You can read dozens of parenting books. Take advice from generations of parents who have been there before. Condition yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
You can do all of this, but nothing, NOTHING, can prepare you to face the challenge of making a turkey sandwich for yourself.
WARNING: What you are about to read is based on actual events. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.*
*These results are not typical and and you should not expect to actually finish making or digest any such meal for the next five years.
It’s 10:50 a.m., Sunday morning.
You skipped breakfast and now it’s too late. It’s early for lunch but your crankiness will take you over the edge if you don’t feed your face, now.
You bought turkey yesterday. And you have bread in stock. You also have lettuce and one tomato. And there’s mayo you acquired sometime this past year. You experience a moment of quiet on the homefront. You make your break away to the kitchen. Could this really be happening?
Ravenous dogs immediately are nipping at your feet as you desperately attempt to unload materials from the fridge before anyone catches on to your plan.
You realize you actually did the dishes last night. You are not going to be the cause of more dirty dishes, no, not today. You grab a paper towel instead of a plate and start your mission.
You bought 12-grain wheat bread for this very occasion, but your feeling edgy today and you go for the Italian loaf.
Then things gets real.
All that’s between you and starting this sandwich is a unnatural mess of a twist tie at the end of the bread bag. Honestly, who still uses twist ties, in 2015? There is simply no time.
Then, you hear it. A scream in the distance “MINE!!” shouted by John Doe 1. It’s followed by another scream, and now crying from John Doe 2. You frantically push your sandwich materials away from the edge of the counter to avoid apprehension by your canine adversaries.
You run to find Thomas and his Friends strewn throughout the family room, and pushed inside the couch seat cushions. "WHERE IS PERCY!?" You've successfully recovered Thomas and James, but the real screams are for Percy.
For the love of Pete, where the heck is Percy, and why does this children's train character have such a potentially inappropriately pronounced name?
You pull out the couch and locate Percy wedged between the wall and under workings of the recliner. You arbitrate a fair division of toys post-crisis and swiftly return to the kitchen.
It is now 11 a.m.
You feel better that it’s a more appropriate lunch time.
You grab a butter knife for the mayo and add to the bread. Then it hits you. CHEESE. You did not get cheese at the deli. But you do have shredded mozzarella in stock from John Doe 1’s strange obsession with the gummy cheese strings. IT WILL HAVE TO DO.
As you frantically pile on the toppings, suddenly you feel a presence behind you. Before turning around you realize, you’ve been found out. You thwart the impending attempt to derail your plans by quickly assembling a large cup of milk in that special sippy cup and extend your olive branch. The offering is accepted and the situation is contained.
Quickly back to the sandwich, which is nearing completion, and you’ve reached the tomatoes. You will quickly run under water to wash and then faced with a critical decision. Do you dare grab and dirty another knife just for one pathetic tomato? Not in this, or any other lifetime. Your butter knife will have to suffice, and you will have to find a way to live with poorly shaped tomato slices.
Out of nowhere, you’re blindsided. John Doe 2 approaches you with the demand for you to personally wear a spy-like head gear toy and to activate the flashlight attachment. Unshaken, you deny this request and focus back on your mission. You use the same butter knife to cut the sandwich in half, you know, like you get at a restaurant, because you are fancy that way.
A faint yet horrid smell creeps into the room. Someone or something, may or may not have, pooped. The source has not been confirmed. You’ve gone too far to go back now. IT’S TIME.
You grab a seat at your kitchen table and brush the crumbs off the table top to 1. make room and 2. distract the ravenous dogs for a brief moment.
As you open your mouth for the first bite, two large eyes emerge over the side of the table, followed by loud hunger calls coming from a now unclothed John Doe 1. It's going down.
You’re overcome by a cacophony of gibberish demands, concerned looks and tiny fingers pointing directly at your sandwich.
Time freezes. You are taken back to the first moment you held your offspring and made the eternal promise that you would do anything for them. You immediately offer them a bite, start pulling turkey from the sides, and offer tidbits of the shredded cheese that has already fallen on the table (I mean who puts shredded cheese on a cold sandwich anyway).
As you yearn for a divine intervention to stop this display of parental benevolence, you are suddenly saved by the bell. A train bell, and toot of the whistle. It’s PERCY on the big screen whistling and whooshing loudly, wooing all children to the family room to see the “choo choos” just like the sirens did in the Odyssey.
You are now alone with what’s left of your sandwich. You can’t help but feel that the pursuit was more exciting than the reward. Your last bites are mostly crust. Stale crust actually. When was the expiration date on the bread?
An eerie stillness comes over the house. All is quiet. Something isn’t right.
In the 30 seconds it took to choke down the remainder of your sandwich, you have now become the proud owner of original artwork: a Crayola-based classic, right on your wall, that appears to be from the artist’s blue period.
You stare into space for a moment. Just long enough to realize that so much time has passed that it’s now lunchtime for the children. You take much more satisfaction in watching them eat and grow.
While they are eating, you document this journey so that others may know what you have seen on this day.
And you should probably track down the source of that horrible smell you ignored earlier.
Apologies if you expected a golden lesson here, or redemption, or anything that makes a bit of sense, at the end of this post. Keep in mind, you are on a website called Down With Spit Up!
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