{parenting} Food Heals

March 10, 2011

ice cream

Life with two small children is a funny thing. (I’m using “funny” loosely.) Things move and change so quickly, yet so slowly at the same time. Just yesterday I felt on top of the world. Like a super mom. I carefully planned my day and, though I had to move at breakneck speed, I got everything done. Everything included some work, some time with my kids, a contribution to my kids’ school and going out with a girlfriend. I managed to touch on all parts of my life in a way that was soul satisfying. Then, in what feels like an instant, things changed.

I decided to work out my husband’s office today instead my own home office, where it can be near impossible to focus deeply. I was going to tackle something big. Something for you guys. Something for One Hungry Mama. Something for me. A something that’s been on the back burner and moving way too slowly. This was the way today was supposed to go: say goodbye to the little one, drop the big one off, have a meeting at school, get to the Hungry Papa’s office, meet with him about something, then his team, then finally start my project, which I’d be able to work on as long as I’d want because tonight was also date night.

Booya! I got serious, right? I was really making time for myself.

Everything was going smoothly. Well, smoothly enough. And then — I KID YOU NOT — within minutes of beginning work on my project the Hungry Boy’s teacher called.

Strep throat has been going around our school and the Boy complained of not feeling well. I knew I had to pick him up. I cried as I packed my stuff. Then I called my BMF who has been having a doozy of time, too. I just asked, “How do we make it through?”

I picked up the Hungry Boy. As soon as he saw me, he got teary. He hugged me and whispered, “Mama.” I could tell he was feeling terrible. The minute I saw him, I knew I was where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do. Still, I was feeling pretty terrible, too.

From school, we headed to the doctor’s office where we waited a long time to find that the Hungry Boy does, in fact, have strep throat. He so badly wanted to head home, but I was determined to start his medicine immediately. (There’s a whole other layer to this story: the Hungry Boy is supposed to take off on a 2 pm flight to Florida with grandma tomorrow. He’s looking forward to it and, honestly, though we’ll miss him, the Hungry Papa and I have been beyond excited about having only one child for the weekend. We’re so deep in that caring for just one child sounds like pure luxury.)

Instead of going home, we walked straight to the pharmacy and agreed to wait the 40 minutes for the Hungry Boy’s prescription. We stepped outside the pharmacy doors, into the wind and rain, and looked around for a way to kill time. I spied a Dunkin’ Donuts and greasy spoon diner and asked the Hungry Boy if he wanted french fries or donuts. He cracked his first smile of the afternoon. Both sounded good to me, too. Despite my attempt to jedi mind trick him, the Hungry Boy chose french fries. We nestled next to each other in a diner booth and shared a big plate of greasy steak fries, with separate mounds of ketchup to keep from sharing germs. It was still a pretty terrible day for us both, but we were feeling better. At least while we shared fries.

Back at the pharmacy, the Hungry Boy asked for “just a little bit of sugar, like maybe one of these bars with just a littttttttllllle chocolatey sugar. ” (That is an exact quote.) I picked up a bag of Reeses Pieces, you know, to help the medicine go down. And sure enough, those chocolately, candy coated bites of sweet peanut butter did the trick. I have no idea how I would have gotten him to take the medicine without it.

Food (I’m using “food” loosely) saved the day.

I’m home now, in from the rain, boys asleep. I’ve got homemade chicken soup defrosting for the Hungry Boy. I’m not on date night, but instead waiting for take out and writing this. (Please forgive my unusually messy writing, because I do not plan on editing this.) When that doorbell rings, I’m going to dig into my favorite lentil soup which comes with freshly baked pita, and I cannot wait. I’ll probably follow up with some ice cream. I’m looking forward to something — something that will actually happen — for the first time today.

Yesterday, I was on top of the world. Today not so much. How quickly we fall.
And my project… sigh… I’ve yet to start it. It’s moving more slowly than I can stand.

This is life with two small kids, huh? How do I make it through? Lots of love, faith that I’m doing my best (even when I feel terrible and am convinced that I’m not) and food. Mostly good food. Sometimes french fries and ice cream.

How about you? What foods heal you on your worst days?

PS: That picture? My Cannoli Ice Cream. Yum.

