I'm A Talented Gal

While riding the high of the adoption approval, I tried something I rarely ever attempt. I cooked, two times in the same week. Without relying on cereal, eggs or boxed noodles. Without ordering pizza or wrangling an invite to my friend's house. I was being motherly. I was being domestic. I was feeling very pleased with myself. Look at me, rocking this mothering thing, I thought to myself.

Then my kids came home from school and killed my buzz.

"What is that smell" Fric asked with her button nose all wrinkled and a look of distaste spread across her freckled face.


"Why does it smell so bad?" She stares at the pan in horror. "Frac! Come and check this out," she called.

"Jeez, you two. You'd think you'd never seen me cook before," I whined as I wiped a bead of sweat from my brow. This Molly Homemaker crap was a tough gig. I'm not like my sister in law, Ms. Martha Freaking Stewart, gifted with the ability to feed five mouths with whatever crumbs she finds in her pantry and still make it taste good.

I've got two mouths to fill and I still can't manage to shove a parsnip down their throats without listening to them gag and retch.

Frac elbows his way between Fric and myself and peers down at the stove. He pokes the sizzling contents of the pan and sneers, "What is that Mom?"

Sigh. Why can't they just trust that I'd never intentionally poison them?

"All right you two, scoot. It doesn't smell that bad. It's chicken stir fry. I may have burned the chicken a tad, but it's mostly edible. Don't worry about it. The smell is from when I spilled some of the sauce onto the stove and it sorta smoked a lot and stunk up the house, but it's not gonna affect how anything tastes."

I hope.

"I'm not really hungry, Mom," Fric mentions as she casually saunters to the fridge and roots for an apple.

"Then drop that apple. You're eating supper. And you're gonna like it." I warned. I had enough of these turkeys and their complaining this week. First the fight with the stew on Monday, which was actually edible (a small miracle around these parts) and now this. Where was the warmth and love a mother deserves for lovingly feeding her family?

"Why can't we have pizza?" Frac whined.

"Because I've already made stir fry."

"But it's burnt. And it smells." He countered.

"It's not burnt. It's artfully blackened and it doesn't smell. The stove smells." I shot back.

"You know, this is child abuse. I'm going to tell the adoption people about this." He threatened as his sister nodded her head in agreement and had his back.

"Bwhahahaha. Too late my friends. You had your chance. You blew it by telling them how much you love your dad and me. And being a bad cook is not the same as abusing a child. Nice try though." To be honest, the stir fry did look a little sad. Sadly black and now a tad wilted.

"Shoot," Fric replied under her breath. "Well, it may not be child abuse but it's not fair that we have to eat this. I could do better," she whined.

Touche. But then a one armed monkey with a glass eye and a flatulence problem could do better than me so that's not really setting the bar all that high.

"Why can't you just go get a real job like other moms and bring home takeout?"

"I do have a real job!!!" I reply rather indignantly. "Being a stay at home parent is one of the hardest, most unappreciated and undervalued jobs a person can hold. You two ought to count your blessings; when I was your age I only wished my mother would stay at home and not work."

"That's because Gramma is a good cook!" Fric retorted.

Damn. They had me there.

Peering down at the sizzling pan, I sighed. It did smell gross. And I did just force them to eat turnips and parsnips the other night. I could feel my parental resolve slipping.

"Tell you what, if it tastes bad, we won't eat it," I said as I reached for a fork to taste test the mess.

Their eyes followed the fork to my mouth as if their lives depended on it. You could feel the tension in the air.

Slowly, I tasted the questionable stirfry. The taste of charred chicken and some other bizarre flavours made their way to my senses and caused my eyes to start to water. I forced myself to smile and nod at the kids as I swallowed the swill.

Shuddering, I acquiesce. "All right, you win. It's gross." They could have at least hid their knowing smiles and cheered behind my back. Buggers.

As I flipped through the phone book to see what type of take out I could find in backwoods Alberta, my daughter kissed my forehead and said "It's okay Mom. You don't have to be good at everything. You're still a good mom."

Aw, my little precious. How I love you too.

"Ya," Frac agreed. "There is more to being a mom than just feeding us. You're really good at other things too."

"Oh ya? Like what?" I asked. I was kinda curious now.

"Well, you're really good at doing laundry. That's important," Fric earnestly replied.

Great. I'll go down as the world's greatest launderer. Just the epitaph I was hoping for.

"You scream the loudest when you find a bug or a mouse. I've never heard anyone scream louder," Frac proudly added. "And you taught us not to be scared to pick up the dead things you find. I'm not scared of touching dead birds!"

Wow. That is skillz, people. I scream really loud and force my kids to dispose of diseased carcasses that I, myself, am too much of a pansy to touch.

It takes a special type of person to master those talents. A screaming, phobic, poisonous cook who can separate the whites from the darks like no other.

I'm one step closer to winning the elusive Mother of the Year award and then onto global domination.

Look for me. I'll be the one screaming loudly, wearing a freshly laundered shirt.