I am the mommy that makes muffins afterschool. Family meals are often accompanied by a big slice of cake (and if it’s your birthday we can skip the meal– just go straight to the cake). I will sit for half the day and play Monopoly when I should be folding clothes. I listen attentively to my little people when they tell me crazy made up stories and decorate our home with their hand drawn cartoons. I assist with blanket forts that take over the living room. I get way too excited about Santa Claus and enjoy Pixar movies with my boys while indulging my sweet tooth.
But sometimes a mommy has to mean business. My boys know that raised eyebrow all too well. They know when they can push me and when they’ve gone waaaaay too far. My boys know my rules.
My children make friends easily and mostly other people’s kids are nearly as entertaining as my own (actually sometimes more because when they are on my nerves I can pack them up and send them on home). They tell me tall tales about remote control cars that have the ability to climb trees at a rate of “twenny-two hunderd miles” (Chad and I are still not really sure how fast that is or what it means, but it sounds serious). They squeal about “callerpillers” and how to fix bricks. They persuade Chad to dig for dinosaur bones and rescue bird nests from killer trees.
Since my boys have been home on break, attracting a variety of little characters into our yard, it has come to my attention that these other children don’t know my rules about things. Mostly these are rules that I have never needed to verbalize with my own kids, but for the sake of simplifying things, here they are:
- Don’t sass me.
- We do not throw rocks or gravel into the road. There is a reason it’s paved. So let’s just go ahead and say don’t throw ANYTHING into the road.
- No stealing. It’s a Commandment. It applies to Hot Wheels cars, bikes and anything else that isn’t yours.
- Do not address me (or any other grown up) as “Ay!… Ay!… AY!” We don’t have to get all formal about it or anything, but that’s pretty much not my name.
- We don’t talk crap to people walking or driving down the road. If those little girls insist on behaving like the 4th grade edition of The Jerry Springer Show, that is their prerogative (and their mama’s problem), and we are not going to participate. Just step away from the road.
- Don’t pistol whip my kid with a plastic squirt gun. As a matter of fact, let’s just refrain from pistol whipping anyone. It’s a good life skill.
- Seriously… Don’t Sass Me. Or Chad. That’s pretty rude.
- Don’t stand on my porch and tell me that you are going to beat up my son that has 6 years and 85 pounds on you and did nothing to provoke it. Don’t tell me your dad is going to beat him up either. That’s just crazy. And don’t make it worse by telling me your dad is going to beat up my Chad. I mean, I know you’re only 6, but let’s be real.
- We don’t tattle or play the blame game. That he said she said crap doesn’t work around these parts.
- Just be nice. It will take you far. Mind your manners. Memorize the rules. Oh, also- don’t sass me.
I am really not trying to be mean. And I would just like to go back to being the mommy that brings juice boxes and cookies out to the children while they play. I wanna kick the soccer ball in my bare feet, judge the impromptu foot races around the house, and answer questions about imaginary race cars or something learned in school.
I don’t feel like mediating and crime fighting… let’s save that for the police department. Or better yet, the Ninja Turtles.
I’d really, really like to get back to making cake. Cake with Grapefruit.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (3.4 ounce) instant lemon pudding
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup oil
Preheat the oven to 325 and butter two 9″ round cake pans. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and lemon pudding. Pour in the grapefruit juice, vegetable oil, and lemon extract. Add all 4 of the eggs. Beat until smooth. Distribute evenly between the two round cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes. **Check them at 20 minutes; my oven runs a little hot, but if you’re not careful this cake will darken quickly. Let the cakes cool completely before cutting each crosswise making a total of 4 layers.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce bricks) of cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons of butter, softened
4 tablespoons of grapefruit, orange, or lemon juice
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Beat the softened butter. Then add in the cream cheese and whip until smooth. Add in the juice and the powdered sugar scraping down the sides and blending until smooth.