Hungry like the Wolf

So I don’t do church. It’s not that I don’t believe in God; I just don’t do the organized religion thing. I could go into the messy back story of how a church scarred me as a child and ruined my whole entire life, but that is outside the scope of this blog – plus, it would be difficult to spin it into a funny story.

So anyway, I don’t go to church, but the kids do. Mom is very involved with her church and it was important to her that her grandchildren experience church so they go with her every week. This means that every week I can count on two hours to enjoy any activity of my choosing. I’ve used this time in different ways over the years. When Boy One was a newborn and I was still trying to come to terms with the fact that I would never sleep again, I used it for sleeping. When I was taking classes, I used it for homework. I went through a long phase where it was used for a weekly angry cleaning ritual. During the Breaking Bad madness, it was used for binge watching TV. When we were trying to save money for our house and The Husband was working tons of overtime, I used it to “visit” with him. Some were noble causes – others were a little more shameful – but I can generally gauge the quality of my life at different points by how my Sunday mornings were used at that time.

The phase I’m in now is probably one of the most disgraceful. I currently spend my Sunday mornings devouring a huge, delicious meal alone.

One of the things I hate most about being a mom is that the kids are always begging for food from my plate. As soon as I  sit down, it’s a feeding frenzy. They swarm me and beg for whatever is on my plate, even if I just served them the same thing 15 minutes earlier. I’m OK with hiding in the pantry to enjoy a piece of chocolate or a cupcake. I understand a kid wanting to go after something like that, but my kids go after every single thing I try to eat. I could be eating a sauteed rotten frog brain and they would be all over it. You hear about how prisoners eat quickly with their arms on the table surrounding their plate to protect their meal from the other prisoners, but even the best form of prisoner stance is no match for my kids.

The scavenging particularly bothers me because I like spicy food so when a kid comes begging for food from my plate, it’s most likely covered in red pepper, jalapenos, hot sauce, etc.

Can I have a bite of yours?

No, it’s hot.

I don’t care.

Fine, eat it then.

They take a bite and then run off, eyes watering, scraping their tongue with their fingernails, and crying.

MOM!!! IT’S HOT!!

You don’t say?

I don’t feel bad because they had their warning, but the problem is The Girl. I can’t, in good conscience, feed a baby something that I know is going to cause her pain. Especially when I’m the one that has to figure out how to quiet her after it happens. So, during the week, I wait until she goes to bed and then grab something quick before bed and I’m OK with that because I know that Sunday morning is just around the corner.

I drop them off at church at 9 a.m. and then, Hallelujah!, it’s chow time. By 9:45, I’m sitting down to a five-course meal. This week it was pasta, garlic bread, salad, ice cream and (not) wine (ok, maybe wine but only one small glass). Yes, that’s what I had at 9:45 a.m. I ate at my own pace, in complete silence, without fear of being forced to share. It was heavenly. In a roundabout way, it’s kind of like I am getting a little religion because enjoying that meal confirms for me that there is a god.

I would have never guessed that mothering would degrade my quality of life to the point where simply enjoying a meal alone is such an event, but it has. Someday, when my kids are grown and I’m sitting in my empty nest, whining about how lonely I am, I’m going to go back and read this post and then treat myself to a huge delicious meal at an odd hour for old times’ sake. I’m sure, when that time comes, I’ll probably feel sad that there is no little mouth there to scorch with my jalapeno pasta.

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