Monday, May 19, 2008

The Day My Domesticity Died

For most of my blog existence I have eschewed the "Mommy Blogs." And I have vowed that I will never EVER mention on my blog certain of the pet subjects of the blogging housewives. But lately I've been peeking at some of the more entertaining Mormon ladies out there, and you'll even see some on my sidebar! The other day I was reading about Sue's Mom and her culinary disasters; and Suburban Correspondent's response. And all at once I remembered the day my domesticity died. Which I like to sing along to the tune of "The Night Chicago Died." (na na na, na na na!)

When I first got married, I was still high on the excitement of being a Mormon convert/mission a year later/BYU coed/married in the Temple after a 3-month-engagement. Having grown up in a Eastern liberal household I was participating in my brand of rebellion by evoking Molly Mormon. I ground wheat, made my own bread, and had 8 children as fast as humanly possible. Little by little I was cured of my fanaticism by the challenges of real life. The homemade bread went by the wayside during an Hawaii summer where I was 9 3/4 months pregnant with no air conditioning. (You read that right.) The cloth diapers were jettisoned when I had 3 babies in nappies and 2 were nursing. Someone gave me a gift of Pampers and I never looked back.

But I always maintained a vestige of domesticity until the day I went to a ladies' Relief Society luncheon and brought a delicious vegetable quiche of my own recipe. I was quite proud of how this dish had turned out. It looked lovely, and received many compliments from the ladies. So I decided to repeat the experiment for dinner for my family that evening. Don't worry, I was experienced enough to know that this dish, with no bacon and including feta cheese would not be a raving success. DH, a real man, will occasionally eat a meatless dinner, but invariably orders pizza afterward, since he feels like he hasn't eaten. But no fear. I had what I figured was a sure-fire way to encourage everyone to enjoy their culinary experience.

I made homemade chocolate-chip cookies. And if everyone ate their thin slice of veggie quiche, they could gorge themselves on dessert.

Little did I know the pandemonium that would take place at the dinner table. Daughter #3 shoved the entire plateful into her mouth and swallowed, while holding her nose. She then received her cookies, which she proceeded to savor slowly, waving them in front of the other hapless children. Daughter #2 made fruitless attempts to swallow small crumbs from the side of the quiche, gagging loudly when they touched her tongue, until her eyes were bulging from their sockets. Daughter #1 threw herself under the table, sobbing dramatically and uncontrollably. Daughter #4 sullenly mashed her portion with a fork, over and over until unrecognizable. Perhaps she hoped it would disappear, but the properties of matter were not disproven. These ringleaders stirred the rest of the family into a hopeless uproar. DH and I then had a serious and heated difference of opinion, in which he told me to just give them the cookies, and I weepingly insisted that if I did, no one would ever take me seriously again.

Something broke inside me that night, and the next day we had frozen pizza for dinner.

And I am now likely to bring Oreos to Relief Society functions.

16 comments:

Mark IV said...

Careful with the Oreos there, BiV. You are displaying lowdown, man-like tendencies which will result in a loss of feminine specialness if you don't watch out. :-)

My priesthood quorum meets in the hich concil room for class and there is just enough room for us all to sit around the big table. Somebody always brings a package of Oreos and passes it around. If the package is at the other end of the table and you want seconds, you just interrupt the teacher and ask for them. Somebody slides the package down the table to you, like sliding a beer mug down a bar. Of course, there are always the obligatory comments, like "Well brother B., it looks lke you have already had more than your share, HOHOHO!"

On the way home from church, we talk about our respective priesthood and RS lessons. Even though they are from the same manual, there are differences that cause my wife to just shake her head. She is rendered speechless.

Mark IV said...

And two nursing at the same time? Wow.

I'll bet your calling and election has already been made sure.

lucy said...

sounds like your burnt out. I wouldn't blame you with everything that's on your plate and the things you've done.

Seth R. said...

Rule at our house is: you don't eat what's on your dinner plate, you don't eat. End of story. We don't care if they sit there and stare at the plate. They sit until mom and dad are finished and then they are free to clear their place setting and leave.

But they don't get anything else to eat. Period. They go to bed hungry. We figure if they were really hungry, they would have eaten dinner.

I think one thing that helps somewhat, is that my wife and I, honestly, don't really care if they're happy or not. So that leverage really isn't there.

My feeling on parenting is - I'm not your buddy. I'm not your friend. I'm your dad. And you'll eat what you're given.

Make a big enough scene about it, and you'll go to bed too.

Seth R. said...

By the way, someone could stand to tell your husband, that you don't contradict your spouse in front of the kids. Ever. Unless she's going to break their arms or do permanent damage, you shut up and talk/fight about it later.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Oh, honey, that something has broken in me hundreds of times, too...

And thanks for the shout-out! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Anonymous said...

You mean you had 2 nursing, we-can-only-guess-how-many in diapers, you made something really special that you were proud of and it was spurned even though you had thoughtfully provided a special incentive and THEN your husband undermined you in front of the family?!?!

I think he's a lucky man that only your zeal for cooking was broken!

anonymous alice

E said...

It really doesn't matter how much is "broken" at this point. The glory of convert/mission/temple marriage after only 3 months/8 babies in a short time frame totally outshines any resulting domesticity lameness for all time. We are not worthy.

Bored in Vernal said...

Thank you for the support, my lovelies. You made my day. But I have a feeling DH isn't going to be too happy with me when he reads this post.

Seth, thanks for the parenting advice. It works fine when your kids are under 6 and you maybe have 3 or less. You may find that it's much less effective when you are completely outnumbered and they are old enough to get out of bed when you are asleep and make themselves a peanut butter sandwich. :)

Bored in Vernal said...

and MarkIV, the Oreo passing sounds like fun. I knew there was a reason I wanted the priesthood.

Seth R. said...

Touche.

J G-W said...

The first time Göran's family came to visit, his nieces were in the 6-12 age range. Göran is a domestic god, and he puts lots of love into delicious and fancy meals. He was so excited about the arrival of his family, he planned a delicious quiche.

Our experience was similar. The sister-in-law stared at it and wouldn't touch it. "What is that?" she asked. He gave her the ingredients. "Oh. Egg pie," she said, nibbling tentatively. The kids fussed and wouldn't touch it, and cried and complained until Göran sullenly marched back into the kitchen and made spaghetti. Plain spaghetti with plain Ragu spaghetti sauce micro-wave heated and poured over the spaghetti with Kraft parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

He never baked for them again. It was spagetti and peanut-butter-jelly sandwiches from then on.

Bored in Vernal said...

Aw, that's just sad. I would love to sample Göran's cooking! Hope the experience did not destroy his domesticity. :)

J G-W said...

Oh no, it did not destroy his domesticity. Far from it!

But it did make him more selective about when and on whom he bestows his domestic bounties.

Sue said...

Thanks so much for the link and the nice compliment (yum, better than cookies). For the record, I can't cook. AT ALL. Luckily, DH can.

Anonymous said...

Late comment, but just to point out more of your superhuman tendancies...child #1 was 13 years old when that incident occured that means you dealt with 13 years of domesticity of insane proportions...I know I am child #1 but really, mother i did not throw myself under the table that was reserved for the special times you "didn't understand me", and #2 was a veggitarian by then...but point taken.