Friday, September 20, 2013

Ridiculous Food Art

When I titled this post "Ridiculous Food Art" I didn't mean it like "Woah, that food art's ridiculously awesome!"  I meant it like "That food art's ridiculously stupid."  I found the article in the October issue of Parents Magazine while eating breakfast one morning (having just served my son a peanut butter sandwich with a side of grapes).  The tagline read:

 Turn simple ingredients and techniques into adorable meals that will wow your picky eater. Here's your permission to play!

Hey Parents Magazine, I know you want us moms to really live it up and go nuts, but if you think carving flower petals out of cucumber skins is our idea of "playing," you can take a flying leap out of the parenting magazine business.    

Here's idiotic food creation #1:

My first reaction is - when did my kid go on Weight Watchers?  A few carrot sticks, half a hard boiled egg, a leaf, a few scraps of cheeses?  It's not even supposed to be a snack - this is supposed to be a meal.  And, according to the article, this "meal" has 197 calories.  I found recipes with similar calorie counts on a website called "3 Fat Chicks."  But whatever, that part's secondary.  My main annoyance is that I should stand there in the kitchen pissing away twenty minutes crafting this thing to a) present it to a 3 year old, and b) present it not only to a 3 year old, but present it to a 3 year old who will immediately disassemble it.  

Here's idiotic food creation #2:

This is one of my favorites because it involves having to make corn on the cob.  Not only will I have to make corn on the cob in the middle of the afternoon, but I will have to make corn on the cob just so I can slice off two small pieces.  Then I also have to make an omelette.  I bet those paper thin carrot slices and dry bits of pita bread are real filling.  My son totally won't be looking for snacks after this meal is over.  

Idiotic food creation #3:

Now we're back into Weight Watchers territory.  31 calories!  Nice.  Your toddler will have that coveted thigh gap in no time.  And what kid wouldn't want to be presented with a plate full of grass from the backyard? Those are actually chives there under the mushrooms.  Have you ever eaten a pile of chives?  No?  THEN WHY THE HELL WOULD MY KID?  They could have at least fashioned a little pool for the ladybugs out of ranch dressing. Jesus.  So let's see what my kid would eat here - okay, hang on a minute, carry the two....NOTHING.  The person that wrote this article seems to have forgotten that these were all intended for A PICKY EATER.  Guess what?  A picky eater would eat absolutely nothing from this dish, unless the yellow spots on the ladybugs are made out of mini M&M's.  But something tells me they're made out of quinoa or lentil beans or something equally revolting.

Idiotic food creation #4:

This is where my growing toddler eats a meal consisting of 16 Cheerios.   I won't even pretend to know how they carved that grass out of a cucumber peel, or whose kid actually eats cucumber peel.

And last, but not least, idiotic food creation #5:

The worst part of this one is the link below it that says "Our juggling monkey would be perfect for a birthday party with a circus theme."  OH REALLY.  Am I supposed to make ten of these for all his friends? Why are they even here for breakfast? Are they sleeping over?  Fuck that.  You know what kids actually want for breakfast?  Chocolate chip pancakes.  Or munchkins.  Especially if it's their birthday.  God, this thing is like a punishment.  "Here's a plate full of weird smelling cheeses and raw red peppers....we love you buddy!"  

In conclusion, I will never make any of these things ever.  When I was little and my mother wanted to get me to try new foods, well, I actually don't remember what she did.  Which might be my point.  Your 3 year old will never remember if you made him or her any of these fancy looking dishes.  If you feel like they simply must eat mozzarella balls and arugula, just throw it on a plate like a normal person.  Because this, Parents Magazine, is not normal.  This is the kind of shit moms see on Pinterest that makes them feel bad about themselves - right next to the pictures of birthday parties where everything is made from scratch using twine and chalkboards and upcycled vintage bathtubs.  

Cool it. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bath Time

I apologize to anyone reading my blog (there is someone, right?) for writing a bunch of posts about my kid rather than work related subject matter.  Now that I've gotten the apologies out of the way, here is another post about my kid.

Bath time, also known as I Can't Believe Our Bathroom Floor Is This Dirty, generally begins around 7:30 p.m.  In a previous phase of ones life, the words "bath time" might have brought to mind wine, an eye mask, and a CD of soprano saxophone music.  In the current phase of most parent's lives, the words "bath time" bring to mind utter fucking chaos.

The announcement of "It's bath time!" is typically followed by the child announcing "I want a snack!" and rifling through the snack cabinet for the most inconvenient food possible.  After wrestling a box of Zatarain's Spanish Rice mix out of his hands, we compromise on a "squirt applesauce" and head upstairs.  And by "head upstairs" I mean my husband holds the child by the armpits while the child walks horizontally up the stairs.  It's totally safe.  I don't know why, but I am always reminded of the Randal walk from Clerks, which I will now force you to watch because it's my favorite movie and everything reminds me of it:

Now that we've managed to Randal to the top of the stairs, squirt applesauce is being successfully squirted into his mouth, and we've almost made it into the bathroom where the cat who likes to drink out of the toilet is now drinking out of the bathtub.

Child:  "Aah!! Cat hair in the water!!"
Me:  [Swishes the water around a bit.]  "All gone!  Time to take your clothes off!" 
[After a good five minutes of running back and forth into the walls, child begins to remove clothes]
Child:  "Watch this!"
[Child works his underpants down to his foot, kicks his leg, and flings the underpants across the room like a burlesque dancer]
Me:  "Very impressive.  Now let's get into the tub."
[Child works his shirt up onto the top of his head and parades back and forth down an imaginary runway]
Child: "Look at my beautiful hair!"
[Husband raises concerned eyebrow]
Me:  "Okay buddy, it's time to get in the tub or we won't have enough time to read books!"
[Child finally undresses and rolls around on bathroom floor in exact spot where he drops his pee soaked Pull-Up every morning]
Me:  "I can't believe our bathroom floor is this dirty."

This seemingly quick exchange actually takes a good ten minutes.  Eventually, under the threat of NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO DO STICKERS, he gets into the tub.  Then he gets back out because he forgot to use the toilet.  Then he gets back in and we spend the next few minutes negotiating water temperature (which is basically a ploy to get me to turn the tap back on so he can fill/dump/fill/dump the rinse cup).  Then we throw in all of his bath toys (see Exhibits A & B below).

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

The next step is for the child to yell "IT'S IN MY EYES!" before I've even come near him with the soap.

By the end of it all, my hair is frizzed up like I've been riding around on the Maid of the Mist, my pants are soaked, and my hands are totally dried out.  Of course the other end result is a fresh smelling four year old in Spiderman pajamas who really, really, wants to give you stickers.

Lather, rinse, repeat.