Here’s what I can’t stand about my kids: they expect to be fed.
Regularly. Like, more than once a day.
Which means I have to go grocery shopping. All. The. Time.
You would think, considering how often I go to the grocery store, that I would expand my gastronomic horizons. But that doesn’t seem to happen. It’s as if my feet slide along magnetized grooves that lead me to the same spots in the same aisles for the same staples: Raspberries. Mac n Cheese. Lemonade. Etc.
No matter how often I go to the grocery store, we are always, perpetually, out of something. As in:
“Mom! Why don’t we have any good desserts?!”
“Mom! You forgot to get milk!”
“Mom! You got the orange Mac n Cheese and you KNOW I only eat the white Mac n Cheese!”
Can you hear the snipe-y, accusatory tones in their voices? Like nails on a chalkboard?
So last Sunday, when Franny boarded the bus for sleepaway camp, and the other parents were madly waving, and wiping bereft, teary eyes, and snapping iPhone photos of their children being ferried off to camp, I could not have been more thrilled to have a kid-free home for two weeks because it meant:
I did not have to go to the grocery store unless I felt like it.
I did not have to fix any ungrateful small people dinner only to have them say, “we’re having the same thing AGAIN?” when they completely don’t acknowledge that the same thing is the only thing they’ll eat?
I could eat WHATEVER I wanted for dinner. In fact, I could even SKIP dinner if I wanted. HA!
The other night, I arrived home to find, like, five things in the refrigerator. But they were all edible things. Edible things that I turned into a dinner of baked cauliflower, sauteed spinach, and rice.
It was delicious. And it was especially delicious because I could never have made this meal with kids in the house. Because, you know what? My kids have never once asked: “Mom, could you make baked cauliflower, sauteed spinach, and rice for dinner?”
And I suspect they never will.
In six more days Franny and Luca will return from camp. In six days, I will, once again, be making what feels like a daily pilgrimage to the corner Ralph’s.
But not today.
Today, I’m thankful for not going to the grocery store.