a kid. Then they started making my tongue itch… now the smell is just ICK.

    but write. go. do it.

  38. Sheila

    I NEVER buy books. I will buy your book.

    *said not to add to pressure, but to gently encourage and provide support. What I really mean to say is:

    *WRITE, MIR, WRITE!!! (think ‘Run, Forrest, Run!’ here)*

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