I love my husband dearly, and he had many wonderful qualities. The ability to figure out a reasonable schedule that ensures we eat dinner roughly on time is not one of them. For some reason that is obscure to me, he likes to do our weekly grocery shopping at the end of the day on Sunday. Sometimes Pumpkin will go with him, but usually she wants to stay home with me and Petunia. This pretty much guarantees that I will not be able to start dinner until he gets home with the groceries- even if by some miracle I have all the ingredients that I need before we do our weekly shopping, I have yet to figure out how to get dinner started while also caring for one hyper toddler and one baby whose sole clingy time of the day is the late afternoon. (This is going to be a serious challenge in March, when my parents will be back home and no longer caring for Petunia during the week. Right now, my Mom helps with Pumpkin, Petunia, and/or the cooking. But I digress.)
Tonight, I decided that I wanted to try a new recipe for dinner: carrot cake pancakes. (Yes, I'm a big fan of breakfast for dinner, particularly since bacon is one of the few meat-like substances that Pumpkin will eat.) We eat dinner between 6:15 and 6:30 most nights. Most of my recipes take between 15 and 30 minutes to make. It takes Hubby an hour to do the grocery shopping and put the groceries away. Given all of this information, you can easily determine that Hubby needed to be leaving to go grocery shopping no later than 5 p.m. So what was he doing at 4:45? Yard work. FAIL.
I managed to get him inside and heading towards the store by 5, but then his phone rang, and he spent the next 10 minutes talking to a good friend from New Zealand. So I was predictably about 15 minutes late starting dinner. FAIL. Then Pumpkin threw a fit after one of her potty breaks because I wan' Mommy to wash my hands!!!! (Big mess of FAIL.) And when I told her that we'd have to hurry because I was making dinner, she looked up at me and smiled. Can I help? "Of course you can, honey," I say, while thinking that his will make us even later. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.
Amazingly, Pumpkin was a good little helper while we made pancakes. She stopped banging the measuring cup against the bowl when I asked. She did not put her fingers in the egg mixture when I told her not to. She watched me pour the 2 cups of shredded carrots into the batter and asked What is that?. Now, Pumpkin is no fan of vegetables (she's no fan of many foods, actually). In fact, there is not a single vegetable that she likes. The most vegetable-like food item that she has ever eaten willingly is a sweet potato fry. So I certainly didn't want to tell her that the mass of orange stuff I was pouring into the pancake batter was carrots. Think fast, Cloud. Tell her it is something cool. "That's magic stuff, honey." But what is it, Mommy? "Uh.... magic, yummy stuff." MAJOR FAIL. (Late in the day on Sunday is not one of my more creative times, but to be fair, I still can't think of what cool thing I could call a cup full of shredded carrots. Ideas, anyone?)
Around this time, Petunia starts fussing. It is getting late. She wants to be nursed. Hubby manages to distract her for awhile, but pretty soon, it is clear that she will not put up with her evening meal being delayed much longer. I start getting flustered. I look at the pancakes cooking on the stove and get impatient. I turn them too soon. They don't cook all the way through. FAIL.
Hubby and Pumpkin sit down for dinner. I nurse Petunia. Hubby puts the second batch of undercooked pancakes back in the skillet, but to no avail. They remain gooey in the middle. Luckily, there are four nice ones, one of which is on Pumpkin's plate.
She eats three whole bites of a pancake with carrots in it. I like it, Mommy! she proclaims, before turning her attention to eating a blob of butter off of her plate. WIN.