Friday, September 11, 2009

Elmo and soup st(r)ains...

I had an exhausting day today. This morning, I had a big suprise for Joseph. None other than ELMO and Grooverwould make a visit to our local childrens museum. We are members and go at least once every two weeks. Even without Elmo, it's a great place to visit. So Joseph was enthousiast about going shopping in the children's supermarket they have, the firetruck he could steer and the large blocks he could play with. But around 11 am... there was a big buzz in the middle of the museum where the enormous interactive statue of Eddie (biggest child ever, three stories high) sits patiently. Tables were set up where children could get a colouring page with Elmo's head.
About ten minutes later, Elmo and Groover made an appearance to a group of very enthousiast preschoolers and their mothers. After that a line formed to have your picture taken with Elmo and Groover. By some stroke of luck, we were pretty close to the beginning of the line, so I only had to keep my struggling todler in check for five to ten minutes. He usually is pretty well behaved, but he is very active and his enthousiasm for Elmo and Groover really overwhelmed any restraint. I held on tight to his hand, I hoisted him on my hip, I held him under my arms like a football, sang itsy bitsy spider, and less than ten minutes later it was our turn. We made the pictures and all seemed well in the world. And then... Joseph did not want to leave.

With him tucked under my arm, this time more like a squirming, squeeling piglet I took him away from the photo oportunity for a planned purchase of an Elmo figure at the museum shop. On the way there he escaped once and ran back to where he just came from. I nabbed him a few yards before he could disturb another childs oportunity. Once in the store, he was slightly distracted by the big button he was allowed to push that made the bright yellow schoolbus play the sesame street song. But never the less he escaped twice to run back.
It's hard to chase after a wayward todler when there are lots of other todlers afoot that you can not trample. Especially with a pregnant belly, a camerabag and a purse...

Joseph actually managed to get a second photo moment with Elmo (after all the other children had gotten their turn of course!) and we managed to leave the museum. My arms, my shoulders and my back were hurting!

By thie time it was evening, I felt too tired to cook. Luckily Friday is our vegetarian evening, and I had no more ambitious plans than vegetable soup. That should not have been hard. Vegetable soup is easy! Veggies, a potato, some stock, water, and letting it boil. Only for some weird reason I misjudged the water. I was getting frustrated. It was late. We should have eaten around 7 pm, maybe a bit later and it was getting close to eight. I offered my husband and child some cookies while they waited and felt like a failure.
While they munched on cookies, I blended the soup but it remained watery and apologized repeatedly to my husband who kept assuring me it was okay! I added more stock powder. It still didn't want to taste great and the texture remained less substantial than I wanted. I decided to try cornstarch, but that didn't seem to help either. Somehow I had developed tunnel vision. Wether or not I was a good wife and mother depended on this soup! Which halfway decent wife could not make vegetable soup and feed her family a healthy meal on time??
Maybe the cream I normally added would help. Maybe if I thickened the cream. After all.. it WAS heavy whipping cream, right? I whipped that cream with a tiny bit of the remaining corn starch/ soup liquid into a big fluffy mass.... which again took some muscle work. My poor biceps!!
Of course the nice fluffy cream immediately disolved into a thin white layer when I finally decided to serve the watery soup, with a thousand apologies. My husband kept saying that it was fine.

Only now, two hours after the soup was served and eaten, with Joseph slumbering peacefully in his bed, I can look back at myself and shake my head. What was I thinking? I had an exhausting day. A meal did not work out. I did my best. Nobody minded. I offer my family my love every single day. I offer them the best food I can give them. And if that soup ended up merely mediocre instead of good, well it certainly wasn't for lack of trying.
Being a good wife and mother is so much more than a bowl of soup. Somehow, I just lost sight of that for a few hours. And all it got me was sore arms and a bad mood. Would it not have been better to have served up the soup as it was, shrug and laugh about it and look in the pantry for extra popcorn for everyone?


Wendy said...

Oh, Eva, I have definitely had those evenings too! I just get more and more self-conscious as the minutes tick by and my family is waiting for their dinner, and I feel like this is my main job of the day and now I've blown it. So you have all my sympathy, and I'm glad your husband is the understanding type, as is mine. :)

Also, I was so mad on your behalf to read about Joseph's preschool program being closed! Unbelievable! It's wonderful you were able to find the new school for him, I hope he will love it and thrive there, I'm sure he will.

Anonymous said...

I really hate messing up a meal. I get hard on myself about it because my hubby loves my cooking and is always praising it and teasing me, "honey, I'd never leave you. Too many women don't know how to cook." I also get hard on myself when my children act like...well...children.

So, kick back, relax and realize one thing. You're a normal, healthy, mother.'ll find it ironic that my word verification is "aches."