I am so many things in my home. A nurse, educator, maid, sounding board, chauffeur...the list goes on. Tonight I just got done being a short order cook. I should seriously get an apron, a note pad and pencil so that I can start to take orders the proper way. Maybe some day I can get a few tips.
"Mom, what's for dinner?" I am standing in the kitchen with various food items spread out over the counter and I have just turned on a frying pan.
"Mom, what's for dinner?" A little louder this time. I heard Isaac the first time, but I knew that some of the kids would not want what I was making and I didn't want to hear their complaints.
"Toasted egg and cheese sandwiches" Isaac's response was immediate. "Yum, that sounds really good". Megan and Jon both agreed, but I heard a distinct moan from across the kitchen. Joey has to be my pickiest eater. He won't eat anything that doesn't have a cute picture on the box and sugar in the label. I spent the next several minutes cooking one sandwich after another for those that would eat them. It takes a bit to cook for just 3 or 4 people...takes a long while to cook for eleven.
I got done with those that would eat them and turned my attention to Skyler who can't sit and eat a big sandwich like that yet. A few finger foods on his plate and his blood sugar and insulin done, then on to the next kid. We mustn't forget to do Megan's diabetes stuff too, especially after last week..so we get that done. I call for the other kids who are outside at this point and wait to see what their response to the dinner menu would be. Lacie and Abby both wrinkle up their noses to the menu and start to request things like cinnamon toast and toasted cheese. By this time I am telling them that if they don't like what's up for dinner they can at least help out with their own choices. They do, and I get them fed. Colby and Jessi are last. They need more help and I get their dinners done. Once I get what I think is the last of them done I put things away, rinse off dishes and look at the clock. It's now 7:15. I started this whole process at 6:00pm. Over an hour and I think we are done with that particular meal. Just as I sit down to the computer to look at my Facebook and think about writing a blog Joey walks into the kitchen. "Mom, what do I get for dinner?" Oh my gosh....you've got to be kidding me. I thought I was done, but apparently not. One more kid, one more meal and whew....please tell me I'm done now. I sit back down, continue with the blog and in walks McKenna from work. "Hi mom, what's for dinner?" At this point I start twitching in weird ways and my mouth spews off some words that I didn't even know were in my vocabulary. Kenna takes a few steps back and says something to the effect of "Geez, chill out...I will figure it out on my own...calm down". Of course this brings on the guilt and I get back up, tell her what was for dinner, watch her scrunch up her nose and mumble something about yucky foods and wander off.
I can see why short order cooks, and waiters find themselves in the position of wanting to dump the nearest beverage on their patrons heads at times. I find that I want to do that every night at dinner, whether it be a night like tonight where it was a come and go dinner, or even a night when I get the 3 course meal on the table and we all sit together to eat. Mealtimes are just loud and stressful. Much like the rest of the day around here....
"May I take your order please?" is right up there in frequency out of my mouth next to "who wrote on the wall?" and "Get to bed!".