Travis has recently taken to grilling and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve always said that food tastes better when it’s cooked outside and no one really likes the aftermath of the meat cloud that happens when you fry up burgers in the kitchen. Some people might like their hair and furniture to smell like warm beef for a week. I’m not some people.
A week or so ago he grilled up chicken breasts, shrimp and corn on the cob while I prepared pasta salad, baked beans and homemade cheddar biscuits. And because a big meal isn’t complete without dessert, we bought a cake from the grocery store that was frosted to look like a hamburger. I still have mixed feelings about it. In reality the cake was great but something that looks like a hamburger should really taste like a hamburger so I’m conflicted.
Anyway, I was slicing the cake after dinner and Rinn was finishing up his baked beans and pasta salad when he insisted he needed a new fork for dessert.
Rinn: This one has stuff on it.
Me: It’ll be fine, lick it clean.
He contemplated my request, studied the fork but before acquiescing my request, held his fork up for everyone to see and proclaimed,
“Even though you do things like this…”
pause for dramatic effect
“...you’re still the best mom in the world.”
Apparently I’ve secured my “best mom” status even in the face of making him reuse silverware.
*patting myself on the back
MILLION DOLLARS IN TRASH
Recently I wasn’t feeling great. You know, one of those summer colds where the symptoms are only exacerbated because it’s 1000 degrees out and while being congested sucks, being congested during a South Carolina summer could be a method of torture. Feeling especially sadistic? Infect someone with a head cold and put them inside of a furnace.
Anyway, I was lying around, feeling sorry for myself while audibly sighing for attention when Travis asked how I was feeling.
Me: I feel like garbage.
Travis: (because he’s a smart husband) Well you look like a million dollars.
Me: Ha, you’re hilarious but thank you. I still feel like trash.
Then Rinn walks over to get a better look and because he still has so much to learn in how to handle women he earnestly says,
“You really do look like a million dollars in trash.”
THE SCOOP ON POOP
Since Rinn has returned from Wisconsin he has spent almost every morning accompanying me to the farm where we board our horses. I work there five mornings a week cleaning up after the fifteen horses that live there and making sure that no one misses a meal. More often than not I come home with hay in my bra and poop on my shirt but being outside has always agreed with me and there’s something incredibly satisfying in physical labor. Like the fact that after handling hay bales and lugging around big buckets of horse shit I had enviable abs again. They say abs are made in the kitchen. I say they’re made mucking the stalls of over a dozen horses with really healthy digestive systems.
Rinn has proved himself to be a tremendous help; assisting in filling water buckets, dishing out breakfast and even sharing the poop scooping responsibilities. I’ve taken comfort in the fact that perhaps I’m raising a child who understands the value of hard work and who won’t shy away from a little sweat and elbow grease. The 6am wakeup call would be enough to scare away some adults I know.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have moments of weakness, he’s a seven-year-old boy after all. He needs way more snack breaks than any employee I’ve ever worked with and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to repeatedly remind one of my co-workers to stop catching crickets and get back to work.
Recently we were on our way to the farm and he asked:
“Do we have to scoop poop today?”
Me: Rinn, we have to scoop poop everyday.
Rinn: But we scooped poop yesterday, do they poop everyday?
Me: (laughing) Yes, everyday.
Confused and frustrated he says:
“I don’t get it, there are days where I never poop.”