Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Payoff of Paying Our Dues

Most of my meal; bad parent!
Earlier tonight Michael and I went out to eat. We weren’t planning on it; I had planned on making a New England boiled dinner. And doing the shopping. However, it was a difficult week for me, for various reasons, and by late this afternoon I was desperate to go out and do our SOS night.

I had ordered the shrimp toscano, which was a lovely parmesan-breaded shrimp with linguini and sun-dried tomatoes in scampi sauce. But not even halfway through, I felt too full to eat anymore. And too tired to even stay out longer. Michael was just as tired and anxious to go home as I. Geez louise, tell me we are not getting *that* old!

But home we went, deciding to get the shopping done Saturday morning instead, and everyone settled into their own private little nighttime cubbies. Mine, of course, is online carousing around in 4 or 5 different tabs at once, usually talking on one or two IM networks with 2 or sometimes 3 people. It’s just like playing leapfrog, really. Just one of the advantages of having ADD I guess. ;)

Getting soggy as goofy
me takes a picture!
So fast forward a few hours and I start getting hungry. Because I didn’t eat all my meal. Or even half of it (now I’ll be thinking of this the next time I scold the boys for doing the same thing). Being that the time was almost midnight, I didn’t want to be ingesting something with a ton of fat or calories, so I settled on some Lucky Charms. Left the bag on my bed so I could open and pour from the crinkly plastic without waking the dead.

And proceeded on to the drawer housing the Plastic Jungle to find a bowl; I didn’t want our ceramic Pfaltzgraff from the cabinet because spoons clink against them. So I’m feeling around in the dark and every bowl I pull out is the size of a Buick hubcap. Grrrr. So I settle on the next Buick hubcap I pull out, and feel for a spoon in the silverware drawer. By now Michael stirs from “watching” TV in the living room and asks what I’m doing. I tell him and visualize my way through the dark to the fridge for milk.

As I pull out a jug with about 6 oz. of milk in it, I tell Michael that’s all the milk we have, at midnight, as we’re both in our pajamas and ready for bed. Oy. He says to go ahead and use it. Well, there’s barely even enough for my cereal. But I forge ahead, pour the Lucky Charms into my Buick hubcap, and add the milk that my Charms are Lucky to have. And indulge in my 160 calories of cereal, enough to satisfy me and stave off hunger until breakfast the next day.

No. More. Milk. Eek!
So, that’s it. I was up at midnight having a bowl of cereal because I did something I tell my children not to do: I didn’t eat enough at mealtime. But amidst the guilt I felt over this, came something else; something empowering: I am a parent, and that gives me certain rights. I can have a snack at midnight….because I am a parent. I can stay up late…..because I am a parent. I can have dessert without eating all my supper, or have gum when I want, or watch certain movies…….all because I am a parent.

I have served my time as a child and paid my dues. I have eaten my share of oatmeal (although honesty, that happens to be one of my favorite foods!) and eaten my quota of bread crusts. I don’t have to feel guilt about eating a snack at midnight. I am the PARENT, and I don’t need permission. Wow. How freeing is that? I think I’ll go celebrate with ice cream. Just let me feel my way through the dark kitchen for a spoon and a hubcap. ;)

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