Okay, it wasn't that bad. Things look better the morning after...sort of like an awkward first date.
I don't know about the rest of you, but in my world, the hours between 4 and 7pm are like the eighth ring of Hell. They really are that amazingly hideous. Minx has barely managed to contain her ADHD jitters and jabbers during the very long school day, so the minute she hits home plate, she is rocket-powered. That girl is ready to par-taaaaaay, and don't y'all be tryin' to do things like sitting her down for homework or attempting to entice her into the bath. Uh-uh.
Minxette is 3--which is probably enough information right there--but she is also intent on giving up her nap, so by 4pm she is in a mood. And she really thinks her sister's screaming, running and inisistence upon chasing her with sharp objects is annoying as shit.
You want those two critters as your dinner guests? I didn't think so. I don't want them either.
Originally, I had planned to have Miss D. help me make dinner, which would have killed two birds with one stone. Family Dinner Night, check;Cooking one thing a week with Miss D.,check. Which, technically, is cheating. I'm supposed to do those things separately, aren't I? Who is this lame-ass Loser who just started a blog and is already planning to cheat? C'est moi. But you knew that I was lame and incompetent and lazy, so you're not too surprised, are you? Me neither.
The Karma Gods had their priorities straight, though, and my mission was doomed from the get-go. Miss D. had zero interest in helping me prepare dinner and Mother Nature had produced an incredibly gorgeous Spring day. Thus, Minx and Minxette were free, so they happily rattled out the back door and I got down to business.
Just planning what to fix for Family Meal One was a nightmare. It had to be something challenging, but not too scary as to scar the children for life. It had to be something they normally wouldn't eat, but nothing so repellent as to trigger a gag reflex. See the dilemma?
After several days of thought, I came up with a menu. And I admit that I sort of cheated. Gee, what a surprise there. I was watching the Food Network (aka: crack for the Stay-at-Home-Mom) and up popped Rachael Ray--that perky, chimpmunk-cheeked hag--and of course I had to watch. I can't ignore Rachael Ray any more than I can help gawking at a car crash, I'm sick that way.
And Rachael perkily insisted that children love eating food on a stick. It's just so much fun!! So I believed her and decided to make Chicken Lollipops! Okay, that's what I called them and looking back on it, it's so cutesy and devious that it makes me want to barf, but I'm guilty, so I'll admit it. Chicken Lollipops were, in essence Chicken Satay with Sauce on the Side. Sauce on the Side is critical in my house. If Sauce Isn't on the Side, it's a freak show, I tell you.
Partners in crime to the Chicken Lollipops were Sesame Stir-Fried Snap Peas and Basmati Rice. Nothing too out-there, I thought. As I was threading the marinated chicken onto the skewers, Miss D. whizzed into the kitchen for a drink. She saw me skewering the raw chicken, stopped dead in her tracks and eyed me suspiciously. "That's for Harryboy, right?" Harryboy is the cat. Sigh.
I explained that No, this was not for Harryboy and that Yes, chicken looks rather suspect when it's raw, but that trust me, chicken is delicious when it is cooked. EVEN if we don't bread it and fry it. She shot me a distrustful look and then whizzed back outside.
I started the rice, took the little strings off the back of the snap peas (a fussy and ridiculous practice, but my kids do not do strings. Just ask last summer's rejected corn on the cob) and started making the Sauce on the Side. Things were humming along.
Ring! Telephone, hubby's been delayed a bit. Deep breath, no problem, nothing's really been started yet, no honey it's okay rea.... "YAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHLLLLL!!!" There is a hideously loud, feral howl coming from the backyard. Minx is attempting to decapitate Minxette in a frenzy of rage.
"I realize that you are angry but it is not okay to attempt to rip your sister's head off."
"BBBBAAAAAAWWWWWWAAAAAGGGGGHHHH! She said she hate me! Hating not okay! You said nobody get to say hate you in this family mommy!" Great. Minxette is now hysterical also.
In a moment of motherhood brilliance, I stomp my foot and yell, "I've HAD it! Both of you, go to your rooms NOW!" The wailing gets subsequently louder and doors are slammed and I am going to have to resort to this to get me through the night. And dinner hasn't even started yet.