Yo-Yo Parenting

 It’s happened again. Another weekend gone by of overly-ambitious family planning, followed by self-doubt, and soon disappointment in the promises I can’t keep for myself. The weekend started with an inspirational vegan cooking class, and ended with me eating a skillet cookie with ice cream. 

My goals may seem simple: make my kids laugh, have a selfish moment, learn something new, remind my husband why we fell in love, have a boost of confidence, strive to do better, acknowledge I’m far from perfect. 

Some days start off being positive, but end up just feeling insurmountable. There really isn’t a word to encapsulate the bitterness you feel after a particularly rough day of parenting. It’s like the YoYo diet self-loathing effect, when one special moment of joy comes crashing down into pitiful pain the next, over and over into an endless vortex.

How does one value the little time you have to yourself when the weekends are no longer your own? How do you find inspiration when you live in a world of diaper checks? How do you find passion when your day is measured by Toddler-Time-Outs, or mental clarity when a sneaker has been thrown at your head, or laughter and joy when heads are turning because your family is “causing a scene” at a restaurant? How can you feel attractive when you only have five minutes to get dressed?

Case in point: this morning we were eager to get the kids out of the house at 9:00am, when my husband casually asked me if I needed to get dressed before we left. Then he started to put the kids shoes on. Not HOW MUCH time I needed, or if I needed a shower. We’ve simply progressed to IF I needed to put on clothes. I was in a sleep shirt, no bra, no makeup. Not sure if he noticed. New goal for next weekend – make eye contact with spouse in the morning.

I know our kids are young and energetic and this too shall pass. I’m getting sick of hearing that advice. My low point of the weekend was really when I got puked on and we learned that Everett is allergic to walnuts. BUT my highlight was when the kids dragged me outside today to do “water play” in 80 degree humidity when all I really wanted was to sit alone in private misery and read a book. And in the end, the joy on their faces from the simple act of being soaked in the mud with a hose pipe was nothing short of spectacular. This is the reminder of “living” I strive for each day. And even though I feel miserable and lost and so so tired right now … I know that’s okay, we are bound together by the brazen and the beautiful, and tomorrow is another day!

Daddy’s “selfish” moment trying to do yoga in the morning but getting discovered… 

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Crunchy Curry Chickpeas, and the Toddler Hunger Games

curry soup
So Asher had a “toddler moment” this week with his eating habits. For 5 days he barely ate and then yesterday he ate about 14 days worth of food all before lunchtime. With his various neon colored plastic bowls scattered around the kitchen floor, he enjoyed samples of raisin bran, eggs, orange flavored cranberries, goldfish crackers, kale, fresh dill, vanilla yogurt, and crunchy bites of curried roasted chickpeas. We had so much fun in the kitchen while my husband painstakingly prepared today’s Crunchy Curry Chickpeas recipe with a pinched forehead from a wonderful cookbook my friend Stephanie gave me called Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi , and I joyfully threw crap in a pot and made something. Like our marriage, these two dishes worked in perfect harmony!

CURRY ZUCCHINI SOUP

6 large zucchinis sliced into moon shapes
1 diced medium onion
5 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons curry powder

In large sauce pot, fry diced onions on medium heat for 3 minutes in cooking spray or olive oil. Then add sliced zucchinis, stirring for 5-7 minutes. Add curry powder and vegetable broth, turn up to a boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and use hand blender to puree into creamy soup. Season with salt. Top of with crunchy curry chickpeas.

CRUNCHY CURRY CHICKPEAS

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the drained chickpeas on a dish towel and gently rub each bean to remove any remaining skins, making sure that they are totally dry. In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, curry powder, thyme, and ginger. Add the chickpeas to the bowl and toss to coat. Spread the chickpeas on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake the chickpeas, tossing them occasionally, until they are light brown and crisped, 40 – 45 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Let them cool completely, then serve. They are best eaten the day they are made.