And then the tides turn


Just when I'm certain we're finally all coasting on the same smooth path, the sidewalk ends, and we tumble into a dark and mysterious crapstorm in which I find it hard to see the boys' inner lights.

Sometimes this happens with one child but not the other, but on extra-special occasions, like today, we all fall together. 

It's possible this started yesterday when the exceedingly loose tooth Oliver's had for weeks now went down his gullet. I'd been warning him of the possibility of swallowing or losing that bad boy if he didn't let me pull it, but no dice. And then one bite on a Nutella-coated breadstick, and away went the tooth. 

Sobs wracked his body. "How will I get the tooth back? Can I use a baby potty and look in my poop? Let me call Poppy."

Now Poppy, my dad, is a gastroenterologist, and so really, it was wise of Oliver to think of calling Poppy to discuss the possibility of reclaiming the tooth. I'll give him that. But...

"Hi Poppy, it's Oliver. Can you tell me how to strain my poop?"

I swear to y'all that was the actual telephone conversation opener. Poppy said he could send a strainer but I refused delivery. I don't need to indulge this craziness, y'all. That tooth is gone!

Additional Nutella-crusted carbs plus one of his best buddies being over to play (and, might I add, looking rather askance as Oliver wailed about poop straining) plus the excitement over his class play being this morning helped appease the tragic feelings. He was cast as Gorilla 1. 

Hours later, Jack could.not.sleep. and so I ended up reading Belly Up (Stuart Gibbs, natch) to him until nearly 10. This is all well and good except that Jack is a hangry bear when he's sleep-deprived, and so I reckoned I (and he) would pay for the late night today.

I was right. 

The boys were wild animals from the time I picked them up at school until the time I stormed downstairs hours later and told Tom he best leave the grill to me and DEAL with those children. Our neighborhood is hosting a multi-house community yard sale tomorrow, and I spent a huge swath of time today organizing, cleaning and pricing things AND making a preposterous number of extremely delicious chocolate chip (milk and dark) cookies for the boys' lemonade-and-cookie stand. They want to earn some money and donate a third of all their proceeds to The Fresh Air Fund, and I fully support their endeavor. 

But still, y'all. Those cookies don't make themselves. And a mad-eyed fatigued child who will not put down the giant branch that fell from the tree during yet another rainstorm but instead waves it about like a poky javelin and has zero awareness of just how much of said poky javelin is flailing behind him, nearly decapitating you, is really not the optimal icing on the cake.

Long story short, it is the whiplash feeling I experienced between Monday-Thursday and today that I tire of and which blindsides me in the worst way. It's exhausting. Parenting is so inconsistent and yet so consistently taxing, and really, that is a tough and often disappointing energy suck. It is for me, at least.

I give my kids my all every day, and sometimes, it's hard to keep going. It really is. I don't remember the last time I had a real break from parenting in any significant way, and that is awfully wearing at times. 

Did I mention that I also found out today that my identity was stolen last weekend and used to purchase more than $2000 worth of goods at J.C Penney and Toys "R" Us? What morally bankrupt asshat pretended to be me?

Anyway, this scrumptious meal and a decent amount of wine smoothed out this feisty Friday. 
*While you might think "butt" when you see that darling potato in the bottom right corner, I want you to see "heart." Just that.

The sun actually showed itself which was exceedingly remarkable given that it has been in hiding most of the past sixteen days. I joked recently about my grass turning, alchemically, into slugs, but I today found that for real, two of my doormats are sprouting like chia pets. It has got to dry up!

Done: the best chocolate chip banana bread

I just don't think banana bread is right without chocolate chips in it. Preferably the low-slung, somewhat flattened chips made by Ghirardelli and Guittard. I also find most banana bread to be unexciting and over-sweet. I want to taste banana, people. Lots of it.

Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes has a great banana bread recipe that, over time, I've made my own. This puppy never disappoints. Ever. It contains just a half-cup sugar and also a half-cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Both make me happy, as does the chocolate.

Recipe soon to be posted. Start letting your bananas brown now!