14 Responses

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your day. On my worst days, chocolate gets me through.

  2. Ugh, what an unfortunate way to spend the day. I hope Hungry Boy is feeling much better in the morning–he’s got a flight to catch!

  3. Christina says:

    poor isaac! hope he feels better soon. I had a shit day today too. felt like the worst mom ever. actually got some work done but not proud of anything else that happened today.

    miss u!


  4. Haley says:

    Sorry to hear about such a frustrating day. As a mommy to 3 tiny little ones I certainly understand getting frustrated by the things that come up that you (and they) have no control over and feeling both upset that your plans have to be changed and guilty about those feelings. Thanks for sharing and helping us all to know that that’s okay and that we’ll always muddle through. Hope hungry boy is feeling better!

  5. I have so, so been there! Sitting down to edit chapter 24… or to finally outline a new project, only to find out that the week is toast.
    I’m glad you were able to find some peace with the situation, and that you’ll be out of the weeds soon!

  6. Tracey says:

    It seems like we get strep throat notices once a week! Luckily, mine have escaped it. Hope yours is back on track soon.

  7. Grace says:

    This is me today. Me at work, sick kid at daycare, mommy guilt up the wahzoo. To comfort myself, I turned to food too and picked up a greasy breakfast of eggs, potatoes and sausage, washed down with a full sugar Coke. Not my finest hour, but I have the energy now to power through the stuff I have to get done at work so I can get home to the little guy.

    It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. Thanks Stacy.

  8. Kristi says:

    I hope your baby gets better ASAP so he can have lots of fun with Grandma.

    I would say a milkshake makes me feel better.

  9. One Hungry Mama says:

    Thank you all. After I terrible night’s sleep, I woke up to a boy who’s antibiotics kicked in (he’s going to make his flight!) and cringed about this post. I thought: it’s too long, too whiny and I didn’t even make my point about food clearly. I actually considered editing it, which I didn’t do last night, but your comments stopped me. Thank you for helping me see that it’s fine just the way it is.

    Today, the Hungry Boy and I are back to our old selves. I’m not kidding that he asked for a “healthy breakfast,” so we started the day our favorite way: greek yogurt and honey. It was just as delicious and satisfying as yesterday’s french fries.

    Grace: I’m so sorry. I know you know this, but having just gone through a day like yours I can confidently say that, soon enough, it’ll be over and things will be better. xox

  10. Stacie says:

    I swear I had the same day as you last week…with a sick kid and needing to work and hoping to go to the gym…but the little fella was feverish… wish i’d thought about french fries…they’d of been good. And 1 kid is so much easier then the 2 together… Hope he got to go on his trip and you are having a wonderful friday!

  11. Rosie says:

    Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. This week has been the week from hell when it comes to my parenting skills and getting my daughter to use her newly prescribed inhaler and predisone to clear up a nasty, hacking cough. After the first go around of bubble gum flavored liquid med wouldn’t even pass through my daughters lips w/out it getting spit back up onto her shirt and mine, I asked her doctor to switch to predisone in pill form. The doctor’s words were “this is the time to pull out the junk food: chocolate pudding, ice cream, milkshakes”. So that is what I did, schlepped to the store and actually felt guilty having so much crap in my shopping cart. But the spoonful of sugar really did help the medicine go down and she is already feeling better. I also had to resort to bribing to get her to resume breathing into her inhaler (how did a 3yr old get so stubborn????) with a toy that she sees but can’t yet play with until she is done with this cycle of abuterol.

    As for me, I resorted to red wine.

    Thanks for the wonderful post Stacey. I really do enjoy reading your blog.

  12. Cynthia says:

    As a new mom i totally understand how being supermom doesn’t always turn out so super at the end of a day like this. My food of choice to help me through days like this a bag of M&Ms 🙂

  13. Liz says:

    Oh, man. I’ve had days like these myself… And, you’re so right, food DOES heal! (there’s little in life that doesn’t seem a tiny bit better after a few squares of dark chocolate heaped with peanut butter!)

  14. Tiffany says:

    Reese’s peanut butter cups…This winter my boy had one bad cold and my girl had a cold that barely registered as one…it was confusing and wonderful. I do not know what we did right or if we had anything to do with it, but I made plans and I kept them!

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